America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Friday, June 29, 2007

Waiting for 5 o'clock to happen

I am absolutely buried with work, but my sense of urgency is kaput. There comes a certain point where you're burdened with so much that it's practically a valid excuse to drop the ball or screw things up. I'm taking things one task at a time, or else I feel overwhelmed. Whatever I do manage to accomplish, is going to get done right the first time.. I'm in the business of remodeling of old schools and fit-up of new schools. It's T minus two months before these schools open up again or become occupied.. Needless to say, summer is my busiest time of year. Is it 5 o'clock yet?
Riding to work this morning, as I'm going past the Jewish cemetary on Post Road, I couldn't help but wonder how stressful an occupation it is to work at a cemetary. I saw a few guys peacefully doing some landscaping around the tombstones and thought "Who's ever gonna complain about the quality of their work?" and even if someone did screw up, can it cost anyone any money? Pfffft! My job requires me to make decisions which could potentially put this company out of business or cost hundreds of thousands of dollars... I hate construction. I want to go riding now please.

What's on his t-shirt?

Better yet, what exactly are these cadets "yelling" at the guy? You tell me. Write the best caption for the guy with his hands on his hips, and win a packet of very nifty sweat bands for your wrists, mailed right to your house, from me. (mailed in the contiguous 48 states only, otherwise additional handling charges will apply)
A basic cadet is yelled at to get moving during in-processing for the cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado June 28, 2007. 1,303 members of the class of 2011 arrived today to in-process and begin basic training. (UNITED STATES) REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Weekend plans.. Socks.. Sweatbands..

So tomorrow is a rest day.. active recovery ride to work.. Saturday more hill repeats in zone 5a, just like the other day.. Sunday Wells Ave, where I doubt I'll have a lot of acceleration after hill repeats on Sat.. But my fi-zi-que is weird. Sometimes I seem to feel great after a hard day.. Today was not one of those days though.. I had to do six intervals, four minutes each at FT, separated by only one minute of recovery. Tonight the legs feel like they were pelted with a bunch of fast balls in a batting cage.. Another hot day didn't help, but I did as I was directed to do.. Seems my hopes of a low "penalty score" from the Cox Crit are dashed. For whatever reason, they used 200 as the minimum points (last year it was 125) so I ended up with a 306, which didn't help me to average down. New Britain is the event where I intend to really make my mark. Fire in the belly for that race.. and two consecutive shots at it too: 30+ and 35+. Should I do the Pro event as I did at Nutmeg? Maybe. The left hand is still numb from Nutmeg. The "third testicle" thing is all but gone though. Thank you A&D Ointment!
A word on cycling socks: Don't be a weenie and pay $10 per pair. Ever. Go to TJ Maxx or Marshalls and you will find three packs of top quality socks which are compatible with bike racing, for about $6. I have a load of New Balance socks (you'll notice my cuffs are always red) which I bought in 2005, and I have yet to rip a hole in one of them. That's good advice. Take it. It's free. And buy yourself some sweatbands for your wrist while you're there. The Pony ones sell for $1.99 a pair. Dab at your nose with a sweat band and be a gentleman. Blowing snots all over everyone behind you is so... "whatever". Avril Levigne can't dance.. but somehow I can easily look past that and let her be my girlfriend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Yet another travel day..

Going up to Salem and Somerville for a couple of jobsite visits. Gotta make myself available for my carpenters, do some field measuring, answer to the contractors and architects who sign the checks.. Seems to me there's a CRIT in Salem MA called the Witch's Cup Criterium on August 15th at 6:50 PM for the Pro race. I can easily set myself up to go to the Salem jobsite on that day, and then race afterwards.. Sweet. Time to drive north.
One thing I noticed this morning, as I do every morning.. EVERY motorist commuting to work seems to have a cigarette between their lips. One woman almost took me out trying to race me into Dunkin Donuts. Slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting me, as did I. Saving three seconds is apparently worth risking life and limb to these assholes. And yesterday riding down Route 1A to the beach.. a black Jeep Wrangler goes past me, riding IN the shoulder to deliberately graze me as they go by. Loaded with college pukes, one of whom was reaching out of the car to do something to me, I don't know what. I'm sure they had a good laugh at my expense. Had I panicked and swerved a little left, I'd be in the hospital or dead. I'm astonished at people's stupidity. I looked everywhere to find them later on down the road. No such luck. If I had caught them somewhere, I'd have a few choice words and of course a face full of water from my bottle would have been delivered right up the driver's nose. "Seems you needed some cooling off, asshole. Pretty courageous of you to endanger my life with your car and speed away.." That's what I would have said. Tried to read the plate, but vision was blurred with copious amounts of sweat on my face. Ride safe! 

Fairport Cheerleaders Die In Fiery Crash

This tragic event occurred in a location close to where I lived for ten years, on a road I have no doubt trained or raced on in the past. Fairport is the next town over from Penfield, NY, where my mother and brother still live. Coincidentally, this is the same area where Jonathon Decheau lost his life recently, when a motorist ran him down from behind while he was training. CNN Story

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hot enough for ya?

It's 90+ degrees outside, the DOW is up 90+ points today, and I've ridden my bike 90+ miles in the past two days.. time to leave work and ride the bike down to Narragansett Beach where the family awaits me with a picnic dinner. It's 25 miles into a stiff head wind.. after an already long and sweaty day out in the field, driving and standing all day.. but my family, my reasons for living, my pride and joy, wait for me at the beach, and I get to ride my bike there and do the training I need to do along the way.. Yes, I'm the luckiest man alive.

Real quick..

..then I'm off to CT for the day. Yesterday sucked. I drove five hours overall to CT and back, returned to the office late, didn't get on the bike until 6:15, didn't have enough time to do my whole training program.. so I omitted about 1/2 of the tempo ride at the very end. Hill repeats are hard when it's 90+ degrees out. Man.. I weighed 162 when I got home.. I'm still 163 this morning, so still dehydrated a little bit.. Killed another squirrel on the way to work too. Came from out of no where. It's weird how the tear of flesh transmits up through the tires, wheels, handlebars.. to your hands. Sorry little guy. Bad timing. My personal coach and long time friend Todd Scheske took a win up in Canada the other weekend:
In what was a text book team race, Todd sealed the deal in Kitchner. Wayne rode good tempo on the front early on and Mike and Todd attacked relentlessly the second half of the race. Finally Todd broke free with two other riders and smoked them in the sprint. Mike attacked the chase group to finish 4th and Jason took the field sprint for 12th.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 NBX Criterium Masters 35+ Race Footage Video is LIVE!

Recorded June 23, 2007. This is different. No fancy music. Just lots of Murat's brain droppings. AND!: video from the finish too.. Hope you'll like it. I will embed this when I get home, unless gewilli or solobreak offer to do it for me before then. Surely I can trust them with my log-in information..

NBX Criterium Video is complete..

Stay tuned. It will be ready to view by 9:00 am.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Murat advances

Looky-look! Murat populates 6th place in the Rhode Island Masters Criterium Rankings. Kind of unexpected, considering I've not won anything or even cracked top ten.. I guess consistency is the key... Finishing around 20th over and over and over again gives you nice low point scores (lower is better) Please allow this anonymous mid-pack finisher to indulge in something remotely satisfying. <Haaaaa>.. On that note, some shout-outs and salutations.. I must say I'm impressed with Ted Shanstrom this season. Seems to be firing on all cylinders lately and ranked highly as a result- shooting from 10th to 4th recently. Nice results in two Cox Criteriums yesterday too.. Christopher Dale! You dropped to 7th but with your 8th place at the NBX Criterium you might average back down (up) to 6th again. Regrettably, your 2006 Cox and Casters Crit results are off the 12 month radar (which helped me) and your 2007 Cox result wasn't as good as '06. Gary Aspnes! Here's a shout out to the guy who almost caught me from a minute back at the Bob Beal TT.. I dropped out of the NBX Crit (not long after my four lap suicide break at the start) and watched you grind it out solo for those last few laps.. Believe me I was rooting for you, even if it meant that you would overtake me in RI standings.. You deserved 6th place and almost had it. Damn that would have been beautiful. But you beat me at Cox yesterday by 8 places, so you'll average down to about 270-275 I figure.. Remember Cox has a race value of 100, and it's 125-500 for Masters (not the typical 175-500) As for me, I may average down to something in the high 260s.. I'll take it. When winning isn't exactly within reach yet, you have to take what you can get and use it like jet fuel. Why the hell not?

Coffee-free today? I am

Just realized that I didn't run out for my daily medium hot coffee with cream and 2 sugars from the DD. Also not missing my daily warm croisant drenched with butter. (Okay missing it a little bit as my stomach growls) What is wrong with me? I get up at 4:00 am, go back to bed at 5:00 (always a big mistake for me, I was wide awake, but felt the need for more rest) I wake up again, too late to make it to work on time, leave the house at the time I'm supposed to arrive at work, (by bike of course) and get to work around 9:00 (not bothering to take any shortcuts), unshaven, but glad to already be an hour into my work day. This place is good like that. No worries about your hours as long as you get the job done.. well within reason. Today is a rest day with easy spins to/from work and tomorrow's ride features VOmax hill repeats:
20 min warm up
45 min zone 2 (endurance pace)
3 min hill repeats at VOmax (2.5 min zone 5a, final 30 sec zone 5b)
8 min Recovery 
repeat until you cannot match within 10% avg watts of 3rd interval
60:00 zone 3 (tempo)
(Coach believes I can do this for how many more than three times I wonder??)
Now where can I find a nice loop that iincludes a 3 minute hill and 8 minutes of recovery? If I don't find something, I see myself on route 12 near the reservoir, going up to the top and then doubling back down to recover, which is lame and boring. Maybe a diversion down into the Hope Furnace area will get me onto a decent loop, but I doubt it will be less than 20 minutes around. No good. Curse you, New England roads.. 

Sunday, June 24, 2007

2007 Cox Charities Criterium: A few pictures

I have more pictures from the Cox Charities Pro Criterium Bike Race, but these are the only ones featuring Rick Kotch and Mark McCormack. I also took loads of video, but no idea what I'll do with it yet!

NBX Ninigret Criterium

I have some video which I'll share later.. Congrats to Rick Kotch (3rd) who joined the winning break and outsprinted two of his companions. Also to Arik Jon Holm (6th) who took the field sprint. As for me, I went on a four lap flyer from the start and never fully recovered.. so the first 8 minutes of video might be the most boring footage of all time. Maybe not.. More later.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Last Word

It's official, I'm not going to Rochester for the Twilight Crit tomorrow. Instead I will be at the NBX Bikes Ninigret Criterium and at the Cox Classic Criterium for the 35+ (and maybe the Pro-1-2 if I feel like pointlessly thrashing myself for two extra hours, and paying $45 for the priviliege) I'm actually scheduled to have a light endurance day tomorrow, but with Coach Scheske up to his ears in Twilight Crit preparations and management, I may have to just take exception to The Plan and do the Ninigret race. If I can get a top ten in Wednesday's training crit, can I repeat it on Saturday? That's the thing about confidence.. You can't "train" it into a person. You can only build it with results..success breeds success.. and it's a lot like the "experience" catch 22 faced by young people trying to enter the work force. "How can I gain experience if no one will hire me?" "Who will hire me if I don't have any experience?"
'Tis my biggest challenge right now.. Body: stronger. Belief in myself: weak. (but improving)
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. 


I'm required to fast today until noon time, when I will be meeting a nurse at the house who will take my blood and urine samples, take my measurements, pulse, blood pressure, weight and money.. all for the legalized gambling racket we call life insurance. Yes soon I will be worth more money when dead, than while living. Hopefully I can make it until noon without eating. At 2:00 AM I was up and had a bowl of Raisin Bran (topped off with some Lucky Charms). Usually by this time (8:30) I've had a big bowl of Raisin Bran at 6:00 am, and a warm buttered croisant and a med hot coffee from the Dunk. Usually by 10:30 I also scarf down a "Nut Naturals" Powerbar.. I've ridden to work today (as I do every day- no need to make a big deal out of it) and thank goodness it's a rest day: HR was 106 avg, watts 122 avg, duration 47:24, distance 13.14 miles, speed 15.9 mph avg. A real sleeper.
Yesterday morning I weighed in exactly 165. THIS morning, I was astonished to find myself back up to 169! And this was after a skipped breakfast (fasting) and after my daily morning elimination, which was "continental" in proportions.. Surprising.. We had Mexican for dinner last night and the portions were huge.. but like I said, in the AM it was all gone.. so how does one gain four pounds in one 24 hour period? Was the Mexican food too salty? It didn't seem to be! I did gulp down two large Diet Cokes and I did help dear wife finish her dessert.. Serves me right.. Maybe I'm just retaining water. Some coffee would fix that.. but I can't.. Fasting.. Crap on a stick. This sucks. I mean, I can fast, but the concentration and focus is gone.. That's what sucks. We should all go hungry occasionally and feel what it's like for the other 80% of the world's population. Most Americans have never felt hunger.. We tend to eat before we're hungry (whenever it's time to eat!) and we tend to eat until we're absolutely full, like we're preparing for some natural disaster induced famine or something..
"America runs on Dunkin". How do you like that one? Rachel Ray telling you how it's so "quick and delish"? "Quilicious"? and how everyone should have an iced coffee as a "pick-me-up"? Does this guerilla campaign to fatten America with sugary donuts, bagels, cookies, iced coffee and hot coffee, not disgut you? Aren't you completely sickened with the brazen effort by Dunkin Donuts to create a chemical dependence on their products? I am. No shame whatsoever... Even the radio announcer's voice is such that he sounds like he's over weight. It's like a subconscious affirmation and acceptance of a weight problem. If that's not deliberate, I don't know what is.. Rachel Ray.. you're a shameless sell-out..

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ninigret Criterium: 8th

Nice sized "A" field last night, with about 60 racers at the start. I arrived super early and did an hour of zone 1 beforehand. Used my Rolf Vector Pro tubular front wheel- the one with the eighty dollar Schwalbe tire.. Love those wheels, too bad the rear's a Campy. It had been raining on and off all day but by the time our race took start it was bright and sunny out, really beautiful. I almost attached the handlebar cam, but decided against it at the last minute. Ninigret is usually a challenge for me.. but last night I felt pretty good, did lots of work at the front, and finished the race in 8th place. Team mate Rick Kotch was pipped at the line by Tobi Schultz and took 2nd. I haven't done any training to improve my sprint, so in the rare instance where I have a shot at a top three, I can feel the deficiency. In the final wind-up, the best I could do is hold my position out of the final corner, seated. Need to work on that. I believe my training plan is bearing some fruit, as I was only put into real difficulty only once, where someone who was tired let a pretty large gap open up during an acceleration. That hurt so much I needed a few laps of recovery before I moved to the front again. I overheard a few people saying how it was the hardest Ninigret crit so far this year, and it was encouraging to hear. Now I need to decide whether to stay in town and race at Cox, or drive to Rochester again to do the Rochester Twilight Crit. Maybe the weather report will decide for me?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brazilian Roberto Carlos signs two year deal with Fenerbahce in Istanbul

Brazilian soccer player Roberto Carlos reacts during a contract-signing ceremony in Istanbul June 19, 2007. Carlos has signed a two-year deal with Turkish soccer club Fenerbahce. (TURKEY)  REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Housatonic Hills Road Race Masters 45+

Am I the only one dying to know the story behind this photo finish from the Housatonic Hills Road Race? Why is the winner gesturing towards the finish line camera/officials? A new friend I've made recently, Haluk Sarci, took 2nd place and I'm wondering what happened during the 3up sprint for the win.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Back from Rochester

Spent the weekend in western New York visiting family, attending an enormous Turkish Festival, and of course riding the bike. Rode for three hours Sunday, two of those hours with my friend and coach Todd Scheske, who is assistant race director for the upcoming Rochester Twilight Criterium on Saturday June 23rd. This event draws crowds of spectators numbering in the 30,000+ range. From what I'm told, this year will be even bigger and better. I'm on the fence about driving out there again next weekend for a 20 mile masters crit, but as I understand it, witnessing the Pros trade punches for two hours on this formula 1 style course is something to behold, and worth the trip in it's own right. I'd much rather stay in town and race at Cox (would be much easier on the wallet) but maybe it's time I raced somewhere other than New England for a change. Remember the tropical storm last year at? .. In case you didn't notice, the Cox PRO event has been changed to 6:00 pm this year. That's no accident. It was coordinated between Todd and the Cox folks so that those who race in Rochester Saturday can make the trip east to Providence in time for the Pro event here on Sunday. This should help make the Cox Crit a very well attended event.

Friday, June 15, 2007


Does anyone remember the old Plymouth-Reebok junior team of the late eighties? I remember that their reputation was such that most junior racers would dread their attendance- they were very fast. Who was on that team? Who went pro? Who among them still races? The names John Loehner, Aaron Newland, Jonas Carney and Paul Pisani stand out in my mind, but not sure what team they were on back in the old days.. I do remember a young (15 year old) George Hincapie taking all the honors of every junior crit and then taking a top three or a win in the cat 2-3 races of the same event.. Nowadays I see Gavin Mannion of CCB winning in the same manner and it's like deja-vu. Mark that name down. You'll be hearing it again in the coming years. 

Squirrel goes on rampage, injures 3

A squirrel is seen in St. James Park in London in this May 2, 2007 file photo. An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

This caught my eye only because these vermin in disguise populate the bike path I use to commute, in large numbers. They seem to have a short circuit with determining which side of the path is better, and at what time it's safest to cross. I kill at least one every year with a fatal bike tire across the neck... um.. regrettably.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bike racer haircut? Pffffffftt!

I resolve to let my hair grow all through the summer, and forbid dear wife to cut our little one's hair as well. Long hair on bike racers is the shit.. and wrist bands. They rock.

Nutmeg Crit: "Not a rankable event" (?)

For a couple of days, I was given (everyone was given) ranking points for the Nutmeg Crit. I actually did well enough to average myself down to 272 points, enough to be ranked 7th in RI.. Then yesterday I discover that it's suddenly "not a rankable event" and that all points are erased. So now my 12 month average of my three best crit results is 295.. Grrrr. Still enough for 7th in Rhode Island, but what gives? These numbers do a great job of motivating me to chew through the handlebars in the last few laps of a crit.. so I'm naturally disappointed.

Functional Threshold: 268

268... that's the number of mean maximal normalized watts I can crank for an hour without blowing my wad. This is established from the [Peaks] Mean Maximal Normalized Power Chart for yesterday's field test ride. We move the cursor over the 60 min point of this chart and the value pops up: 268. Previously, my FT was established using the same chart generated by field test one, except we used the CP20 and deducted 5%, hence the 250. Now that there's a month's history in the MMNP chart, it's best to use the CP60 value.
I believe I could have performed better with more thorough rest, a less demanding work day, and warmer weather. To wit, the first field test was on a nice warm Saturday where I slept in until 10:00. Yesterday was much different.
It still confuses me that there are all of these different wattage numbers.. average, normalized, mean maximal, mean maximal normalized.. They all represent different things.. and you can't just look at your average watts or your peaks for any given ride and expect to see the whole picture.. It's all very confusing to this simple mind. 

Hartford Criterium pictures are UP..

at MJSTUART's site.. 230 photos from the Hartford Criterium, and I find only one which includes me. Serves me right for racing in the'nosebleed section' of the field. Apparently he was also at the Nutmeg Criterium and will be posting those pictures within a couple of days.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Field Test No 2 Results..

1 minute=574 watts
5 minute=315
20 minute=256 (264 norm power)
Previous Field Test Values on May 12th:
1 minute=564
5 minute=303
20 minute=234 (262 norm power)
I'm beginning to wonder if I'm the only one using a PT who has it set to record zeroes (while coasting).. Judging from the power levels of others which I read about here and there, it's hard to believe I am so low on the food chain. Makes it seem like a friggin miracle that I can finish a Pro crit or crack top 20 in a master's crit.. I feel like I would have done better if it was warm out.. I had no arm warmers with me and never felt comfortable in the cool 55 degree weather, which felt much colder with the wind.. I also understand that on warmer days, the PT reading can be elevated. Today I had no such advantage.. Oh well, the training program seems to be working. I see decent improvement for just a four week 'build'. Let's see what I can do in time for the New Britain Crit or the Attleboro Crit.. or BOB BEAL! I wonder what my watts were during last year's 3 mile TT.. I also wonder if I could beat that time today, and by how much? I also wonder if it's wise to share this information so freely. Now it's no secret how much I suck! (tongue implanted in cheek) One important distinction: the 20 min watts above represent FT, not the watts I could average for 20 minutes with fresh legs.. The first two one minute efforts take a lot out of you, as does the five minute effort which follows.. Weight is down to 165! Oh my! I was 175 when I did the first field test on 5/12.. What effect does this have on watts? I'm 10 pounds lighter, so it should be easier to do more watts? Or not? ... Whatever.. I miss my Polar HRM, which now resides dormant, at the bottom of my backpack.. Thanks for reading.

Field Test Day!

::Take note of corrections to the recovery times::
I'm cautiously optimistic about discovering a much higher FT value today. On May 12th it was established to be 250 watts. The test goes like this:
20 minute warm-up
1 minute: go as hard as possible
5 minute recovery
1 minute: repeat going as hard as possible
5 minute recovery
5 minutes: all out effort
10 minutes recovery
20 minute time trial
30 minute cool-down//recovery
The 20 minute TT is supposed to give an indication of what the average watts for a 40k or 1 hour TT would be. All of the above is done while seated, no out-of-the-saddle stomping on the pedals allowed.
It's highly doubtful that I'll be at 300 watts, but 275 seems realistic. I don't intend to be looking down at the average watts during the test. Just going to let the PT serve as a flight data recorder. The max avg watts for each duration are established by the software automatically.

Wells Avenue Criterium Video June 3 2007

I'll embed it later. Shows better in "original" size. I added some interesting music, all from the soundtrack of the movie "Gegen die Wand" ("Head On"), which is something I highly recommend putting in your Netflix que. Subtitles. Has won numerous awards. See it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sweatbands are in! Tennis players can't be wrong

I'll be going to Glastonbury and then Hartford shortly.. Took the shortcut to work this morning because sleep was feeling too good. Only 8 miles in. My hand is still numb and my crotch is still sore. Nice video of the cat 3 Nutmeg Criterium over at Sprinter della casa. Even the crash at the end which included Paul Curley can be seen.. Hopefully he and others who fell are not hurt badly.

In other news.. sweat bands for your wrist are back! I'll take full credit for making it hip again to use your wrist to catch nose drippings and wipe away sweat. I find mine at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for $1.99.. PONY.. In the winter I find that my gloves get very abrasive, so these arm bands are way soft and easy on the nose. Get some. Be cool. Don't be a dingus and wear two at a time though.. Let the revolution begin.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Nutmeg Criterium 2007 results...

...are found here. I'm thinking 26th out of 91 finishers in the 35+ is nothing to cry about... but it proves that having great legs is not the answer to an excellent result. Reading the competition, positioning in the field and nerves of steel are equally as important. Wet, slick conditions held me back (the watts are quite telling of this) as did the blurred vision due to my mistake of wearing glasses.. Big mistake.. Took them off for the 30+.
Time for some training crits! Also on deck this week, another FIELD TEST to assess the increase in watts over the past five weeks. That's gonna hurt.. but I can't wait.

Overuse Injuries: Hand and Skin

According to a book called High Performance Cycling, by Asker E. Jeukendrup, the two issues which flared up for me during the Nutmeg Criterium have names:
Cyclist's Palsy: "The common cause is a compression of the fibers of the ulnar nerve as it enters the hand through the canal of Guyon, which is situated on the medial (little finger) side of the wrist.. Ulnar nerve compression producing sensory symptoms or muscular weakness has been recognized in cyclists for more than 100 years with the first case reported in 1896."
Third Testes: "Subcutaneous nodules are unique to elite and pro male cyclists. They typically form on each side of the midline, just posterior to the scrotum. Because of their appearance and position, cyclists sometimes refer to them as a "third testis". The lesions are pseudocysts that contain little cellular material. They develop in areas of aseptic pressure necrosis in the superficial peroneal fascia and are due to chronic microtrauma of the perineum related to pressure from the saddle.."
I have both. Two medial fingers are numb and weak. (So much for "ergonomic handlebars!)
Aaaaaand there's blood in my shorts. It finally ruptured tonight while watching Sopranos. Must have been when Phil Leotardo's head was crushed like a melon. Now I gotta worry about infection too!
So in summary.. racing on the wet Nutmeg course with 100+ guys, many of whom should be named "Shifty", "Drifty" and "Brakey", caused me to have a white knuckle death grip on the bars.. And I raced so hard for so long on the nose of my saddle that I mutilated the soft tissues behind the nutsack. Oh joy.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Miles and stuff

Holy crap. 1080 miles in the past 4 weeks, including today.. That's 1738 km for you metricians.. 34,027 kJ..

Nutmeg Criterium Results

Yesterday had it's share of good and bad.. and I'll tell you more later.. For now:
26th in the 35+ (105 starters)
20th in the 30+ (around 70 starters)
44th in the Pro-3 (91 starters)
Yeah nothing but a few anonymous mid-pack finishes, hardly worth mention, but there's more to it than that. That's 80 miles of crit racing in one day.. Including warm-ups and cool-downs, 100+ miles.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Why is it so hard to tell..

..if you're fully rested? No way to find out for absolute certain unless you get into a race and start drillin'it. Maybe I'm just a dumb f--k, maybe not, but I can't friggin tell if this "rest week" has me feeling fresher and stronger than four weeks ago, or four days ago.. Tomorrow is a big test.. Three races.. 30+, 35+ and Pro..and I'm keen on who has done well at previous editions of the Nutmeg Crit. I intend to be all over them like a bad suit.. Coach believes I'll be flying tomorrow. I have no choice but to believe him. I also have my eye on leapfrogging a couple of Rhode Islanders in the RI Masters Criterium Rankings. I know.. it's cheesy to care about this stuff.. but no one falls ass-backwards into a decent ranking.. even in a tiny state like ours. Good luck to everyone. Please no rain!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The "secret" to losing weight...(?)

.. according to the "Man Show" is STOP EATING SO MUCH!
Seriously.. one of the most enlightening and simple weight loss principles which my coach shared with me was this:
"Don't eat until you feel full.. instead eat until you are no longer hungry."
I may be repeating myself here.. but that's okay because it's worth repeating. Lately I find myself eating every 1-3 hours, instead of every 5-6 hours. (and no, it's not Kozy Shack or Shift bars or yogurt..) My office is well stocked with snacks such as fruit and pretzels and Powerbars (the "Nut Naturals" kind.. original Powerbars make me gassy) Stoking the fire every couple of hours keeps away that overwhelming hunger which makes us tend to overfill to the point where we can no longer breath as freely as we did before eating..
As bike racers, we often feel that all the calories we burn (according to out PTs and HRMs), is a license to stuff ourselves until we can't eat another bite.. No.
Keep the meals small and frequent. Avoid fried foods and fast food.. eat less bread.. add more protein.. moderate the fat and the carbs a little bit. weight loss will be yours.
Of course riding your bike at least 2 hours a day helps too.
When I returned from California, I weighed a surprising 180 pounds! That's after five days of training and a day of racing at Long Beach.. I weighed less before I went out there!.. Kind of bothered me, but some of this was from the bloating which eating at restaurants causes, all the salt they add to the food to mask staleness and add flavor..
Sure May was a huge month for me, with the addition of a coach, a Powertap, 60 hours of training, over 1000 miles etc.. But the frequency and amount I ate in that time was a very big factor.
Eat until you are no longer hungry... Try it.
I'm down to 167 and still losing... and I don't look like this in my skinsuit anymore:

Vandenbroucke attempts suicide.. Quick Step raided..

Vandenbroucke in grave condition after suicide attempt I was just thumbing through a 1999 issue of "Winning" this morning and saw an article about VDB being the shit.. So sad to hear this news.

Nutmeg Criterium Video 2006

This is a very short clip of the Nutmeg Criterium in Walnut Hill Park CT.. this is either the 30+ or the 35+ event. I did quite poorly last year, finishing in the 30s and 40s overall. It goes without saying that I intend to do better this weekend. Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts though.. I won't pre-reg until I know it's gonna be dry. I can't embed from work, but if anyone else wants to, feel free.
How'd you like that wind last night on the ride home, Ge?
It's funny how my HR while riding to work is in the 120s and riding home it's around 100. Says a lot about where we want to be, eh? This morning, only one green light out of about ten intersections. This happens mostly on rest days where I'm putzing along.. just miss the greens by about 5 seconds. I did not race Ninigret last night, though originally I was intending to. Too tired. Need rest and sleep. In fact, I went to bed right after dinner last night, like around 7:30. What a difference a few extra hours makes. I actually don't mind being at work.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Floyd Landis and AJ Soprano

Am I the only one who sees a resemblance between these two? Think on it if you plan to watch the final episode this Sunday on HBO.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It will be a few more days..

..before I have time to polish up the race video from Wells Ave. I was up late last night listing some old woodworking tools on ebay.. I need money! Bike racing is expensive. I'm also selling a used Thule pick-up truck rack with two bike mounts. $50 anyone? I can bring it to the Ninigret Crit tomorrow.. I'm off to Boston for now.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Dying of boredom

Focus: none. Energy: none. Motivation: none. Alertness: none
It sucks to be paid very well to do something which gives no satisfaction whatsoever.
It's been over two years since I had a real vacation- which was a two week trip to Turkey.. on the south coast in one of the many All-inclusive resorts.. Did you know that they have built a replica of both the Kremlin and of the Topkapi palaces? Above is a picture of Club Zigana, where we spent a few days back in 1999. Yes there are awesome roads to ride the bike, up in those mountains... and many roaming packs of wild dogs..

Some priceless video footage..

..was obtained Sunday at Wells Ave.. featuring our esteemed Nega-Coach, Solobreak on my wheel. Pre-race, I thought he looked familiar.. but the hair was a tad longish, compared to the clippers video.. he also looks taller in person.. and the glasses, no bug-eyed glasses on. It wasn't until I heard the old man's voice that I felt sure of who he was. Anyway.. I intend to create a separate video featuring only the SB himself, unless he objects. My way of giving back for the nega coaching we've enjoyed, er.. been subjected to.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Wells Ave today: on video

Grrrr. All the fussing with the on-board camera.. and I didn't do it right this time. The camera was pointed a tad too high, so you could only see those who were on my wheel, and not beyond.. I'm pissed. Plus the overcast skies did not give a great picture, but I can get it brighter. This is going to take a lot of editing to get it right. Be patient.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Summary of today's LSD ride

When I left the house at 6:30 this morning, the plan was not to ride 87 miles.. it was to ride for 3-1/2 hours at endurance pace with about an hour of tempo pace thrown in someplace. I ended up riding for over 4-1/2 hours, and I felt pretty darn good afterwards.. Like I could go for another few hours. I weighed in at 169 when I left the house, and weighed in at 166 when I got home. Drank three bottle of water, ate one apple and one bag of Sports Beans the whole time. No hunger, No bonking, No cramping. Long steady distance.
Here's what the Powertap recorded:
Entire workout (165 watts):
Duration: 4:38:45

Work: 2738 kJ
TSS: 316 (intensity factor 0.827)
Norm Power: 207
VI: 1.26
Distance: 87.544 mi
Power: 165 watts
Heart rate: 141 bpm
Cadence: 87 rpm
Speed: 19.0 mph
Broke a few personal best watts for the 10 sec, 20 sec and 30 sec values. Must have been during the small climb.. This was an easy ride. 80 minutes to the bike shop by myself, then waiting for everyone to show for about 20 minutes, then 2 hours endur/tempo with the team, another 10 minutes at the shop, then another 80 minutes home, interrupted only by a quick flat repair. (That's two days in a row- those Vredestein Fortezza tires SUCK- I'm sticking with Conti 4 seasons or the new 4000s- indestructible- the Fortezzas seem to be made of recycled Band-Aids.. my fingernail brushes the tire and I get a flat with those shit Vredesteins)
Looking to set all new CP values across the board tomorrow at Wells Ave.. I may be a little sore though.. I'll let you know how that goes tomorrow night. Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Summary of May 2007

Hours: 60:01
Miles: 1013.93

The Last Word

Yes I will be video-recording Wells Ave on Sunday. Get on my wheel if you want to see yourself hammering. Friday afternoon rides home from work are always an exercise in survival. That day I was hit by a car last summer.. a Friday. I'd leave NOW if my conscience would permit. This weekend I resolve to teach my mom how to ride a bike- she's visiting with us right now.. No one should be deprived of such a thing as bike riding. She's just never had access to a bike or a chance or the courage or the desire.. I'll give her all of those things on Saturday, in a grassy field with a gentle slope.. Take the pedals off and let her coast until she gets the hang of it. No spare tire! I guess I'll leave the pump at work.. Cell phone is a reliable bail-out in case of a flat. Then again, I need that pump for tomorrow's 3-1/2 hour ride. Shoot I need a spare tube too.. Crap on a stick.. This will be a 300 mile week. Still haven't sold that epx carbon bike... Full Campy, Rolf Vector Pros, nice ride.. maybe parting it out on ebay will bring me more dough.. I'm hungry.. Had a Kashi bar, one croisant, and a small Quiznos sub all day.. skipped the Raisin Bran this morning for lack of time.. A nice fat-burning ride home on deadly congested roads awaits me.. or I'm waiting for it.. for 5 o'clock to happen, that is. Good luck to all who are racing this weekend.. and if you're at Wells, smile for the camera.

Silent but deadly.. ?

Riding in to work this morning.. on the bike path.. and I spy two turtles, about 8 feet apart, digging holes behind them presumably for the deposit of eggs. These things were big- about the size of a bike helmet.. So I double back to get a closer look. When I'm satisfied that I've beaten them both in our respective staring contests, I head towards work. Bike feels weird.. Bouncy.. I look down and see that the air in my rear tire is making a slow exit. (and you thought I was going to write about flatulence?) Confound it.. I hate changing tires that are covered with the intestines of caterpillars and the rotting petals of spring flowers.. It's bad enough that I'm late for work because I had to take out the trash and the recycling in a mad dash to the curb while the sanitation guy waited for me... Now I had a legitimate excuse though, so I call in and let my masters know that I'm running late.. That mini carbon pump is not good for anything over 90 pounds, that's for sure. What a difference 10-20 pounds makes. Kept looking down because the ride felt so soft.. So I'll be riding home sans spare tube tonight (I don't carry patch kits- I'm no good at using them- in fact there's about 20 flatted tubes hanging in the garage- I can afford to just keep buying new ones- especially after a similar program I followed with tubulars for about 20 years- inner tubes are chump change)
Last night's ride- two twenty minute intervals with a 15 minute spin in between, consisting of 2 minute criss-cross between CP12 and CP60. Ouch. My watts are nothing to write home about, but the improvement which the Peaks software indicates for the last 4 weeks is pretty good, even without any substantial rest in all this time. Next week is rest week. Nothing over zone 3.. until Nutmeg of course.