America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

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. 

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Hour at the church

Tonight I think I'll go meet the big boys at the church on Route 12.. It's been a few months.. and back then those guys were really putting me in the hurtbox. My training program has been so badly derailed with illness this past week or so, that I just want to do what I feel like doing, for one day. I'm racing at Mystic and Keith Berger, and a recovery day tomorrow will suffice. The way I'm built.. and it's probably a mental thing.. I feel stronger after a hard day than I do after a rest day. Legs might be a little sore, but I feel stronger. Besides, I could use some cameraderie. The solo commutes are getting oh-so-boring. 

My recent letter to Velonews RE: Belek Turkey

Dear Velonews,

Today's article called 'Kash' caught with Vuelta cash contained a somewhat misleading representation: "Last year's third-place Vuelta podium-man was located in the remote Turkish town of Belek"
Please take note that the town of Belek is just a cab ride from a major city- Antalya, and is a very popular tourist destination of people from all around the world, especially Russia and Germany. Belek, and all of the other coastal towns surrounding Antalya Turkey contain a large number of all-inclusive "holiday villages" that are beyond rating and cost between 100 and 250 Euros a night. Use of the word "remote" gives an unfavorable image of Kash's whereabouts at the time of his "catch and release" testing. The word "remote" is more aptly used to describe positions in Afghanistan and Iraq, not Turkey.. He was obviously on holiday taking some quality rest in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. I will be vacationing in Belek/Antalya at the end of this month as well.. with road bike.

Murat Altinbasak
Providence, RI

PS: There are breath taking mountains in the background and Turkey's International Presidency Tour passes through this region (Antalya). This is the same UCI event where Joe Papp was tested and caught using testosterone in 2006.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm back from the Witch's Cup

What a trip. Mind numbing traffic both ways. After gutting it out for six whole laps averaging 27.8 miles an hour, I withdrew and cursed and beat myself up for a little bit. Then I got over it. Almost.
The course is a pathetic little triangle, barely 1/2 mile around, populated with an abundance of potholes, cracks, and bumps. I've never seen so much "caution" spray paint before. To me this is a huge factor because racing on an unfamiliar course is a big enough disadvantage without having to navigate over shitty roads and corners. In this case, it was like trying to avoid raindrops. Unless you're head's completely in the game and your heart is committed, it's too easy for a softy like me to play it safe, hold back and get shelled. I am not one who has ice water running through his veins.. From the very beginning I gradually lost position, until I was among others who were also chewing through their handlebars to stay connected. Following the wheels of such people is hard. You have to go around them and find a solid and steady wheel to focus on. No such luck today. I'm astonished at how the many young elites fearlessly thrash their bikes around such a course. I tip my hat.. Besides myself, 28 others abandoned and only 60 finished. No regrets though. There should never be any regret for trying.
We stayed and watched the rest of the race. When we hit to road to return to RI, dear wife reminds me of a scene in a movie.. "The Last Samurai".. where Tom Cruise is getting his ass kicked in a sparring match with one of the locals. "Too many minds" she says.. "Remember that scene?" Thinking about too many things to focus properly on one. She hit the nail on the head.. Between getting myself to the race and fretting about the strength of the field and about recently getting over a cold and being psyched out by the short course with the crappy surface, I completely lost sight of why I was there.
Oh well! At least I got some video footage out of it. The bumpiness of the course is all too evident in the vid.. I would discourage those who are prone to seizures from watching it.
Full results Check the distance and the elapsed time.. That can't be right.

I'm off to the Witch's Cup Criterium

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's your ideal soundtrack?

Yesterday morning I was feeling especially mischievous so I snagged my mp3 player and strapped it onto my arm for the ride in to work.. Resolving never to use it in traffic, I waited until I boarded the bike path to insert the earpieces and power it up.. The Cranston path is deserted in the morning, no worries. So I'm toggling through the playlist and I pick my favorite.. a song touted to be the new "Bohemian Rhapsody" for today's generation of dis-illusioned and over-teched youth.. Before I confirm your suspicion of what song this is, let me just say that my power file from yesterday's commute clearly shows that the watts were spiked by about 10-20 from the time the song began until the time it ended.. and not deliberately.. and I'm wondering how it might be possible to perform my Bob Beal TT with this music in the background.. without getting DQ'ed or getting my hand slapped.. There are ways.. So I ask my dear readers: If you could have any music you wanted in your ears during a 3 mile VOMax time trial, what song(s) would it be? I think this would be my pick:

Voices in my head?

No.. that's just my clock radio blaring with the raspy voiced "DJ" woman going on and on and on about how the upcoming "Sex & the City" movie will include "Mr Big".. among other useless trivialities, all tactlessly infused with remarks about how wonderful it is to comsume Dunkin Donuts products.. (This was yesterday.. or last week, don't remember) This morning was not much different.. First my cell phone wakes me at 6:00 with it's alarm. I turn it off and sleep. Clock radio wakes me at 7:15.. precisely the time when I need to hit the road, or else get ready in fifteen minutes flat and ride the 8 mile shortcut to work. Long story short, I got here at 8:20. Nobody cares. My office is in the lower level, away from the other PMs, and I use the back entrance from the parking lot.. Saw my Refunds Now friend Joe on Minnesota Ave, taking a shortcut of his own to avoid Post Road as much as possible. Such a beautiful morning.. tempting.. The air is delicious today. Last night I was caught in a rain/wind storm of such ferocity, cars pulled over to let it pass. I soldiered on at 10 mph, out of the saddle. The rain actually hurt it was coming down so hard. Arrived home weighing about 10 pounds more than when I left.. Stuffed the shoes with newspaper before bedtime. Still damp but rideable this morning. Noticed on Sunday that my skinsuit doesn't fit me anymore. Maybe it's a bit worn having been washed about 10 times this season, but I have to believe it's partly because of weight loss. Someone at work remarked yesterday that I seem to have lost 20 pounds. Bought five packs of wrist bands from the Adidas store in Wrentham Outlet mall on Saturday- I was too sick to race and dear wife had me standing in the sun for hours with out little one while she shopped. I took out his over-priced LikeaBike Jumper and he raised hell flying around in the outlet center with it. He loves that thing. I recently changed out the rubber suspension boot since he's over 35 pounds now. Also switched to the longer seatpost which it comes with.. Features not found on the Skuut or the knock-off found at Target. For $245 we bought an heirloom quality aluminum kid's bike with suspension and Schwalbe tires weighing all of 8 pounds and completely indestructible. No fear of termite damage either.. So after arriving home yesterday I hosed off the bike and rubbed off the brake residue.. Carbon fiber sounds so cheap when you're aiming a high pressure stream of water at it. Same sound as the cheap resin patio chairs make, but chintsier.. I am almost over this cold completely. My energy is up, the infection has pretty much dried out. Some residual coughing to clear the lungs and some sinus drainage is all that's left. Coach looked at Sunday's charts from Fall River and says that I was VOmax for the whole time, both races. Kind of explains why I wasn't on my game. The lungs were deficient and this caused a premature acid bath for the legs I suppose. Witch's Cup crit is on my mind.. tomorrow night at 6:30.. A nice big field will actually increase my chances of a decent result.. How do I define "decent" in such a stacked field? Top 20... or top 10 in the field sprint. Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fall River Criterium 2007

The five man break of the Pro race, which split into two with about 5 to go.. S.F. and the guy behind him opened a ton of time between themselves and the three behind, somehow, in the span of one lap. Didn't stick around to see the sprint, but I'm pretty sure I know who got 1st and 3rd..
Murat's a foolish mofo.. Sure I felt pretty good this morning, bounding out of bed like a gazelle.. But the rotten schmoo which lined my lungs was in stealth mode I guess, because it wasn't until the first few minutes of today's 35+ event that it dislodged and made for the exit- my throat and mouth. Gross.. But you don't come here to read about peaches and cream, do you? A hot day combined with two days off the bike and the tail end of bronchitis does not a good result make.. Officially I am positioned at 18th on the results out of only 29 finishers.. 11 were up the road, ALMOST including myself.. Yes at about 10 to go some Corner Cycle guy got fed up with our laziness and dragged eight of us up the hill at un G-dly speed and away from the remaining 20 or so who were still in the "field". I had just enough to pedal past Thom Norton after the top of the hill and I died.. He went back around me and stuck with the now 7 man chase (four up the road) while I faded back to mediocrity.. Without this infection, this constriction of the lungs, this goo build-up in the back of my throat, I had a good chance of snagging a top 10... No such luck. Felt good on that little climb. Spinning up in the 53x19 or 17 felt the best.. Afterwards, I wondered if I might have done better if I got out of the saddle in those last 50 meters.. Probably held back to avoid puking. Whatever, I needd to lie down in the grass in the shade to get my wind back. Pro race was about 2 hours later so I thought I'd find my second wind by that time. Wishful thinking. Only 30 guys lined up, including two former national champs and one current national champ.. I was done after about 8 minutes. No gas. No air. No power. Before popping, I also stupidly gapped about four guys who were behind me and I am terribly sorry about it. The blinding pain took away my good judgment.. I was still fighting to hold on, and thought that I had given enough tells that they would know better than to choose my wheel. Someone said "Well that's nice" as he sprinted around me. I felt like dog doo, and was too winded to say sorry.. but I am. Bygones.. You guys connected no problem. Seems I wasted $10 or $12, depending on how you look at it. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

No racing for me today

It's almost 1:00 pm and I just got out of bed a little while ago. Almost rushed over to do the Silver City Pro race.. then I had a very productive fit of coughing and decided I'd rather not choke on my own phlegm in a crit. Would have been pushing it besides, it's about a 50 minute drive. Fall River is tomorrow. I want to be there no matter what.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Don't be a Weenie: JOIN OUR NEW GROUP

I'll try to keep this message at the top for a few days. Here's the deal. I established a YAHOO Group many moons ago, but never found the time to promote it. To date, there are two members: myself and Gewilli. What is it good for? It's a message group designed such that you will be able to reach an [eventually] large group of like minded folks with one fell swoop (one e-mail address) Could prove to be particularly useful to keep each other informed of issues, changes, cancellations, weather, start times, stuff for sale, training races and events. (Why hunt for such knowledge in the comments of 15 blogs?) There are many Yahoo groups out there, but they're limited to one club or one team. Let this be the one which ALL New Englanders use to inform eachother and keep informed. That's the idea. Originally I wanted to limit this only to racers who blog, but such exclusivity is not going to help our New England racing scene. (those outside of New England are welcomed aboard too). So go now and sign up. First new member to sign up wins one of my pre-enjoyed wrist bands. Can we get ten new members in the next ten days? That would be a good start.

The Last Word

Glad I didn't even think of riding in today.. Overslept anyway. Need rest, but will likely do a quick spin on the rollers tonight. Still at work, but not in spirit. Drippiness of my nose is getting kind of annoying... I will be recording another race video next Wednesday at the Witch's Cup Criterium in Salem. This one will be another ass-fest, but judging from the number of visits to my Hartford Criterium video... (Google it to see) one seems to mind. Racing with some real talent on that day. Kind of nervous.. but nervousness channeled properly is a good way to add watts to the effort I suppose. Nervousness is better than apathy.. and I'm excited. It's rainy and miserable out. perfect night for a tv dinner, some hot tea and camping in front of the tv under a blanket with wife and child and watching a good movie together. In spirit, I'm already home I guess. Time to go.
Best of luck to everyone competing this weekend. 

Ninigret with a cold..

Raced hard at Ninigret last night.. in spite of being badly congested and stuffed up. Let's just say that the old wrist band was not/could not be used to evacuate the milky white shit clogging my nostrils.. I had to blow it many times.. ambidextriously.. meaning I must turn head left for left nostril, right for right.. I think I got some on Mark McCormack by accident.. Sorry.. My goal last night was to finish, not let anything get away, chase everything and rack up a few hard intervals. Check, check and check. Got a lot of attaboys from people I've never met, pats on the back even. Thought I was getting all famous and stuff for a split sec, then remembered my name is on my bike, right above the rear brake. Very cool of people to give praise. Puts a spring in your step/pedal stroke even.. Thanks.. I slipped far far back with a few laps to go and just did a final interval with 1/2 lap to go, winding it up all the way to the finish somewhere mid-pack. Our boy Rick Kotch almost did a repeat of Womp and attacked solo with three to go. Was caught on the back straight and sat up.. Nice sized field. Great weather.. friggin perfect actually.  Today I see that my infection has moved down to the bronchial tubes, where it always ends up. Coughing a bit today, but that nasty soreness is gone from my throat. Best thing for a sore throat- anything with Pectin in it. Don't buy cough drops that don't have Pectin- or else they're useless. I'm racing Silver City and Fall River this weekend. Weather such that it is, hard to believe at this point. I plan to hit the sack at 9:00 tonight. Have not slept a full night in a couple of months. I'm in the habit of waking briefly at 2-3:00 AM every night for whatever reason. I grab a bite to eat and go back to sleep, but it's taking it's toll. I'm sleep deprived. Surely it's affecting my performance at work and on the bike. Just in denial I guess. What can I do? I take no medications whatsoever, and don't want to start.. especially anything sleep related. Those kinds of pills scare me. Stay dry.   

Thursday, August 09, 2007

See you in two weeks, Antalya

People enjoy the slides in an aquapark in the Mediterranean coastal city of Antalya August 8, 2007. REUTERS/Fatih Saribas

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Andrey Kashechkin Busted in Belek, Turkey

Ha! He was no doubt there on holiday when the UCI tracked him down (?) Belek is a Mediterranean tourist trap populated mostly by Russians, Germans, and other Eastern Europeans. Interestingly, Joe Papp was also tested and caught in Turkey last year, where he competed in the Turkish Presidency Tour and won a few stages. Months later I purchased a new helmet on ebay, where the seller turned out to be none other than.. Joe. Weird. I had been chatting with him via e-mail to get his insight on racing with the elites in Turkey. My point is not to disrespect Joe. He's paying the price like a man and I find him to be a good person.. my point is that Turkey, while lacking any road racer superstars, is no slouch in the fight against doping. It's taken quite seriously.

Back to work..

..but not quite 100%. Back of the throat is still suffering from a bit of nastiness.. No ride to work today. Probably spin on the rollers for 1/2 hour tonight instead. It was a scheduled recovery day anyway. Besides, need to change the rotors on the Hyundai.. Asked Firestone for a price. They wanted $340 to change the rear rotors and pads. I told them to put the car back together and forget it. Rotors from NAPA cost $25 each. I already have the pads. Besides, I asked them to check out the shaking in the front end, which they didn't do.. They wanted me to sign on for the rear repair before they even looked at the front end. I was born at night, but not last night.. Besides, it's apparent that I overtorqued the lug nuts and warped the front rotors, causing the front wheel wobble (which did not exist before I installed the new front pad over the weekend). Okay so new front rotors are $30 each at NAPA.. Disappointed. Bought four tires from these guys a week ago, and they treat me like some kind of ignoramus this time around. They charge $60 for $20 pads and $60 for $25 rotors.. Whatever.. I am so close to just trading it in for a new Rabbit..
I see that Solobreak is at it again.. bad knee and all.. trading pulls with my team mate at Womp.. 2nd place was no fluke this time. We salute you.. and Rick Kotch of course.. Come out to Ninigret tomorrow so we can thrash everyone with two to go.. Oh and thanks for the flashback from grade school.. when rotten little classmates would also call me "rat". Just undid three years of therapy.
It may come as a surprise to some that I was born in Flushing Hospital, Queens New York, funny name and all.. When I asked childhood friends to begin calling me "Mark", it was for my mental health.. Nowadays, I'm known as "Mark Basak" in my professional life. Saves me oodles of time spelling and re-pronouncing my name to idiots who can't even pronounce "park" or "car"..

Recycle those race numbers

I have found another great use for the growing pile of race numbers. Not only do I reuse the No 1s, 2s and 3s at Wells Ave.. (having a name beginning with "A" gets low numbers in pro events) Now that my training programs are focused more on intensity than endurance.. they are more complicated and harder to remember. So now I take a permanent marker and write the more detailed programs on the back of an ols race number and stuff it in jersey pocket. Not only is it indestructible, it can be used again whenever said workout is repeated. I am the Martha Stewart of bike racing.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Out sick

Our little one has had a nasty cough for a few days, and last night my throat felt like I had swallowed crushed glass. This morning was even worse. I called in sick and went back to bed.. until 11:00. Ran a couple of errands and I'm about to leave the house for a ride because I know that increasing the rate of blood flow tends to speed up my recovery. Probably just mental.. going for a ride always makes me feel better. Question is, should I do the prescribed intervals? I'll play it by ear. If the legs don't want to go, then I'll give them another rest day. I expect to feel better tomorrow morning. I haven't had a cold since late winter, so I think I was due for one.. Better to get it behind me now than during all those crits which I've planned for the coming weeks.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Distracted as HELL

With a string of criteriums coming up (see below) and a two week vacation overseas in three weeks, Murat has the attention span of a four year old. Here's a snippet of a recent e-mail between me and coach:
[Murat] Please suggest some exercises to tone up my upper body, especially pectorals. You said no push-ups! Seems the more weight I lose, the flabbier my chest appears. I don't mind adding a pound or two of muscle to look/feel better! I have 10, 15 and 20 pound dumbells and a bench at home.. Sit-ups? Crunches? I want to do 10-15 minutes a day working on this. In spite of all the weight loss, there's still flab!
[Scheske] so what – do you want to ride fast or look good at the beach!  Losing some weight has likely caused some flabby look – it'll go away as the weight stays off.  We'll do some minimal upper body over the winter – but certainly not to build you up – just some toning stuff – lots of reps, low weight.  Your pecs don't propel your bike – so you won't look all buff on the beach, but who cares when you ride fast!
..Todd is such a no-nonsense, cut-the bullshit, eye-on-the-prize type of person.. Lucky to have him keeping me focused on what really matters. I'm easily distracted and need that.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Murat hasn't been thinking clearly.. take that last post over at Amerikan Turk as evidence.. but I'm much better now. A day off the bike felt good and I had no separation anxiety. The rest-of season outlook looks like this:
Thurs 8/9: Ninigret training race
Sat 8/11: The Silver City Flyer Criterium
Sun 8/12: Blount Seafoods Fall River Criterium
Wed 8/15: Witches Cup Criterium
Sat 8/18: The Mystic Velo Criterium
Sun 8/19: Keith Berger Memorial Criterium
Sat 8/25: depart for Turkey
Sun 9/9 return from Turkey
Sat-Sun 9/15-16: The Bob Beal Master's Weekend
10/8: 32nd Annual Jamestown Classic Bike Race
Looks like I am going to miss the Topsfield Road Race this year.. Too bad. Jamestown should conclude my season, unless the weather on that day is cold and wet, then Bob Beal will end up as my finale. Then I'll grab the cross bike and try to have some fun off road until the weather goes to complete crap. Cross races? Don't really appeal to me, especially with my bad right foot/ankle. It can handle the riding, but maybe not the running and jumping. Been sensitive ever since that bad sprain in June '06. I may still do a couple of events close to home for fun and fitness, we'll see.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Yesterday I had to drive to Falmouth, MA and this required me to cross the bridge in Fall River and the Bourne Bridge, twice each. I don't mind admitting that the recent awareness which has been stirred with the epic failure of that bridge out west, seems to have given a lot of people the willies. I couldn't help noticing that [myself included] people were accelerating towards the end of the bridges, just to get off the damn things quicker.
Today I'm traveling to Vernon CT again in this oppresive heat and humidity.. Rode in using the short cut and will be riding home real easy. Did 10 sprints last night and I'm hurting. First time all season that I've had sprints in the training program.. and let me tell you.. I have the grace and form of a one legged ostrich.. explains why I've been doing my sprints seated all season- if I get out of saddle I'll crash, it seems. Funny, I was a very crafty sprinter in a past life. I wish my handlebars ware a bigger diameter in the drops and I wish they were wider. Might switch to 44s and double up the tape on the drops.
Tomorrow AM I do an extremely difficult program which includes intervals at both 135% and 200% FT. Then we're off to NYC to visit family and deposit someone at JFK. Not riding on Sunday. Remember, Ninigret is Thursday next week, so you can do three training races in a row, if so inclined.  

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New Pictures in the Flickr badge

Taken at the Attleboro Criterium and at the Cox Classic by Peter Hall.

That's the way you do it... lemme tell ya

A salute! A toast! Lift your 40 oz Colt 45 Malt Liquor in the air with me and rejoice! When a fellow blogger wins a race, it's a special occasion, even if said blogger is an aging, stubborn, self coaching, self hair-clipping, blogging, technology shunning piss head. Our esteemed Solobreak has been throwing a good amount of mud on the wall lately, including at the Hartford Crits and the Attleboro Crits, taking two-to-go solo flyers off the front. Last night at Wompatuck some of the mud finally stuck, and SB took top honors. Opportunity knocks once. I practically soil myself when I win a prime, so I have to assume that he's walking on air today. Why, just the other day he was pining about how the final lap at Wompatuck is too fast for anyone to jump out from. There are better ways to win a race, as Solo convincingly demonstrates. I'm jealous but in a good way. See [his/all] pictures from the Attleboro Criterium [offered for purchase]. Nega Coach must be proud... or not.