May 31, 2010

Bound Brook Crit

Well, after three months with nothing to write about I had my first decent result, so I figured I'd better say something.

For whatever reason, Memorial Day weekend is synonymous with a big weekend of criteriums. In Iowa, its the Quad Cities. In NYC, its the Tour of Somerville. The Bound Brook Crit is day 3, Sunday, in central New Jersey. A pretty straight forward flat six corner race, just my type!

Actually, there isn't a lot to say about the race. A couple of girls from Team Type 1 started in our 3/4 field and seemed determined to chick the field. They did a pretty good job too, maintaining a presence in just about every breakaway. I sat in the first few laps, watching attacks and waiting for a good one. On lap 5, a move of 3 was dangling, so I made the jump across. I was with them by the back straight and pulled hard for half a lap. We had a decent gap and I felt surprisingly good, but no one was pulling through. Actually, the TT1 girl was pulling through better than the two other guys, which doesn't necessarily speak well for our chances.

The pack ate us up on lap 6 and I started sitting in, figuring my chances were better in a sprint than an uncommitted breakaway. The remaining laps ticked by pretty quickly and before I knew it we had two to go and I needed to move up. Entering the bell lap I was in the top ten and on the back stretch I was in the top five, but the pack was pretty nervous. A big move went up the inside and I hesitated, missing my ticket at the front of the race. Going through the last two corners, I was at least 10 spots back and when the sprint opened up I passed as many people as I could before finishing 3rd.

The race wasn't actually that hard. It definitely wasn't as bad as the hurt Chris put on me the day before at Bear Mountain. I have mixed feelings about the finish. On the one hand I made some silly mistakes that cost me a better chance at the win. The winner, James Joseph, probably would have taken the race anyway, since he's just about the best cat 3 at these types of races. At the same time my legs felt really great, both in the breakaway and the sprint, and its always great to end up on the podium. Next time I want first!

Feb 15, 2010

BIke Snob stepping up?

I got this in the mail the other day:

That's right, our very own BSNYC is hitting the big time. I think every cyclist has read the blog at one time or another. I know I still give it a look when I'm cynical mood.

I was surprised by the earnest (by his standards) tone of the first chapter. And its true, Snob has tempered some of his trademark venom throughout the book. He starts by writing a history of cycling in NYC, then goes on to talk about what cycling means to him and how you can make the most of cycling. But by the time he starts describing the different types of cyclists the jokes are coming pretty heavy and by the third chapter he's knee deep in snark. Most people are aware that Snob's a self proclaimed "curmudgeon" (read: constant long winded ranting) and his jokes and sarcasm pretty much the same here, so don't expect too much new.

The impressive part is the message: that we should do anything to people on bikes. I learned that lesson back when I was working for the Flanders brothers. Despite having a reputation for being the biggest euro-snobs in the Midwest, Scott and Jimmer's everyday life was pretty much about getting people, casual or serious, to ride their bikes (and sell a couple, since they ran a bike shop). Its a testament to the power of riding a bike that people so deeply invested in the insular culture of cycling are still so passionate about sharing it with others.

Anyway, its not a bad book and contains a message worth reading, but I'm not sure its going to advance the intellect of the average cyclist.

Jan 2, 2010


Maybe it will get above freezing today?

Dec 15, 2009


Well faithful readers, I spent a lot of time running this fall. In October I was having a blast and built up to some 30 mile weeks, but a bout of the flu and some unexpected trips sorta slowed things down. It still felt good to mix things up a little bit and slow things down from biking.

Someday, I'd like to run a three hour marathon. I'm not entirely sure why, but three hours seems like a good accomplishment. Its the time Lance ran the first time he did the NYC marathon and its a little faster than the qualifying time for Boston.

Two years ago I ran four hours at Philadelphia and I'm pretty sure I could lop an hour off that with some really good training. I was pumped put in some good miles this fall, but I didn't have the motivation to push through the aches and pains that come with running lots of miles (well, 30 miles is a lot for me). Maybe next year, maybe after that, either way there were times when I felt really good running and I'd like to figure out how to make that happen more often.

Oct 19, 2009

Seasons over

Well, races are done for the year.

30 races

3 time trials
2 stage races
2 mountain bike races
4 track days

2 wins!
2 more helping Larry
3 more podiums

I probably went a little far with the number of races. I'd like to it be closer to 20, but track racing and stage racing kept things interesting.

My sprint was pretty good and I could put down power where I needed to. My TT definitely needs to improve, and entering more TTs would probably help. My climbing was just good enough that I wasn't in trouble, but that may change in cat 3 races.

The races that really stand out to me are Tour de Parc (duh), Giro di Jersey and Fitchburg (stage racing is fun), and Naugatuck (2 hours of criteriums, 120 miles total). I like the criteriums and I think I'd like to do more next year. Next year I want to use races for training more, too, specifically the 1/2/3 Prospect Park races and the weekday track races.

For now I've been doing a lot of running. 24 miles this week (which, for me, is a lot). More on that later.

OK I lied, there might be one more race this year: anyone interested?

Sep 23, 2009

Womens world champs.

Big news in the world champs today.

No, not that (Kristin) Armstrong won, though that is pretty cool. No, its that the tiny country of St Kitts and Nevis, with its population of 40,000 (about the same as my hometown) was able to field two riders. 'So what' you may say. And true, they did finish dead last and fourth from last in the TT, but that this tiny country even fields a team is amazing. Each country needs a certain number of UCI points, from UCI races, to qualify to send two riders to world champs. To get these kind of results from a limited gene pool shows certain dedication to the sport which is hard not to admire.

If all this sounds a little familiar, its because I wrote about Bertine's crazy journey last year. Its good to see a dream coming true.

In other news, Kristin Armstrong never looks so good during a TT. It looks like she's about to die here:

Sep 4, 2009


In January, I was (Don't round up!)
All summer, I was
I'd like to be
(cuz then I could climb)

And if anyone is wondering if its strange for a guy with a BMI of 22 to be this concerned with his weight: I assure you, its a perfectly reasonable level of obsession.

Sep 3, 2009

Track Bike

Isn't it pretty?

Custom Serotta titanium frame, D/A drivetrain, too bad its not mine. Greg loaned me his old track bike for the Labor Day meet. 175mm cranks and a good fit combined with some off the track training should leave me with no excuses. It fits just like my road bike, which makes sprinting more natural. Now I just need to figure out how to get Greg to forget I have it...

Aug 28, 2009

I always, without failure, chose the slowest cashier at the grocery store. I'm also pretty good at chosing the slowest lane of traffic. All this despite a combined 5 years working at a grocery store and pizza delivery.

Aug 23, 2009


Shimano started making 11-25 cassettes! I ran an 11-23 all this year and I couldn't tell you how the extra 16 tooth cog felt different than the old 16t-less nine speed. It could just be that I spent all those years mountain biking (or that I still ride a single to work every day), but I've never felt the need for a corn cob cassette. I have, on occasion (Bear Mtn comes to mind), wished for a lower gear. Also, with an 11-25 and a 42 tooth, you can spend a lot less time shifting and have cleaner shifts up front when you need to.