Here's a nice article about the race at Seacoast Online.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Needless to say, with no Powertap reading telling me my watts as I ride, there was only one way to make sure and avoid doing inadvertent junk miles- and that was to ride home all-out in time trial mode of course. Serious.
I jest, but I must admit that riding home tonight without staring at the data was kind of nice. I think I'll put the Powertap wheel on the cross bike, and ride the Easton Tempest 2 rear wheel on my road bike for a while. The thing is practically brand new, and it looks pretty slick when the high contrast decals of both wheels are spinning. My Powertap wheel on the other hand, has about as much charm as a donut spare tire on a Crown Victoria.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
This blog post has been incubating all day, beginning with the moment I lazily flipped open a tattered Boy Scout 'Handbook for Boys' from the 1930s and started to paw through it.. It was something I picked up a few years back, probably part of an auction lot that I won at an Antique Tool Auction. At the time, I didn't think much of it and threw it on the bookshelf. Today I discover that there is a Merit Badge for Cycling, and that the requirements for earning one were set forth 80 years ago, thusly:
How times have changed- check out the current requirements for the 2008 Cycling merit badge:
1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while cycling, including hypothermia, heat reactions, frostbite, dehydration, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.
2. Clean and adjust a bicycle. Prepare it for inspection using a bicycle safety checklist. Be sure the bicycle meets local laws.
3. Show your bicycle to your counselor for inspection. Point out the adjustments or repairs you have made. Do the following:
a. Show all points that need oiling regularly.
b. Show the points that should be checked regularly to make sure the bicycle is safe to ride.
c. Show how to adjust brakes, seat level and height, and steering tube.
4. Describe how to brake safely with foot brakes and with hand brakes.
5. Show how to repair a flat. Use an old bicycle tire.
6. Take a road test with your counselor and demonstrate the following:
-Proper mount, pedal, and brake including emergency stops.
-On an urban street with light traffic, properly execute a left turn from the center of the street; also demonstrate an alternate left turn technique used during periods of heavy traffic.
-Properly execute a right turn.
-Demonstrate appropriate actions at a right-turn-only lane when you are continuing straight.
-Show proper curbside and road-edge riding. Show how to ride safely along a row of parked cars.
-Cross railroad tracks properly.
7. Describe your state's traffic laws for bicycles. Compare them with motor-vehicle laws. Know the bicycle-safety guidelines.
8. Avoiding main highways, take two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates, routes traveled, and interesting things seen. The bicycle must have all required safety features. It must be registered as required by your local traffic laws.
9. After fulfilling requirement 8, lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours.
I've never been a boy scout or cub scout or eagle scout, but this book informs me of an institution which I feel completely deprived from. Do people still send their kids to be scouts? Is it safe? and I mean that in the "are the adults in charge trustworthy?" kind of 'safe'? I guess I'll think about it for our 5 year old son Reis.. While you think about the duration of a 50 mile bike ride being cut from ten to eight hours, please enjoy this assortment of high resolution advertisements which I scanned from the back of the 'Boy Scout Handbook for Boys'. I love old advertisements- they're the main reason why I own a 60 year collection of National Geographic magazines which I can't bear to part with. Click to enlarge:
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
2008 New England Velo Cross Challenge Full Results
Full results from the 2008 Three Village Tour RR
Full Results from the 2008 YMCA Rose Pedal Crit
Full Results from the 2008 Portsmouth Pro-Am Criterium
Check the M1 Racing BLOG for race reports. Thanks.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
For those of you not in New England, this is Ninigret Park, where we race every Wednesday, all summer long. It's right off the water on the south coast of Rhode Island. Usually very windy, pancake flat, and very fast. I've crashed hard in turn No 2 (sharp left hander at the top).
Last night I almost didn't go, on account of many reasons.. but at the end of the day, I knew that the only thing that was going to recharge me mentally was to be among people who I respect and like being around while going 25-35 mph, so I went to Ninigret! I also needed some high intensity speed work, and doing that kind of work out on my own, has gotten quite difficult this time of year. There was little to no wind, and the the weather was just perfect, though I found myself to be the only one with a long sleeve jersey. There were non-stop attacks last night, most notably by Gary Aspnes- always off the front- he almost rode away solo for a win with one lap to go. Backing up, with two to go, four guys quickly opened a big gap. Right after the final left hand turn at the bottom, I hit it HARD and did my best to connect us to the four leaders. By the time we reached the right hand bend on the back stretch 1/2 lap later, I was spent and waved the field through for the final few meters separating us. Mission accomplished. At this point I just tacked myself onto the back of field and watched the sprint unfold from about 100 meters back. Don't know who took it, but it was a dark and dangerous sprint. Dusk was really upon us by this time. Looking at the data, I see that we shot up to 33 mph when I went after the leaders. I must have been pretty fresh if I could uncork something like that so near the end. Someone had a blow out with just 1/2 lap to go, I think it was Wild Bill Y. Sounded like a bottle rocket. Good times. Glad I was there. I'm already feeling the withdrawel symptoms of season's end.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
...However, that desire to vent doesn’t necessarily lead to epic road rage. In fact, Dr. James identifies three different types of anti-social behavior that he classifies as road rage:
• Passive-Aggressive road rage: “A passive form of resistance that is expressed by ignoring others or refusing to respond appropriately. The intent of passive-aggressive road rage is to be obstructionist and oppositional.” An example of passive-aggressive road rage would be the driver who steadfastly observes the speed limit in the “fast lane,” despite the speeding drivers immediately behind who are signaling their desire to go faster by tailgating and flashing their lights. In the road rage incidents we witnessed this summer, the Critical Mass riders who refused to let the Seattle driver named “Mark” reverse direction and leave were exhibiting the passive-aggressive form of road rage behavior
• Verbal road rage: “The habit of constantly complaining about the traffic, keeping up a stream of mental or spoken attacks against all drivers, passengers, law enforcement officials, road workers, pedestrians, speed limits, and road signs. Undoubtedly the most common form of road rage, the purpose of verbal road rage is to denounce, ridicule, condemn, or castigate a rule, an engineer, or another driver.”
• Epic road rage: “The habit of fantasizing comic-book roles and extreme punitive measures against another driver, such as chasing, beating up, ramming, dragging, shooting, and killing, sometimes to the point of acting on it.” What most of us think of when we hear the words “road rage,” and thus, what was publicized as road rage in the incidents this summer.
Related to these three types of road rage, Dr. James identifies several types of road rage personality-types:
• Automotive vigilante: “This automotive bully aggresses against other motorists, chosen at random or for some specific reason, with a constant stream of verbal abuse, offensive gestures, and threatening maneuvers with the vehicle, sometimes going to [the] extreme of physical violence. When engaged in a dispute or when confronted by the law, the vigilante motorist will typically deny responsibility and counterattack, feigning victimhood to evade accountability, often with success.” This is the type of road rage many, perhaps most, cyclists have experienced, well before Newsweek discovered “a new type of road rage.” And as we saw this summer, the epic road rage incidents in Brentwood and Kamas both began with the motorist berating the cyclists for being on the road.
• Rushing maniac: “This dysfunctional driving style has two complementary elements. One is an extraordinary need to avoid slowing down. The other is the consequent anger against anyone who causes a slowdown.”
• Aggressive competitor: “Some drivers are so competitive that they need to be in the lead at all times, and feel a sense of loss and rising anxiety if another car passes them.” Now imagine that the “other car” is a bicycle…
• Scofflaw: “A notable feature of the culture of cynicism on the highways is the tendency we have to automatically disregard certain traffic laws, regulations, and signs. We act as if we’re entitled to break regulations whenever we feel like it. Some drivers are compulsively rebellious—for them a stop sign means reduce speed slightly, yield means grab the opportunity when you can, slow means reduce speed only if cops are around, yellow means hurry up and try to make it through, do not pass s for the really weak-hearted, and of course, 35 MPH means 55. We assume we are above the law.” As we can see on any road, this type of road-rager comes in both two-wheel and four-wheel models, and each is the first to point out that the other is a scofflaw.
I often smirk to myself when I wave to drivers who are kind enough to yield (this is a good habit- waving and smiling are the two of the most important things we can do as cyclists on the roads, right after obeying the law) But why am I waving, really? Is it:
1. So that they know how much we appreciate that they thought enough of us to touch their brakes and wait an extra 3 seconds? They are more likely to repeat the courtesy for others, right?
2. Is it really a "Thank you for not killing me, thank you for letting me live" wave?
I just realized when I went to edit this post- it's No 501.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I draw your attention to my cadence during tonight's Ninigret training crit: 100.
The field was quite full tonight. Should I drop names? Ah hell, why not. In no particular order, but ladies first: Lynn Samartano, Silke Wunderwald, Billy Mark, Bill Doonan, Mike Maloney, Mike Cavros, Mark McCormack, Rick Kotch, Bill Yabroudy, Jim Peters, Ted Shanstrom, Todd Buckley, Chris Dale, Larry King, Rick Desmarais, Adam Sullivan, at least 3 Keoughs, Jonathan Lowenstein, and about 40 others who I hope to name here in the future. It was a typical Ninigret field, but the wind was quite calm, which is rare. Lots of guys had arm warmers on, and towards the end when it was getting dark, I was glad for no wind, because it would have felt a lot cooler than 57 degrees. We averaged 26.5 mph and no one got away for long. In the field sprint, I was positioned rather poorly and got shut down as I tried to wind it up going into the final bend before the finish. I don't know where my head "was at" in the last 5 laps, but my mad dash to get to the front with one lap to go didn't quite happen. That, and I was feeling less than stellar- kind of like racing was a chore.. I burned a few matches as part of a few different breaks, and I didn't like the way it felt to be in a 28 mph rotation (per usual, I'm like a bloodhound when comes to detecting un-necessary work, and I sit up when I'm in a mix of guys who I know aren't well matched, or when the group is too small, or when I just plain know that the high octane field is going to catch us with just one acceleration), so I often felt tired and cranky and so I retreated to the back for a few laps, thinking I'll save it for the sprint. Pffffft. Apparently I didn't want it bad enough to deliver myself to the front in time, so it's no surprise that 15 or more guys smoked me at the finish. Serves me right. It's been a melancholy couple of days as it is, and the cancellation of the Bob Beal Stage Race was a buzz-kill too. (Lots of people were watching the weather reports, remembering how the 2007 road race stage was in the pouring rain- and MANY people had plans to register today at the last minute..) On the bright side, the data from tonight's crit is encouraging, and it seems to prove that I'm in much better form now than I was last September just before Bob Beal. So now what? The weekend is wide open and I'll probably go for some early morning LSD (long steady distance). I should also finish painting my house's 40 windows and shutters. I can finish it this weekend if I really put my mind to it. Only about 10 left..
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Lance Armstrong will come out of retirement next year to compete in five road races with the Astana team, according to sources familiar with the developing situation.
Armstrong, who turns 37 this month, will compete in the Amgen Tour of California, Paris-Nice, the Tour de Georgia, the Dauphine-Libere and the Tour de France — and will race for no salary or bonuses, the sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told VeloNews
Just what the sport needs? A Cinderella Man? I'm not surprised. You don't go from 1000 miles an hour to zero without some regrets or unfinished business. I hope to race into my sixties, personally. Who doesn't? Our sport is a fountain of youth. Our hearts are enlarged and they're super-strong. Big strong heart = long life.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I know some of you snicker and roll your eyes at the data. I'm okay with that. Forgive me for sounding like Michael Ball, but at the end of the day.. the power data makes training and racing more fun.
When you train alone as much as I do, you need someone or something to half-wheel. For most it seems, it's other riders. For me, it's just the data I'm riding against.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Isn't it interesting that at Wells Ave on Sunday, the average wattage for the 45 lap race was a measley 200, and normalized watts were 260? It's not that surprising, really. We look for ways to conserve during a race, and really pour it on when we go fast. Notice the normalized power values are not that different- 273 vs 260. Normalized power, in case you wondered, is the Peaks software's feature where it magically calculates what your average power would have been if you didnt't coast/draft/slow down and then accelerate so often- it's the measure of what you would have done for average watts if the effort was metered out at a constant value for the whole duration.