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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Millport Race Recap.

Rain, Lightning, Thunder and a Tornado warning were the highlights of the Cat 4/5 Millport Road Race for me today. First they shortened the race from 9 to 8 laps, I think, then stopped the race midway due to a Tornado Warning in the area. The rain was going sideways so two of my teammates decided to head for home.

I was about to leave when a race official came by the car and said we'd be restarting in 30 minutes. I quickly text messaged my teammates to get their asses back to no avail. Restarting! These old bones of mine don't like restarting, but I went and changed back into my grungy and soaking wet kit and got back to the starting line.

Now, about half the field of over sixty had gone home, so I got a good spot at the front of the line. Well now the organizer says we are going to race for 2 laps. A Sprint! This is so not me, this course is almost flat, perfect roads, wet, with two tiny hills. It's definitely a sprinters course. The first lap was kinda slow, Good Thing for me! But that didn't last. It got freaking fast on the second lap. I wanted to stay in the front for when it happened. Sure enough, on a corner, three guys got a gap on 5 of us. The rest of the field totally blew apart behind us. On the false flat in the back of the course we just couldn't reel them in. It was a brilliant move on their part and not such a good move on ours but that's racing.

The gap stayed at about 5 seconds to the finish. I started my sprint too early and got edged out by inches at the line by a Squadra Coppi guy and a well timed bike throw by a Dutch Wheelman. 6th place for me. I got a sound thrashing by my wife and daughter at the finish for seemingly giving up before the finish line. Oh well.

Side Note: AMB Timing was there with a fork mounted timing system. They worked flawlessly, our results were at the finish line within a few minutes, at most. I know some guy that these would've been great for at RFK and the Kelly Cup.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cool Stuff.

The images released this week of that previously unknown tribe got me thinking. Yeah, I know,... don't go there.

1. Chances are, they knew about us or saw us even though we didn't know about them. Planes fly over pretty much everywhere, the rainforest, and yes even places like Kansas.

2. They value their way of life and society enough to defend it, with Bows and Spears if necessary. Both highly lethal weapons I might add.

3. Is their way of life worth protecting?

4. Is our own way of life. family if you will, worth protecting? Will we defend it when we have to?

5. Is it human nature to want to protect your way of life. They haven't been "Corrupted" by the rest of us yet seemingly would try.

6. Bright Red Paint on the Men, Black on the Woman. What does that say about us exactly?

7. Topless Native Women will ALWAYS be in fashion.

OR, they're just hungry and want to gig the giant bird flying overhead.

Tour de What?

The Giro is proving it will be THE Grand Tour of 2008. Hold on to your cheesy exoskeleton bicycle helmets. It should be interesting. Oh yeah, Vasili Kiryienka from Tinkoff "Slipped" get it, Vasili Vaseline, Slipped? Oh shut up John! slipped his way up the road to take today's stage win.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

WOW!

That's about all there is to say about Jens Voigt's Stage win today at the Giro. THAT is the way to win a bicycle race!

Why Race?


I was just sitting here having my coffee and that age-old question popped up in my head? Why do I race? OK, the thought didn't come outta nowhere. You see, the last few nights I've been reading The Rider, by Tim Krabbe. So far, I would say it's the best book on actual bicycle racing I've found. It would be a great book for any racer to read, and for bike widows in particular. I dunno if a non-racer can appreciate it, but it's definitely a look inside the mind of a bicycle racer, of what happens during a race and why we race in the first place. There are some sentences in this book I read over and over so my simple mind can soak them in fully it's that good. Why do you race?

Highly Suggested.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rest Day.

After 6 straight days of really good riding in, I took today off, except for riding back and forth to work. Korean BBQ on the grill, and Cold Stone ice-cream for dessert. So much for cutting back on calories. Oh well.

Tour de Georgia TT Contest Update.

Kyle over at PedalnAround inquired about the Astana Swag I "won" during the Tour de Georgia for guessing closest the time they'd ride in the Time Trial. It's still not here and I'm beginning to wonder if it'll ever come. I got a package notice yesterday and went over to the Post Office today to see if it was there. Nope. Still waiting. When/If it ever comes I'll be sure to show off the goods here.

Starting to Look Good to Me.

Amazing how winning can make even a discotruckerpornopimp 1970's throwback logo look cool.

Congrats to Greipel, Cavendish and highroad's amazing teamwork for laying down a picture-perfect sprint today at the Giro. Nice!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Funny How Things Work.

Earlier I was blogging how bad my legs felt on my ride last night, so I wasn't expecting much on tonight's group ride. Today was gonna be my last hard day of work until Saturday's race since I found that this old body of mine doesn't recover as fast as in the old days.

But what a difference a day makes. Tonight on the hills I was dancing on the pedals! I'll take it.

Pink is my New Favorite Color.

Take a look at the size of this Strawberry Shake! Yowch! Astana has to feel good about it's chances to retain the Maglia Rosa for the last week of the Giro.

Now where's that old Aerosmith CD with Pink on it?

Heavy Legs.

I was "pedaling squares" out there yesterday. Today will be my last hard day of riding until the race Saturday. I think it must be all the Memorial Day Weekend Party Food. Man this sucks.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bike Jam/Kelly Cup.

Today was my first trip down to Baltimore's Annual Bike Jam/Kelly Cup event. My Wife, Daughters and I volunteered to help track set-up, which for us basically involved me getting up early to make buttermilk pancakes for the girls, out of house by 6:30am and off to B-More for posting signage around the perimeter of the course. I gotta say, the course, a 1 mile loop, looks fun to race on. Maybe next year I'll try to get in on the fun.

We watched the Cat 5/Junior/Masters 50+/Masters 40+/Women's Cat 3/4 races. Competition looked strong all around. The race announcer, though pretty good, got a kick out of picking on Cat 5 Racers. Damn we can't get a break! The kids were getting hungry so we didn't stick around for the Pro race and the Cat 3 and 4 Men's Races. I would have liked to.

Training: This last week has been hit and miss as far as training goes. We had two bad weather days so I missed out on some quality road work. Overall I was still able to do somewhere over 10 hours of riding, so all is not lost. On today's ride I felt a bit sluggish so I did a fairly easy 2hours. This week I'll start to taper after a really hard Tuesday ride. Race weekend coming up. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Long Weekend Ahead.

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone racing this weekend good luck and thumbs up! With Memorial Day coming, it would be nice if we could spend even a moment thinking about what this weekend is all about in the first place. To our fallen heroes a humbling thanks for your ultimate sacrifice, how could we possibly ever show enough gratitude. To everyone who's ever put on a uniform, past and present, thumbs up to you too.

Schools in Oregon must be,... something else.



"I've been in,... 57 states, I think one left to go."

Ok, if you are sitting there, aren't you gonna laugh your ass off and correct the dufus? Maybe they are so "progressive" in Oregon that they think we've already taken a few Canadian provinces. I bet even in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky most "gun clinging church goers" know how many states there are.

Now this is Bike Racing!

Sure, the Tour Day France might be bigger, but I'd bet my cast iron ISIS power jive turkey bottom bracket the pastries at the Giro are better. The smiles say it all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The New Guy.

Tonight was my now usual Thursday night group ride and only 5 guys showed up. My guess is now that racing season is in full tilt, some guys would rather save themselves for Saturday than hammer away in the hills north of Baltimore. I have no races this weekend, well maybe Monday's Crit, so I'm ready to go.

I got my new bottom bracket installed today and it's working fine, but a few miles into the ride I couldn't shift up into my big chainring, so it was small chainring all the way for me. Better than being stuck in the 53 I guess.

Anyway, It was Pete, Eric, Fastguy on the Felt F1, new guy I never saw before and me. We ended up running into Rick about 15 miles out. He had two guys in tow, a young guy on a Felt, and an older really fit looking guy on a Raleigh Carbon bike. This young guy was FAST. I took a longish pull and when we hit this small hill, they all blew by me and dropped me. Raleigh Guy, F1 Guy and I finally caught them at the bottom of the hill and we were all together again. I figured I would try not to let that happen again so I picked up the speed and got a bit of a gap until our next regrouping spot. I looked back, and Young guy, Mike's his name, was right there. Damn, he is pretty fast I'm thinking, not even winded. Ahhhh youth I thought.

We came down Falls road to the intersection, me pulling again, made it through the green light and started up the next hill, Pete and young guy Mike got the jump on the rest of us again. Pete is a really strong hill climber so he hung on well until about halfway up the next hill just up ahead of me. Young Guy Mike started pulling away from Pete and I maintained my pace. As I came around Pete, he said "Go get'm John." That was all the inspiration I needed so I picked up the pace and blew by Young Guy Mike near the top of the next hill, and maintained pace on the flats above. Pete came around, Young Guy Mike on his wheel. I caught on.

There I was chasing down Young Guy Mike again, got around him before the next stop and waited for the regroup again. At this point I'm glad there's only one big hill left, and one tiny hill left because the speed is starting to get to me. We motored along, all together until the bottom of the big hill. Fast F1 guy said he wasn't gonna push it, I don't think anyone else was in much of a mood to push this last hill either, but oh great, there goes Young Guy Mike again, motoring up the hill. I give chase, finally catch and pass him at the top. Yowch this is fun, Ouch Ouch Pain kinda fun. Eric and Young Guy Mike come around me after the top on the flats and I can't hold their wheel, but I slowly recover and catch them again. Here we go again, pace picks up, one small hill left. The end is near. I slowly edge past Young Guy Mike on the last hill, passing a squashed Turtle in the road. Damn, people shouldn't run over turtles I think. Ride over. Downhill from here back to where we started.

Just another Thursday Night Ride. Life is good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Protect Your Junk .

In what has to be the most highly anticipated cycling related product since butt butter soothed it's way into the peloton, in 14 days Dave Zabriskie's dznuts (pronounced deeznuts) will be coming to a bike shop and/or adult novelty store near you. The site doesn't have much information, but states that after years of research and "rigorous testing" it's almost ready.

You can look forward to a full review here on TLR soon. OK, maybe not. I really like the packaging though. Dave Z's got a good designer working over there.

Useless, Yet Curiously Addictive Info.


Since this is my blog and I can post whatever I want on it no matter how lame, I went and cut/paste a pic of something I just stumbled upon this morning over at usacycling.org. They have RANKINGS! Now, let's analyze the data and see if there's anything useful in the numbers:


Rank in your Zip Code: 1. Yay!!!! I'm the fastest Cat 5 racer in my hood. Hey, it's nice to be number 1 someplace. I'm hoping to hold onto this crown, at least until my daughter is old enough to race when she turns 13. All I can say is people must be damn slow in my neighborhood or something.

Rank in your State: 9. Hmmm, I can't believe there's only 50 Cat5 Road Racers registered in whole state of Maryland.

Rank in your Riding Age: 9. Again, but this nationwide. This must mean all the other old guys racing have kept their licenses current over the years, unlike me, and are Cat 4 or better. Would've been cool if they had computers back when I was racing for stuff like this.

Rank in your Age Range (5 Years): 31. See Above.

Rank in your Age Range (10 Years): 53. See Above.

Overall Rank: 161. I've got nothing left to squeeze out of the numbers. There are about 2000 Cat5 Riders listed in the USA. At least I'm not at the bottom there. Hmm, I was ranked 167 earlier. Guys must have done really poorly last night, or got upgraded. Whoo!

Oh yes, I'm gonna be checking that page often from now on, especially after races I don't get blown off the back.

Anyone Watching the Giro?

Great Stuff. Open this in your media player of choice. I use quicktime on my mac.

Not In English but who cares?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tonight's Ride.

I've been focusing on keeping focus lately, probably too much actually, but tonight's ride was a good example.

Since there's no race for me next weekend, I'll be working instead, this is supposed to be a hard week of riding. Today I did 60 miles with some hills and sorta fast. It was a real drag to do the whole ride and not take a short cut home. I'm in severe need of inspiration at the moment. Bah, One day at a time, One day at a time. :)

Keeping it in Perspective.

On today's bike ride into work, I was thinking more about my last post and staying focused. That brought me around to also thinking how insignificant it is in the grand scheme of things. With Earthquakes in China and Typhoons in Burma, spending time thinking about it at all seems a bit silly sometimes.

On the other hand, life goes on with our without us, and I think we should all aspire to be at least content in whatever we do, no matter what that whatever happens to be. Who knows what tomorrow brings? For example, A meteor could end it all pretty quickly for the parasites on earth we call humans. "Global Warming" wouldn't mean much if that happened now would it? The earth would go on spinning happily, warming AND cooling a few thousand more times like it has in the past, for a few more billion years and never miss us. Not to mention. there's a huge percentage of the population (spooky yeah I know) that actually believes 2012 will be the end. LOL

If we can put a smile on another person's face once in awhile, that's a bonus. We only go around once, and it sure beats being miserable all the time, so I'm gonna keep riding a bit, have some fun, and try not to impose my will on too many others while I'm here.

OK, I feel much bit better now. Blabbering over.

Keeping Focused.

Yesterday's race went alright, but there's plenty of room for improvement. I got up feeling pretty lazy today and when the rain came I almost felt relieved, telling myself I had an excuse not to get out there and ride. A trip to the bookstore is always a great motivator for me. All the bicycling magazines, books on training, racing,... not to mention all the other good books I wanna read. Sometimes it's the small things like that is what it takes to put things back in order.

After a much needed mid-afternoon nap, I noticed the sun was starting to pop through the clouds. 5pm, I've gotta get my ass in gear and on the bike. Wet roads and two hours of easy recovery riding later I felt great. I've got three more races between now and the big race on my calendar this year, so it's time to get back to training, work on my weaknesses, and most importantly,...

Stay Focused!

Of course, that's on top of trying to be a good Dad, Husband, doing well at work and keep the freelance work coming in. Riding, Racing and being in shape is fun, but it's not everything.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Union Grove Road Race Report.



After a week of easier riding I was itching to ride today's race up in East Earl, Pennsylvania. Though my bike's bottom bracket is screaming like a nagging wife, I treated her to new bright orange Bontrager handlebar tape. It's a bit brighter than the orange on the rest of the bike, but I'm hoping it tones down in time. The new bottom bracket is on order and should be in this week.

This was my first race on the Kelly Benefits/LSV racing team and I wanted to do well for the guys. We had six riders in the Cat 4/5 race. First off I gotta say, they are a nice bunch of guys and can't wait until our next one. That reminds me, I have to change my US Cycling ID card to show my club affiliation.

The Race As I Saw It: There was a pretty full field of about 70+ riders and the start was tight. While waiting for the race to start, Mari and Mae were yelling Go Daddy Go! Go Daddy Go! from the side of the road. That got a bunch of laughs from the crowd and definitely lightened the pre-race jitters for many, including some guy repeating their words, Go Daddy Go! Go Daddy! The KB/LSV guys and I didn't get a very good position this week, about mid-pack so getting underway was a bit stressful but everyone made it to the first turn OK and the racing commenced. The course was generally much more technical than my previous 3 races starting with a downhill and narrow curving section, with an uphill right, level back straight, a couple small hills, metal bridges, then more curvy narrow roads toward the finish. A great course really. Amish country is so beautiful. We passed a couple horse and buggies during the race, and a group of kids sitting on a stoop in front of their barn cheering the riders each time we sped by.

I had a really poor start and ended up mid/back of the field. It was tough moving up with the yellow line rule in effect. It seemed I'd get a few places, only to be passed again by guys taking a big risk into corners or crossing the yellow lines on the outside leapfrogging towards the front. I bided my time, while seeing the KB/LSV guys in a nice tight group up towards the front of the Peloton. I was very impressed with Howard's position up near the front. He did just what he said he was going to do and it looked like it was working.

This course was a fast one, with only one tiny little hill to slow down the pack. Every time around to this one hill, it seemed as though the pack's speed would drop to excruciatingly slow. So slow in fact, that one time up, with the yo-yo effect, I came to a complete stop in the middle of the whole mess, track standing until the race got going again. CRAZY! Well, it did get started again, and me being in too big a gear, had a shoe pull out of my pedal. Luckily I got back in and was able to muscle my way back into the slipstream. Like I said, the speed on this tiny little hill was snail slow. Even so, after the race Steven said guys where weezing like emphysema patients all around him. This kind of racing continued until the last lap where I began to move my way up towards the front, with about 5 miles to go. (5 Mile Laps)

Finally, on the back straights, I got up into a pretty good position around 15 back from the leaders and right behind some other guys from KB/LSV. I didn't see Howard now and wondered where he'd gotten to. The speed picked up finally going over the hill to more-than-snail pace and I think this is where the peloton started to string out with the speed picking up. Eric and I got together at this point, with one other KB/LSV just up ahead. Great, we had 3 guys in the top ten to set up the sprint. Not bad. On the final corner, just ahead and to the left a couple guys got tied together and wrecked right in front of Eric and me. That kinda messed up our sprint. I know Eric is a bit better sprinter than me and was hoping I could've led him out for a good finish. But now it was just a matter of hanging on until the end to see where we'd end up.

Steve ended up 4th, Eric 8th, with me getting inched at the line for 11th. Howard's handlebar came loose, forcing him to end his race with a mechanical with right about 1 lap to go. Major bummer, since I think he had the fitness today to be right up there.

Summary: Looking back, would I have raced it differently? Probably. I had some good legs today and on the last lap there were a few choice spots to make a break stick. Overall though, since this is only my 4th race back in racing after so long, I'm happy to be contending for wins already. I have something now to work on until the next race.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bike to Work Day.

I suspect there won't be many riders along my route tomorrow on the way to work.

Overnight Guest.

I had an incredibly enjoyable evening putting a new Trek Madone through it's paces after work tonight. It's sitting a few feet away from me as I type this. I gotta say. I can't take my eyes off the thing. No, she's not mine, I'm just test riding her. I'll write a bit more of a review when I have time.

That will be when? After she goes home. Now shhh, I gotta go,...

Stay Tuned.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Millar has a Mechanical!

I know how it feels to have a mechanical, and a wreck, 1k from the finish (I was way ahead and winning the race). I didn't throw my bike though. I threw the road sign that came off and hit me between the eyes. Don't do what I did and hang up the bike for 15 years though David. Use that anger to kick ass tomorrow.

Trentodoc Update: Today's winner Pavel Brutt of Tinkoff didn't even take a sip. Damn!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Thirsty for,... Trentodoc?


They've been spraying a lot of this stuff around over at the Giro the last few days. Zabriskie took a big swig on day one. Bennati, he looks to thin to drink the stuff. Today was Cavendish's turn to spray the stuff around. I wonder how the stuff tastes? No idea, but it makes me thirsty.

Today's Ride: 40 Miles, group ride with Howard, Eric and Luke. Not a hard one this week, but Luke did take one heck of a pull there towards the end.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rain!



This weather really puts a damper on my riding. Getting caught in the rain is one thing, but heading out in this nonsense is just too much for me. Sooo, it was back to the trainer tonight for me. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better.

Daydreaming of bicycles I can't afford. *sigh*

Bennati from Liquigas won today over at the Giro. I have never in my life seen a guy look so fresh after winning such a long race. Amazing. Must be his Cannondale. I saw a team model up at Mt. Joy and it looked like it was going 50mph standing still.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It doesn't get easier, you just get faster.

Well the weekend started out nice anyway. Yesterday I did one of my longer loops of 65 miles. With the really nice tailwind heading back I was able to do it in just over 3 hours. Not too bad riding alone. That finished off one of my better weeks of riding of the year so far. Greg LeMond said something I thought about quite a bit on that ride. He said it doesn't get easier, you just get faster. Since I don't use a computer on my bike I'm gonna have to just guess I'm getting faster, because it sure isn't getting easier.

Today my wife had to work (On Mother's Day?!) so it was just the girls and me. I got to watch some of the Giro online. It was so disappointing seeing Dave Zabriskie's crash. I hope he's ok. My wife got home and the rain started. I was in no mood to ride in the rain so that's pretty much it. This week I have my training mapped out so that Tuesday will be my last hard riding day of the week, with a nice taper until next Saturday's race. Hope all goes well.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Late Start, Late Finish.

Got out the door late tonight and ended up riding much of the way in darkness, mostly from thick clouds, but no rain. Got Lucky I think.

2 hours: 35 Miles, rode easy.

Best Job in the World Candidate.

Oprah's Personal Trainer Bob here has got to have one of the best jobs in the world. Her eating habits when he's not around will keep him in business forever. Way to Go Bob!!!

Anxiety on Days Off.

I don't know about you, but taking a day off the bike, especially after a really good run of days riding, makes me irritable. I know that I should just enjoy the necessary down time because there's plenty of hurtin coming, but still.

As far as my riding goes, I'm getting stronger on the hills, but still don't have much of a snap for the sprint. That sprint isn't just for the finish either I can see. The accelerations out of the corners, especially if you are stuck in the back is pure hell. Gotta be up near the front, just gotta!

Oh, one more thing. I got my confirmation letter last night. I'm in the club! Now I just have to wait for my jersey, shorts and socks to arrive.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Grillin on the Deck.

Tonight after my ride I headed out on the deck to grill a korean style bbq roast. The results were nice. Sides of baked potato, peppers and onions, all grilled, tasted pretty good also. Yuengling Beer while grilling, and Concannon Pinot Noir Wine while eating. Overall, pretty nice evening.

I also got to try out my new Oggi Wine Bottle opener. Worked great.

Tonight's Ride: 30 Miles, recovery, Easy Easy Easy!

Spring-Summer Race Schedule.

I just finished planning the rest of my spring/summer racing schedule. 7 Races total. After that I have a citizen race back home I'm dying to try. 3 Big Mountain Climbs in 75 Miles. FUN!!!

1. Union Grove Road Race
2. Millport Road Race
3. Rapho Road Race
4. Dan Spencer Memorial Road Race, PA State Masters Championships
5. Dutch Country Stage Race - Road Race/Time Trial/Crit

Everything is two weeks apart pretty much. The race I'm really trying to peak for will be the Stage Race. That's gonna be painful, I mean, fun. I might do a couple more over the summer, but not sure which ones yet.

Stay Tuned for Reports!

Rawhide!

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rawhide!

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them dogies rollin'
Rawhide!
Rain and wind and weather
Hell-bent for leather
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride

CHORUS
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Rawhide
Count 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, count 'em out,
Count 'em out, ride 'em in
Rawhide!

Keep movin', movin', movin'
Though they're disapprovin'
Keep them dogies movin'
Rawhide!

Don't try to understand 'em
Just rope, throw, and brand 'em
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My hearts calculatin'
My true love will be waitin',
Be waitin' at the end of my ride.

Rawhide!
Rawhide!

I thought of that song out on the road last night, (more the Blues Brothers Version). Kinda fitting I think. Last night's ride, 4 of us, started out at the Lutherville Bike Shop and went out around the Loch Raven Reservoir and points north. In otherwords, I was totally lost. There are some great roads for riding out that way including a few short but nasty steep hills. Fun!

Totals: 2 Hours: About 40 miles, give or take a mile.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Overrun with Deer.

I think Maryland is overrun with Deer. I mean, they are cute and all, but don't people hunt these things? They taste wonderful!

Tonight's Ride: 2 hours. 45 Miles.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunday Out with the Girls.

My wife was working today so the girls and I went to the bookstore, with a stop at the bike shop to check stuff out, (Always fun to look right?)

I spotted this hanging way up high,


The Pinarello Kid's KUI, Eric, the Sales guy brought it down from up on the wall and sure enough, Mari fits this thing perfectly. If it was in pink I'd be in major trouble. I'm so glad it's not available in Pink. $1200 for a bike a kid grows out of in a few years is a tough sell for me.

Today's Ride: 2 hours, nice and easy. about 35 miles total.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Race Day Report

Well, today we made our way up to Pennsylvania for the Turkey Hill Country Classic. First off I have to say the Turkey Hill People really know how to put together an event. There was free food, drink, games and events for the kids, great racing, great parking, great race course. I know there were a couple accidents, not in my race, but that is a part of racing unfortunately.

The Race: I felt tired driving up to the race this morning and generally lacking in strength, I think maybe I've actually been riding too many miles and am a little burned out. But it was all good anyway.

The first lap was pretty dicey with guys moving up and around in the field. It wasn't much fun to be riding in the group, and I found myself staying near the back. Not a great idea, since the accelerations out of the corners was actually pretty violent and it was an all out sprint to catch back onto the field. It was a fast course, but had a couple menacing hills that you could really feel, especially going straight into a pretty good headwind.

About 4 miles into the second lap, with a single man breakaway up ahead, the pace slowed down considerably going up those hills. I had moved myself up into the top 10 or so before attacking. I made it clear of the field and didn't look back, but was hoping at least one other guy would jump with me. A guy did and we worked together for about a mile into that fierce headwind, getting a gap, but like I said earlier, my legs were already pretty well gone. Finally at the start/finish corner I took a peek back to see the field had pretty much reeled us in. On the next bunch of hills I found myself drifting back in the pack and a gap actually formed. The peloton went around a sharp corner and started pulling away. I was spent from my breakaway attempt and just didn't have the legs to get back on the train.

I spent the next 1.5 laps by myself. At one point on the biggest hill, I did manage to claw my way closer to the group, but lost it again when they crested the hill and motored away.

Overall, I'm happy I tried something (bridging to the lone-man break attempt), He won the race and must be some kinda monster bike racer. Congrats to him. I also made some crucial mistakes that I paid dearly for. Ride and Learn I guess.

In two weeks I have another race so we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Thursday Night Group Ride

Tonight I got home a bit late so it was a rush to make the group ride. Well everyone left without me so I had to time-trial my way out to Hunt Valley to try and catch them. Not a great idea considering I'm racing Saturday but it was fun anyway. I pulled up behind and around a really nice guy on a Bianchi so we rode together a few miles and chatted. He was kind enough to warn me of the big hill ahead. I did finally manage to catch them about 15 miles out. Luckily they decided today was going to be easy considering everyone is either racing Poolesville or Turkey Hill.

Long Story Short: 40 miles hard with an easy finish. Tomorrow I'll go super easy and spin awhile to keep the legs fresh.

The Giro! Left Nut of the Week.

This week I'm giving my left nut to something I've daydreamed about more than a few times; Being in Italy during the Giro d'Italia. I imagine riding, eating and drinking my way across Italy, taking in the Giro as it passes by, or just watching it on tv in some smoky cafe while having a beer. Yeah, that's gotta be nice. At least in the dream it's nice.