America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

Monday, December 31, 2007

Orientation + Training Day: Saturday January 12

Millwork One Racing would like to reach out to the New England bike racing community by offering a meeting at the West Warwick home of Murat Altinbasak. This will be an ideal opportunity to meet the team's manager and find out more about the team's sponsorships, racing schedule and goals for 2008/2009. We will be gathering for some fresh bagels, donuts and hot coffee at 8:00 am and departing for a group training ride at 9:00. Depending upon the weather, our route will meander through Coventry RI and return us to the house 60-90 minutes later. We can then get warmed up inside, change into dry clothing, top off with more coffee/tea and talk some more about what direction to take.
Attendance at this event does not constitute unconditional acceptance onto the team, but your attendance will surely be more meaningful to us than if you pass it up.
It has been announced on NEBRA that M1 Racing is a masters team, but we would like to express that we're also very interested in attracting some younger cat 2s, 3s, women and juniors to the Team.  
Please RSVP using this address: preferably not later than Thursday January 10th. This will be a very casual, fun filled morning of meeting new people, riding together as a group on beautiful roads, and exploring the benefits of being on the M1 Racing team. With a little luck, your name will be added to the team roster on this date and we can begin to introduce you to the blogosphere and to the sponsors who have made this team possible. 
Racers from CT, MA, NH, VT, ME and of course RI are all welcome to join us on Saturday. Many thanks. 
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Another 3+ hour ride

Weather was fantastic! Over 50 degrees. Did my first 90 minutes on the fixed gear, with my son, in his trailer, being towed behind me. I think overall that's about 80 pounds I'm pulling along. Felt so overgeared, I could barely get the cadence to reach 60.. After depositing my boy at home I did another 90 minutes without the trailer, and it felt like I had wings compared to the first 90 minutes.. Got home pretty late too- it was pitch black outside.. and those ice patches on the bike path are hard to see in the dark!
Next weekend: 4 hours on Saturday and 4 hours on Sunday. If it's very cold out I think I may stop home at half time for a quick warm-up and change of clothing.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Keith Berger Criterium Moment (2007 30+)

Chart below shows minutes 40-42 of the 2007 Keith Berger Crit on 8/19/07. Four guys opened a gap with about 6 laps to go. I attacked hard and bridged up over the course of one full lap. On my heels was a Target Training rider who also connected about 10 seconds later, but whose departure from the pack inspired the rest of the field to really chase hard. We were absorbed after two laps, leaving us about three laps to recover and sprint. I ended up finishing 17th with those blown legs. Pictures of what it looked like 1/2 way through those very tough two minutes: The break.
Murat chasing.
Target guy (Scott Bodin? Kyle Wolfe?) chasing me.
Six man break, one lap later.
I dove into that back corner going 34.5 miles per hour.

Please vote on my new team uniform- Which one?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It looks colder than it is..

My strategy for making the morning bike commute less frigid: A steaming hot shower, followed by suiting up with apparel that has just come out of the clothes dryer. Makes it seem much more bearable. Then again.. it always seems colder out than it really is.. or rather, it never feels as cold as it looks from inside the bedroom window. Today I wore my new Providence Bicycle thermal jacket (picked up Monday off the clearance rack to consummate the store's commitment to sponsor the Millwork One Racing Team) my long sleeve jersey and my one threadbare Reebok base layer. These three layers were sufficient, while it was only about 25 degrees out. I was comfortable enough that getting to work was a bummer. I was feeling like.. "Hey let's ride some more.. this feels good.."
PS: If it seems that I obsess over riding in the cold, it's because I've never done it before! It's the first time I've ridden this much in December! To wit: in December 2006 I rode a total of 3 hours.. December 2007: 28 hours and counting!
May your rides this winter be as surprisingly toasty as mine.. -Murat 


"Using any form of dietary supplement may result in a positive test for prohibited substances leading to a suspension and/or other penalties. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and other dietary supplements may contain prohibited or illegal substances that may or may not be listed on the label. Any athlete who takes a vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid or other dietary supplement does so at his or her own risk of committing a doping violation."

These words are printed right adjacent to my new 2008 racing license, which arrived the other day. Am I the only one who finds this both peculiar and offsides? Are we being warned not to take supplements because their testing procedures suck so badly that they might mistake vitamin E for EPO?? I don't get it.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Narragansett Bay Weenies?

Okay that was unfair of me, especially since I'm acquainted with only ONE MEMBER of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen. Why the poke? Only because I was expecting a huge turnout today on their Scituate ride at 11:00 am! That's all.. no one have a hissy fit.. no one's a weenie. Just me- I'm the biggest self depracating weenie in the world, so just chill everyone..and save your finger wagging and hate mail for another time.. It was 48 degrees out at one point.. so WHERE WAS EVERYBODY?!?! I distinctly recall a person boasting the other day about how the NBW group was populated with some real die hard lunatics- that they would turn out in huge numbers even in the coldest and crappiest of weather! Oh well. Whatever. There were about ten cars in the parking lot, and a couple of people rode there from home.. I was still pulling my booties on when the "A" group (consisting of FIVE people) departed from the parking lot! About a full minute later, I managed to add my hat, helmet, gloves, phone, pump, spare, multi tool, and wind jacket and then shove off from the parking lot in hot pursuit. I think that the look of my bike was taken to be an indicator of my fitness level- I took the Redline 9-2-5 fixed gear commuter with me.. If I had my LOOK 486- they might have waited another minute.. but I'd rather not speculate and give credit where it isn't due.. SO.. I catch these five guys about 2-4 minutes later.. huffing and puffing.. as we got down route 102 in the vicinity of the reservoir.. On a slight rise in the road I go to the front and take a pull.. kind of like "hey guys.. my bike sucks, but I don't!" kind of pull. (I have FULL fenders and FULL reflectors.. and MOUSTACHE bars!) Five minutes later, we're down to three. I'm with an AFD guy and a Minuteman guy- both looking fit and comfortable.. The other two must have turned off someplace else or just gotten shelled (one had a WAAAAY over geared fixie with TT bars, the other had a Bianchi with a stem that looked just plain wrong..) Next rise in the road at about minute 25, I get shelled by my two road mates- I'm over geared a little bit too.. but I relent. I keep turning it over and after reaching Maple Valley Road and descending to the bottom (10 minutes later), I re-connect with them. Could not tell if they were surprised or happy to see me again.. but whatever. Burned a few matches to do it too. So we rode together for another hour or so, I felt better and better as the ride went on.. Didn't feel too much difficulty except when the road turned up- then I really needed a smaller gear.. but I managed to get out of the saddle and muscle my way over in good time.. until.. towards the very end we were on route 116 north and took a left on route 14. Down into the valley and across the road which cuts the reservoir in two.. the road tips up on a pretty steep grade for my gearing.. Seeing that we're only about 2 miles from our starting point at Scituate HS, I take the hill at my own pace, arriving a minute or two after my friends. From there, I phone dear wife, who's sledding somewhere in Johnston with my son and friends. So I head north on 116 and find them at Deerfield Park.. Cold and soaked thru, I get in the van and strip down, get the wet base layers off of me. Ate a donut, drank some hot coffee, some water.. I even put my boots on and sledded down the hill a couple of times with my son Reis.. Then I realized.. I feel much better.. Having ridden only 2:30 and being required to do at least 3:00.. I turn to my wife and say "I gotta ride home from here.. I need to get at least three hours in today". With that, I disappeared back into the van, suited up, put on my new balaclava, and wisely took my back pack with me to help keep my back warm (works like a charm..) One hour later I arrived at my house (most of the ride home was on 116 into West Warwick, then a turn onto 115 before reaching Hope Furnace Road) I'm very pleased with myself.. Overall 3 hours and 30 minutes on the fixed gear over challenging terrain and with guys riding light weight road bikes for the first half.. Let me tell you.. if you're in a funk and want to feel really good about yourself.. FORCE yourself to do something which you loath, but which you know is a requirement to reach your goals.. It's worth every minute of discomfort to get to the end of such a mission, because I feel like a million bucks right now for completing what I really didn't feel like doing.. (Back down off of soap box now) So.. Other than the 30 minute rest and sledding, it was all contiguous, no stops. Does that count? Let me pose a Seinfeld/Larry David-esque question: What's the cut-off? How long of a break can you take within a ride for it to be considered one whole ride and not two? I love Larry David-Curb Your Enthusiasm.. Bought a coffee mug at the HBO store in Manhattan last month: Half empty/Half empty.. Genius. If I had a chance to meet one famous person from Hollywood, he would be the one I'd choose over all others. I'd love to have a conversation with Larry David. Who wouldn't?

Friday, December 21, 2007

More Sponsors added!

We have added four cash sponsors and one equipment sponsor in this past week! Without naming names:
- one is a solid surface fabricator (Corian countertops)
- one is a custom veneer and panel product company
- another is a lumber and custom wood moulding company
- and one is a large distributor of plastic laminate, plywood and cabinet hardware
It appears that Millwork One is going to be co-sponsored primarily with partners in the woodworking industry. We're all very excited.. The names of these companies will be announced after our final apparel order is released for production next week.
Also: we've made a tentative agreement with a Rhode Island bicycle shop, the final details of which should be firmed up on Monday. Announcement of the shop's name will have to wait until then!
Good things are happening!
Those racers who are interested in being on the Millwork One Racing Team should reach out to us ASAP. Even if you're not yet sure, expressing interest will at least get you penciled-in before there are too many candidates to accept. The team's budget is limited to supporting six racers.. very well. Weite to us at:

Update on my father's condition

It's not so much that I want the whole world to know and feel pity or anything.. I have to get this stuff out of my system, and this blog is as good a listener as anyone. At least it doesn't judge me.. Here's where I "spill my poison", as the saying goes.. and no one has a gun to your head forcing you to read..
My father has lung cancer, stage 4, inoperable. Tumors have spread to his liver and to his bones.. His clavicle has been fractured by the tumor which grows on and around it, so pain is a big issue right now. When he was here a month or so ago, the doctor told him that chemotherapy would not be very effective, so my father declined the treatment. He decided to return to Turkey. As it turns out, he's started another round of chemo over there, and continues to treat the pain with morphine and other narcotic drugs. Last week he sounded quite cheerful on the phone.. Still on his feet, still trying to build his musical instruments, still smoking cigarettes too.. what's the point of stopping now if it gives you comfort? I wouldn't.
When my brother and I took him to TF Green airport the other month for his connection to JFK, we sat there with him at the gate, not knowing what to say or how to act. When it was time to board, we stood with him in line, said our farewells, hugged, kissed.. He entered the ramp to board and started walking away from us.. and just before turning the corner, he stopped, and he turned around and he looked at us for a moment, waving.. realizing that maybe, it was for the very last time. I almost fell apart right then and there.. and then he continued.. out of sight. As my younger brother and I walked down the concourse and away from the gate, I had to stay a few paces in front of him to hide the anguished and tearful look on my face.. and perhaps it would have been like looking in the mirror, had I turned around to face him, I don't know.. and who the hell knows what my father's face looked like after he turned the corner away from us.. I think I might have an idea, but it hurts to try and imagine it. Thanks for reading. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good things are happening

I just did what should be considered perhaps the most anal retentive move ever.. I RENEWED MY LICENSE for 2008, while it's still 2007.. Yes, not only did I have $60 burning a hole in my pocket.. and not only did I want to get my hands on the $30 coaching manual ASAP.. but the new Millwork One Racing was officially added to the Genesee Valley Cycling Club as an affiliate team on this date ..meaning that I could renew my license online, choose my new club and choose my new team. Much cooler than it sounds.. Many thanks to GVCC president Todd Scheske for making this happen for us so effortlessly. Good things are happening. Here's a screen shot of my USA Cycling account page:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bisikletci Post No 321

Nothing much to report other than the fact that it's still.. colder than a witch's tit outside. 45 minutes on the rollers in zone1 just seemed like an eternity. It's cold enough in the garage that I train in there with long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey, hat, gloves and booties. Ugh.. I bore myself to death tonight.. Friggin Mondays just plain suck.

Good day to drive to work

I'm not insane. The decision to skip the bike ride to work was the correct one. My street had big patches of ice and snow that would have taken me down five different times before I even reached Main Street in West Warwick. I have two easy days before Wednesday's Field Test, which will be done on the wind trainer, in the garage. I haven't trained this much in December, EVER!

Eye openers

There's no denying that I can sometimes sound like a bull in a china shop.. but I guess sometimes that's what it takes to get other people to show their true colors. One thing's for sure.. there is no turning back for 'ol Murat. That's been made painfully clear by certain people who I thought were my friends. Shame on me for thinking I had some kind of immunity to being disliked. Meanwhile, the private e-mails from people who express their support for me have made this much more bearable- thank you.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I've Changed My Mind!

I'm not going to stop posting here! This is where I speak my mind about things.. I will post to both the new blog ( and to this old blog. Difference being, the M1Racing blog will be tailored as a destination suitable for any of the team's sponsors, family, friends or anyone else who we need to avoid offending.
(There was a time when all of my sponsors were listed and linked here. That ended last spring)
I have changed the address of Bisikletci.. to just to eliminate my former association with Union Velo.. and because I want to stop embarrassing them with my foot-in-mouth disorder.. Interestingly, many readers seem to Google "union velo blog" in order to find me. No worries.
To those of you who I've reached out to recently for support or participation in the new Millwork One team, AND who have replied to me without leaving me hanging: eternal gratitude. Thank you for being a good sport and communicating, even if it didn't interest you to become involved... To those who blew me off and couldn't be bothered to reply: You suck balls.

A different matter: To the one former team mate who thought enough of me to reply and wish me well with my new team after reading my e-mail notifying everyone that I was moving on: Thanks a million, Campignone! Everyone else, I'm a little hurt, but I wish you the best that life offers, to enjoy in good health and happiness. Please keep in touch.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Time to End This Blog and Move On

Indeed, with only 17 days left as a Union Velo racer, the address of this blog needs to change.. Or.. I can leave this blog as it is, and start a new one with a new address, using this final post as a re-direct to the new address. Changing the address of this blog would be a limiting factor I think.
So.. without further ado.. please mozy on over to the new and hopefully improved blog, which I believe will be located at:

Who rode to work this morning?

I did! I did! Bought a balaclava from Dick's last night- what a difference it makes to have complete coverage of the head and neck. Felt great to ride the new Redline 9-2-5 fixie in the 25 degree chill this morning. I'm beginning to enjoy and welcome the cold! Wet.. I'm not so sure about. Dick's had these extreme cold base layers by Under Armour and by Nike.. $60 each! Gaaaah! I was tempted, but then left it on the rack. Snow tonight? Glad I have my car here at work, in case I decide against riding home. If there's only flurries around 5:00 pm, I'm biking it home.
Those of you who do ride regularly in these frigid conditions.. does it make you feel like a bad ass? ..kind of like George Castanza in that "tough guy" episode of Seinfeld? Wondering if it's just me.. So cool to do what most others are completely unwilling and unable to do, I'm discovering..

Another Co-Sponsor Signs on to the Millwork One team

I won't name the company right now, but I'll say that they are a partner company of Millwork One which fabricates solid surface materials such as Corian and Zodiaq. When they received the offer from me via e-mail, they didn't hesitate, the check's already in the mail to me. Smart move- buying into the racing project of a very big customer (Millwork One). They've just guaranteed their future as a sub contractor for MIllwork One. What goes around comes around.. As a woodwork project manager in constant need of reliable suppliers, vendors and sub contractors, this makes certain buying decisions rather easy.
If only I could say the same for the limited reach of this blog! Unfortunately for me, everyone and their brother rushed over to join the NBX Bikes team this past fall, and it's as though they're giving everyone free kits and free bikes and free herion or something.. Fine and dandy! but where's mine? Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Christopher Dale and Jim Peters to death- like brothers to me and I hardly know them- and I do so want to look like a pack of Viceroy cigarettes (tongue in cheek! don't anyone cry!)... but somehow when love comes to town, it always forgets to knock on Murat's door. So here I am with a new title sponsor, new team apparel, cash in hand, and no one to share it with yet. Oh well!
Does anyone know how to reach Tom Officer? He's old, wise and FAST. We remodeled a bunch of Coach Stores together about 7-8 years ago.. we're both former mill rats. I believe he can be persuaded.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Need to do a better job of...

..getting to bed by 10:00 pm! I often get carried away with the many personal projects I am managing, often keeping me awake past midnight!
..laying out my clothing and loading my backpack the night before I plan to ride to work. I lose so much time running around looking for gloves, booties, keys, wallet, socks, whatever.
..getting to work on time! the above two issues have a huge impact.. though generally I get to work earlier on days when I ride the bike in- I tend to jump out of bed more enthusiastically. No surprise there, eh?
..recruiting people to the Millwork One racing team! I'm still an army of one! It's true I will be ordering enough clothing to cover 4-6 people.. no need to be impatient or rush things.. but where the heck is everyone? Does every team out there cover ALL gasoline and ALL entry fees? Man alive, it's like herding cats.. Should I just start winging jerseys around at the next training race to whoever will take them? No, but I hear that this has worked for others. Maybe Millwork One should be a WOMEN"S TEAM! We'll see..

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Commuting by Bike: Hazardous to your mental health (?)

Yesterday, I decided to punish myself with a bike commute to and from work. I use the word "punish" because I've been quite a sissy-boy in the "cold weather riding" department. Resolving to ride the fixed gear bike to work 2-3 times a week, all winter long, I decided to pick one of the nastier days as a way to "break myself in". "Future rides to work won't seem as bad" I reasoned.. Well.. aside from a quick fall on black ice, my ride to work was quite enjoyable, all 9 miles of it. The ride home.. a different story.. It wasn't the darkness that ruined it, it wasn't the cold wind or the damp drizzle or the slick roads.. It was the people who I shared the road with. Quittin' time does something to New Englanders I think. Getting home seems to be a bigger urgency than getting to work, that's for damn sure. 
A motorist driving an enormous pick up truck- the kind with four rear wheels and four doors- thoughtfully slowed to my pace, lowered his window, wagged his finger and yelled at me to "GET ON THE SIDEWALK!". On at least three other occasions, motorists blared their horns at me, and then once they could get past me, gunned the throttle while shaking their heads in disapproval. I can't read their moving lips too well, but their "body language" makes it pretty clear that feathering their brakes for a few seconds while basking in the warmth and comfort of their car, in order to avoid pasting the road with my shivering body parts, , is not appreciated.. at all.
Mentally, it really takes the wind out of your sails. You know you're doing something good for the body, for the mind and even for the environment, but those who can't afford to be delayed for 5 seconds by a human life perched precariously on top of a 20 pound machine going 20 miles an hour through the darkness on top of frozen asphalt, really make it hard to be optimistic about anything to do with PEOPLE. Enough said.
If you're a motorist and encounter a person riding a bicycle on the road, try something new: YIELD deliberately- give way- wave them through- let them pass before you make your turn. I PROMISE you that the cyclist will respond to you with a wave and a smile, or otherwise go out of their way to express thanks. If they don't, caulk it up as a rare exception- friendly motorists are so rare these days that sometimes an act of kindness is met with shock or disbelief. Have faith. WE still do.. or else we'd give up on this bike cummuting thing entirely.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Story of STUFF with Annie Leonard: For Shame, America!

This 20 minute video called "The Story of STUFF", is good stuff indeed. Many thanks to my dear sister Elif, for sending it my way.

Severe weather alert?! Bah!

For whatever reason (demonic possession?) I rode the fixie to work this morning, falling down only once (right onto the same knee I bruised on Saturday at Goddard. Grrr.) Maybe I'm trying to toughen myself up a bit. Being a weenie because of cold or inclement weather is costing me, and I want to ride as much as anyone else does in the winter, for a change. 

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Team Millwork One: Decisions, decisions..

These are the preliminary designs created by Turin Design ( for the new team. The final assembly of co-sponsors is not included yet. I really like the both of them, it's going to be a tough call. We seem to be on schedule to place our clothing order by 12/17 though!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

6th Annual W.E. Stedman GP of Cross

Full results (Murat's DFL!)
Yours truly decided this morning that he wanted to compete in a cross race- that is.. my annual "let me remind myself how bad I suck at cross" event. Truthfully though, I was excited about today's race in the Elite 35+.. I arrived alone, kind of late.. Registered at about 9:30, leaving 30 minutes to ride my bike back to my car, attach my number (which I did with my skinsuit ON- don't ask how) take a wizz, warm up, practice some dismounts in the field (something I haven't done since the '06 Canton Cup) and line up to race for a 10:00 am start. Regrettably, my so-called "useless" rear frog leg brake lever broke before the start, meaning that in order to have any rear braking power at all, I needed to have my left hand in the drops at all times. This was a real buzz kill because my lack of off road and cyclocross experience means that my lower back is extremely sensitive to such abuse.. Man alive did my lower back throb towards the end.. Being the last to register positioned me at the back of the field at the start.. and I didn't do so terrible in the first lap- I actually had 10-20 people behind me until a certain point. But the hesitance and shit braking in the hairpins cost me a lot and it wasn't long before I relegated myself to being the guy who was "just there for the training". Just before being lapped by Jonny Bold, I took a bad fall in the turn which most resembled a corkscrew.. Almost knocked the wind out of me, and it did mess up my brakes even more. I got up immediately and by the time I "finished" about six guys total lapped me.. In the spirit of "finish what you start", I proceeded to do another lap (at a soft pace) just to be able to say that I did as may laps as everyone else. Great to see GeWilli in action.. I had a lot of fun, saw Larry King, Chris Dale, Jim Peters and others in the sideleines shouting words of encouragement at me. Very cool. I don't know if I'll race tomorrow.. I guess if the mood strikes, I'd like to try, but my training program requires me to do four hours on the fixed gear tomorrow. (Three hours were required today, but I raced instead). Nice day, nice venue and course, and good training for the whole body. My right ankle is killing me, still weak and tender from a sprain I had over a year ago. Next up: Preliminary MILLWORK ONE team kit designs! I need help choosing one color theme over the other. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Minuteman Road Club CycloCross 35+ VIDEO 12-2-07

Here's the vid I promised. Seems to have been recorded ar 12:20, making this the end of the 1st/beginning of the 2nd lap. I spy Solo and Ge in there.. looking pret-ty good. Nice work on a very cold day.. You're all nuts.

My new fixed gear winter riding toy: REDLINE 9-2-5

No doubt the ugliest bike in my fleet, but that will change after I swap out those awful handlebars. I wanted a comfortable fixed gear bike with brakes and fenders.. This is by far the best value.. so it was a no-brainer. Many thanks to Rick at Union Velo for the great price and service, per usual.. Also bought some neoprene booties, a new wind trainer (to replace the one I gave to my dad) and a front wheel block (something I've never owned before). Tried to do a field test on the rollers last night and discovered that the resistance is too low. In the 5 minute "blowout" portion, I was in the 53x11 and plates in the cupboard were shaking.. Of course it doesn't help that my rearest drum has 1/4" of lateral play.. (I've owned those rollers since 1993) I eeked out 318 watts in the 5 minutes (had the 53x11 going at 102 rpm average) and it was quite apparent that the 1 minute "all out" efforts would be impossible. Field test aborted. Either have to do it on the frozen roads or on the new wind trainer.. but not in THIS thing, that's for sure.
The other night I discovered how to make one hour on the rollers minimally bearable: remove the stopwatch from the display and look at cadence. DUH. Yeah I was actually watching the minutes tick by before I had this forehead slapper of an idea. My mp3 collection takes me to about 50 minutes before I get really bored, then I check the time and switch to my favorite few track to get to the end of 60 minutes. One other thing which helps is basically goofing around occasionally. The other night I killed about 10 minutes practicing the rollers with no hands.. I've gotten quite good at it- I can now do it without holding onto anything- go from the bars to no hands and back no problem. Even recorded some of it with my camera, I was so impressed with myself. Maybe I'll show it later. Maybe not. Funny thing is, my pelvis tilts to the right uncontrollably when I go no hands. It's like my right leg is shorter than my left or something. Either that or the floor's not level. Thanks for reading.
Okay I'm back.. F-it.. Here it is. In this video, I actually speak.. which made me feel like a freak as I spoke to an inanimate object. CTodd, I don't know how you do it. I think it takes elephant sized testicles to put yourself out there like that.

Team MILLWORK ONE is born today

Its official. The President phoned me this morning to tell me that my proposal is accepted. Gasoline cost of traveling to races will be covered by Millwork One for all team members.. Which as of this date, is only me.
I'm fired up!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi gets a Pinarello

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi poses with a bicycle he received by Italian Cycling team during a meeting at Chigi Palace in Rome December 4, 2007. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (ITALY)

Monday, December 03, 2007

MRC Cross Race

Well if you were in Wrentham yesterday in the 21 degree absence of heat, you saw my dear wife and I freezing our tookas' off while promoting our line of LIKEaBIKE kid's bikes. To those who took an interest and stopped to chat, many thanks for giving us a break from teth chattering. For our part, we contributed two Frog Lights to the merchandise prizes, and the organizers were very accommodating to let us park in the area which was off limits to most. If not for a raw sore throat, I was seriously thinking about considering the possibility that I might want to try to possibly race.. Haha. Maybe next weekend at Goddard I'll show off my pitiful sloth like cyclocross inability.. We had three bloggers (CTodd, Solo and GeWilli) in the 35+ event yesterday and I felt like such a weenie for not counting myself among them. Recorded some video footage which I will share later.   

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My coach.. in Peru for nine days.. presumably answering my e-mails with his Blackberry. How about that? I had this wicked frightening dream last night, which included among other displeasures.. reading a newspaper obituary of the guy and feeling really sad and isolated about it. Let me tell you, it's awesome to have a person you can bounce questions off of any time you want.. Anyhow, when I awoke, I didn't know where I was, or what day it was.. and at once felt relieved and happy that it was just a dream. I need help with disciplined training. Todd's no nonsense approach and the training program he tailors for me every month, makes a huge difference, if not for results, for motivation, enthusiasm and the satisfaction of knowing I'm doing everything possible, as correctly as possible in order to improve. I have four hour fixed gear rides scheduled for the next couple of weekends! Wish me luck. Anyone selling a fixie?

Reuters Slideshow of Homeless People

To me, these photographs really feel like a swift kick in the chest. I know they're a little dated, but doesn't it amaze you how strong, resilient and adaptive children are? I'm dying to know the stories behind these people's circumstances. There are a million ways to become poor. What was their path? If these photos don't choke you up or make your eyes misty, then check yourself for a pulse.. or have children- you probably don't have any. Or picture your young niece or nephew nuzzling the neck of their penniless mother or father. That's all kids need. Loving parents to cling to, caring parents to protect them. When my son Reis and I share a bed together, he falls asleep with his arm around my neck as if the world would end if I left his side. Here's the whole slideshow
A homeless Indian woman holds her son inside her makeshift house under a bridge in New Delhi, India, July 30, 2005. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A homeless Indian man sleeps beside his child near a highway in Fuleshwar village, about 40 km (25 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, February 15, 2006.  
REUTERS/Parth Sanyal
A homeless Indian man sleeps beside his child near a highway in Fuleshwar village, about 40 km (25 miles) from the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, February 15, 2006. REUTERS/Parth Sanyal

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

lo batt

The Powertap was acting strange lately.. Downloads were all the wrong date and time, workouts from two separate days were being grouped together into one workout on one day, heart rate function isn't working.. So I tried a new battery and discovered that it was the old battery I changed out of the chest strap, which isn't working. So I stole the new battery from the dysfunctional chest strap and put it in the PT. Seems everything is back to normal now.
Back on the rollers for me, how about you? I keep mine in the frigid garage, such that I wear a long sleeve jersey, hat and gloves when I'm training in there. Mp3 player too. Though I'm quite sick of my whole collection of tracks. Boredom and crotch numbness.. I stop every 20 minutes or so, sit up and let the feeling return to the T.D.
Changing tempo, cadence, gearing.. all make the time go by more swiftly. Sometimes I'll see how long I can go one handed, or what I can do with my free hand without falling down. Some close calls. Sometimes I flirt with the edge of the drum, then go into a panic as I try to re-center. Mostly, though.. I'm re-living the best and worst moments of 2007.. mostly in the crits I've done. I'm also visualizing 2008.. in my new kit.. with a fresh perspective and fresh legs.
I've forgiven myself for cramping up in the Bob Beal Road Race.. I finished the miserable race after all, and not DFL.. I give myself more credit for taking 15 seconds off last year's time in the TT, and moving up 7 places in the TT results as well.. in spite of crampy legs. Most peoples' times were slower in 2007, than in 2006. So why beat myself up if I'm part of the minority of guys who posted a better time this year? Just one example of what can vex a racer who falls short of a goal.
My weight's up a few pounds, but still lower than my leanest day in 2006. If I can hold it around 170 max and drop 5-10 pounds by March 1st, I'll be in very good shape. Diet is my weakness, but I try hard to eat smaller portions and eat more often. It's what I eat which kills me. Traveling to jobsites a few times a week, often leaves few choices when I'm on the run.
Yesterday I discovered that Eddy Merckx himself, bought a LikeaBike Jumper for his grandson when he encountered it at a London trade show in 2006. Pret-ty cool.
We're planning on being at Wrentham this weekend and at Goddard the following weekend, promoting the bikes, putting them on display.. Waiting for the organizers to get back to me with their blessing first. If it means adding a little merchandise to the prize lists, so be it. I don't know if I'll be racing. My right foot/ankle still has a lot of weakness from a sprain in 2006. I can't run very well, or without pain. Why press my luck? Though last year I felt ashamed for being at Goddard as a spectator. It looked like so much fun. I know it isn't.. not until it ends. See you around..

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Excellent LikeaBike Video from the UK

When my wife and I chose to proceed with starting a retail business selling children's bikes, we had the bike racing community in mind as a starting point. It made sense to market a high end children's bike to people who spend $1000 on a wheelset, or $300 on a carbon seatpost, or $3500 on a frameset. I guess I consider us collectively to be the LAST people on earth to settle for a cheap knock-off of anything bike related, especially for our kids. That said, let me present you with the finest LikeaBike video production I've ever seen. It's owned by a LikeaBike retailer in the UK, so I doubt they will hardly mind if my little blog or my little company uses it. Bravo.
In case you're in the market for a LikeaBike, please give our site a look. Buy local. Support a fellow bike racer. Join the racing team and buy your LikeaBike for cost plus 10%. Here's the vid:

Family Guy: Say you didn't miss it

Tonight's episode had a new character called "Guy who rides his 10 speed everywhere". Good stuff. Loved it.
I rode OUTSIDE today for 100 minutes. No booties or else I might have continued for a full two hours, like I had planned. Instead I jumped on the rollers for another 20 minutes when I got home. You know, just to satisfy my OCD. Now I feel whole.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Team Millwork One sponsorship updates

So here's a round-up of the sponsors that I've lined up so far: Authorized dealer for all LikeaBike products
WeeBike is going to be the co-title sponsor of the new team, and offer the following benefits to team members: MATCH all cash prizes won, furnish one free kit (jersey/shorts) contingent upon the purchase of two kits (this is to demonstrate a commitment to training and racing), and offer all LikeaBike products at cost plus 10% (NOT 10% off retail! COST plus 10%) Architectural woodworking company. Millwork One's title sponsorship will pay for all FUEL costs to travel to races. This is especially favorable because it appears that the cost of traveling to races now easily exceeds the cost of registration. An industrial design company with expertise in brand creation and graphic arts, Turin is charged with designing the team kits and preparing the layouts for the clothing company.
Legaci Coaching: Todd Scheske is an accomplished Cat 1 racer who has been a friend for 20 years, and my personal coach for the past season. Team members will have access to a discounted rate on personal coaching services, for those with or without power meters. Genesee Valley Cycling Club will be the organization under which the Millwork One team will be registered. All Millwork One team members will be required to join the GVCC by paying annual dues. (Dues can be paid via Paypal) The clothing company which I've selected for Team Millwork One. They will be represented on the team kits by default.
Bike shop: I am looking for a bike shop to take a sponsorship position, such that all team members get a 10% discount and favorable pricing on complete bikes too. This will hopefully be resolved soon! Suggestions?
There are a few other ideas and deals in the hopper. I'll keep you posted as things develop.
I've been a part of many small teams over the past few years, and I think that so far it's a pretty attractive package. If you're up for it, let me know:

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm on my own.. it's official

It was inevitable, it's hard to deny and it's really happening. I am starting a new racing team and would like to hear from people who are interested in being a part of it. I don't mind being a one man show.. but why keep all of the sponsorship benefits to myself? I'm especially looking for masters and juniors. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more, please reach out to me:
A clothing order will be placed week of Dec 17th. There will be enough to cover 6 riders with three kits each, or 9 riders with two kits each.. or more if I get a big enough response from consistent racers. Not necessarily looking for superior genetics or single digit results and wins.. just people who train and race consistently.
The team will be under the wing of Genesee Valley Cycling Club in Rochester, NY. (GVCC)
Sponsors will include: Millwork One,, LikeaBike, Legaci Coaching, Turin Design and others. No deal has been made with a bike shop, yet.. but I have a few of them in mind..
One thing which my little company will be offering as a sponsorship benefit is children's LikeaBikes at cost plus 10%, one free kit (contingent upon purchasing at least two kits at cost), and doubling of prize money.. Yup- if you finish in the money or win a prime, I will match it 100%. If any of this interests you, please use the above e-mail address to contact me.
Many thanks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

3-1/2 Hour Death March at Big River Watershed

I met up with some Union folks at Big River this morning: David, Schacte, and Paul. Their median and average age is about 50, I'm only 36. You'd think I had a big advantage and I was faster and all that.. NOT! Though I did have one handicap: my cross bike. These guys all had tricked out mountain bikes with disc brakes and suspension. I had none of that. Heck my brakes hardly stop me on a level road. What I thought would be a 2 hour fun ride turned into a 3-1/2 hour death march, featuring me, bringing up the rear and cramping up violently many times in the final hour. I had one bottle of water and no food, so towards the end I was getting chills, dreaming about the banana bread I stupidly left in the car, and feeling generally weak and miserable. One thing became quite apparent though: on the hard packed surfaces, even the twisty winding ones, I had a big advantage and could open some gaps.. but once we hit the roots and the melon sized boulders and the 25% inclines, I was screwed. My arms and shoulders ache.. My lower back was screaming in the first hour, and later subsided. I'm going to feel this in the morning, that's for sure. Can't wait for next Sunday. Going into Big River with people who know the trails very well is a lot more fun than winging it as I usually do and going in circles or doubling back when I panic about getting lost. I discovered today that mountain bikes are not simply overgrown bmx bikes with gears (my ignorance knows no bounds, I know) and that these 3 fifty somethings deserve a heaping pile of respect. I'm humbled and wiser for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Are you inspired yet? Look again you two legged freak..

Tobias Graf of Germany competes to win the gold medal in the men's individual 4,000 meters event in the Para-Panamerican of Cycling Games in Cali, Colombia, November 13, 2007.  REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What inspires you?

I salute this brave person. Me? I've been weaseling my way out of training indoors on the roller for the past week.. and I still have both my of my fore arms and my hands..
China's Xuetong Kuai competes in the men's individual 4,000 meters pursuit in the Para-Panamerican of Cyclist Games in Cali November 12, 2007.  REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga

Friday, November 09, 2007

Sponsoring choices

Say you had a small business (micro, actually) and you allocated about $2000 for advertising, via sponsoring a race team.. I see three choices:
1. Sponsor your current team/club (and maybe compete with other bidders/previous sponsors for the same kit space?)
2. Sponsor 2-4 other teams/clubs and spread the money around a bit. (getting much smaller spaces on the kits, no doubt)
3. Sponsor yourself as title sponsor, (with required affiliation to another club, per USCF rules). Add more riders later on if practical.
What would you do? This all sounds like a big head ache to me. I'd hate to feel regretful later on about getting myself wrapped around this axle.. no matter which path I chose.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

We want to sponsor some teams

My ass is dragging big time.. New training program began Monday, I'm already behind schedule. Had to skip the program yesterday because of fatigue.. Wrapped around a lot of axles at work. Trying to develop a business with dear wife. Nothing's easy man...
Anyhow.. been thinking about new ways to promote our little enterprise to the racing community and wouldn't mind looking at some choices. Are there any teams out there which will accept my money in exchange for putting the name on their kits? I'd be interested in seeing some proposals from New England teams. We can't afford to do more than a few teams, and there's a limit to the overall dollar amount we can afford. If this sounds of interest to anyone, please reach out to me using my e-mail address: reiscotools at yahoo dot com. Please be specific and let me know how much I will be expected to pay for different positioning on the clothing. Thanks! 

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A lot on my plate

Holy crap it's been over two weeks since I've posted here. Few reasons for that. My father is here from Turkey getting treatment. Plus, my other blog has been taking a lot of my time and attention with all the recent news involving the Turkish Republic. (also, October 29th was sort of the Turkish version of "July 4th") My sister visited last weekend from NY.. My brother visited the weekend before that.. Add to all of this three new millwork projects at work and the time and money I've been putting into our new business venture: and it's clear to see that I've had no time or energy to ride for the past couple of weeks, much less blog. As for the new business.. it's really in it's infancy.. still developing. We have a lot of interesting ideas we want to try.. such as co-sponsoring a team.. sponsoring criteriums with some prize money.. starting a little bike club for kids age 3-5 with regular meets.. Setting up a display at some of the area crits and giving free trials of the bikes we carry.. even some "run-bike" kid's races at a few local crits. Not every idea is excellent, I know.. but if we're to have any amount of success selling these high end kid's bikes, we need to do more and do it differently than the typical internet retailer (most of which do nothing more than post a single picture of the bike, a list of features and a price.. Lame.)
The new blog contains detailed photographs and detailed descriptive information about every feature and component of the LikeaBikes. I'm hopeful that people make their buying decision based on the company which helps them more than any other, to make an informed buying decision. Makes sense to me!.. I'd love for people to weigh in and tell me I'm nuts or tell me I'm onto something. Hopefully you'll keep me in mind if the subject of kid's bikes ever comes up.
The LikeaBike product line is very strict about retail pricing. The prices are "fixed".. for lack of a better word. But by virtue of the costs to sell on Ebay, plus the cost to get paid from Paypal, plus the cost of shipping (which is free by all retailers) I'm convinced that it would be a reasonable exception to discount the bikes for direct sales.. meaning that with cash sales outside of Ebay and Paypal and delivered in person at a bike race, these cost savings should be passed on to the buyer. For this reason, I want to extend a 10% discount off the list price for any and all sales to my friends in the bike racing community. There are links to my Ebay Store in the blog. You'll find the list prices there. Racers can take 10% off (but don't bid on Ebay!) Just leave me a comment here and I'll take of you.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Murat's Ebay Stuff

Stuff I have for sale is shown in the widget at top right, in case you didn't notice. Not interested? Cool! Scroll down and play Pac Man.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Murat is distracted.. the gray weather.. by my brother visiting this past weekend.. by my father being with us from Turkey for more cancer treatment.. by my other, much more famous blog.. Amerikan Turk .. where I vent about everything other than bbike racing. (Avoid clicking if you want to avoid crossing swords with me on matters of politics) Haven't ridden since Sunday.. and already I've added a couple of pounds. Can't seen to restrain myself! What does one do with all the time that they aren't riding? Eat. The end-of-summer/winter doldrums are upon me. Please click on a few of the Google links. It adds a few pennies to my account.. which I might need to help pay for anti-depressant meds. (Kidding. I've never taken any such pill in my life, and won't begin now) Seriously, click some links. Let's see if you can make a blip in my Google earnings. Be nice to see over a dollar a day for once. Make my day.. and you have a great one yourself.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Commuting again

Though I'm not sure for how long. It was cold this morning.. enough that I wore a long sleeve base layer, long sleeve jersey, leg warmers, wool socks and hat. Forgot the gloves and my hands hurt a bit, especially with the stubborn, crusty scabs still on my knuckles.. The ride home should be more pleasant.. I am really not interested in epidermal metabolism. It's not worth risking illness to burn a few more joules.. My fitness is out the window of course.. I shouldn't complain though. I took a nasty spill without breaking or spraining anything and I healed up almost completely in two weeks, didn't break or even scratch my bike (except for the slightly bent rear wheel, blown tire, ripped bar tape, and gouged pedal).. Others are not so lucky.. Like Solobreak.. who is nursing an open cavity next to his ass, once occupied by an ounce of puss. Get well brother..   

Monday, October 01, 2007

Road Rash Update

Pulled the last of the soggy scabs on my fore arm and shoulder OFF this morning.. after bathing of course or why else would they be soggy? Yuck. Seems the only thing really holding them there was some hair. Ablarge scab is left on my kneecap which will take at least another two weeks to heal completely- it's kind of deep. Since crashing on Sunday September 16th, I've ridden the bike twice. Once on a spin up/down the bike path last week, and again yesterday for a little over an hour. Actually pushed myself a bit yesterday, rode tempo the whole time (210 w avg) and it felt like I was friggin time trialing.. Legs feel fresh but weak. Have also added 3 pounds since before my trip Turkey. I'm up to 168-169. I may grab the bike at lunch time and ride to/from work the rest of the week. Kind of miss it, but not that much. I don't enjoy the morning chill.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Union Velo Cyclocross Training Races: Tuesday Nights

New content

I haven't anything real uplifting, sorry.
My father's health is poor. Been fretting about that quite a bit lately. No bike riding for 11 days now. Seems I'm in quite a deep funk. Spent the past many days clearing our extra lot of trees and brush, just had it hydroseeded yesterday so that our little one has a safe place to play outside. Gonna pave/gravel a little track around the perimeter for him to ride his bike on.. That's about 86 yards around- more than enough for a four year old. Other than that, my new hobby is picking at scabs.. especially the ones still held in place with arm hair. Snip-snip with the mini scissors in my Swiss Army knife.. Lunchtime already? I have no apetite. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sandy Martin: Addressing Bob Beal Issues

We received a recent comment from a reader who expresses severe dis-satisfaction with the Bob Beal Road Race. Sandy Martin stumbled upon it and asked that her response be posted here, as follows:
There were supposed to be police on every major corner, there is no way to marshal every drive or side road, I am sorry you felt that I blew you off, I took every comment and added them to the list to make the race better next year. The one road that the police left, which was Switch road, I completely understood as [I later discovered that] there was a fatal [traffic] accident [here previously].. I did not find out till that race was done, or almost done. I did have a talk with the police and we will have more of them next year, or MCRA will have marshals.I do not condone unsafe courses and whenever possible I would correct the problem. As for the arrows, most courses are not even arrowed, I spent 2 hours arrowing that course, and had no complaints about that. Sorry you feel I did not address the issue. Sandy

Pain in the ass: Hemmorhoid surgery

Figured I'd mirror Solobreak's latest and weigh in, since I can't comment from work..
I know your pain Solo.. In 2003 I had multiple 'rhoids and on top of that, a spiral tear inside the rectum.. The result of lots of riding and racing, lots of straining myself to go faster on the bike, combined with a constipating high protein diet.. Long story short, I went in for surgery.. remember doctors looking down at me in the OR and then blackness.. Woke up in the recovery room, all doped up, with a special gauze and spray foam dressing applied to the inside of my exit. Threads from the stitches they had to apply in there, were hanging out.. I had to pee, bad.. or so I thought. Couldn't stand or walk.. Bring on the cathoter! (sp?) A very nice middle aged nurse came and inserted the tube for me (ouch) and I hardly peed a half pint.. As it turns out, they opened me up about the diameter of a can of Red Bull, and went to town stitchng me up INSIDE, and cutting away all of the 'rhoids.. Needless to say, the first time I took a dump a few days later, I thought I might pass out from the pain and terror of it.. Percosets make you constipated.. You will be given stool softening pills.. It will hurt when you pee (or rather when you clench your bladder shut) It will also hurt when you cough, sneeze, laugh, or lift anything remotely heavy.. I missed about 4 weeks of work, even collected disability for a couple weeks.. and I walked funny.. I took the pain medication non stop for 4 weeks. Always high and loopy! Addictive.. Watch out.. I had some withdrawel after stopping the meds.. Long story short (I said that earlier, yes) I am pain and 'rhoid and tear free ever since. Until I had surgery, it was always a chronic thing for me.. fine one month, then bad for a week.. repeat. I am sooooo glad I had the surgery. Everyone I know who's had this done is always a much happier person afterwards. So good luck with yours.. hopefully it's not as bad as mine was. And it's probably not much consolation, but fall is the best time to do this, after the road season winds down. May it pass quickly.

Monday, September 24, 2007

For il Brucie: Ruprecht goes to Oklahoma

If this fine example of Steve Martin's natural gift doesn't make you "LOL", then check your wrist for a pulse.. This is a classic scene from the movie "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", which Brucie hasn't ever seen. Reference: My recent comment about Oklahoma

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Road Rash: 48 hours and the fore arm has improved

The day after:
48 hours later:
It's not fun when you forget about your injury and thrust your hand in your pocket..
This hurts less than my fore arm, believe it or not. This is the day after.
This is 48 hours later.Fingernail rips are painful. I've bandaged this tight so that it might reconnect a bit.
Not pictured: Hip.

Day three: Lube for the Stiffness

Okay, minds out of the gutter! My shoulder and forearm REALLY HURT when I try to move them around too much. The road rash is slowly drying out, developing scabs around the perimeter.. limiting range of movement.. If I force it, the scabs and regrown skin crack and cause an insane amount of pain. So this SurgiLube stuff will hopefully help me with this, and keep the bandages from sticking. I bought a case of 144 little convenience packets for $12, and another case of 100 of the 3" x 4" non stick pads from the surgical supply store in Cranston.. I'm at work again, trying to be productive.. wondering if I can heal in time for the YMCA Crit and the Jamestown Classic on October 6-7.. How much form can I hang onto until then? Maybe a 5 day break from the bike will recharge the batteries a bit, make me miss it a little. Need to change the tire on my bike and I can't do it with these busted up fingers and knuckles.  

Surgi Lube..

recommended to me by a team mate who crashed this year.. As the road rash heals, it begins to skin over and the draining slows down, making bandages stick to the raw flesh. This SurgiLube stuff is designed to keep injuries moist and prevent the "non-stick" bandages from sticking. Hope it doesn't burn. Anyone tried it?
Looking at the TT times from Bob Beal, I'm consoled by the fact that I only missed a top 5-6 placing by 10-11 seconds, on a bad day. Murat cramped up fiercely at the base of the RR climb on lap two. So much so that I could see the muscles in both quads contort under the skin. I stopped for a full minute and shook it out, walked it off, then continued.. and soon caught up to my four groupetto companions.. At the base of King Factory Road, I could feel the cramps returning, so I sat up and spun, resigning myself to DFL as my friends rode away from me.. As luck would have it, they all took a wrong turn and I beat them to the line, without even realizing what had happened. So ironic.
"Finish what you start" takes on a whole new meaning. It's worth it.
At any rate, I had some residual crampiness in the TT (hamstrings were acting up just before my start), and my confidence was shaken a bit because I was dropped. Hey lasy year we had holders at the start of the TT.. What happened this year?  

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The aftermath

I am hurting all over. Knee, shin, hip, fore arm, wrist, both hands, shoulder.. All raw and oozing and clinging to my bandages. I'm at work, but I'm not concentrating too well. One of my carpenter foreman working for me up in Salem remarked that road rash is the equivalent of 3rd degree burns. I think that's over the top because I already see signs of healing, where burns take a lot longer to heal, and hurt constantly no matter what. Taking nothing but some occasional Advil for the pain. Everyone at work is astonished that I'm not doped up with narcotic grade prescription drugs. That stuff is as addictive as heroin. I used it a few years ago when I had a spiral tear in my rectum that needed stitching up. They also removed all my hemorhoids at that time.. That required Percosets, no way I could have managed without them.. This is nothing but nuisance pain.. although I will eat my words the next time I take a shower.. which I am trying to avoid for as long as possible. Starting to get a little gamey.. 

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bob Beal Criterium 2007: Video is Live

2007 Bob Beal 30-39 Criterium from Murat Altinbasak on Vimeo.
Here's the video from the Bob Beal Criterium, as promised. The crash is somewhere in the 8th-9th minute (in slo-mo too), if you want to wind ahead.. Also some footage of the aftermath, cleansing my wounds at the car with dear wife. If she wasn't there with me, I don't know what I would have done.. As I said to her on the drive home.. STILL better than a good day at work!
Also notice: When you're through here, I've posted some cool pictures from our recent trip to Turkey, at the other blog:
Thanks for looking/reading/watching.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bob Beal Criterium 2007: Cameraman takes a fall

Here's a video grab upon impact with the ground.. I was feeling good, using the corner to gain some position.. then I seem to remember striking a pedal, and my rear wheel lifting.. when it smacked back down on the road, it exploded. Looks like the clincher freed itself from the rim and blew out.. Back to tubulars for me?
The camera man being yours truly... Murat crashed hard today. At the beginning of the 4th or 5th lap, diving into the hard left hand corner, my rear tire blew out, and I went skidding and sliding on my left side for what seemed like an eternity. My first thought upon standing up and checking myself, was taking a free lap and getting back into the race. Then I saw my brake hoods both bent inwards, my knuckles all shredded, and my rear flat.. I limped back to the car and nursed my wounds. I will post the video soon, which includes gratuitous coverage of my injuries, post-crash.. I also recorded a few short clips of the last laps of the crit, which was won my Amos Brumble of CCB in exemplary fashion..solo.. Dan Butler of BRC (who was parked next to me at the TT) took an impressive 2nd (1st for the 35-39), seconds ahead of a charging field. And team mate Rick Kotch took the field sprint for 3rd, bagging valuable (2nd place) points for his overall placing.
I counted a total of 25 isolated areas of skin loss, half of them on my hands. My shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist, knee and shin have all been stripped of skin. I bathed when I got home, and scrubbed every wound in the shower with soap.. The most pain I've felt since being hit by a car last year..

Bob Beal 2007 Road Race 30-39 Part III: Grupetto

Bob Beal 2007 Road Race 30-39 Part II: "the Hill"

Friday, September 14, 2007

Last minute stuff..

I'm going back to Union Cycle to buy a new cassette. Changed the chain and I fear it will skip.. Also picking up an aero helmet. Almost bought it on my lunch break, and declined.. Now I want it. No shoe covers at the shop, anyone have an extra pair I can borrow?
If anyone has an extra set of Profile or similar clip on aero bars, bring them tomorrow. I know of someone who's looking for a pair to buy, last minute..
JB, you're freaking me out. Turkceyi kimden ogrendin kardesim?

For JB: Bob Beal road course

Yes the course has changed, but I've never been on this new one (just parts of it). A trusted source says that there is some climbing, but that it's only kind of steep for a few hundred feet.. the rest being more gradual, more big ring kind of stuff, like the original course.. Last year I don't remember ever using the small ring. Maybe I'm confusing it with the Topsfield course. 

last minute TT bike change?

Took the old yellow epx out for a spin last night. This is the bike I had before the LOOK 486 came along. Rolf Vector Pro tubulars with Schwalbe top shelf tires on them.. Campy Chorus drivetrain.. 172.5mm cranks!
First I was amazed that I ever raced on the thing.. Then I marveled at the narrowness of the handlebars. Then I noticed how absolutely smooth the thing rides.. Shifts are whisper quiet.. Tires seem to float  across the road.. All brake and shift cables neatly concealed in the bar tape.. Then I got to thinking about whether I'd be hurting or improving my Bob Beal TT time if I decided to use it Saturday afternoon.. There are advantages.. but I'm fearful of injuring my knees or developing an unexpected pain in my back or a pinched nerve.. I'd also be sacrificing the use of my Powertap (such a dirty word these days.. especially for those who've been racing since the Lemond era, as I have been) Big deal, right? It IS a big deal. I'm not a machine that knows how hard I'm pedaling instinctively.. When time trialing is your weakness (as it is for me), you need to know how much effort you're putting out. Months of trainig with the Powertap has established my CP6 to be about 325 watts. So.. it's simply a matter of keeping my eye on the average watts from beginning to end. This avoids blowing up and it insures that I go at a rate that I've proven I can sustain, and it also tells me how much and when to light the afterburners to average it up in the final mile. As for aero gear, I have the Profile clip-on bars and I may tape over the vents in my helmet, lose the bottle cages, and buy or borrow a pair of lycra shoe covers. Oh and the skin suit.. These are all enhancements over last years attempt. So.. I guess I wish my PT whel was a Campy at this point. Switching bikes might be a poor choice. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ninigret, Jetlag, Infection, Blah blah blah

In Turkey, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting some ancient ruins.
Per usual my adrenaline spikes in those first few moments of the crit and I'm sprinting through the first couple of corners and dragging a few other opportunists with me, away from the field. Within one lap, we had the gap which was maintained all the way to the end- about 15-20 seconds. Regrettably, I felt weak and tired after the first three laps and had to either sit up or risk an irreversible implosion. I feel very jetlagged and the cold I caught while in Turkey is still working me over, not fully cleared up yet. On a better day, I would have been fine in this break- the speed wasn't mind-blowing. It's been a recurring theme though. I'm terrible at grinding it out at a steady pace, and favor repeated hard accelerations and quick recoveries. I handle it better. All season long I've been putting myself in the breaks which end up winning, but always lack the experience/power to survive for more than 5-6 minutes. As team mate Rick Kotch commented afterwards, maybe I'm burning too many matches, pulling through too hard, or for too long. Maybe it's nerves or maybe it's an overly ambitious desire to be a big contributor to the break. I'm kind of fearful of being fingered as a weak link, so I try to hard to avoid a deliberate "let's drop the dead weight" attack. It ends up costing me. Needless to say, my five team mates were astonished and pissed that I didn't stay up there (rightly so, but this is a training race, and I have team mates who encourage us to chase them when they're in a break). One team mate even promised never to block for me again, which is fine because I've never asked or expected that of anyone. I put myself out there, gave it my best shot (all things considered) and came up short. Where were they at the start? Nothing stops them from co-attacking with me from the gun, right? Oh well.. bygones I guess. I'll continue to do this- get into breaks as much as possible and work on this weakness until it's eliminated. I just need to succeed once and prove to myself I can do it. After that I'm sure that success will breed success. After surrendering from the break, I started to get a little dizzy and a nuisance cramp in my lower right abdomen was really bothering me. With about 12-15 laps to go I took a lap to check myself, catch my breath and refocus. The light headedness might be from the bio clock being all messed up. Racing at 6:00 pm Eastern is like racing at 1:00 am for me right now.. Couple more days and I hope to be back to my former self. I've put on 2-3 pounds since before traveling to Turkey, and it's pretty obvious that this trip- even with all the form-preserving rides I did while over there- has taken something out of me. Shouldn't expect to be 100% for a little while. As for Bob Beal- I hope to simply have lots of fun in the RR and Crit, but I plan to hit the TT with guns blazing and leave everything I have out on the course. There's a 40 ouncer at stake.. and I'm not really sure who is supposed to chug it if they win the bet, which is against me beating last year's time by 40 seconds. If it rains as predicted, the bet's off. We should change the terms to a top ten finish instead. (21st last year) Thanks for reading.

Bob Beal.. Interesting..

I'm all pre-registered and find it hard to believe that they will not accept race day entries, especially given the fact that there are only 25 guys in the 35-39 category (we had 33 last year). What's so interesting is that out of the the 25 guys registered for this weekend, only 3 of them were pre-registered last year. Hypothetically speaking.. if race day entries were accepted on Saturday morning, another 30 riders could potentially be added to the 35-39 start list. On the condition that no one moved up an age group, of course. I'm sure there's some shifting of categories in there. I have team mates in there with me this time! Cool. Last year a few of us were scattered among different age groups. Time to go to Ninigret!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Blackberry me

I'm getting one tomorrow, from work. Every project manager but me already has one, because I was expected to  move into the estimating department and do very limited travel. This transition is going to be delayed, so my unit is on order. I'm not sure if this is something to be happy about, but I love techie stuff, so I guess I'll like it for at least the first few weeks. Any good video games in those things? On that note..
You know what the world needs? A bike race video game. Similar to Grand Theft Auto, except you're an American in Europe, start out broke, doing odd jobs like trafficking dope to survive, to buy bikes, race, get fit etc. It could work. Put me down for one, when it comes out.   

Rankings a joke?

Hey Solo: Does this seem to be a joke too? Did I make it to 5th with my suckiness and by not winning anything? Apparently so. Consistent mediocrity pays.. Besides, you're looking at TT results for a narrow band of masters. Remember that if S.F. has only one or two TT results, he's given default points (maximum) for the deficient events. Give yourself some friggin credit. You're no slouch in the TT department.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Is it me or are the cars on the road in Turkey just so much cooler than the ones we have here? Fiats, Peugeots, Renaults, Citroens.. You have to see some of these things. Our friends in Istanbul have a Citroen Picasso (C4?) It's a minivan like I've never seen before. I won't bore you with details.. except that when you put your hand into the map pockets on the front doors, they light up inside. One example. The dashboard is a-mazing. (Am I easily impressed?) In Istanbul, we spent a little time in Bebek, which in my mind, is the equivalent of Beverly Hills. I saw more Land Rover Discoveries in one short drive than I've seen all year in Providence. An Aston Martin was double parked with it's four ways blinking. WTF. Man, those Citroens are cool.. all of them. And if you haven't seen the new Peugeots (no longer sold in the US for 10-15 years) go to their website and look. They're hot.   

Profile aero bars..

..bought a pair before leaving for Turkey and tried them on one of my rides. Really like the extra leverage and power you can produce by bearing down on the elbow pads.. Nice. I may video myself on the windtrainer and post it for your comments. This TT stuff is new to me.. Not sure if I'm supposed to move the saddle forward a touch.. Looking forward to this weekend! Cautiously optimistic about this weekend.. Now if only I can borrow someone's Oakley MP3 sunglasses for the TT! Jesus of Suburbia!

Home sweet home

We made it home last night, safe and sound. More later!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Checkin in..

Real quick.. famous last words. I am as happy as a tornado in a trailer park. Fit and tan.. Even did a little test 3 mile TT today. Burdened with tons of water, two spares, a camera etc, I eeked it out in 7:00 flat, 314 watts average. I had gas left at the end, could have done better, and I was even delayed a touch by a bus.. Took lots of pictures and video of some ancient ruins this morning, on my ride, that is.. Aspendos. Many pictures to come, I think I've taken over 200 so far.
One thing.. and I hate to sound racist.. but the Russians who populate these resorts are bar none the rudest most ignorant pigs I've ever encountered. I may regret saying this later on.. but trust me, these people would sooner spit in your face than piss on an open wound for you, much less smile. Whatever.. No disrespect for Russians in general, just the few who can somehow afford to be here. Douche bags.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sunday: Turkish F1 Grand Prix

Hey maybe we can catch a glimpse of this as we land in Istanbul Sunday afternoon? -Murat
Ferrari Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Brazil enters the pits during the first practice session at Istanbul Park racetrack in Istanbul August 24, 2007. The Turkish F1 Grand Prix race will be held in Istanbul on Sunday. REUTERS/Max Rossi (TURKEY)
McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives during a second free practice session at Istanbul Park race track in Istanbul August 24, 2007. The Turkish F1 Grand Prix race will be held in Istanbul on Sunday. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY)
McLaren Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain takes a curve during a free practice session at Istanbul Park race track in Istanbul August 24, 2007. The Turkish F1 Grand Prix race will be held in Istanbul on Sunday. REUTERS/Osman Orsal (TURKEY)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Break dancing

Last night, Ninigret Criterium. Per usual I find myself in the break that forms right after the start. Actually had to work hard to bridge up to it.. then the pain really began. Five or six of us in a fast rotation put my CP-5-6-7 deep into 300 watts- not something I can sustain for an hour. That's one of the beauties of the Powertap- once you're in a break, you can reset a new interval and track the average watts. If it's early and you see that you are doing 120% of FT, basically going VOmax, then you know in advance that this isn't your break- you're going to pop if you don't ease up.. On the other hand, if there's only 3-4 laps to go, then you might decide that you can hold on.. I look down and after the first 7 minutes I'm averaging 325 watts, and struggling to pull through. The rotation was fast and I wasn't getting the amount of recovery I needed between pulls. With guys like Paul Curley, Billie Mark and Bill Yabroudy in the break, you can be assured that I was hurting more than anyone else in there. With 50 more minutes to race, I smartly drifted back to the field and took up chasing instead, which I've decided is a lot more fun than being chased (for now). They were caught within another lap.. Mid-race I found myself in another high powered five man break for a couple of laps.. but this one disintegrated right after the sprint for the prime.. I was oblivious, didn't even realize the bell had sounded. Later, another three man break forms up the road. Not a big gap, but something that I know will take almost a lap to shut down. I go for it, full gas for 1/2 lap, missing the connection by a couple of car lengths.. Well.. there were two guys on my wheel who fired around me in the instant I discovered them back there. It was Bill Yabroudy and another Gearworks guy, not sure which. I'm left in no man's land, spent.. They connected with the other three and stayed away until the end. With one to go I put another dig at the front (did this many times actually), trying to contribute to the effort to catch these guys (we had no one up there) So I empty the tank up until the final bend before the finish, and let the strung out field swarm past me on the final straight. I think I did an honorable race. Set some new highs for CP6 and CP7 watts too.
No Ninigret Crit next week, according to the pre-race announcement, and the following week the race is Thursday night, with the "A"s starting at 6:00 (not 6:30) Check your sources to verify. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

California has..

930 ranked Masters Criterium racers. OMG... and Michael Hutchinson, who raced with us out here at the NBX Crit in June, is ranked 5th or so in Cali. You can see him ride away from me in the race video I recorded in that day's 35+ event. Talk about mis-matched wattage.  

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's Miller Time..

Only five days to go before we drive to JFK, board an Airbus A340 for Istanbul, fly 10 hours, get a connecting flight to Antalya, then picked up and driven to our resort courtesy of my father in law. The bike will be unpacked and assembled before bed time on Sunday.. Wake up call for 6:00 am.. and I'm out exploring roads which lead to ancient ruins, back in time for breakfast.. Then it's water slides, snorkling, spying topless sunbathers from behind the Rudys and all you can eat gourmet food and drink five times a day.. a room with a water view, a balcony, and a minibar that's all inclusive- no added cost to deplete it completely, as needed.

Keith Berger Criterium:

..not the result I expected, but it's an improvement over the previous two editions of this crit. A leg breaking 2 minute 414 watt 30 mph solo pursuit [to what I believed was the winning move with 6 laps to go], took my breath away.. I caught them.. and then a Target Training rider caught us.. and the six of us simply failed to keep turning over the gears and failed to work together in spite of TT guy's sincere encouragement.. I was kaput.. the field was wise to chase.. we were caught with 4 to go..leaving me with only enough recovery, power and position to snag a top 20 out of 55 finishers. I skipped the Pro-Am.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Witch's Cup Pro-Am Criterium 15 August 2007

Here's the vid, as promised. Two ways.

Witch's Cup Pro-Am Criterium 15 August 2007 from Murat Altinbasak and Vimeo.

View All of Murat's Race Videos

A link to this post is added in the sidebar for future reference. I will update this list regularly.

Bob Beal 2007 Road Race 30-39 Part III: Grupetto
Bob Beal 2007 Road Race 30-39 Part II: "the Hill"
Bob Beal 2007 Road Race 30-39 Part I: Start
Witch's Cup Pro-Am Criterium 15 August 2007
2007 NBX Criterium
Wells Avenue Criterium 070603
2007 Hartford Criterium
2007 Palmer Library Road Race 35+
Rick Newhouse Criterium 2007
Wells Avenue Criterium April 1, 2007

Mystic Velo Crit: The suck knob has broken off..

That's me, 3rd wheel.. in the distance you can see the break , more than a 1/2 lap ahead of us..
I'm thinking more and more that the peak of my form was back in July.. When will I straighten up and fly straight again? I guess the improvement curve can aim up for only so long.. Grrrrrr. This G-d damned cold cost me a lot. Still hacking up globules of shit and still draining similar crap from the sinuses. Racing today felt like bloated suffocation.. To wit, I did a repeat of what happened to me at last year's Canton Cup: After the race I expelled about a half pint of phlegm from my throat. It just kept coming. Then after a nauseous tour of the Coventry Super Wal Mart we came home and I evacuated again.. let's just say there was an island named after me.. Tell you what, when the lungs get effed up from a cold, you lose fitness, speed, watts, functional threshold, all of that just DROPS. Stay healthy.
I finished the 35+.. even spent a few laps in the winning break, but it was just too hard for me to do for 20 more laps with them.. didn't have I drifted back and we (the field) gradually absorbed all but six of the original break.. I didn't sprint at the end.. with two to go I dropped back and burned a match or two helping team mate Rick Kotch lap the field and effectively catch the two who already lapped us (and who we kept on a short leash). Would have liked to lead him out, but I was gassed and barely held on to the tail of the field on that last lap. In the end it didn't matter much. Rick got 3rd. Gale force winds sure broke things up though. We were doing 19-20 mph on the finishing straight, 28-33 on the back side. I was glad when it was over.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too many races?

So not including the always well attended Wells Avenue Criterium, we have five events in our area this weekend. Word on the street is that the Norwell event is hurting for participants, or else.. Looks like the Hilltowns race has filled up nicely. Hills.. I'll have plenty of hills to climb in Turkey in about 10 days. If there's one thing I miss on the PT, it's the Polar's altitude graphing. I indian-gifted my Polar HRM to my brother this summer, warning him in advance that I may want it back one day.  
I'm about to embark on a travel day in CT. Oh joy.
Threw the bike in the car after riding to work, in case I decide to take a two hour lunch ride while I'm out there. Explore some of the inviting side roads which I've driven past all summer.