Jul 26, 2009

Tori was out of town this weekend, so I regressed back to the life I led when I lived by myself. This involves a lot of biking and watching TV.

Saturday I got up bright and early to go do another round and round in Prospect Park. Larry's still leading the pink and polka dot jerseys (jeez, ya sandbagger) so the goal was to defend. On the first KOM, a break was away so we didn't need to work. On lap seven they rang the sprint bell for the green jersey. I haven't really been paying attention to that competition, but when the pace slowed just before the finish, I saw a sweet chance for an attack. Immediately I had a big gap on the field, but whoops! I was a lot further out than I anticipated. I was able to hold it to the line, but I really hurt myself doing it. Two laps later, they rang it again. I was not in the mood to sprint again, but two guys were away, so the field didn't ramp it up. When the Kissena guy in green jumped, I waited, waited and finally pipped him at the line. So now I have 4 points, which puts me 4 more points out of the lead; I guess I need to do something about that.

The rest of the race was fairly uneventful. Larry was able to take the second KOM to put himself pretty much out of reach in that one, but in the chaotic final he only got 10th, so he's barely leading the pink. John and Rob weren't feeling very good, which only left Larry and I to work together. Where were you Chris? We missed you. There are some pictures here, but I'm not in any of them.

Today I woke up at six for the Early Birds, but the skys weren't cooperating and I didn't feel like riding in the rain. When I finally got off the couch and on the bike, it was six pm and I rode up Broadway Hill about a dozen times. I was climbing really well. My overall fitness hasn't been that great this year, but I was climbing as well or better than I was June 2008, which felt pretty good. Too bad I didn't have these legs a month ago.

Jul 25, 2009

Jens Voigt Lives!

Its funny to hear the German use the word "bummer".

Jul 21, 2009

Naugatuck Criterium and my own personal tour of Fairfield County

Well, its been 5 days since my eventful ride through CT and I have yet to report. I've been in a really lazy mood this week. I haven't touched my bike or thought about riding much at all. I'm supposed to race tomorrow morning, so it should be interesting.

Anyway, the day started at 9 am when I caught the ferry to Connecticut. The plan was to ride up to the Naugatuck Criterium, do the race and ride home. It was a beautiful summer day so I was looking forward to ride. I had my route mapped out to snake up towards Naugatuck along the rivers in CT, but I brought along the GPS just in case. Sure enough, I got a little lost pretty quickly. It wasn't far out of the way, but my detour took me over an extra hill and an extra half hour. On the map, my route looked pretty straightfoward, but I wasn't expecting the hills in Connecticut. Image my surprise when I came to the last leg of my trip to Naugatuck and saw this.

When I finally got to the race, I was out of breath, water and time. Luckily they had to delay the start, so I got a half hour to sit in the shade and eat and drink a little before the race. The course was pretty straightforward; a long skinny triangle with two fast square corners, a couple little rollers, a slow final turn and a long straight to the finish. John Sebat showed up at the last minute and raced the 4/5 race with me. I was still a little tired after the ride to the race, so I decided to sit in. The pace wasn't to bad, so I could surf wheels through the pack pretty easily. A two man break got away for a few laps and looked pretty strong, but after a prime they came back pretty quick. The first two corners were fast and I could take them flat out. People were rather hesitant for some reason, so cornering was a good way to gap the field. I'd dangle off the front a little bit, but I wasn't really looking for a breakaway.

With 10 to go, I felt the twinges of a cramp. I was eating and drinking as much as I could, but in the hot sun it was hard to shake off the cramps. They never got terrible, but I was very mindful of what my legs could and could not do. The last five laps were pretty mellow, everybody was waiting until the last lap to try to attack. Sure enough, on the back stretch people started attacking. It was a series of counterattacks from there. The last counterattack came on the final slope right before the finishing straight. I couldn't follow his move and got gapped before the final sprint. Because of the cramps, I had to sprint sitting down and spinning out my little ring, but I almost closed on him before the finish. Second place was still pretty good.

Since George wasn't able to make his prereg'd 4/5 race, they let me race the 3/4s for free. I knew I wasn't going to have the legs to do well, so I spent most of the race using the tailgunning* technique Mike Bantle taught me back in MN. So I waited and waited at the back. Finally with 4 to go, I started moving up. At one point I found myself pulling on the front, but that didn't last long. I was well positioned for the final lap, but I couldn't hold the pace in the final 1k and finished 24th, which I was fine with.

I stuck around and watched a bit of the 1/2 race before my ride back to the ferry.

Those guys go fast! Actually, there was a girl in the race too, which impressed me.

There was a ride home was pretty easy, outside of Andrew Mt Rd, which hurt. A lot.

I saw Sikorsky's main facility on the way home. I think i'd like to work for them some day.

Then I got on the ferry just before sunset. It was a nice day with almost 120 miles, over 50 racing and only an 18 mph average. (like I said, hilly!)

*Tailgunning- When you aren't concerned about a split in the field, a crash or making any breakaways, it is actually easier to sit 3-4 bike lengths off the back in a criterium. You can avoid surges in the pack, don't need to fight for position and can take any line in the corners while still getting a pretty good draft. Of course, you're still at the back of the race.

Jul 15, 2009

What is the appropriate response?


I received your resume from Chad Korach some time ago. There is a potential opening in our design engineering group. Please let me know if you are interested.


VP Engineering
Arkwin Industries Inc

As a near graduate with no future employement, how do i respond?

a) YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

b) Pretty please give me a job.

c) I appreciate your interest, but I'm forgoing a future of material affectations and roaming the country as a hobo.

d) ?

Jul 13, 2009

Yesterday I went on the EB ride. It was perfect. Only 7 guys showed and the pace was mellow and aerobic, just what I needed. Trevor was taking impressive pulls. Most people were either at the Gold Coast century or racing in Unionvale, but where was Percy?

Apparently I'm the #1 cat 4 criterium racer in New York (thanks Larry). Seriously, check it out. Given that I've only raced 3 crits this year, those USA Cycling rankings are pretty messed up.

Jul 11, 2009

Quick thoughts

ABC is pumping a new reality show. The premise? People dating in the dark. Between this and that cougar dating show I feel like I'm watching SNL skits from three years ago. Is it possible for a genre to jump the shark?
I rebuilt the rear hub on my training wheels today. I've ridden these things pretty hard and haven't rebuilt them in a year and a half. Jim Flanders used to give me a hard time about rebuilding hubs with too much grease, but I think he's wrong. I packed these suckers full a year and a half ago and they're still fresh. Lots of grease means lots of sealing out the elements.
I've been blogging a lot lately. I'm definitely not gonna keep up this pace. Consider it making up for last January-April...

Jul 10, 2009

Friday full of bike racing.

I swore off the Tour de France this year. I've just got too much on my plate to be devoting three hours a day to the Tour. I've been good. No VS. Only visited cyclingnews.com until after the stages. Yesterday I cheated a little and caught the last 30 minutes of Millar's heartbreaking breakaway through a ticker feed. Today went to hell. It was too exciting not to watch. At first I just followed cyclingnews' live feed, but before I knew it I had three different cyclingfans feeds open in multiple languages.

And what a stage! Cancellara had nothing, Cadel Evans attacks (sign of the apocalypse?), Armstrong climbs and Contador. I kind of expected that out of him. He's young, strong, brash and has to remind everyone he's the one to beat. But he sure did it with style, didn't he? At least Ventoux will be on a Saturday.

All that excitement made me want to get out and turn the pedals myself. That and an inexorable desire to hand money to Chris made me drive down to the Kreb Races.

A small field showed up for the A race. Joe Zaverdas was the main guy to watch, and I've learned my lesson. The goal for the race was make sure I finished in the same group as Joe without completely blowing up.

Sure enough, he attacked with 15ish laps to go. Craig and some dude in red jumped on and I followed. Pretty quickly we had a good gap. Joe went like an animal and pretty soon I was feeling pretty lousy. I was impressed that Craig and red guy could pull through. A little bit more and it felt like a fat guy was sitting on my chest. Just in time, Rob pulled the group back up for the catch and everyone relented. From there nothing got away. Attack, chase, attack, chase. Joe took two primes, but nobody would go with him. I sat in mostly, actually pretty blatently, but it took me a long time to recover from the beating I took in that little breakaway.

In the sprint, Rob was nice enough to lead out and I sat a couple wheels back of Joe. Joe took off early and I sat, sat, sat and then wiggled around him by about half a wheel at the line. No my most impressive win, but I'll take what I get. Joe could have attacked 500 meters earlier and dropped me easily, so I appreciate him waiting.

Craig, George and Chris all showed up to race, even though they're going to race Union Vale on Sunday. Thats a true sign of toughness, punishing yourself for 90 minutes in a club race two days before a big hilly race. Good luck guys!

Jul 9, 2009

Tboughts has been racing too

Tboughts is halfway through her assault of the H2H mountain bike series. Last week she grabbed second place in the Lewis Morris Challenge and is sitting 26 points behind 1st place in the cat 2 overall. This weekend is the Bulldog Rump, which also doubles as the NJ state championship. Its the toughest race of the year, so wish her luck!

Jul 7, 2009

Fitchburg Criterium

The last stage of the Fitchburg Classic was the downtown criterium. Larry's Dad won this the second year it was held, when the classic was a one day event.

Our race was pretty much guaranteed to come down to a field sprint. Cat 4's rarely break away and now we had an overall leader and sprint leader with incentive to keep the race together. The course was long and narrow. The finishing stretch was uphill with a nasty headwind and the backstretch was fast. Corner one was a slow U turn while two and three were fast, bumpy 90 degree-ers.

I started out at the front with the intention of having a clear line and staying out of any crashes. After a few laps of battling for the 15th wheel in the race, I dropped back a bit more to around 40, where everyone was content with their position. A points sprints were announced and I was content to sit in, working hard but never really hurting.

On the second to last points sprint, with something like 12 to go, the pace really kicked up. A bunch of guys in the middle were fading fast, probably more from the accumulation of four days of racing than the actual pace. I jumped across a few gaps and got back up to the front, where I knew everyone could handle the pace. By five to go enough people had stopped pulling that I found myself second wheel, which was nice in the corners but I was catching a bit too much wind. I dropped back a little bit and let others take over.

With two to go, people started really working to get to the front. I'd follow fast wheels when I could, but people got pretty aggressive. On the second to last corner of the race, some guy flew up the inside of the group, dove into the corner and crashed into the opposite curb. I was sitting about 8 wheels back and narrowly missed him. Coming out of the last corner, I started to pass people when some guy comes powering up my right side. I grabbed his wheel and held on for dear life. He pulled me all the way to the front of the race and I held on for third place, a podium place and some lunch money.

The stage race was a lot of fun. All four races were fun in their own way and came together for a really interesting weekend. Larry and I pulled it together for some smart racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday after our mediocre TTing on Thursday. The only thing I didn't really enjoy was sitting around a hotel room for five days waiting to race. I'm not sure how the pros do it, but I guess their races are a little harder than ours.

Jul 4, 2009

Fitchburg- Longsjo Stage 3

No wins today, no podiums either. Larry and I rode with the front group all race but didn't have it at the end.

For whatever reason, they ran us with the pro men, cat 2 men and cat 1/2 women. Further, we were started ahead of the women. Wouldn't you know it, the women caught us at the beginning of the second lap. Then halfway through lap 2, the pro men lapped us. Thankfully, from there on out we were allowed to race as usual, but two long stops in a 41 mile road race sorta makes things a bit easier than they should be. Anyway, after all that waiting around I got kind of pissed off and rode harder than I probably should have.

The leader of our race is an animal. He spent all day on the front, chased down any attacks teams launched at him and still finished second. He's got a comfortable lead going into the crit tomorrow and unless some back luck hits him I'm sure he's got it wrapped up. I think he's riding without teammates, too.

The Juniors race has some real ringers in it (like just got back from Euro camp ringers) so some of them are racing cat 4s. If masters don't like senior racers, then seniors certainly don't like juniors. "Holdja line!"

Junior gearing is kinda dumb, but whats really dumb is using junior gearing in a TT. The juniors had to use a maximum 52x14 in the TT. I was in my 53x11 pretty regularly in the TT. I'm impressed by the juniors that managed top 10s on little gears.

I got to see the pros a few times and I'm not convinced they were going much faster than us. I know this is heresay, and I know their race was over twice as long as ours and lacked our two neutralizations, but I was expecting them to fly up the finishing climb. I'm probably wrong but I thought we went nearly as fast.

Tomorrow's the crit. I'm excited.

Jul 3, 2009

Fitchburg Circuit Race, just like Prospect

Larry gave me the chance to come up to race the Fitchburg LongsJo Classic at the last minute. So here we are. The TT was yesterday. We both did surprising badly in a cat 4 only field, 44th and 50th, over two minutes down, so all GC hopes were ruined.

Today was the circuit race. The course is sort of like Prospect Park, except the hill is a little shorter and a little steeper and the finish is a the top. Competitions were run for the stage race, the GC and a points competition, so plenty of action was going on. After a couple of points primes, I could tell I wasn't going to do well in the finishing sprint up the hill. I tried rolling off the front halfway through the race, but no one wanted to join me so I was quickly back in the group.

With two laps to go, I got my butt up to the front of the race. On the last lap, Larry found my wheel and followed me down the hill. I gunned it down the back straight and went as hard as I could up to the final corner. When I peeled off, Larry was in the top five. He kicked it up the hill for the win!

Tomorrows the road race with another uphill finish, so we'll see if we can do the same thing.