America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Friday, September 28, 2007

Facial road rash: You have to watch this crash

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!