America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Masters TT Nationals in Turkey

I was 11th in the start list of 38 in the 10k Masters Nationals TT here in Bartin, Turkey.. After finishing my flat and very windy 10k in 14:43, I was in 1st place for a time. This false sense of achievement continued for another 1/2 hour as other riders continued to depart and return in 2 minute intervals. Then the last 10 guys on their tricked-out TT bikes took start. I didn't even have a skinsuit. My only aero advantage was arm warmers and booties. Anyhow.. After much nail biting and wishful thinking, I was beat.. First by a few seconds, then 10, then 20.. And I was eventually relegated to 7th.. Only 20 seconds separated the top 7 at this point- the only ones who beat me were the aero bars and deep dish carbon wheels and disks. Until the very last starter rolled up- he could not be more than 120 pounds soaking wet- but he demoralized everyone with a time of 13:34.. Full aero everything- So my cannibal time got me 8th out of 38. If I had a way to cheat 20 seconds using some aero gear, I would have populated the podium. I guess I'm pleased to be top 10 in a TT for the first time ever, but a set of clip on aero bars would have been nice! Redemption tomorrow in the road race!!! Thanks for reading.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009 Tour of Somerville Pro Race Report

As told by the recent winner of the Sunapee Road Race:

Just a note to let you know what happened at Somerville.  In case you have not heard, the most notable result is that Alain got caught up in a crash with 2 laps to go and broke some ribs.  Prior to the crash he was looking strong!  It would be great if everybody could send him some love...

The race was super fast.  On the front straight we would be between 30-33mph every lap.  On the back stretch, we were doing 29-32.  The style of riding was very aggressive.  Guys would pass you and as soon as their hip passed your bars they would come across your wheel.  This would force you to hit the brakes to avoid touching wheels.  I must have hit the brakes 20 times a lap.  It got to the point where I wouldn't even stop pedaling while braking.  It was crazy, and stupid, and exciting.  One thing to note is that the smoothest classiest riders were New Englanders like Jonathan Page and Robbie King.

Eventually, I started getting wise and made it my mission to stay on the inside of the field and would move out into passing riders.  Alain and I had very good position throughout the race and I was really feeling great.  I was in an early break.  Alain got a prime.  We'll have to wait for his report on this as I did not see it.  With about 6 laps to go, Alain came by me so I could grab his wheel.  We then started moving up to the front.  We would get up there and then 20 guys would swarm up the outside and then we would have to start again.  Eventually we got separated and then the crash happened (this was the second or third one).  At this point I had no idea that Alain was in the crash, so I was looking around for him, but with 2 laps to go, I started looking for the United train.  Didn't matter, I had hit the wall and when I stood up to go I had nothing.  FYI, I was spinning 53x11 and really needed another gear!  Quite an experience...

Attached are 2 pics from Cycling News.  One with Alain, one with me (I'm on the far right against the barriers).
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Part 2 is a Go

Your hero is going to be a licensed participant of Turkish Masters Road Nationals this weekend
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Part 1 of plan A is complete

To get an "Athletic License" in Turkey you must first get a form filled out by a doctor, indicating that you are fit to compete. After completing this task I ask my brother in law why the doctor didn't collect a fee and I discover that health insurance is free in this country. The exception is drugs, and there are enough Turkish pharmaceutical companies making licensed knock-offs that most drugs are pretty cheap anyway. For example a months supply of Nexium is 360$ in the US, last I checked. Here, its about 100$. Anyhow.. My brother in law is inside the Sports Federation building trying to get my license for me so I can race in the Masters Nationals this weekend. It's a 10km time trial on Saturday and a 70km road race on Sunday. Of course, the way things are organized here, no one knew until yesterday what kind of races there would be. Maybe in the next 48 hours they will be kind enough to announce the start times.. But I guess that's what Friday's "technical meeting" is all about. They tend to do some things really pro and others really lousy.
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Monday, May 25, 2009


My 90 day Visa stamp is 20$.. The porter at the airport gets 20 TL for helping me with my bags and getting me a big taxi.. (I found my Thule bike case in the middle of the floor in baggage claim) The cab ride to the bus station is 40 TL.. Porters descend on my cab and carry my bags and bike to my bus. There's 2 of them and I give them a 10 TL bill to share. The younger one wants me to give his buddy another 10.. I show him only 50s in my pocket and he's reaching for it saying he can break it. I'm astonished by the lack of manners. If this guy is making 10$ every 5-10 minutes just to roll a tourist's luggage about 100 feet, he's doing a LOT better than you or me.. Fuck that- the bus ride cost 20 and I'll lbe damned if using a porter doubles the cost.. This country is crazy. I'm now considering a career change.
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

2009 Cyclonauts Criterium Results & Report

Forgive me for including only the results of my events. Millwork One Racing had a very good day in the 35+ race at Stafford Springs. I raced as aggressively as the legs would go, and considering my goal of being in the top ten, I'm pleased with my form and my result. The field sprint played out the way we wanted it to- Alain was up the road shutting down and passing the two breakaway riders with two to go (these two were originally accompanied by our Adam). Matt and Patrick R were on Alain's heels with one lap to go, fighting for 3rd and 4th, and the field followed by a few seconds in the sprint for 5th. I got the "D" spot, as this race paid only 6 places.. A decent result for me- one which gives my confidence a nice boost.
The Pro race was a blur- the laps went flying by so fast that I was often surprised when the card seemed to go from 30 to 20 in a matter of minutes. Again I raced aggressively, I mean, relative to staying near the front as much as possible. This race had an early break with Matt in there, a chase groups with Alain in there, and another chase group with Adam S in there. These three groups totaled 14 guys and they eventually got together and lapped the field. Just before they caught us from behind, a field prime was announced. After getting through the chicane and onto the fast back straight, I turned on the gas. It was not a mind blowing acceleration- but enough that all but one was caught off guard. I buried myself into the curve, clocking some eye popping speed and apparently dragging someone along for the ride. I cant turn around and check- I'm forced to assume that someone is there in stealth mode, waiting for me to sit up so they can steal my thunder. So I just pin it.. and get out of the saddle for the last 50 meters. This afforded me a chance to take a peek and sure enough there he is, all out sprinting a few bike lengths back. I take the prime and look back- the field is still rounding the bend. My passenger gives me kind words for sticking it and I'm happily $10 richer, with completely dead legs. The field went flying past me and it took some very deep digging to get back up to speed and tag myself back into the field, but I did it, no worries. One lap later, the break catches us. Final sprint was a bit chaotic, and technically, it would have been better if no one sprinted except for the leaders, but there's pride at stake I guess and most everyone tried to get their nose up there. I was so gassed by this time, but happy to have the legs to make my mark in both races. Sadly, my Ergomo was out of juice for some reason (it has been draining completely on me whenever I leave it on the bike overnight, I just discovered), so I have maybe 20 minutes of data from the 1st race.
I'm proud of my team for delivering the Win and the multiple top ten results today. In the 35+ race, we were the only team with more than one guy in the top 10.. in fact we had 3 of us in the top 7! I'm very happy with this little statistic.
I would also like to salute Alain and Matt for being the kind of guys who make the rest of the team perform at a higher level. Best of luck to them on Monday at the Tour of Somerville. With Matt Kressy's upgrade to Category One this week, we now have two Millwork One Racers in the Pro race. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Performance Management Chart and Summary

This data is as of Wednesday night. May is shaping up to be a very difficult month. You can see an obvious drop in volume in March, which is partly why I'm able to kill it these past few weeks. I'm still hurting from yesterday, and I don't expect to be 100% on Saturday at Cyclonauts.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hard couple of days

I was coerced into riding from Beacon Street to Wompatuck on Tuesday, and back. Round trip was 4 hours, 76 total miles. Would have been 90 except the crash ended the race after only 10 laps.. Yesterday I dared myself to ride from my house in West Warwick all the way to Ninigret Park in Charlestown- it was into the wind the whole entire way. This is something I’ve been meaning to try for a long time.. I then proceeded to race for an hour at a pretty high intensity.. Then I did a quick change into warm dry apparel (had my backpack) and rode it home in another 1:38. So overall 92 miles in a total time of 4:30. Cramps struck my quads in the last 6-7 laps of the race, taking me out of contention for the field sprint. The cramps abated on the dark ride home, but man alive there were a gazillion bugs out on Route 2- It sounded like a toy machine gun the way these things were slapping against my wind breaker. Head down and mouth closed was the only way to go. Got myself a bottle of Mike C’s beer for giving him an armchair ride to his prime. Cheers!  

So today I feel like I was hit by a train. Now it’s time to take it easy and taper myself all the way to May 30-31. I’m trying to get myself into the Masters National Championships in Bartin, Turkey that weekend. There are some technical issues to resolve, but I hope to be there and race and come home with something to show for it.

No credit, no love from NYC

It’s disappointing that NYC race promoters can’t be bothered to post results to Bikereg or USA Cycling- and those that do, only list the paying places. Frankly, the effort required to finish a race often merits recognition, especially if you drove three hours to be there, or got dropped early and grinded it out solo to the finish line. This is a nuisance to teams such as mine where being listed in the results is a loosely enforced requirement for entry fee reimbursement. Where are my results from Prospect Park? Floyd Bennet Field? Cedar Creek Park? I guess I should salute Pioneer and the other timers in our area who go out of their way to make sure that every single finisher is accounted for. It’s better to be listed as a dead last finisher, than not at all. I’ve gone out of my way to finish what I start these past couple of years, and it isn’t ever easy, but it is always a buzz-kill to finish and receive no credit for it.   

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wear Your Helmet or Get Drilled

This reminds me of last night’s crash at Wompatuck. Say a prayer for Wheelworks rider ‘Trent’. He was banged up pretty badly and left the park in an ambulance.

Australian doctor uses household drill to save boy

MELBOURNE, Australia – A doctor in rural Australia used a handyman's power drill to bore a hole into the skull of a boy with a severe head injury, saving his life.

Nicholas Rossi fell off his bike on Friday in the small Victoria state city of Maryborough, hitting his head on the pavement, his father, Michael, said Wednesday. By the time Rossi got to the hospital, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Race Reports

I raced in New York City this weekend- Saturday morning at Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn, and Sunday at Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh. Both races were Pro-am crits, as no masters events other than 40+ were offered.
Saturday was a death march around a windswept rectangle on an abandoned airfield- 45 laps. I don't have much to report on this one other than the fact the Jack Simes Jr Jr won it, our man Alain was 4th, and I was 10th. Only about 20 starters, so for me, it was basically a race of attrition- I knew the race paid 10 places and so I grinded it out, counting on others to tire out and abandon, which they did. The 'field' was fragmented all over the place, and my 90 minutes of stick-to-it-iveness paid dividends- $38 prize money plus one USA Cycling point. Yay! Add that to the $10 I won at Ninigret Wed and I'm ahead by $7 when you deduct entry fees.
Today was a touch stressful in that we lost our way to Wantagh repeatedly, before finally arriving with only 1/2 hour to register and get ready. There was no need to fret- other than missing out on a warm-up, getting ready for a race is pretty easy. This time, I believe we had about 55 starters line up. It's another Pro-am race, so there's a few Kelly Benefit guys in there, four or more Mengoni guys, lots of Champion Systems and Somerville guys.. A strong and aggressive field.. another windy day where it was blowing, no gusting, into our faces on the finishing stretch. We were strung out in an echelon every time through the start finish line. This caused some havoc in the field. There was an opportunity to get in the "break" of 15 or so guys within 10 laps of the race. It happened more like a separation than an all-out attack. Somebody decided they couldn't be bothered to hold a wheel and everyone else decided it was too early to bust a nut closing a 3-5 second gap. Well these guys suddenly turned on the gas and the gap grew slowly but steadily- like in a cartoon where the caboose is disconnected from the rest of the train- a very gradual separation. Adding insult to injury, a few more guys bridged across within a couple of laps and that left about 30 of us scrambling for the next 25 laps to catch the runaway train. At the incessant "encouragement" of team mate Alain, I put my nose into the wind and pulled my ass off waaay more than I wanted to- almost every single lap for a bit there, unlike Alain who dragged us around for 1/2 lap at a time, every single lap. It was frustrating- we could see the tail-gunners of this group and at one point we were so close we could read the numbers on their backs.. But the wind was brutal- only 5 or 6 of us were working, and there were some do-nothing-douchebags in our group who were getting mixed in there and getting in the way. Hats off to the Alder Racing Team, who also missed the separation and who all worked very hard to close the gap, in between some unhelpful and pointless attacks anyway.. At two to go Alain uncorked it and dragged a Frayse kitted dude with him up the road and they took the honors about 5 seconds ahead of our field..
The headwind into the finish was absolutely awful- like a really bad day at Ninigret. I lined it up about 10th wheel at 1 lap to go. We reached the u-turn and I was up into about 7th wheel. This little train was accelerating and shelling dead legs along the way. We crested the "hill" and barreled into the downhill chicane before the finishing drag, with me in 5th wheel. The wind is blowing into our left shoulder so the leadout is echeloned towards the right side of the road. When the lead guy decided to swing off to the right, he took the three guys behind him [all wheels are overlapped] almost into the curb. Lucky for me, I did not overlap wheels, and in what seemed like a "Matrix" moment, the wheel I was latched onto drifted violently to the right, practically grazing my front tire and leaving me completely isolated in the wind, but with enough asphalt that you could land a 747. Your hero turned on the power and took the field sprint! It feels like I'm coming around. So 10th and 25th for me. I'm satisfied with the immense amount of fun I had this weekend, even if I wish I had better results to report. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ninigret Crit No 3

It was a typical Ninigret field with perhaps the nicest weather out of the last three races. I did a repeat of last week- had to be in Boston for a meeting (I'm in charge of a large millwork package for the new MIT-Sloan School of Management- oh joy) The drive home was horrible. In a moment of weakness I hit the old Micky Dees and had a chicken sandwich, fries and light lemonade. I know I'd be racing in three hours and the food selection off of I-93 was limited, as was my time. So I'm trying to get home and feeling woozy- like I want to curl up in the back of my minivan all tired and sleepy. Thankfully I made it home without crashing into anyone or driving off the road, but man was I pooped. It was exactly 5:00 when I got home. I layed down for what I knew whould need to be a 15 minute nap- or else I'd be late. Holy smokes I think that I had an epic dream that seemed like an eternity had passed - empires were built and destroyed - and I opened my eyes only 10 minutes after I had closed them. Did not know what day it was or what time it was, or why I was in bed fully clothed. But I'm refreshed believe it or not.. I jump and get to work throwing all my racing crap in my huge duffel, filling bottles, loading the car- I'm on my way in 10 minutes flat. Same as last week, I got a can of Red Bull and chugged it before the start. I also used Coca-Cola in my water bottle again (I'm fresh out of Amino Vital powder mix). So we raced for an hour. 26 mph average. Wind was not too bad this week. I did not contest any primes. My legs felt like mush from yesterday's ride. Even so, I covered a couple of breaks and did a little work. You might see a hump in my heart rate about mid-race- that's when I was in a break with Randy R. and Matt (Exodus) for 3 laps. I was a dead weight for them to drag around and it didn't last too long. From then on I retreated to the sprinter's lounge and gathered my wits, my nerves and my plan for finishing in the dough-re-mi. Three laps to go- I'm basically tail-gunning the field, which was pretty sketchy- some tired dudes are back there and they have trouble cornering all by themselves. Two laps to go- I take advantage of some serious drops in speed and move 1/3 of the way up. One lap to go- I'm half way to the front and keep jumping from wheel to wheel until I find the correct wheel to follow to the finish. Second to last corner my position isn't great, but I go into it with a lot of momentum, and I'm picking people off at eye popping speed. On the straight-away before the final corner, it's time to chew through the handlebars and follow the fresh legs to the front. Out of the saddle- seated- out again- seated through the final corner- threading the needle and taking risks that could put me in the ER if I mis-judge something by less than an inch.. Lady luck is one my side, as I'm on the tail of the winning train of Bill Y (NBX), Matt (Exodus) and Adam S (Spooky) and we all finished in that order. I basically got an armchair ride to 4th place and came pretty darn close to pipping Adam for 3rd, not that it was easy- whatever I had left in that final minute, I uncorked it, and we had to catch and pass some dead legs in the final 100 meters, but we got through all the traffic without issue. This was a fast sprint and thank goodness for STI because I easily shifted at full tilt after spinning out my gear, 1/2 way into the sprint. We clocked 36 mph at the line. It's a satisfying result because I feel like I I'm good at getting myself to the front when it matters most and lately I have the punch and the speed in reserve to make something of it. Yeah it's just a training race but honestly- what other race reports are there to read today? Thanks for reading.

Another Critical Workout

I psyched myself up for tonight's ride. It was 6:45 when I finally rolled out of the driveway- getting cool out too- I used a wool s/s base layer under a l/s jersey and a wind vest and leg warmers. Had just the right amount of ventilation. A long sleeve wind jacket would have been too much. I am sure glad I took that apple with me. On the big downhill that is route 12, I horked it down and that "need a stack of pancakes" kind of hunger went away. To drink- the large bottle had 4 parts Coca-Cola to 1 part water- my favorite. The small bottle was all water. Fully charged headlight- check. Tail light blinky- check. Two spares and a pump- check. Headband to keep the ears warm plus a skullcap in the pocket for later- check (I added the hat after 90 minutes- it was getting kind of raw outside) Now I know that doing the same route over and over is frowned upon by some and considered to be the enemy of fun times.. but I like the predictability. When you put yourself out there with a specific plan of action, a specific amount of work, a specific intensity- better not to screw around with roads and with distances which you're not very familiar with. This route is challenging, varied, and keeps me close to home- I'm never more than 10 miles away from the house, yet it's 57 miles and doubles back on itself for only 1 mile. At any rate- what makes a critical workout, critical? If I need to tell you, then you probably aren't doing any such rides, and to you, a ride is a ride is a ride- they're all equally fun yet regrettably, they're pointless junk relative to getting faster. If you DO know what I mean, then we should agree that it's the one ride on your Mon-Fri schedule that should be the last one you omit from your program, let's say, due to life requirements or other limitations. For some, it could be a smack-down ride in a group. For others, it might be a training race. For me, it's the Tour de Murat- and it's always done alone and in private, and it's always the one ride I think about and plan a week or more in advance. At any rate, what do I know? The stuff that works for me, at least I share it here freely and don't collect a check from you for the privilege. I got home at 9:45. Enjoy the data:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Prospect Park and Wells Ave Race Reports

are not really worth getting into.. but I will give you the readers digest versions:
Prospect: Trusty tubular front wheel goes flaccid about 40 seconds before the start. I go screaming back to the car for my spare wheel- ref said I had "one minute", I'm back in one minute. Field is gone. I take pursuit on the rolling 3.4 mile course. The first lap was supposed to be neutral but apparently my cold-engine five minute TT at 26 mph was not fast enough to close the gap. Go figure. I sit up after 3 miles. I wait. I jump into the race for the next 8 laps. I'm feeling good- I'm feisty- I'm attacking and covering all the eye-popping moves up the big ring power hill. But I can tell that I'm an un-marked man. I didn't sneak into the race- I made sure everyone saw me.. It just felt like everyone dismissed me as down a lap and didn't really care what I did.. Whatever. There was a nasty crash right in front of me- a total freakshow the way these guys started knocking into eachother and tightening their death grip on the handlebars. I was forced to swerve left pretty hard and even then one of the bodies would have had me go ass over head if it had shifted just a few inches to the left. In the closing 2-3 laps, 5 guys were up the road, followed by another 3.. With about 2.5 miles to the finish, final lap, I accelerate, I detach and I try to make it to the end solo- not really sure how I'll be ranked. It's too early. I'm swarmed with still about 500m to go. I shut it down and ride to the finish in the right hand gutter, kind of pissed.. in the mood to actually punish my tubie front wheel a la the black guy with the pliers in Pulp Fiction. After a change of apparel I set out to do about 2 hours of tempo in the park. There's some kind of duathlon going on and there were tri-folks all over the place with their tongues hanging out. I'm using them as carrots as I pick them off one by one and lap some of them repeatedly. I think I did an extra 10 laps after my race so it eneded up being a 70 mile day. It was misty, drizzly and foggy at the start of my race and it stayed that way all morning until the moment that I finished cleaning the bike and placed it in the car. Effing sun finally breaks out at around 11:00. I'm very encouraged by my form on Saturday, which followed a couple days of proper rest Thurs/Fri. Racing on wet roads at 6:30 am in Prospect Park wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The coolest thing was seeing all the locals riding towards the race from different directions, kind of like gang members descending upon a pre-determined war zone. The really cool thing about racing in New York is the diversity. Fully 1/4 of the fields are black guys and another 1/4 of the fields are Latinos. It's a different world and it gives the race a completely different flavor- I like it. As a matter of fact, there were a couple of other Turkish guys in my race- one of whom I know personally. What are the odds?
Wells Ave- all I will say is that yesterday's Wells Ave race was by far the hardest A/B combined race I've ever done. Maybe this is relative to the amount of time I spent sucking wind at the front, maybe it was the very windy conditions, not sure.. but I've never worked so hard and felt so tired with so little to show for it. I attacked a few times just to make it into a workout and on one occasion I was followed by someone with no real intention of trading pulls, even though we had a monster of a gap built.. Oh well.. I think my legs were a little bit cooked from Saturday, but the two main insigators of the winning break- Marvin and my team mate Adam- they both raced Sterling on Saturday! Go figure. Maybe I'm just a sissy-boy weenie who needs a nice tall glass of TTFU. Oh well, we got our man Adam up there and he was good for 5th at the finish. Plus of course our Matt K took the 1/2 way prime and we had our boy Brendan in one of the chase groups up the road as well. Nice work team.. Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Prospect Park

I'm pre-registered for the first part of the New York Race Series- doing the 35+ race at 6:30 am tomorrow in Prospect Park. The first and last time I raced here was with former junior teammate Derek Larson- a prodigy of the late 80s who was distracted from racing by a career in the military. Anyway, we drove down to Prospect Park one cold April morning and lined up to start a senior race which included George Hincapie- there weren't enough juniors so they combined us. That was the 2nd ever USCF race that I entered. I did poorly. The day before, I did my first ever USCF event - a junior road race somewhere in the Albany region. It snowed. The cat 2/3 race which followed was stopped due to the white out conditions. There was 3 laps with a big hill. I led out the sprint (surprised?) and one only kid came around and took the win from me. A year or two later (1988 I think), Derek and I had another road trip while still juniors. First to a crit in Wantagh LI where I think Derek flatted and I was 7th or so. We spent the night at my aunt's house in Brooklyn and headed out to Newport the next mroning to do the "Bank of Newport Bicycle Classic". This was back when I still lived in western NY, so Newport was a foreign place to me. Maybe there are some local masters who remember this junior race- that would be cool. I don't remember much about it other than I went off the front with another kid for a few laps. We were given a two place prime- 1st place was a TISSOT watch, and 2nd place was $20. I wanted the cash and it was easy to get.. We were caught on the next lap and a new break formed before too long. Derek knew what he was doing, that's for sure. He knew everyone in the field who mattered. When this break formed he went flying past me to get into it and said "it's TIME!. go NOW!!". I did not have the legs to follow him. He and 6 or 7 kids got away and stayed away. I stayed in the field. Derek won the final sprint and the race. I took 2nd or 3rd in the field sprint for 10th overall. I didn't return to this New England area again until 1999 when I had a career change. They had some really cool long sleeve shirts and posters for the Newport Race that year. I wish I still had mine. When we returned to Rochester, our names were in the sports page of the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper. Derek's Dad called it in while we were still driving home on I-90. Good times.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Ninigret Crit No 2

Both the data and the results are a little different this week. (Today we were over 1 mph faster than last week) Where last week we had a large break of about 12 get whittled down to 8 after a crash in which Jayson H broke his collarbone (get well soon, Jayson and John G), this week we had a small break of 3 disconnect somewhat early and survive until the end. Last week, your hero somehow managed to win the field sprint, but this week with less starpower up the road the field sprint was a little different. What I lack in speed and fitness, I try to make up for with reflexes and unpredictability.. but my early jump was not difficult to predict this time- it's understandably hard to resist tagging on when I come around the field kamikaze style with 400m to go.. I had company at the line because I gave a perfect lead-out to Tobi S, Gary A, and Wayne K. This puts me 4th in the field and 7th overall- one spot out of the cash/schwag/whatever. As in the week before, I enjoyed this race immensely. Up the road ahead of us were Bill Y, Ernest T, and someone from Newport with good form. I think Bill won.. well I'd bet that he did anyway.. Thanks for reading.
Note: The chart's all metric!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cinco de Mayo Chart

Thanks to G-Diddy I did not sign up for S.P.I.N. class and instead I went home after work and hit the road around 6:30 with headlight. To avoid having any fun whatsoever, I deliberately set some goals for this ride, resolved to do a certain amount of work and used a regular route that helps me understand whether I'm adapting properly and getting faster or just doing junky fun miles.. So here's the tsunami of data that you didn't ask for (below), that you do not care about, and that you dismiss as useless relative to having fun. Please click on it and read the numbers because really- I did this ride to impress you. When it comes to racing a bike- satisfaction is a little more of a serious matter than having fun. Those of us who are not 20-something or naturally gifted and who fight tooth and nail to be fast enough to hold the correct wheel at the end of a [masters] crit and occasionally come around it and score a decent result- we require more than la-dee-daa fun rides to adapt and contend. We train pretty seriously. The Jonny Bs and Bill Ys and Ciaran Ms and Mark Mcs of the world do not fall ass backwards into great results. There's a process involved, and when you're in your late 30s or into your 40s, you're shoveling shit against the tide. "Fun" is a relative term. I guess if you're like me and you get satisfaction from reading data which shows you measurable results, this can be considered the fun part of training. When you are not winning races and need some motivation or confidence, the peaks within the data represent 'wins' on some level. It's entirely possible that the race which you blew tactically, or where you got shelled, or where you were pipped at the line for the win, was your best performance ever, but you would never know it without the tools. It's fine and dandy to disagree with this approach. To each his own.

This rainy weather blows

Debating whether to go to the Y for a SPIN class followed by some Nautilus or do I stick to the windtrainer at home.. At least at the Y you get to see people! I should call now before the class is filled.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

2009 Blue Hills Classic Race Report 35+

Any of you who saw me race today know very well that I have little to report other than sitting in the field and clenching my teeth to get over the hill six times without getting popped. Today was a relative success, compared against last weekend, when I could not get out of my own way in the Quabbin Pro Race. I have done solo 3-1/2 hour training rides this past week, that were faster than my speed at Quabbin. Long story short, I'm coming off of a huge disappointment from the week before, and expectations for today were not high. Last year this race was only four laps and raced in the cold rain. In 2008, your hero was off the front for about a lap, then dropped, then swarmed and passed by the 35 field.. ditto for the 45 field. Past experience was not a positive experience at Blue Hills. Today we did 2 extra laps! Understandably, I went to today's race with mixed feelings about my chances of doing well. With about 1k to go, I positioned myself aggressively- top 8-12 guys. McMark was on my wheel as I was hugging the yellow line, observing those around me, trying to be ready to react to something. Next thing you know, Mark has sprinted around me, away from us and up the road- instant 5 second gap. There's a 35mph speed limit sign that marks about 2 minutes to go and I can't remember if we were past it yet. I got out of the saddle and followed whichever wheels I could tag onto, making it up the lower half of the climb in the top 10. But that final part of the climb appeared and I was hurting- I had buried myself a little too much, a little too soon. By the time I was up the hill and on the flat approach to the finish, I was pedaling squares and being swarmed on both sides. In the last 100 meters, I passed about 5 guys but was also passed by about 15 guys, ending up right smack in the center of the results- 26th out of 51 finishers. 25 beat me to line, 25 did not. You can't get any more mediocre than that! But all things considered, I'm satisfied. No flats, no crashes, no broken chains, no getting dropped. The hill was a lot easier this year than last, and I have data to prove it. I weigh about 3 kilos less this year, and it has definitely helped me. Here's a comparision between Blue Hills 2008 and Blue Hills 2009:
The dashed line represents 2008, where overall watts were much higher because I was either off the front or off the back- riding alone for the most part. The solid line shows you 2009's peaks for Blue Hills. The charts intersect at the 3:45 duration. Keep in mind that there's a 3kg difference between the two sets of data.
Here's the power distributions for 2008 and 2009. Can you tell which is which?Seems I did three times as much coasting today (0-10 watts) as I did one year ago..

Thanks for reading.

2009 Blue Hills Classic Results

You also get a good look at the mess I make of my car when I race. Good thing I drive a van. Here's the 35+:

The 45+:
Cat 5:
Cat 4: