America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Thursday, July 31, 2008


For the first time all season my weight has dipped under 172. (forgive me if this sounds gross- but that's after my daily morning bowl of Raisin Bran and after my daily morning elimination) That's using a state of the art digital scale. All season long, I've been in the 173-176 range. Weird that during a week where my training volume and intensity has dipped, I drop a few pounds. I need to rest my way to weight loss, apparently. Cool.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


It's probably for the best.. since I drove up to Boston today, drove home in the afternoon, grabbed the family, drove down to Ninigret Park.. only to discover that the place has been taken over by some carnie folks. Man what a bummer. I centered the past few days of training around the idea of racing tonight and once again: pfffffffftttt. After wasting over an hour of my family's time driving to Charlestown and back, I didn't have it in me to say "okay- no race, but now I must train". I almost did it, but what truly stopped me is that I was feeling totally spent from work and from all the driving I did today. Spent. The drive to Ninigret only to discover the race is off, really took the wind out of my sails on top of being so fatigued.. I wish I had gone to Wompatuck instead, straight from Boston.. but then my family wouldn't be able to go with me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two month look ahead

This much I'm sure about:
Next weekend: Concord Crit
August 9: Rochester Twilight Crit
August 17: Fall River Crit
August 23: Chris Thater Memorial Crit
September 13-14: Bob Beal Stage Race
Other events will be thrown into the mix, on impulse.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I did everything right. Trained right. Rested. Shaved. Cleaned the chain, rings, der and cassette (which I loath), went to bed early.. And for what? To wake up to a downpour. Sorry Norwell. Maybe next year. What really turns my crank is that the rain has not let up long enough to do a decent training ride. I'm relegated from racing, and from proper training, to the forking wind trainer.. You wait all week for the weekend and then pfffffffttt... Now I just want to punch somebody or something.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, July 25, 2008

'A mountain bike changed my life'

CNN Hero's nonprofit Pedals for Progress gives new life to used bicycles
Dave Schweidenback saw transformative effects of bikes while in the Peace Corps
More than 115,000 used bikes have been sent to 32 developing countries since '91
Low-cost bikes help local residents gain access to jobs, health care and schools
"There's a bike that's unloved in every garage in this country. Rather than put these old bikes in landfills for no reason, we can use them as economic stimulus to aid our neighbors," Schweidenback says.
"This is the transfer of wealth between nations because these have great value overseas. And they give people the ability to hold a job or a child the ability to go to school."
  • Get Involved: Pedals for Progress
  • In Depth: CNN Heroes
  • Nominate your CNN Hero
    Hear hear! Let's find a home for all those cyclo-cross bikes that hang dormant for 10 months out of each year! Send them to far away places to enhance people's lives. Such a waste otherwise..

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Smelly shoes: "This can't be healthy"

    It was summer of 2005 when I bought the pair of cycling shoes which I use currently (I now realize)- a pair of DMT Ultramax Flash or something or other. My previous DMTs came apart after just a couple of rainy rides. This current pair though- I'm blown away by the durability. They were made in Bosnia, of all places, and let me tell you- these things have been soaked through at least 20 times in the past few seasons. I've changed the cleats on them for the 5th time. Still, they look pretty good and fit me superbly after three years of abusive use and crashes. I even put custom DIY insoles in there (the kind you heat in the oven) so they conform to my feet perfectly. Unfortunately, all of this rainy riding and stuffing them with newspaper overnight, has made these things smell hideous. I'm basically considering replacement for that reason alone, otherwise I can see these shoes lasting through next season. But there comes a point on the smell-o-meter where you have to say "Whoa, this can't be healthy". I can't imagine the vast numbers and varieties of microscopic friends who now accompany me on every ride. I'm thinking they probably weigh a lot more than they did when I bought them, kind of like a mattress, which gets heavier from use over the years. Gross.
    I can't believe it's really been three years since I bought these. That's a blog post from when I first started out with my other blog, Amerikan Turk. Seems I got my money's worth ($139 actually)

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Weekend of Rest

    No ride Sat no ride Sunday. We went to Scarborough Beach today- it totally smelled like ass- I could not get myself to swim in that freezing smelly water. We didn't stay too long. I was tempted to do a lite easy spin on the bike, but I have to admit- I don't really feel like riding lately. The thought of training hard- I'm not into it like before. It's been eight hard months of training for me. No wins. No podiums. A fair amount of stress and depression. No real vacation to speak of. Borderline burnout. So I took Mon, Tues, Sat and Sun off the bike. No doubt I'll be paying for it in terms of speed, but maybe some freshness will make up for it. Since Attleboro/New Britain last weekend, I am dead tired and very lacking in motivation. So tired.. And no amount of sleep or rest is helping. What is wrong with me?
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    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Dead Legs

    Skipped riding Monday and Tuesday. Commuted to/from work yesterday. (Even rode the bike to lunch) Also did a couple hours today after work. Threw in a couple of back to back 3 minute FT intervals. They hurt a lot more than they should have. Am I going to be flying after this rest week? I'm beginning to wonder. Next "A" race in my crosshairs: the Rochester Omnium Weekend, the 35+ crit, that is. August 9th. There's some other stuff before then, but none are A or even B events for me.
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    The Jouney Ends

    It has been an epic trip for my family, one which began on May 23rd and which ends today, in one hour. Once today's page is turned, it's as though a chapter has ended. It's time for an intermission. For any of you who have followed me on this journey, who have prayed for me to be strong, who have shared in my sorrow and mourned the loss of my father with me, who have imagined themselves beside me on my breath taking bike rides on the coast or in the mountains, who have cared for me deeply enough to leave me supportive comments or write me privately: I salute you and offer my sincere Thanks and Love. I now sit here at Boston Logan Airport's Terminal E, sipping coffee and sitting front row of the arrivals gate. With an hour or so before wife Ebru and son Reis emerge through the doors marked 'No Entry', what else is left to do besides try to conjure up a happy ending? Regrettably, I don't have any such words to offer at the moment.
    Healing is not a destination, it's a journey. Healing is repair. Healing makes what was broken, stronger than it was before. In order for my father to build his first kanun from scratch, he needed to break his 25 year old kanun down into a pile of broken wooden parts, in order to know how to build one himself. And when we bike racers ttake punishingly fast training rides, perform eye popping intervals and leg breaking climbs, we're also destroying things in order for them to be rebuilt stronger, in order to force an adaptation which makes us better, faster, more powerful.. And never were the six words I now live by more compelling and beautiful than when Father began chemotherapy treatment, which pumps a harmful poison into the body in a sort of scorched earth manner, killing most of the bad cells but also devastating some of the good.. Like a controlled forest fire. I saw what he went through and I saw him fight and never give up. I saw him down, and I saw him getting kicked while he was down. I've even kicked him a few times myself, long ago.. I saw him getting back up over and over and over again. No matter how hard he hit the deck.. He was my champion.. And he is sorely missed.
    From all of this, no one has become as enriched as I have.. No one.. And now, these six words ring as true as ever:
    "We are created, by being destroyed."
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    Sunday, July 13, 2008

    New Britain Criterium 2008 Results

    Again, I do not have them all, sorry.

    Ivan Basso, or not?

    A friend who I went to high school with, below, claims to be hanging out with Ivan Basso someplace out west- Utah I think.. I told him he was FOS and he sent me a picture on Facebook, below. Is there any doubt that this is indeed Ivan Basso?

    New Britain Pro-Am

    43rd in the Pro race, for what it's worth.. 91 starters, 69 finishers. Just cruised in the field the whole time. Little tiny bit of cramp with 2 to go.. But that's 80 miles of crit racing bro.. Nothing to be ashamed of.. 90 percent of that field had fresh legs. I had already raced 40 miles.

    Updated** New Britain Criterium: 15th

    Hopes, dashed. I was in the winning break of the 35+ race. I'm in rotation with 7 other guys and I'm on the wheel of some dildo who keeps sprinting when he gets to the front. Last I checked, accelerations in a paceline are supposed to happen at the BACK, not at the fucking front. Blew my fucking wad as he kept gapping me, which means that not only am I taking a pull, I'm sucking wind all during Dildo's pull too. I'm so pissed at myself for letting the situation throw me.. I should have just pushed the fucker into the grass and said goodbye.. Not that I'm capable of any such behavior.. But that's what I wish I had done. A top 8 result was locked up for me, and I ended up drifting back with 5 to go. Yeah it's true that yesterday's three crits are still heavy in my legs.. But I didn't feel THAT bad. With one lap to go, I could see that Mike N was not happy about missing the break. He got one of his domestiques to uncork an incredible acceleration which left the whole field in their wake, big gap, with me in between. I turned myself inside out on the back stretch to get on Mike's wheel. I got close, but never made it. Up through the chicane, I was alone and flying (maybe not alone.. maybe I was the lead out for the field, I didn't turn my head). I dove into the final corner as fast as humanly possible, but the needle was almost on empty at this point. The wind was GUSTING diagonally all day, and the final straight was into a fierce cross-head wind. I unloaded everything I had left in the final straight and I was passed by six guys by the time I crossed the line. With the seven places up the road and Mike N taking a very hard earned 8th, that put me in 15th spot, just a few places off of my 2007 result. (2007 I was 12th in the field sprint, which I lead out. Today I was 6th in the field sprint which I also lead out, so a marginal improvement this year, relative to 2007)

    The 30+ which followed- Another break, which went very early. The field was letharic and I was feeling okay.. but then I made a bone headed move on the final lap, right in the start finish- I attacked and took a flyer. I was swallowed and spit out the back with 1/2 lap to go.. What was I thinking? Maybe that my legs were not totally fried from racing 5 times in the past 24 hours? Stupid me.. Finished pretty much DFL. There was a 7 man break up the road, and sprinting for 8th didn't seem too interesting. Only 35 or so starters anyway.. I'm bummed right now.. But I'm resting up for the Pro race which starts in about an hour. Just want to motorpace that one and maybe sneak into the top 20 somehow. That might make me feel better.

    Hindsight, it's stupid to do so many races and expect to be fresh enough for a good result. Skip race no 1, let everyone lose their freshness and jump into the 2nd race. Yesterday, Bill Y did just that at Attleboro and won. Didn't tire himself out racing the 35+ and the Pro race. My 6th at Keith Berger two weeks ago was no accident. Mine was the race after the 40+, so 1/2 the field was tired and hurting. They happily let the break go, and with my fresh legs I had a big advantage. I already knew this stuff, but I just love to race. Guess I should be happy with my mediocrity. I'm diluting my ability across too many events, by choice. Maybe it's time to adjust the game plan for the rest of the season. Skip the first Master race, do the 2nd one with guns blazing. Do what works for a change. Thanks for reading

    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
    Updated 9:55 pm

    Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Attleboro Criterium 2008 Results

    Sorry no results from the Cat 3 or 4 race, though I can tell you that Christian Eager of Quad Cycles won the cat 3 race, and did it nicely. Here's a video of that finish:
    As for me, I used today as a tune up for tomorrow's New Britain Criterium. Not to say I didn't try today- I did.. but I didn't turn myself inside out for a result either. In the 35+ I felt like a P.O.S. and got 22nd. In the Pro-1-2 I had hardly any water, and after 30 very easy minutes motorpacing the field, I had to quit or risk dehydration. In the 30+ I felt a little better and got 10th in that one, which sounds great, but only 29 finished. I was feeling good about it until I discovered that the 10 places which were advertised on Bikereg were changed to 8 places. Why there are two different race flyers? I have N.F.I. but it was a buzz-kill. A good day at the races. Our Matt Kressy took 8th in the Pro race and Kyle Gates took 11th in the 35+. Adam got himself into a couple of strong looking breaks but they didn't stick. We had Joe, Scott and Brendan in the cat 3 race, we had Brendan and Scott in the 30+ race, Mike Samartano in the 35+ race and I discovered later that he hit the deck in that one. I hope he's in one piece.

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    Tour of the Hiltons

    As pro-promoter as I'd like to be, here is a case where mediocre aging cat 2's are pretty much boned: 2008 Tour of the Hiltons. (sp.. deliberate) Sometimes I feel like the six year old who wishes he were twelve, or in this case, forty. Not.. that.. I.. can climb or anything.. If I was a gifted or even a mediocre climber, I'd look at this and pass. Who pays $35 to race 97 miles for the chance to win part of an $800 purse? If it's all about the glory, fine.. I love race promoters, don't get me wrong. Just don't require me to love their races. It would appear I am most certainly not racing on July 26th.. but I encourage everyone ELSE to go for it. Have a ball. I'll be at the beach.

    Saturday, July 05, 2008

    For Future Reference

    I find myself ranked suspiciously high right now, but these rankings evolve on a daily basis, depending upon new results added and 12 month old results falling off the average. I am perhaps the only one who looks to this list as a motivator, but I doubt it. In a few days, my 2007 New Britain results will drop off, hopefully to be replaced with some fine placings at Attleboro and New Britain next weekend. See where I stand now.
    On a national scale of masters criterium racers, I find myself ranked 233 out of 4307 Masters. Here's the complete list. Nega-Coach is sure to chime in and tell us that everyone except for the top three on the list, suck.. or that they suck the least.


    Hey this site doesn't work half bad- it got the mileage almost spot on. Looking back upon my Powertap files, I find that the last time I did a ride of 250 TSS or more, was June 12th in Turkey. Then there was yesterday. I did the little 56 mile loop that I like so much. I wouldn't call it time trial pace, it was more like "tempo trial" pace- something I can sustain without cramping, without needing to slow down and without tasting puke. To complete this ride in the time that I did it in, I had to force it on the climbs, and I did every single hill in the big ring. Of course I blew away my old PR by over 2 minutes too. Here's the route below, which may be hard to understand because it doubles back upon itself in a few places for short periods:

    Not a drop of rain during all of this.. I came home after 2:47:17 on the bike, and then went back out for another 15 minutes to spin and cool down.. and to make it an even 60 miles/3 hours. This ride should pay dividends later on. Having skipped Fitchburg (per usual for me) I wanted to do a ride which was at least comparable in duration to what everyone raced today up in Mass.. (though my route climbs only 2500' total) I don't think I can repeat the effort today. My legs are really cooked. If anything I'll do a few hours in the little ring, take a trip down to Narragansett Beach or Scarborough with my backpack. Put my feet in the sand.. lay down and relax.. assuming it stops raining.

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008


    I was supposed to do two hours of endurance pace tonight, but I needed my fix of pointless hammering on a flat, enclosed track with 50 other like minded folks, so I headed down to Ninigret to see what I could find. A light field- by virtue of the absence of many heavy hitters- presumably due to Fitchburg and Masters Nationals this weekend.. but there were still the usual pain-cave dwellers.. or I should say, the ones who put me in my pain cave..
    Nothing much to report besides spending as much time as humanly possible at the front, suffering immeasurably.. Then an unfortunate event- our man Brendan stacked it up in the sharp leftie, or should I say in "Murat's corner".. A few of us stopped to make sure he wasn't road kill.. just some epidermal deletions that looked like scrambled eggs. Yum. So I got to take a lap's rest with about 6 to go. Once we knew Brendan wasn't going to die on us, I jumped back into the action and gave a few digs at the front for the remaining 5 laps. Kudos to brother Rick K for separating himself from our chase group and soloing home. I tried to reach, I pulled off looking for help with 1/2 lap to go, and the boys just didn't have it to bridge. Nice. Good times were had by all (except Brendan.. for whom bathing will now SUCK for many days)

    Caught out

    A pretty intense workout was scheduled for last night, and I was sick of the same old roads, and I was in the mood to be near the water, so I went out to route 1 in Warwick and headed south towards the beaches. Once onto route 1A in North Kingstown I started the "micro-burst" intervals. Which go like this:
    15 sec @ 150% FT
    15 sec @ 50% FT
    Repeat for 5:00
    Recover 5:00
    Repeat intervals for 10:00
    Recover 5:00
    Repeat intervals for 10:00
    It's not as easy as it sounds! 150% of FT is similar to CP3, so it's a hard effort- similar to the accelerations you would do after turning the corner in a crit, but seated. By the end of the third set of ten minutes, I was thrashed, and tasting puke.
    So I made it all the way to Narraganset Town Beach- where I pulled a u-turn during one of my 15 second rest intervals- no time to swim.. Nice tailwind home.. but not strong enough to get me home before dark. Caught out in the dark wihtout even a blinky. Thought about stopping at NBX Bikes or Casters to grab one, but I don't think either of them were open when I flew past. Nice workout though- 51 miles in about 2:40.. No flats, no motor vehicle altercations, no rain- even though the air became quite thick and heavy in Narragansett.