America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4-26-2011 Scituate Time Trial No 1

Been dying to test the legs in a TT and get a sense of where I stand so far this season. The Scituate Time Trial circles the Scituate Reservoir clockwise. It's a challenging route, punctuated with 4 short punchy climbs of about 1km or so, and a 5th longer climb of about 1.2 miles rising 220 feet. Ordinarily I don't like to do time trials, but the profile of this course suits me much better than a flat course. I have accepted the fact that I am built for repeated short bursts of VOmax efforts and accelerating. I do poorly at any kind of prolonged steady grind. The ascents and descents of this course give me a fighting chance to use my strengths.
I rode to the TT in my skinsuit, on my road bike, with backpack to hold my spares, some long sleeve stuff for afterward, and extra water. Moments before heading out at 5:00, I hear a funny sound from downstairs. It's like a dying animal. It crossed my mind but I couldn't believe it- my front wheel went flat all of a sudden. I had just topped off the air a few minutes prior. I ended up changing the tube and heading out a few minutes late. Front wheel carbon aero, rear wheel Powertap. It's a 16 mile ride to the start of the TT, mostly uphill. Got there just in time to get in line in front of M. Maloney. Not a huge turnout- maybe 2o or so riders.
I ended up doing a decent ride- two seconds faster than my last attempt back in September 2010. My form was pretty sharp last September so I don't feel bad about this performance. The first TT of the season feels a lot like the first cross race of the season- it's a shock to the system- the urge to stop pedaling is very strong on that second climb.. The training benefit of riding full gas for 39 minutes is pretty good I think, and combined with a 55 minute ride out there and back, makes for a solid day of training. So much so I will probably skip Ninigret tonight. The weather looks iffy and the legs are tired. Maybe I'll roll around on the floor humping my new Trigger Point massage drum. Picked it up at the Boston Marathon Expo. That thing is painful- I'm still working on my technique.
Here's the profile of the Tuesday night Scituate TT course, above. The course distance is 14.3 miles. I think the course record
can be found HERE, set on July 28th by a current master TT champion. Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Training plans, Wells Ave report, ToT Stage 1 Vid

Not a bad week of volume.. 12-1/2 hours training for about 225 miles. This morning I was expecting to skip Wells Avenue in favor of more riding. The drive to Newton is a big time killer- which is time better spent tuning the engine here locally. I received this race report from teammate Adam S:
Brief Welly recap for those on Easter duty or recovering from hypothermia:
Unfortunately, just two laps in, there was a serious crash. Kyle S (Embrocation) went down hard and had to be ambulance'd out. I was in my customary spot at the back of the field so I can't provide causes or details. Hope he's okay...
After a restart, I jumped into an early break of nine including Jazzy-M (A. Myerson), J-Pow (Jeremy Powers - Jelly Belly), J-Spin (J. Spinelli), Thad L., and Marvin The Wangster. Now, it's long been a "pet" theory of mine that having 3 pros in a break can significantly increase its chances of success. Someday science may bear this out. Sure enough, after the halfway prime, the field was in sight. A major surge to catch and blow by the field whittled the break to 6.
And...yes, WeeBike was still represented :-) At 6-to-go, Myerson attacked, taking 2 with him. I was now caboose in the chase group with Thad and Powers. Three laps later, Powers spanked his cranks and I was popped. Cruised in for 6th. Ended up Myerson winning, Powers 2nd, Thad 3rd.
There's a good day's work! Almost regret missing it, although I can honestly say that my fatigue level this week is on the rise and if not for missing the registration for Blue Hills, this week would have included more rest, less TSS. I'll probably go next Sunday, except that it's my wife's birthday. Oh well, maybe later in the summer. Wells Ave is never a priority for me- it's a last resort. I like racing down at ninigret Wednesday nights, which is the plan for this week, weather permitting. I'm going to ride down and back, meaning that I'll need a fully charged headlight. Tuesday I expect to do the Scituate Time Trial (around the reservoir- starts at 6:00 from "crazy corners" where 102 & 14 cross) Again, I'll ride there and back. So my two big days will be Tues/Wed. Tomorrow, rest.
Checking the WKO data I see that I'm slightly ahead of 2010 relative to CTL, not by much. (in 2010, my training volume took a nosedive after 4/25, and I didn't get back up to 100 TSS/day until the middle of July) I'm definitely ahead in mileage for the year- about 2750 year to date as of today. This week ahead will be the one where I break through the 100 TSS/day barrier and hopefully sustain it through May unlike last year. I'm very psyched about the racing in Rochester NY on 6/3-4-5. Two crits and a circuit race, back in my hometown. It's been so long since I did a crit there. The last one was probably the 1989 edition of the Criterium at Cobbs Hill Park, where I got 3rd place out of a field of about 50 juniors, many from Canada. It will feel good to race there again. So I was saying.. One more week of building and I will take it easy that first week of May, hopefully show some good form at Sterling (and Maybe Bear Mountain). Then another three week period until I take another easy week at the end of May. I should arrive in Rochester with very fast legs for the Genesee Valley Park Criterium, The Powder Mills park Road Race and the Seneca Park Criterium. The weekend which follows is the Nutmeg/New Britain ordeal, where I can actually race 4 times, if the mood strikes (my record there is 3). Then what? Then I'll keep my eyes and ears peeled for info relative to Masters Nationals in Turkey- they like to wait until T-minus 3 weeks to announce the date and location, making it kind of difficult to buy a cheap plane ticket. I'll have to play it by ear.
Speaking of Turkey, the Tour of Turkey (ToT) is ON. This is a world class production with mega Euros at stake among the world's best pro teams. Don't dismiss it for it's location. Even VeloNews is finally giving it some coverage. A Turkish pro almost cracked the top 10 today- his name is Mirac Kal. If you're going to show interest in how the Turks do this year, he's the one to watch. Here's the finish below. Notice at the end how Pettachi lands a fist on the back of an opponent, relegating himself to last place with a time penalty. Farrar gets 2nd. Greipel flatted within 3k to go..

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No weenies allowed

Murat's "hilly" ride by hasyunusa at Garmin Connect - Details
When you fight to overcome the urge to skip training and force yourself to do the work, it sometimes ends up being a religious experience. I'm walking on air after this ride.
You can view the route and profile of my workout with the above link. It was dark when i got home at 8:00!


I was just perusing some blogs I hadn't checked in to for a long time and came across this entry from the 2008 Keith Berger Criterium (one of my FAVORITE RACES) It's nice to get recognition for a hard day's work.
It was a tough time for me in 2008. I had recently returned from Turkey after laying my father to rest. Emotionally, I was a MESS. The day before Keith Berger, I had a total meltdown in the 35+ race at the COX Criterium and again in the Cat 2 race I had NO GAME.
The following day though at Keith Berger, something clicked into place. I think it was the "stop being a fucking weenie" hormone finally kicking in. The week or so leading up to this day, wife and son were still in Turkey. I was curling up in the fetal position every night alone and mourning my dad. I was downing a glass of wine after work, before I headed out to train. I lined up at Keith Berger that day feeling like I had four legs not two. When they said 'go' I took off. (see above) Two laps later I was joined by about 12 guys. (See above) After surviving solo for 6 laps (I was the last one to fall off the break's pace), I am joined by Patrick R and I think Todd.. We worked together to keep clear of the field and finished together. There's a quick little race report I entered about it, HERE, but I like the other race report linked above much better. I was cruising towards 5th place in the sprint that day and my foot pulled out of my pedal. Getting 6th was still pretty sweet, all things considered. I even took a $10 prime, which still occupies the white envelope in which it came. This year I get to do the 40+ edition for the 1st time. I'm sure it will hurt just the same.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

2011 Rick Newhouse Photos? I dont hava any

Hey if anyone comes across some pictures from the racing on Sunday, please let me know where to find them. It got so warm at Rick Newhouse that I ended up wearing my one piece fat suit.. worried about how pear shaped I might have looked.. That and I was really hoping to see a picture of myself on the new FUJI, just so I can form an opinion of my bike position, relative to my old bike.. which is now being ridden by someone in Japan. Sunday was one of those criteriums where you're in the drops all the time. It was that windy.

2011 Rick Newhouse Criterium Results

Click here for results! Cheers for getting them up on Bikereg so quickly! It's so much nicer when the number of entrants are indicated, relative to it's effect upon Road-Results rankings, NEBRA rankings and probably NEMCA rankings too. Just sayin.. I enjoy following such data and seeing who's doing what- it's all a part of the bigger package of bike racing. FYI the winner of the 35+ race was not DQed, they were a lapped rider mixed up in the finish.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guess where I am

I'm at the finish of the Boston Marathon in support of good friend Derek Larson from Columbia GA (orig from Western NY). We dropped him off at the shuttle buses at 7:30.
FYI everyone: Do you want to track someone who is running today? If you text the word "runner" to 345678 you will receive a reply asking for a bib number. Send a friend's bib number and you will automatically receive text updates at 10k, 1/2, 30k and finish.
My friend Derek's number is 8372.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rick Newhouse Vitality prime

The socks are part of another prime that I won, but the rest of the stuff pictured occupied a doubled up brown paper bag that is the "Vitality Prime", along with a 12 pack of Mountain Dew and a six pack of Newport Storm. The last items in the bag are hidden where family will hopefully not find them.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

2011 Rick Newhouse Criterium

I won't try to speak for teammates Dave or Adam. I had decent sensations in the legs today, but not good enough for being in the break with Vollers, Mark, Tobi and Ciaran.. On the bright side I took the infamous "Vitality Prime" (this is my 2nd time- I also won it in 2009) and scored a big sack of schwag including some playboys. Even better, I also won the prime on the lap right before, which made me feel pretty manly. It was a race of attrition- the wind was brutal. It was strung out single file and often in echelons all day. There was never any rest because if you let any kind of gap open in front of you it was over. Many guys cracked and lost contact and most of them already had a race in their legs. With 5 up the road there were 3 paying places left. John B attacked on the final lap and did exactly what I wanted to do. He held it to the line for 6th! Good for him. I set myself up for the sprint less than optimally, got caught out in the wind and couldn't pass Bill Y or Gary A so I ended up 10th. Lots of 45+ starters at the beginning made it a pretty good sized field of about 45-50 I think. The wind today was INTENSE! We were in the gutter all day getting blown around and into each other. Peter V won. I jumped into the Pro race afterwards and fell apart around 8 to go. I felt okay for about 50 minutes but the 35+ fatigue caught up with me eventually. Didn't feel so bad when I saw some other big engines pulling off as well. Actually, I got pulled or else I would have grinded it out solo to the finish. I hate not finishing. Overall a good day with great weather, sunny skies and no crashes. My only regret is letting someone else execute my plan on that final lap. I could have caught up to him but I'd also be bringing a bunch of opponents with me. I'm not anywhere near any kind of peak right now so all things considered, I'm pleased. This was a great practice race for me.. And the 3rd time in 4 tries that I finished 10th (I was 12th in 2009)
Big huge hat tip to Todd B and Randy R for making bike racing look so easy. Also salute Tim M for winning the Pro race and Dave K for winning the 45+.
Thanks for reading.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Flat No 1: in the rain

I checked the radar. I could see a band of rain approaching from NYC but it was a long way off and headed towards Boston not RI.. So when I left at 1:30 the plan was to ride for at least 3 hours..
The rain started after 40 minutes- light at first.. then it got more intense when I turned north onto route 3 from Division Street (right there at the mouth of Big River) M original plan was to go south on Route 3, all the way to 138/Switch Road/Kings Factory to Route 1 North all the way home- about 70 miles. With the rain I ended up heading north on 3 and did my usual 32 mile loop.. but not before a puncture on 117. I had a spare tube and all- no patch kit though. Normally I carry two tubes, not today. The flat repair took a few minutes- no problemo.. but now the rain had stopped. Dilemma- do I try to salvage my ride plans and risk it without a spare tube? Of course not. By this time I was cold and pissed and my new shoes were soaked through. After getting going again and warming back up I thought about doing another lap of this 32 mile route- i could always stop at the house and grab a a patch kit.. but getting my brand new road bike and shoes soaked like this was unbearable to me. Especially the new DMT shoes. The bike could handle it, but road shoes stand to degenerate in many ways from being wet. At least i wore my shoe covers so the DMTs were spared form road dirt and grime- just wet but clean. It sucks that it was nice all morning but I was too busy to get out there in time to miss this rain. Oh well. I got a decent workout. It's pouring now. Tonight I'll put my bike on the new Kinetic Road Machine and make it scream for a couple of hours. Racing Sunday at Rick Newhouse, if the weather doesn't suck too badly. One of our new teammates has a title to defend in the 45+ race. So does my boy Reis in the kid's event, though he is less enthusiastic for whatever reason.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

2011 Wells Ave Crit No 1

Missed the opener the weekend before and with the nice weather predicted, I informed my dear wife well in advance that I was not going to miss it this time.. Still, I always entertain the possibility that waking up or being properly rested might be a challenge.. as was the case this morning. I slept in fits and starts from about 5:00 am until 8:30, when I finally got up. Where I live, you can't reach Wells Ave on time unless you hit the road by 9:00. No coffee left in the house and skipping the raisin bran meant that I did not have the pleasure of my daily morning elimination. Yeah, since turning 40 I find it okay to talk about my plumbing. When it's working smoothly I'm happy.. Anyway.. sorry. I had 30 minutes to get going. Two Eggo waffles with butter and Aunt Jemima Lite Syrup, one english muffin toasted with butter and slathered with honey, one multivitamin, one paper sack with all my clothing and bottles and gear piled into it like sedimentary rock. I made it there with plenty of time to spare- the Bs were just rolling off when I parked.
My form has been feeling a little bit short circuited this week. Chris Hinds Crit- 90 minutes of torture- took more out of me than I realized at the time. I dug very deep to be in there, and my lack of performance in the 35+ race which followed tells us the same thing. Sunday I took an easy bike path ride with my son- like 15 miles. That's a lot for a 7 year old- but he loves it. Mon and Tues I rested. I felt horribly tired. Wed and Thurs I went out and did some long rides, mostly in zone 3 but a lot of 2 and 4 in there between the climbs and the descents. Friday I wanted to do an easy spin but no time.. Saturday I eeked out a 2 hour ride which was relatively easy-going and just what I needed to shake out the cobwebs. Would I feel like total poo at Wells Ave? I wasn't feeling so sure. Sensations in the legs had not been encouraging at all this week..
Meeting up with my team was a relief. We had a shit year in 2010.. not to mean our results were horrible but rather that our morale was very low. This year is going to be a lot better. We lined up and couldn't begin racing because there were not enough marshals to monitor and direct traffic. Finally we got a late start but the course was down one marshal. Lots of traffic, OMG! We had to slow down damn near every other lap for cars which were parking, turning, stopping in front of us. It's a relief no one was hurt.
So on to the racing. Nothing got away. Before the start we decided that our best scenario is always going to be a field sprint, and we had two opportunities to show our colors: at the 1/2 way prime and at the ending. Long story short. On the 20th lap there's a 2 place cash prime and there were 3 guys with a 5-10 second gap. Matt, Kyle and I moved to the front with 1/2 lap to go. The field opened up on the right allowing me to go full gas with Matt and Kyle on my wheel. We went out of the saddle before the curve even begins and I buried myself long enough to reach the break and give Matt and Kyle an armchair ride to the finish. We were 1-2 in the 1/2 way prime. I was smoked for a couple of laps and retreated to the back of the field to recover..
20 laps later we executed it a bit differently. I was caught up in some traffic while I tried to hang on to the coattails of my teammates, but the last lap was neutralized due to traffic and so we had to do another lap. This time, all kinds of tired legs crowded the last lap and made it hard to find the space needed to change lanes and go. I made sure to plan my moves through the other sprinters and by carefully maneuvering through the dead legs I got clear and almost finished 3rd behind my two teammates.. but the finish line came too soon. I needed another 10 meters.. But hey I'll take 4th- there's no shame in that. Matt won and Kyle was 2nd. We took all but $5 of the cash payouts and divided it up between us, as it should be.
Next week is Rick Newhouse and maybe this time I will skip the Pro race to focus on the 35+. I'm getting too old to be doubling up on race day. I'd rather have one great result than have two mediocre ones..
Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Thursday: Another 200 TSS

I am still in this fatigued state and wondering if maybe I am fighting an infection or something.. It's peculiar.. Up until the day I ran out of a supplement that I've been taking for a month or so, I was fine. Then I ran out and I feel tired, sore, unmotivated, and irritable. Withdrawel symptoms? I didn't know that BCAAs can do that! One things for sure, when I take them regularly I feel like a million bucks. Thursday I did another 52 miles- an out and back ride to Pt Judith in about 2:45. Route 1 is in a sorry state until you get down to 1A, after that it's pretty okay.. Winds were out of the East, but the ride south was a lot slower than the ride home. I've done this round trip in as little as 2:28 and yesterday it seemed like an unbeatable benchmark to me. No way I can go that much faster, I thought to myself. Then as I was perusing old charts in Training Peaks I stumbled into my 2010 Chris Thater Crtiterium data. I didn't realize it at the time, but the final 60 seconds of the 2/3 crit averaged 32.1 mph. The final 30 seconds: 32.8 mph, 20 seconds: 36 mph, 10 seconds: 38.7 mph and the last 5 seconds to the line: 39.7 mph. I had never ridden so hard and so fast for a 24th place finish before.. and this was my 2nd race of the day. The Chris Thater Crit pays 20 deep, in case you wonder why I was sprinting. When you're cross eyed like that it can be hard to tell if you're in the money, so it's better to assume that you have a shot at it. I will definitely be going back this year- I love that venue.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wednesday: Ninigret No 1

Yesterday's ride was such a technical decision.. Winds gusting out of the southwest meant that I needed to ride down towards Ninigret.. where the first Wed night crit of the year was scheduled for 6:30.. Problem being it's too cold to ride out there, race and ride back.. not to mention dark. Additionally, the winds were scheduled to shift and blow from the Northeast at some point in the afternoon.. and 50% chance of showers was predicted for the evening.. I wanted to do a solid 3 hours, and I also wanted to race.. but better to keep my money and just get the volume over with before the wind shifted, before the rain arrived, before it got dark, and before I froze my ass off. Thusly, I decided to hit the road at 3:00 pm and ride down Route 2 all the way to Route 1 and head north back to my house. Instead of jumping onto 1A in Narragansett, I continued north on Route 1, even with the heavy traffic, it's the better choice because it's faster and the shoulder is very wide and safe. This knocked about 4 miles off my usual 60 miler and I ended up doing exactly three hours- about 56 miles. The winds heading down were such that I averaged only 15 mph by the time I reached Route 1. On the way back though- I averaged it back up to 18.5 by easily going 25+ mph the whole way home.
I wonder who won at Ninigret? That wind must not have been too much fun, lap after lap after lap.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Under the weather

I'm feeling extra fatigued since racing on Saturday. Sunday I did 15 easy miles with Reis on the bike path. Monday rest. Tuesday more rest.. Tomorrow I resolve to do some long steady distance of at least 3 hours.. I've been feeling a little bit down these past few days too.. and self-medicating.. with food. I'm so done with winter.. which is why minute 6:00 does it for me. Seasons.. Funny. (Nothing against Canadians!)

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Chris Hinds Criterium P-1-2-3 Results

Here's an update to this entry with more results for Cat 4, Cat 5, 45+ and some Chris Hinds Criterium photos I took after I was done racing:

Apparently I only had legs for one race today. My lungs tightened up so much in between the Pro and the 35+ races that it was impossible to continue, especially after the (unwise) aggressive racing I did in the first 5 laps.. This breathing issue cracked me and I just did some cool down laps by myself.. Then it started to rain/sleet/hail and then I decided I wanted to stay dry so I took myself out of it and went to my car. As we can tell from these results, nearly half of the pro field DNF'ed. I had fun out there. As always J-Lo manages an excellent race venue where everyone feels at home and has a good time, and for a great cause. All proceeds go to fund Sam Hinds' college fund, who lost his father Chris to cancer about 9 years ago. Thanks for reading.