America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

NBX GP of Cross Day 2

It pleases me immensely to inform my readers that I am the Bronze Medalist in Sunday's Elite Masters 35-39 RI Championships (Rhode Island residents only). Never mind that I finished in last place or that I was lapped by the top 10 guys, or that they didn't even rank me as a finisher until I protested and got added onto the list.. It was a race against myself above all else because leaving the cocoon-like warmth of the carousel (we were selling our Hasyun wool apparel in there) required the resolve of 3 Buddhist monks and the strength of 5 small children. I chose to go bare legged with skinsuit, only a pair of wool base layers underneath, plus some arm warmers. Embrocation? I honestly just recently discovered what that word means and I've never used it. Long story short, your hero lined up at the back of the field and swallowed a mega dose of TTFU. Using the Fuji Cross-Pro which I bought used for $800 back in 2006 is becoming a bigger handicap than it used to be as I observe enough carbon fiber around me to build a 1/20th scale Airbus A380. My bike suuuuuucks! Before the start I was patching a hole in my tube and noticed that a spoke nipple is pulling through the rim of my trusty Easton Tempest 2 wheelset.. All my brake shoes rub. I have to over-shift and tune in order to change gears.. You get the idea. Hopefully it does not dishonor the sport to not take it too seriously, but the one part of it which I take dead seriously is always finishing what I start.. and for my determination I was rewarded with a handsome medal which designates me as an occupant of the Rhode Island Masters 35-39 Championship podium. Hat tip to G-Diddy for his silver medal. There were only three other Rhode Islanders in our race so I think one medal went unclaimed for the 40-44 class. It was a good time and the medal made an already awesome weekend even sweeter.
Many thanks to the organizers, promoter (www.nbxbikes.com), volunteers and officials for managing an excellent event.
On Saturday was impossible for me to race with the complications of being an exhibitor in the carousel, but the learning curve was behind us on Sunday making it possible for me to race. To be honest, the whipping winds of Saturday did not encourage me and it was almost a relief not to jump in.
Oddly enough Sunday's last place result awarded me a more successful point rank at http://www.cross-results.com/ than last year, where it would appear I was more successful 2009.. Cool.
If you haven't already noticed, we are trying very hard to make our 100% merino wool base layers successful. So far they are a hit, and I'd like to thank my few loyal readers with a discount code for 10% off at http://www.weebike.com/. Just enter WEESAVE10 at checkout. With the long sleeve base layers already on sale for $54, you will snag one for under $50. We ship same day and use Priority mail, so your order is never more than 2 days away. Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting a local small business.
So thanks for reading.. Sorry to let this go for so long without an update..

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Pack 71 Cowesett Christmas Wreath Drive

Please use this link to order and pay for a wreath ($15.44 each) or mail me a check for $15 payable to "Pack 71 Cowesett"to: 150 Cumberland Road Warwick RI 02886
My boy Reis is a Tiger Cub this year and we are trying to win a prize. Thanks!





Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yellow jacket and water damage control

What started out as a simple bee infestation has turned into a full blown rehab project at our house. Where I originally believed that the nest was responsible for the rotting wood, it turns out that there has been an ongoing penetration of water into this corner of the house for probably 20+ years. Indeed the bees chewed and bored right through the joists and studs, using the next-over pocket between joists as a dumping ground for the chewed up lumber- there was 10 pounds of sawdust mysteriously piled up in there, and sort of petrified into a mound with bee saliva.. But the real damage was caused by H20. In these situations, it needs to get worse before it gets better- kind of like cutting away gangrenous limbs. I had to cut a little bit past the decay and rebuild from that point. The pictures are self-explanatory but I like explaining things.. I did a similar rehab on the east end of the house where an outdoor duplex outlet was also penetrated for years and the sheathing rotted to mush. That was a little bit easier to fix.
This little crevice was packed with thousands of honeycombs, filled with squirming larvae, meaning that their numbers were about to double or triple if we did not poison them to death.
Thank God that fist joint was not destroyed- the end is a little rough but it is otherwise solid, and I used it a base to re-build around. The fascia 2x10 had to be cut to the centerline of the next floor joist.
3/8x16 bolts hold the new material in place securely, above.. below, that sheathing is split in two pieces for a reason- if there is going to be moderate penetration and decay at a corner, only the 4" wide piece of sheathing is affected while the rest of the sheathing escapes serious damage. It almost worked in this case (orig built in 1963) and I simply repeated the design- I did not come up with it. Below you can also see that the left hand side of this set-up required a saw-toothed piece of sheathing to be custom fit in place. That was the hardest part.
Below, meet my new best friend- peel and stick flashing! This stuff was not around in 1963, but if it had been this whole mess might have been avoided. Love it. The new trim pieces you see are not real wood, but impervious-to-everything PVC. It doesnt even need painting. I love it so much I could cry..
Only two more pieces of trim, some new cedar clapboard, and one soffit panel to pop in there. Then I'll secure that little crown moulding that's pulled down, apply caulk to all the joints, prime and paint. I figure a contractor would have charge me $500-600 labor to do this work, plus materials. It is going to take me about 20 hours total, and I don't exactly hustle when I want to do a job like this correctly. I take my time.

Hey did I mention that I rode my bike today? Yeah, the 2nd time since Providence Cross Fest. Did about 45 awesome miles down to Narragansett and now I feel like a human being again!
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

2010 Providence Cyclocross Festival Elite Women's Podium

Today's Elite Women's podium: Sally Annis, Andrea Smith, Amy Dombroski each autographed a Pink YBIKE donated by WeeBIKE.com and it is up for grabs tomorrow at the Providence Cyclocross Festival! Find the US Open Cycling tent and buy your raffle tickets. Proceeds will benefit breast cancer research.

2010 Providence Cyclocross Festival Results 10/9



Monday, October 04, 2010

Wool. It's what's for dinner.

Well.. figuratively speaking, because right now it is our primary source of income and puts food on the table... Sorry to get so commercial on my readers but this is a legitimate venue to promote the new 100% merino wool base layers which are now in production for us. We have done a complete re-design of the apparel, making it form fitting, with longer sleeves and torso, and in 5 colors and 3 sizes. ETA is end of October. I have some prototypes which I'm wearing and I dont want to take them off- so comfortable and they look pretty damn good as outerwear- I'm not hiding mine under layers.
In the mean time, please help yourself to one of our prototype merino wool (blend) skull caps, only $15 while supplies last. Fits perfectly under your helmet, your hard hat or your Jason mask. and.. Now you can look just like The Edge did 15 years ago. When the new ones arrive later this month, they will be 100% merino wool and cost more. Next year, they will be in five colors too. Here's a picture of me modeling one of the prototypes. I know what you're thinking: "He's more handsome than I remember, the devil."




Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Portsmouth Criterium (Results Added)

I will refrain from boring you with the details of how I finished the Pro-1-2 Portsmouth Criterium on my first try, which i am pretty happy about. The only distinguishing moment of the race (other than the awesomeness of the speed we were doing the entire time) came on the last lap, when a rider decided to sit up going into the first corner, effectively splitting the top 25 from the bottom 30. Ugh.- this pissed more than few people off. What impeccable timing, such a coincidence! At any rate, it was a day of fantastic weather, cheering crowds, fast racing and good times with people who I care about. Great to see so many friends in Portsmouth enjoying themselves. I will be back next year!

This space will be populated with a riveting race report in a few days. I'm a little nervous about tomorrow's competition. The past few days have been short easy rides. Wednesday was a 2-1/2 hour ride to Point Judith- a hard one. Tuesday was a pleasure ride with my son on the bike path. Monday no riding at all.. Sunday beaucoup miles.. But back to the last few days.. I'm concerned a bit. After two days of rest, Wednesday's ride felt pretty decent. Thursday's ride was just an easy spin, but legs felt like I was thrusting a knife into my leg with every pedal stroke. Friday I did another easy one hour ride and again, legs felt highly fatigued. Today after we arrived at our hotel in Dover, I set out for an hour's spin to check and see how the legs felt. After warming up I hit some short choppy rollers and sprinted over them- finally the legs didn't feel like beef jerky. I was feeling some of the correct sensations, such as a rapid recovery after a brief Zone 5 effort. Still didn't feel like I could rip anyone's legs off, but the speed was there. Swimming in the hotel pool with my son a few hours ago, it occurred to me that we are ruled by our "sensations". I think our strength, speed and endurance are more stable than we think.. What changes radically depending upon fatigue, diet and rest, are the sensations we feel while on the nose of the saddle turning 6 watts per kg, single file on the back stretch of a Pro criterium during a $100 prime lap. That's where the dreaded "moment" we've been training for occurs. We either triumph over the bad sensations or they conquer us and hand us our hats for the dreaded early exit and ride of shame back to the car. Sometimes the sensations are good though, and sometimes it's when we least expect it. I've completed more Pro-Am criteriums this year than any before, so I've been to this rodeo before. I finished a very fast Fall River and Chris Thater, so tomorrow should pose no big problem. Pittsfield was an aberration- I had trained and raced for a combined 100+ miles the day before. Anyway, wish us luck tomorrow (7 year old Reis is pre-registered in the 10-12 race). It will please me immensely to finish top 20. I know it's within my power, but the sensations need to be good for the mind to believe it. Thanks for reading.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I sold my soul to be here.. how 'bout you?

Okay that's a bit dramatic, but it's also a pretty damn good song to add to your winter playlist for those indoor workouts coming up in a few months.. For what it's worth, I had a good season of racing. More on that later. What is abundantly clear to me though, is that there was little more I can do, short of going to Arizona in February like a lot of the hot shots around here, to improve my 2010 results. I feel like I gave it everything I had to give.. even with the four week break in late May and June. (I had employment issues, buying a 2nd house issues, moving etc.. plate was too damn full to even think about riding) As a couple of racing associates correctly noted, being forced to take the time off was going to help me to reach a higher peak.
I'm glad because there are still a few key events coming up such as Portsmouth Criterium, Mayor's Cup and Jamestown Classic. I am planning to do whatever it takes to keep myself lean and mean for the above named races. That means riding every day, taking good care of myself, and watching my diet.
Here's some recent data: today's almost-epic 85 miler and a Summary of the past year's mileage, training time and peak watts. My watts have never been impressive to me, but now that I'm down to 155-156 range, they don't seem so bad.. Anyway, here you go. If I've done anything correctly this season, it's the past 10 weeks of volume, esp. July and August. Most of today's ride was with the big boys of ArcEnCiel Racing.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not a Topsfield Race Report

Here is the proof that 24th place receives 17 USAC rank points in an NRC criterium (such as Chris Thater):
I did not finish the Chris Thater 35+ event again this year, same as when I DNFed it in 2008. The one compelling difference is that this time it was not lack of form or speed or nerves in the corners. No this was a little bit more honorable as it was an all-out do-or-die assault on the race, made during an attempt to bridge across to what I [incorrectly] believed to be the winning move of the day. My balls are apparently bigger than my brain, and like a wounded animal which would rather chew it's own foot off than wait for help, I persisted in my effort to the point of burying myself hopelessly and needing 5 minutes of recovery. Stuck in no-man's land, I thrashed myself to get connected and came so close it broke my heart. I should have known I was beat and I should have let the field do it's magic to shut the break down.. When the legs no longer go, they no longer go, no matter what. I wanted to get across so bad- But here's the thing: It was not smart. This small stacked field of 40 is populated with about 15 guys with the form, the experience and the confidence to win. The rest of us are in the "pick two" category, if you get my drift.. After a generous push from Alain as the field swarmed me, it was abundantly clear that my race was over. I had really screwed myself over trying to bridge across.. to a group that failed within a few laps anyway.. I guess what I'm saying is that it sucks to race to failure during a tactically incorrect move. But these things are never easy to predict. I am not intimately acquainted with the many cat 1s in the field who are using this race as a means to tune up for the main event and have fun picking money from a tree of $50 primes and the 20 deep purse of $2000. For me it's more of a crap shoot to pick the correct break because I hardly know anyone in this field besides my teammate. So it goes.. A lapse in judgment caused me to strike out pretty badly. Not to worry though- I did not drive 5 hours to go home without a completed result, even if it was DFL, I was going to race again and finish it. Fortunately, this year they introduced the Cat 2/3 event, which is a first I believe. There were two hours to kill in between my races. I used part of it to take a nap in the Land Cruiser. I used another part to register and change my numbers, and I used most of the time to warm up on the trainer. The experience at Fall River was fresh in my mind- how my legs felt awesome during the 2nd race and felt dead during the first race. Maybe this is what turns my crank- a really long and intense warm up. This thinking was obviously a deliberate way for me to improve my confidence because truthfully, I have not done anything besides Pro-1-2 races and 35+ races since I was a junior. This was going to be interesting. The youthfulness of the 78 rider 2/3 field was intimidating, but I felt pretty good about my form and my crash avoidance skills and my cornering speed. What I did not expect at any point during the race, was to get within striking distance of the 20 deep $2500 purse. Let me re-phrase that. I knew it was possible.. that is, about as possible as throwing a pair of dice and getting snake eyes 6 times in a row. Right from the start I was back on my heels in this one, which averaged about 1 mph faster than the 35s race (I used my Powertap wheel) Starting from the nose bleed section, it took me about 20 (of 35) laps to get up into the top 20 guys. A tiny bit of bad luck separated me from the wheel I wanted to follow in the final lap (take a guess whose..)- with two laps to go a rider skidded out in turn no 1 and caused the field to break up. About 20 guys were separated because a bunch of us had to grab the brakes and maneuver around the skidding bike and body. It took 1/2 lap of being completely on the rivet to get caught up, which is about when my calf started cramping. I was fatigued and fighting very hard to get my nose to the front of the race.. and now the bell is ringing for final lap. What a horror show it is to populate the 21st to 30th spot in the train at this point. It's a knife fight to get into the top 20 paying spots. When the guys from PA and NYC and NJ get a whiff of the dinero, they get a little bit crazy. I don't know how I didn't crash on that final lap- it was insane. Well.. I survived to the final corner about 25th wheel. It's a terrible corner because the inside line sucks (there's a crazy dip in the road right at the apex) and the outside line gets you easily pushed into the hay bales up on the curb. (Huge crash here on lap TWO!) At any rate, I took the final corner with great speed and remember being in between two riders who thankfully, could handle a bike. From there the course dog-legs slight uphill to slight downhill to the finish. Somehow I hit 40 mph in this race and this must have been the moment when it happened. For what it's worth, I held my position from the corner and ended up 24th. Four places out of the money.
At the end of they day, I'm satisfied to have completed a highly competitive NRC criterium against a very strong field without falling apart as it's definitely not something you ever fall ass-backwards into. Full results are up on USA Cycling.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

2010 Chris Thater Criterium

I will refrain from pining about my mediocre result and instead give you the silver lining of today's test: NRC1 level races award rank points to the top 40 finishers, meaning that my 24th place in the 2/3 race is worth a cool 17 points. How 'bout that? I'm sure you're as excited as I am..
If you see Alain Ferry or P. Ruane, squeeze their hand and congratulate them. Alain was in the winning break of 5 and very narrowly lost to a current national champ (in the 35+ race) Nice 2nd place for Alain in a field that was totally stacked.. Mr. Ruane was as calm as a Hindu cow in both the 35+ and the 2/3, snagging 8th and 6th respectively. The 35+ had about 40 starters. The 2/3 had about 80, and was about 1mph faster than the masters race. Long day-
! I'm completely wrecked after driving 10 hours. Thanks for reading.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ninigret No 4: Success is all relative

My 4th edition of Ninigret in 2010 was a good day for me I think. I rode down there, I raced my ass off and I rode home for a total of over 100 miles in 4:57. Granted I raced for 58 minutes at an average of 26 mph, the ride down and the ride home both averaged about 19 mph. I held back both ways because I'm traveling to Pittsfield to get my legs ripped off in the Greylock Federal Criterium. Well it seemed like a good idea when I registered anyway. What I failed to think about is that today's/tonight's workout was a key one for me- more important than the race. Maybe I would have thought twice about it. No worries, my reasons for racing tomorrow night are not about winning. I want to just get some H.I.T. and be ranked as a finisher. That's it. Problem is, tonight's ride is about 350+ TSS, which technically requires 2-3 days to recover from. Oh well!!! Another reason I want to go to Pittsfield is to show off our new LikeTObike 16 model, just in from Germany. I plan to strap my demo model to the top of the car and try to promote it. It's a high end 16" aluminum kid's bike, and it's not cheap. The build quality is the same as the legendary JUMPER and it weighs only 16 pounds. Compare that to the cheap throw-aways you cheap bastards are buying for your kids at Wal-Mart that probably cost less than the saddle on your road bike. Anyway, that's enough of a shameless plug for now, but let's not forget I'm between jobs at the moment and any wool apparel or kid's bikes I can sell right now puts food on the table for my family. How's that for a guilt trip? After tonight's crit I was getting my backpack and was kind of jaded to discover that they only pay 5 deep at Ninigret (how should I know?) I could use the do-re-mi.. Alas, your hero finished 6th in a very exciting field sprint. As many of my FB friends already know the top 6, I'll repeat it here primarily for the benefit of a curmudgeony old coach in our area who, for reasons he himself can't explain very well, refrains from joining us lemmings on the social networking highway.
1. Gary (CLR dude who won Fitchburg cat 3)
2. Shawn M (who just won the 24 Hours of GG with his team)
3. Ernest Tautkus (who took a friendly earful from me after the race)
4. Tobi S. (who just won Fall River Crit 35+)
5. Paul C. (what hasn't he won?)
6. ME.
I was sucking wind at the very back with 2 laps to go but I really felt ON tonight and a tired field is easy to navigate through at a venue which you're very familiar with. Also, there was hardly any wind tonight. I can happily say that I spent more time at the front of this race than I remember doing for a long time. Not less than 6 or 7 times I dragged the field through the start/finish while shutting down the breaks which looked dangerous. I got myself into a couple of difficult situations but had an easy time falling back for a lap to recover. The increased volume of these past few weeks is bearing fruit I think. The recovery which needs to happen quickly in a crit- it's definitely there and it helps immensely. As I was saying with 2 to go I started moving up in leaps and bounds. The sprint was winding up nicely and I took an outside line in the final corner, passed a few people, kept my head down all the way, stayed out of the saddle all the way, and never let up until I crossed the line. I was thinking to myself during yesterday's 3 hour ride.. that sprinting is as much about discouraging people from passing you as it is about passing others on the way to the line. By this I do not mean changing your line and endangering others, no. I'm talking about staying out of the saddle and rocking the bike vigorously no matter what (especially in a crowded sprint) and not showing any weakness/not slowing down in the last 20 meters. A strong rider in your wake who is looking for a way to pass you will be encouraged to do so if you:
-sit and sprint in the saddle, reducing your footprint on the course and opening lanes on either side of you
-slow down, sit up, or stop pedaling (duh)
Tonight's race was a relative success, compared to the last two times when i rode down and back. Those attempts were not successful. I was too fatigued to race when i got there, and I cramped at the end of the crit, making my legs useless. Now typically, on a night when I ride down there and back, and especially the day before a big race, I tend to hold back and try not to use much of my ammo. Tonight for whatever reason I said the hell with it, enjoy your good legs.
And with that I give you some data which hopefully impresses you and underscores why your puny training volume is such an embarrassment. Totally just kidding. In reality it's I who is embarrassed because I should be winning races with this much training! Thanks for reading. Wish me luck tomorrow night.


Monday, August 16, 2010

2010 Fall River Criterium Results

It was not one of those days where I felt like I had anything special. The 35+ race was insanely hard- I was at my limit more times than I can keep track of. It actually surprised me to have finished in the top 20. I've done better at previous FR crits. I've also done a lot worse. Last year was a disaster. I barely finished the 35s and I got ejected from the Pro race after 5 laps.. Today's edition of the Pro-1-2 was where I felt good today.. that is, relative to the 35+ race. I think a more closely matched field makes a faster race easier to navigate, whereas the 35s is a much more lop-sided talent pool. I found myself a bottom feeder in that pool today.. but I evolved somehow during the one hour break in between races and felt pretty damn good in the Pro race. The hill was a breeze and following the accelerations was not hard to do. Yeah I did not do anything special at the end- a moment's hesitation on the final lap put me in tailgun position somehow and the only people I seemed to have passed after the hill were the guys who sat up. Still, I caulk this one up as a win because it basically took me four tries to be strong enough to complete the 35 race followed by the Pro race at this venue. A breakthrough of sorts I guess.
Gotta take a moment here to salute my team mate J Alain Ferry- 15th at Masters Nationals Crit and repeat 15th at the road race.. Top 10 at the Witch's Cup where he populated the winning break which lapped the field.. and today Alain was the only top 10 finisher in the Pro race who already had a [top 10] race in his legs (9th in the 35s).
For me, 17th and 21st sounds like I was basically pack fodder, but considering past failures at this difficult course, I'm pretty happy with my form in the 2nd race. Here's the field sprint from the 35 race below- you can just barely see 'ol Murat at the tail of this train on the far right. Yeah it looks pretty pathetic to me too, finishing 17th, but when you repeatedly grit your teeth and rally through those moments when thoughts of sitting up and quitting pollute your mind, I think it's a win.
Thanks for reading.




Sunday, August 08, 2010

2010 Concord Criterium Results and 35+ Race Report

I'm not going to feel like doing this tomorrow (or remember much of it) so here goes:







Well well.. today's lesson learned was that guys who are 5-10 years older than me can kick my ass in their 2nd race of the day. Humbling for sure.. but my options were a little different. I either do the Pro-1-2 followed by the 35+, or do just the 35+. This event means more to me than most other races so I saved my A game for the 35s.. I was off to a good enough start (this morning I mean). Expecting a 2-1/2 hour drive to Concord, I left at 10:30 (race is at 2:00). Needless to say, lady luck was not by my side, not even for the easiest part of my day- just getting to the race. Let's just say that there are fingernail imprints in my steering wheel.. That so many people are dying to get into New Hampshire on a Saturday morning is nothing short of astonishing. What is the effing attraction up there!? Somewhere near the border, four lanes squeeze into two and that's what set me back about 1/2 hour. The final 20 miles were 80-85 miles an hour and even so, I parked the car at exactly 1:32.. leaving me 28 minutes to ride to registration and back, get pinned, kitted, stretched, warmed up and lined up to start. Luck finally caught up with me at this point- the Pros still had 20 laps to go, which meant I had at least 45 minutes to get ready. Sweet.
I went to Concord expecting to have a good result. In 2009, our team won the race, and we had two others in the top 10 as well, including Yours Truly. That was a hard race last year- I was coming off of a period of declining volume and form. My teammates pushed me kicking and screaming to the front of the race a few times.. and on the final lap when it mattered I got up there thanks to teammates. Today I was without team as Alain was at Nationals and Matt and Adam had promises to keep in the afternoon. They raced the 45s (which Matt won) and had to take off afterwards. So I'm all alone this time, but I've been training like a banshee, getting loads of sleep, eating right, taking vitamins, stretching.. most of the ingredients for success were there. It's been a long year since the last time at Concord, and I can assure you that hours and hours of visualizations have been logged (mostly in the past 10 days), especially relative to that magical final lap where I get myself into the top three going into that wonderful 180 degree corner leading into the final two turns. Well well.. visualizations do wonders. Picture yourself doing something enough times, over and over again.. and with a little luck it will be so. So it was for me today.. Now back to the beginning..
The race started off very hot. On the first lap I was off the front with two others, and the field went pretty hard to shut us down on lap two. Power meter data indicates that my peak 5 minutes occurred in those first 2-3 laps. My plan for today was reasonable. I thought to break up my efforts into fifths, so a 20 lap race meant that I would go very hard in the first four laps, recover for four laps, then I would be ready for action again on laps 9-12 and then shut it down for 13-16.. allowing me to recover sufficiently to empty the tank in the last four laps. Sounds ridiculous, but breaking it down this way kept me from burning too many matches, which I'm prone to do. Nobody wants an early "ride of shame" back to the car. As a friend correctly pointed out to me recently, my fuse burns pretty quick- so I gotta be careful about blowing up. At any rate, after the first recovery period, the bell rang for a two place merch prime.. Recalling the Solobreak won a $150 women's ski jacket as a prime in teh 45 race, I got all jacked up and went with the action. I was fifth wheel out of the final corner and it ended up being a photo finish for 1-2 between myself and another. That sprint took my breath away, literally and figuratively. Mentally I was stoked for getting it but physically I was ready for that 2nd recovery period. After sprinting we rounded the corner and who bolts up the road like a Scud missile- Wild Bill Yabroudy. My first mistake of the race was realized at that instant. Nobody could cover that move, least of all me. He dangled out there for a bit before being joined by Dave Kellogg and another guy (who I won't name because we're not acquainted). A lap or so later, Solobreak himself attacks with a bridge attempt. While all of this is happening, I am completely cross-eyed as I dangle at the back, trying not to get gapped. It was in those few laps with about 9-10 to go, that I had to fight thoughts of quitting, I was seriously in the hurt locker.. and thinking that the match or two I burned winning a shitty prime (which turned out to be an XL pair of $7 socks, thank you very much) could have been better spent covering Yabroudy's attack or trying to bridge across. I remember in the 2009 edition of this race- I did not contest any primes, but when The Move attacked up the hill with about 6 laps to go, I was on it like a bad suit and per team's orders, I sat there on Billy and Ciaran so that the race would come back together, ensuring that it came down to a field sprint, which favored our team.. and worked..
Recovery period No 2 took more like 5 laps and with about three to go I moved back up to the front. Not all at once like a maniac, but gradually.. a few places after each corner. When I heard the bell for final lap, I could really appreciate all of the visualizing I had done because like magic, I was up there in the top 10 guys going up the hill.. This is the part of the race where you need to appear larger than you are.. like when you encounter a bear in the woods.. Elbows are out a little bit.. guys are fighting to be just an inch ahead because that forces others to submit and yield some space. The slightest weakness is detected and if you show any at this point you can get pushed aside like a red headed step-child. I took the inside line on corner two where the field squeezes together. I accelerated out of there nicely on the right hand side, moving up some more, making sure that I have a clean exit for when someone punches it. The back stretch dips a little bit before a slight rise and approach to the corkscrew. The field is hesitating.. We're three or four abreast and I'm in a very sweet spot on the right, looking over my shoulder every two seconds. Then a move goes- it's an OA and a CCB attacking before the corkscrew. I am immediately on it, 4th wheel behind some yo-yo who could not corner to save his life. You could park a bus in the lane he left open on the inside of the 180 degree turn, and I shot through there- quite safely, to get tagged onto the two in front. I'm 3rd wheel through the left turn, I'm out of the saddle for 2-3 strokes before the final corner, just to dissuade others from thinking they can move up on me. Out of the last corner with two fast wheels to follow, I'm fresh and ready for this. But I became impatient, and fearful that passers might block me in. I followed the wheel very briefly before taking the right hand lane and opening it up for all it's worth. Hitting my top speed a little too early (37mph) I'm thinking that the finish is right in front of me but it's really another 10 -15 meters.. I was passed by two riders right on the line. I gave it everything to get 5th in the field sprint with 4 up the road, so 9th place for me, again. I'm not jumping for joy but I am happy to have executed what seemed to be the most important part of the race- having the power to be in front on the last lap AND to sprint strongly at the end.
Afterwards I discovered that Solobreak took a very respectable 2nd place behind B.Y. in his 2nd race of the day. Dave Kellogg got another fine result after his success at Norwell- finished 3rd in his 2nd race of the day as well. Foley and I chugged a couple of Stellas back at my car to honor a fine day of racing, as it should be..
Only one racer repeated a top 10 finish in 2009 and 2010. Me! and 9th place both times. Interesting to note that Matt Kressy won the 35+ in 2009 and the 45+ in 2010. Bill Yabroudy won the 35+ in 2008, won the cat 3 in 2009 and won the 35+ in 2010. This is for my fellow data junkies:

Monday, August 02, 2010

The last five weeks of adventure

Indeed 100/TSS day is now finally within reach- the magical level where good things are more likely to happen on a bike. I expect to cool my jets this week and then ramp up again in time for a peak at Chris Thater. Your opinion counts, so if it looks to you like I am driving myself into the ground, please say something constructively critical.. that is if you think you know better. I guess results will speak for themselves? Fine and dandy.
With wife and child away for the past 20 days, I have been able to partake in the FnF lifestyle- that is, doing whatever the hell I want, whenever the hell I want.. which will explain the 45 hours of training and racing since they left on 7/15. I've lost about 10 pounds too.. which didnt hurt me on Sunday at Norwell Circuit Race. My result there does not reflect the amount of success I had being up front and in the action most of the time, or being part of a lead out train on the run-in to the final corner to help launch Matt K up the hill to the finish.. (he ended up 2nd in the field sprint, 5th overall.. and I basically shut it down after the corner.. but my participation in the Pro race three hours later was purely for the training.. so after getting spit out the back on lap four, I soldiered on to the finish at my limit, even after being lapped by field. That's 24 times all together I sprinted over that little climb, and I actually enjoyed going it alone all those laps- I put the Powertap wheel on for the Pro race knowing that a light wheel would not help me- and I wanted a solid hour of race data- and got it. Other than that, my day is pretty much split into 1/4ths:
-tending to personal, WeeBIKE and Hasyun e-tail transactions
-working on the new house and the other one we still own as a rental
-training and racing lots
-eating, cleaning up after myself, and personal hygiene (this is the part that I have trouble with)
My latest project at the new place is a rehab of our multi-level deck. I have deconstructed it to a point where all of the railings are being replaced, along with the floors boards, and the joists are being reinforced, re-hoisted/re-leveled, and supplemented in a few places. From the street, it's going to look brand spanking new- and no more horrible white painted lattice all over the place. Who paints their entire deck white? Man it looked like ass. I'll post pictures later on to show off my very-sharp carpentry skills, before and after.
Gran Prix of Beverly, Concord Crit, Witch's Cup, and Fall River Crit are all swirling in my mind.. There's even a crit in Pittsfield MA.. the last time I did a crit there it was 1990 and I remember getting my doors blown off in my first year out of the junior ranks. That's when I discovered that being a successful bike racer would require me to train 3x more than a junior ever trains..
Freedom Tour Crit update- the race where I was tangled up in the final corner- locked handlebars with an opponent and still stayed upright and fast enough for 15th- a consolation prize was discovered. According to USA Cycling, my mediocre 15th place resulted in one rank point! Oh joy yes indeed. Apparently the Freedom Tour is a "C" Level event, and so the top 15 get rank points. So I may have missed my goal (and the money) by finishing outside the top 10, but this race was ranked higher than your typical New England "D" race, and I feel better about my result than before. I know I was having a super day because I was feeling very comfortable in the Pro race, up until the crash anyway..
I hear that Beverly is one tough SOB of a course.. I am still on the fence about it, mostly because I don't want to use a lot of ammo this week.
Hat tip to Dave Kellogg for getting 5th in the 45s and 2nd in the 35s at Norwell on Sunday. Well done! Full results of 2010 Norwell Circuit Race HERE.
Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Letter

The old M1 Racing uniforms have a quotation on the back of the collar, by a Pulitzer prize winner whose work opened my eyes to some things, during a period when my father was in chemo, radiation, fighting lung cancer.
I'm saddened to report to you that Franz himself announced that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer this past week. He's a distant FB friend to me and he does not know that an elite New England bike race team has ridden tens of 1000s of miles carrying his words and his name: "We are created by being destroyed" -Franz Wright "The Letter"

I know that some of you might be saying to yourselves Franz who?? If your interest is piqued, here is the program in which I discovered him:
"The Letter" is read beginning at about 7:00.

I'd like to take one of the last remaining M1 jerseys and have everyone on the team sign it for him.
Thanks.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 Al Toefield Memorial Road Race 35+ (finish video)

The organizers of this race, while they only rank the ones who finish in the money and ignore the rest, were kind enough to send out a couple of links to the finishing sprints of the masters and the Pro races. Here's my race from a few weeks ago- the one where I cramped severely and by determination and luck, got 15th place.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2010 Freedom Tour Criterium Results/Report

I pre-registered for the 35+ and the Pro-am for this criterium in Stirling New Jersey. The trip was supposed to include a teammate but those plans were changed last minute and I hit the road solo at about 5:00 Saturday afternoon. A friend of mine was hosting my layover in Cresskill, NJ. Haluk Sarci is the first [and last known] Turkish athlete to complete the Ironman in Hawaii, and repeatedly. The walls of his house were covered in photo finishes, medals, plaques, and enough honors to fill a museum. Haluk and his family took very good care of me. I don't usually sleep well the night before a 'big' event (one where I expect to do well) so I took an Advil PM before hitting the sack at 11:00.. I should have taken two. It took an hour to fall asleep and I was up at 6:45 to get ready for a 45 minute drive to Stirling. I got to town at about 8:30 and stopped at the market for some extra water, Powerade and my ritual can of Red Bull. Hunting for parking near the race course killed some time, and I settled on a completely empty parking lot on a residential street that was blocked by the booth containing the officials, the announcer and the camera- kind of like the street behind the Whaling City Cyclone. This parking lot was completely FULL by noon time. I signed in and got my numbers at 9:00 with 45-50 minutes to prepare for the start of the 35+. It was a hot day- already 90 degrees when we started racing. I made the mistake of thinking that one water bottle was enough for a 45 minute criterium. It was not. My water was all but gone with 5-6 laps to go, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.. Let me just tell you that in New Jersey, asking your opponents for water has about the same effect as asking them for the Crabby Patty secret formula. Stupid grins and laughter. Had I been racing in New England, my request for water would have been successful, that's for sure.. Again, I'm getting ahead of myself, but with 3 laps to go a couple of guys went up the road and everyone looked at me to chase for some reason and I was like, "Screw you- give me some water if you want me to work.."
In a nutshell, I felt GREAT today. The race started and I was immediately on the front, within the top ten guys for all but 2 or 3 laps of the entire race, and even then, not very far back.. I'm now in the habit of using my lighter Easton wheels (1480 grams isn't bad for alum clinchers- these are the wheels which originally came with my LOOK 486- tried and true..) INSTEAD of my G-D Powertap wheelset. I love the Bontrager RaceXLites to death , but they are absolute PIGS as far as their weight. As much as I love seeing good race data (the best kind) this race was a flat 0.9 mile rectangular criterium where I wanted an edge relative to acceleration especially out of the corners. Not that I was touching the brakes very much!- When you're racing in the top ten guys you can power through the corners while those behind you are often required to grab a handful of brakes and then sprint back up to speed. Race positioning 101, Murat gets a PASS.
So the race begins at 9:50 or so. We're racing 45 minutes, plus three laps. There were a few primes- all merchandise. I could care less for them.. The course was flat and fast. The finishing straight had a very slight rise after the final corner, and then a slight downhill to the line. Okay not exactly flat, but it may as well have been because it did not affect speeds too much. Two ends of the course are short- about 200-250 meters. A police radar was positioned just past the finish and I do not recall any laps where the speed was under 30 mph on this stretch. Had I looked up at it on the final sprint to the line, I would have expected to see 39-40 mph. At any rate, where was I?? Oh yes- feeling great. Nice light wheels, one water bottle, 70+ starters, 91 degrees and rising, lots of the same faces I raced against at Prospect Park last Saturday.. I went into this race with what I would rank as a nominal amount of training. You have all heard me pine about missing four consecutive weeks of training in late May and June. So indeed I have done some solid volume in July, but not one single structured interval, not one Wells Ave, Ninigret or Wompatuck, not one day of sprinting drills. All I have for high intensity is a few races- beginning with Attleboro, then a time trial in Scituate, then Prospect Park, then today.. Tuesday I did the Scituate time trial plus 3 more hours, 4 hours total. Wednesday I did 3-1/2 hours, rode down to Ninigret to a race that was cancelled due to thunderstorms, and then rode home in said thunderstorms, mostly tempo. Thursday I went out and did 2-1/2 hours easy. Friday I spun on the trainer for an hour. Saturday morning I did 3-1/2 hours extremely easy- like 125 watts average. I came into this morning feeling like I had a good balance of training stress and rest. Believing is 80% of the game and I was spot on for a change. The legs felt like they could not possibly get tired today. I was in the front, chasing attacks, bridging to attacks, following counter-attacks, attacking. Once or twice pulling the whole field along, which sounds stupid, and it certainly can be, but sometimes you need to show your teeth, show opponents that you are not a weakling, especially if most have never seen you before. It can pay dividends later.. except when... you're out of water with about 6 to go. Then they're happy to exploit weakness.. My mouth is dry. I have a shot glass or two swishing around in my bottle and I use it to wet my lips a few more times before the end. Three to go is announced and it really starts to get hot. And fast. People are taking chances. Faces I did not see all day, appear at the front, and it kind of annoys me because I have been dancing on the edge and having the wind blow my hair back for the past 45 minutes. I'm starting to feel fatigued, so fighting for position in the top ten becomes a little bit difficult. It gets physical. Two to go and we're strung out single file- it's starting to hurt, but it's a good hurt. One lap to go- bell is ringing. We're diving into corner one, then two. The back straightaway is insanely physical. Guys are taking crazy lines across the road to grab a wheel and not looking back. If you're not focused on this 110% you may as well sit up. We head into the 3rd turn, about 6-7 guys wide. I am on the right, about 15th rider from the front. Field is all together. There is a small curb comprised of little granite bricks cemented together. It's not very tall, but it's jagged enough to blow out a tire. I am riding the edge of these stones at 30mph, grazing them because everyone wants to take the final corner wide and fast. It's not far to the final corner. We string out to about 2-3 wide at this point. Another surge and I am positioned to take the turn within the top ten guys. I do not have an inside line though. Just as I am about to take the corner, riding on top of the guy to my left, I have this weird feeling, like maybe when my dad grabbed the steering wheel while teaching me to drive. Someone on my right had rode up into me just before the corner and locked his handlebars with mine, and the left horn of his brake lever was against the inside of my right wrist as we cornered at very high speed. I'm pulling left, he's pulling right, and I am imagining myself changing bandages for the next 3 weeks.. Then instinct takes over, I take my right hand off the handlabars and I lift my right wrist to release this tangle of arm/handlebar/brake lever. It has the effect of letting go of the rope in a tug of war. Whoever this rider was, he was slingshot out of the corner and down the side street while I completed my left hand turn with only my left hand on the bars. It was a split second hesitation of not pedaling right after I freed myself, but that's all it took for the front of the race to open up a gap on me. The finish is 400 meters away, but to keep in contact with this leadout train, I have no choice but to sprint, now. I get myself onto the tail of the action, which is already stringing out as the final selection is made, but the slight uphill turns into a slight downhill and I'm completely spun out. I attempt to shift but nothing happens. I punch it again and I get a gear which I can turn and I'm immediately on top of it. I pass about 3 or so guys who were torched before the line but 3 or so also passed me as I inevitably ran out of power. I ended up losing 5-6 places in the corner screwing around with tangled handlebars. It's a small miracle that I'm not in the hospital or covered with bandages. For all the success and good form of the past 50 minutes, the best I can manage is 15th, in what I consider to be a very highly ranked masters field. I set a realistic goal of top 10- I was expecting to finish in the money, and I almost did. If not for a little bit of bad luck, I would have had a clean entry into the final corner, with both hands on the bars and no hesitation. That's bike racing, eh?
On to the Pro race! At noon when it's probably about 95 degrees, but at least there was some wind. The field seemed to have about 100 guys in it, and the announcer was all giddy announcing this person and that person, Olympics this, Bissel that, Jackie Simes, GS Mengoni, an elite team from New Zealand.. all the things which might make a lesser rider want to shit his pants, the announcer was gushing. Immediately this 60 minute race is strung out single file. Your hero is tail gunning the first few laps, but slowly, surely, moving up. Every lap gaining a few positions. After about 30 minutes of very painful and fast racing, I have moved up through about 1/3 of the field. I'm hurting though- on the edge. I can really feel that last race in my legs. With extreme caution I'm metering out the effort so as not to waste a single watt. We're in the 44th minute, maybe it's lap 21 or 22.. two bikes in front of me look like they hit a patch of ice- these guys are sleeping on their right side tonight, that's for damn sure. This happens on my watch, right in front of me as I begin to lean. I'm prepared to bunny hop one of these guys, or one of their bikes, but they are sliding uncontrollably. It takes a split second to correctly predict their direction and pick a line, but not without grabbing two handfuls of brakes. I do not stop, but if I had to go much slower I may have had to put a foot down. I'm in the drops immediately, chasing an accelerating field. A few guys are tagged onto my wheel and for a second it looks like we can make it across.. so close. Then I come to my senses. I decide to go for a free lap. I'm the 2nd to arrive at the pit, and within 30 seconds another 10 people line up behind me. The announcer doesn't miss his opportunity to point out that since we were caught behind the crash, we were probably on the verge of being dropped anyway. Grrr. I was feeling fine and had every intention and ability to finish this one, dead last or otherwise. The field goes by and we all sprint to get back in the field before the first corner. I'm suddenly not feeling so good. Turn 2 goes by, the back straight has me cross-eyed. Turn 3 and 4 my teeth are clenched. (Indeed I had plenty of water this time) We're back on the finish straight and the announcer calls out that we're 48 minutes into our event. Twelve more minutes plus three laps, probably nine laps total. Speed is insane. I make it past the start finish and I'm all arms and legs, humping the bike to garner every last bit of speed. After turn one, I cut to the left side and wave everyone past me. Put a fork in me, I'm done. So close.. to.. the finish. That 1/2 lap of chasing after the crash took me deep into the red and no chance of recovering enough to hold the speed. From the sidewalk, I observed the last few laps of the race- some insane speeds. I watched the break of ten guys go past when the bell rang one to go, and they were blown apart completely when they arrived at the finish. The break didn't form until after I was popped- I bet it slowed down some right after I sat up.
Such is bike racing I guess. I hate DNFs!
It was a long drive home. Well, it should have only taken 3 hours but the approach to the George Washington Bridge was such that I went 4 miles in the span of 2 hours. Then more delays on I-95 passing through Manhattan and the Bronx. My trip home took 6-1/2 hours. If I had any idea how fucked up the GW bridge traffic is, i would have gladly driven 1 hourt out of my way to take the Tappan Zee Bridge, which is how I got to Cresskill in the first place. Who expects to be in line for 2-1/2 hours to cross a bridge? $8 fucking dollars to cross the GW? Never again. As I said to others already, I would sooner drive a knitting needle through my eyeball and into my brain before crossing that pig of a bridge again.
I kind of went out of my way to make this a good report for you, so I hope you enjoyed reading it. Thanks for reading it if you got this far! Here's the results of the 35+ and Pros:





Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scituate Reservoir Time Trial No 1


It's no secret that I can't time trial my way out of a wet paper bag.. and that I do not count climbing hills as one of my strengths. Therefore, what better way to improve than by doing a hilly time trial? The Scituate Reservoir course takes you on a roller coaster ride of about 14.3 miles. There are 5 notable hills, and if I had to guess, this course has about 900-1000 feet of elevation gain per lap. The longest hill is 1 mile, though only the first half is what you would rate as steep. The rest of the hills are about a kilometer or less, and more like punchy rollers than hills. I rode there with backpack because I wanted to wear my skinsuit. Other than that, I was pretty much cannibal with my heavy Powertap rear wheel, though I did at least use my light Easton front wheel. No aero bars or helmet, no disk or shoe covers. There were about 15 triathletes there and 2-3 road guys, including a totally cannibal A.B., with long frame pump, saddle bag and all. Said A.B smoked everyone, including the fastest triathlete with TT bike and disk wheel etc.. That's another story. I called it at the start and it was as predicted.
At any rate.. I was slotted in to go 2nd to last, with the winner of past weeks starting right behind me. Long story short: I had one of the best 1/2 way splits, and I paid a price for it. I went out a bit too fast. I sprinted over the first three climbs in my big ring.. My 30 second follower caught me in my 19th minute at about the 1/2 way point and put another 3 minutes into me by the finish. This is a pretty clear indication that I fell apart like a Chinese motorcycle once we made the turn onto Route 12 approaching the last 2 climbs.. Along the way- yeah I caught and passed about 6-7 people. My time of just a hair over 40:00 is probably good enough for 5th or 6th.. whatever. It was my first try and these guys have been doing this for the past 5-6 weeks. The real objective of this TT was to get some decent data on the power meter, and from the normalized power numbers it's evident that I should definitely stick to sprinting and criteriums, but in fairness, I am down about 3 kg and the power relative to weight is actually more impressive than it looks. Will I go back next week? Maybe I'll decide after the taste of puke dissipates. That was hard. I rode another 160 minutes afterwards for a nice solid 4 hour workout.
Here is a link to past results, tonight's will be up in a couple of days. I can tell you that tonight's winning time was in the neighborhood of 35:30. The time trial starts at 6:00 on Tuesdays and the meeting place is "crazy corners" in Scituate, intersection of route 14 and 102. Most people drive there- parking is ample. It's a great bunch of guys and gals and everyone made me feel very welcome. Try it!
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 19, 2010

2010 Al Toefield Memorial Road Race 35+


Well I'm working again- this time for more money (per hour) as a consultant. Let's see how this goes. My life is a Dilbert cartoon or something, I swear.
Thought I would let you know. The drought of June is over as of four weeks ago. I went from a block of 0 miles in four weeks (in June) to completing 937 miles in the past 4 weeks. Also- my weight is down to 165! I'm happy about that.
Saturday I went to NY to drop the wife and kid off at JFK (Turkey for 6 weeks). I stayed in NY to race Al Toefield Memorial at Prospect Park. That was a total blast- completely full field of masters, including lots of local talent. On Friday I did 15 endurance/tempo laps around the park (51 miles) as an opener, having taken Wed and Thurs for rest. My sister literally lives 3 blocks away from the park so I rode there (on 4 hours sleep) and lined up to start at 6:30 Saturday morning. We were doing 10 laps of a 3.4 mile course. I cramped up! Halfway through the race I was nursing cramped legs. Felt good otherwise! The big ring hill was pretty easy for me, even though I was using the upstroke to save my quads from seizing up. Four guys were up the road from the gun. I thought they were long gone. I didn't realize it but we caught them, so the final sprint was for the win, not for 5th place. That's not really an excuse for my 15th place, it was a pleasant surprise actually because I thought I was around 20th. Quite frankly, with two two go I was falling apart like a Chinese motorcycle on the climb, and thinking "just get to the finish, you're lucky if you do".. What incorrect thinking!! Leg cramps do not instill confidence though.. so I do not blame myself too much. Final time up the hill, it was pretty mellow. Everyone was watching each other, with the finish only 3 miles away. I pulled myself together! Riding primarily on the left side of the field turned out to be my mistake because in the final kilometer I made it up into the top 20 guys, trying to pick the correct wheels.. when the leadout train suddenly swerved to the right to go around the last guy who took a pull. I was caught out on the left, behind traffic. Fortunately the cramps did not blunt my sprinting instincts because I found the holes I needed to keep pace with the leadout, but totally exposed in the final 400 meters, on the left side of the road. I made up some ground but faded/cramped in the last few meters, where two guys barely pipped me at the line. The prizes were 10 deep, and after the finish I reckoned I was in the top 20. In NY they rarely ever bother ranking anyone who finished after the money makers, so I approached the camera person- extremely friendly dude on a laptop reviewing the finishes, and he offered to tell me where I ended up. That's when I discovered that there was no break up the road. That sprint was for the win. We counted from the winner back and I was 15th guy across the line, out of a full field of 85. In hindsight, I regret not knowing that we caught the break, but the reality of my final lap was that I gave it everything! My heart rate was pounding at 194 after the finish line. Scared myself a little bit actually. The real regret I have is being caught out on the left side of the leadout when the action was on the right. What I learned from this race is that I was strong enough to finish top 10. Maybe the laps I did in the park Friday were a few too many. Maybe getting only 4 hours of sleep was a big factor in the cramping.. Who knows! I'm pleased with this result, much more so than my "also raced" result at the Attleboro Pro crit last week. Now that I recall it, I also cramped in the 30+ race which followed (at Attleboro). Why why why??? I left out the scariest part of Saturday's event- the crashes.. They were spectacular. Parts of the Prospect Park course are very fast- we were going 35+ mph without any doubt on the downhills, closer to 40 when we were strung out. One of the crashes was behind me. I heard but did not see them. Two crashes were ahead of me and it was like an explosion in the field. Bikes and bodies were being launched outward from the detonation- I swerved hard to avoid a bike or a person taking weird bounces towards me. Two other crashed were to my right- in my peripheral vision and very scary because we were cruising at the time.. I felt like hay in a needle stack- and very lucky (skillful?) to have avoided all those falls.
After the race I did 8 more laps of the park to collect myself and cool down, though it was getting very hot. Including my two warm-up laps, I did 20 all together, about 68 miles. Racing at Prospect Park is a lot of fun and it's very well organized. The only thing I do not approve of is that if you're not in the money, you're not ranked- not on Bikereg, not on USA Cycling, not even on Road-Results.com. I love that there is a waist high pile of backpacks at the start/finish area- it is a safer place to be than you would imagine. They have been racing here since the 80s at least. In fact the 2nd time I ever raced a bike was at Prospect Park, back in 1988 (I did my first ever road race in a snowstorm the day before, somewhere near Albany). On a cold April morning at 6:00 am I remember standing in line with my buddy Derek Larson outside a van, where Al Toefield himself (I think) was collecting entries and handing out numbers. A young George Hincapie won that race (combined juniors and cat 3-4s?) and Yours Truly got his doors blown off. Has it really been 23 years since my first bike race?
Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Attleboro Criterium Results

For once I decided to do the Pro race first and it made a huge difference. Many of the 35+ participants did not survive the Pro race. I was tested so many times at this event, it hurt immeasurably to hang in there on some laps. I even managed to get off the front for a few with about 5-6 others. That put a lot of confidence in my legs and helped me survive to the ending. I pretty much sat up after hearing the bell lap and just rode tailgun to the finish, nothing left to contest the sprint for 10th place, with 9 up the road.. Team mate Alain snagged 3rd in the field sprint, 12th overall. I'm not in a bad place with form, all things considered. Thanks for reading.