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Friday, October 31, 2008

Argyle is So Last Year.

Ahhhh, what to wear? Isn't that always the question? Let me make it easier for you. Dash right over to Dashing Tweeds and get your fixie. It's what all the dashing Haberdasher/Roadies are wearing, and that's why you should too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last Group Ride of the Year.

With a saddle sore and a heavy heart I did our last group ride of the year tonight. First off, I wanna say thanks to Marc, Howard, Pete, and Clark for being a big part of my return to bike racing this year and riding seriously again. Of course, they aren't the only ones I enjoy riding with over there, but they're the ones that push me week in week out with a friendly yet competitive spirit that makes the whole experience a joy. I mean that. Thanks guys.

That said, they kicked my arse out there tonight. I got dropped at the tail end of one section, and barely hung on at the end to finish with Marc and Clark. I'm not gonna complain though. Riding only once or twice a week just doesn't work for me and I could feel a real lack of fitness out there. I'm gonna take it easy like this, 2 or 3 rides a week until December, before starting over for next year. We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Learning to Sew.

Nothing like a little trip over to rapha's website to get me thinking I need to learn how to sew, especially after looking at the prices they charge for the stuff. Pretty nice looking things over there though, and the way they present it is kinda cool.

Longer Rides Keep Things Honest.

Today was one of those perfect riding weather days again. Mid 60's and bright sunshine. I decided to go a bit long and sure felt it. I headed out through Hunt Valley towards Butler. I've been doing this road a lot lately since it's just perfect for riding out that way. At Butler I got on Belfast road and followed that all the way over to the other side of I-83 before turning left on Ensor Mill Road up into some hills. I then circled around towards the Loch Raven Reservoir, through Lutherville, then back up towards Falls Road, Caves Road, then home. 61 miles in total and somewhere just under 18mph average speed. I was pretty tired but felt good when I got home. My new bike kicks butt. Lovin it.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Merckx: End of Another Era.

Catching the news of Eddy Merckx's retirement from the bicycle company that bears his name the other day made me think back to my first brush with the name Merckx. Besides running track and cross country, I raced a bit back in my late teens and early twenties. That was the era of LeMond and Fignon, Roche, Kelly then Indurain. Back then, as now, racing was a fairly close-knit community. Not that you knew everyone, but the same guys showed up for every race and you always knew who to look out for. I'll never forget this one guy around my age, dark tan, black wavy hair,... very Euro looking to me. He rode a Merckx. Red, World Champion stripes on the frame, Columbus SL tubing. All Campy. So Pro. I loved his bike. He and his bike beat me often, but sometimes I beat him. Of course by that time, it was something like 10 years past the Merckx era so I had no idea. I only learned of Eddy after seeing the bike and doing research on the name I found so fascinating.

I used to enjoy rolling around the parking lot before races and checking out bikes and generally just enjoying the scene. I rode past the Merckx rider and overheard him say to his buddy while looking in my direction "That's the guy to look out for today." You see, I'd come in 3rd in a very hard fought race the weekend before and he was there too. So I guess that's where he got the idea.

During the race, 50 miler, I recall being in a solo breakaway for several miles before he and a few others reeled me in. After I got caught, another guy took off and I went to the back of the group, he got mildly annoyed that I wasn't taking any turns pulling. He said something like, "Just because you did a breakaway doesn't mean you can just wheelsuck now." I ignored him for awhile to catch my breath and a few miles later he came beside me and asked if maybe we outta go for it. He had such a great riding style I thought, I said nah, no condition for another attempt and he didn't go either. Anyway, he ended up winning the race in a group sprint and I got dropped just out of the lead group with under a mile to go, coming in 9th or 10th I guess.

A few months later I was walking across campus and I ran into him again. Tony Sylvester was his name, also a student at my university. It turns out his dad was my history professor and the head of the college's racing club. He asked if I was still riding/racing and if I wanted to join the university club. I joined. It was nice getting all those free tubular tires, food allowance and gas money to race for a guy living on $10 a week.

We did a lot of training and racing together after that, including the collegiate national championships. He regularly beat me. He was a gifted rider and sprinter, and his Red Merckx was just plain beautiful.

Anyway, that was my intro to the Merckx name and his retirement reminded me of that Beautiful Red Merckx.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Helmet Lights.

Hangin out at the shop after a long group ride in the dark.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Star Trek.

In keeping with today's movie theme I'm actually looking forward to this one too. I haven't been this excited about Star Trek since The Alien Sperm Whale Calls from Space one a long time ago. I think that one was called Star Trek 17: Yep, We Need More Cash.

Gran Torino.

Since when did being an older guy become Not Cool? Here's a movie I will pay to see. Go Clint! Read about Gran Torino here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2009 Tour de France Route Revealed.

The Tour's 2009 route was revealed today in France. There are some interesting things here to note, particularly if you are wondering how it suits a possible Lance Armstrong ride. First off, it remains to be seen if Lance can regain the proper fitness to even be considered a contender. I believe he can. Also of note is the addition of a team time trial. Imagine being on a team with Levi, Alberto and Lance doing a TTT. That's gotta hurt if you are some lowly Domestique hanging on for dear life. They are gonna fly and put a chunk of time on their rivals. I'm even thinking there's a chance for an Astana 1, 2, 3 finish. That would be like Ford when they swept LeMans in 1966 and poked a giant stick in the eye of Ferrari. (Astana's stick in the eye of the one's who left them out of this year's tour)

Alright, you can say I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but I can see it happening and hear the wheels and gears spinning in Johan Bruyneel's head already. If this were to happen, Alberto could get his win, and Astana will become a legendary name in cycling's history. Lance's gracious Super Domestique third place finish will do wonders for his reputation and for his cause of fighting cancer world-wide.

Of course, there's a million reasons why this won't happen as I described above, but hey, Hollywood's made billions on lamer scripts than this. Then again, there's always;


Stages for the 2009 Tour de France

Stage 1 - July 4 - Monaco - Monaco, 15km (individual time-trial)
Stage 2 - July 5 - Monaco - Brignoles, 182km
Stage 3 - July 6 - Marseille - La Grande-Motte, 196km
Stage 4 - July 7 - Montpellier, 38km (team time-trial)
Stage 5 - July 8 - Le Cap d'Agde - Perpignan, 197km
Stage 6 - July 9 - Girona (Spain) - Barcelona (Spain), 175km
Stage 7 - July 10 - Barcelona - Andorra 224km
Stage 8 - July 11 - Andorra-la-Vieille - Saint-Girons, 176km
Stage 9 - July 12 - Saint Gaudens - Tarbes, 160km

● - July 13 - Rest day at Limoges

Stage 10 - July 14 - Limoges - Issoudun, 193km
Stage 11 - July 15 - Vatan – Saint Fargeau, 192km
Stage 12 - July 16 - Tonnerre - Vittel, 200km
Stage 13 - July 17 - Vittel - Colmar, 200km
Stage 14 - July 18 - Colmar - Besanon, 199km
Stage 15 - July 19 - Pontarlier - Verbier (Suisse), 207km

● - July 20 - Rest day at Verbier

Stage 16 - July 21 - Martigny (Switzerland) - Bourg-Saint Maurice, 160km
Stage 17 - July 22 - Bourg-Saint Maurice - Le Grand Bornand, 169km
Stage 18 - July 23 - Annecy - Annecy, 40km (individual time-trial)
Stage 19 - July 24 - Bourgoin-Jallieu - Aubenas, 195km
Stage 20 - July 25 - Montélimar - Mont Ventoux, 167km
Stage 21 - July 26 - Montereau-Fault-Yonne - Paris Champs Elysées, 160km

● 10 flat stages.
● 7 mountain stages
● 1 medium mountain stage.
● 2 individual time-trial stages.
● 1 team time-trial stage.

Distinctive aspects of the race
● 3 mountain finishes.
● 2 rest days.
● 55 kilometers of individual time-trials.
● 20 Category 1, Category 2 and hors categorie passes will be climbed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Riding In The Dark.

If there weren't any cars on the road, riding in the dark wouldn't be so bad. I kinda liked this pic of Bettini in the dark at the 6 Days of Amsterdam. I wouldn't mind one of those cool Boretti jerseys. Speaking of Boretti, I can't think of a better company to sponsor a guy with so much free time on his hands now that he's retired. Not to mention, their stuff looks VERY cool.

In other news, I saw a bunch of guys riding and practicing cyclocross over at the Oregon Ridge Park as I rode by westbound on Shawan Road. I noticed a Kelly Benefits jersey on a guy I haven't seen before at the races.

Did 30 miles tonight really easy. Just enjoying the riding out there right now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Settling in for a Long Winter.

This morning's frost was a big reminder that yeah, winter is coming. Tonight I got home late, but decided to go for a ride anyway. The temperature was in the low 60's, sunny and a bit windy. Perfect for riding. I took Sunday off to let my saddle sore heal a bit and was raring to go so I went pretty hard to very hard.  1 hour: 30 minutes: 48 seconds with over half of the ride in Zone 4 with an average speed of 20.2 mph and 30.5 miles total distance. I was talking to Marc and Pete on Thursday about next year's plans and we all pretty much decided we'll start training again in December. I'm  hoping to still get out 2 or 3 times a week from now until then, with maybe some time on the trainer.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saddle Sore? Now?

Alrighty then, I take a bunch of time off the bike this week (3 Days off), bust my butt to get out of work on time for my Thursday night group ride and what is my reward? Saddle Sore? I hopped on my bike over at the shop and almost immediately I knew it would be an uncomfortable ride. Strange since during the last week of riding I felt great. Where did that come from? Well I know where it came from. Too much sitting at work. Workmans Comp!

Tonight's Ride: 25 miles, super easy with Marc, Pete and Lea, not sure of how her name is spelled. Had a great time.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quote of the Day.

"The whole doping thing blows my mind, I think that only the guys who do it, understand it. In 40 years time, when I'm long retired, I wanna look back on my career with pride." -- Steven Cozza, Team Garmin/Chipotle

Gitane!

Now here's a name you don't see or hear much of anymore. Gitane bikes were ridden to Tour Wins and/or World Championships by greats like Anquetil, Stablinski, Van Impe, Hinault, LeMond and Fignon. I found one (either a Grand Sport Deluxe or Tour de France model) at a flea market in Scranton, PA back as a kid and convinced my dad to buy it for $15. He rode it for quite awhile and I think it still sits somewhere back home in a shed, garage or barn. Amazing how a name like that can fall off the map into obscurity after such success. A quick run to GitaneUSA reminded me of that old bike. I guess they still exist as a company, barely.

The Bucket's Back?

Where did it go? I thought it never left. Well tonight I probably ate more than half a bucket by my fat old self. No riding, just eating for me. Damn!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cycling's Golden Age.

I know the season is barely over, but if you're looking for something to help you get through the long winter ahead I can't think of a better way than to get your grubby hands on Cycling's Golden Age by Owen Mulholland and printed by VeloPress. It's a collection of stories and images about the legends of cycling after WWII up to the late 1960's. The imagery is taken from The Horton Collection and it's a beauty. The forward is by the great Eddy Merckx. Very fitting, since the men featured in the book are his childhood heroes. I can't say enough about this book so I won't even try.

Scott CR1 SL Limited. My New Bike.

Well it's been a few weeks and around 500 miles of riding on my new bike so I figured it was time to write about it. A couple months back, sometime in the summer, I did some freelance design work that paid pretty ok. I'd been kicking around the idea of building up a new road bike and with my wife's permission, set out do build up something to race on in 2009.

Here's the breakdown of parts:
  • 2007 Scott CR1 SL Limited Frame and Fork 56cm
  • Shimano Dura-Ace 7850 SL Scandium Tubeless Clincher Wheels
  • FSA SL-K Light Hollow Carbon Crankset and Bottom Bracket
  • SRAM 2009 Rival Double-Tap Shifters/Brake Levers, Fr/Rr Derailleurs
  • SRAM Red Cassette
  • SRAM PC-1090R Chain
  • Selle Italia Thoork Saddle
  • 3T Doric Team Seatpost
  • 3T ARX Team Stem
  • FSA Energy T Bar
  • Speedplay Zero Pedals
  • Campagnolo Record Skeleton Brakes
  • Ritchey WCS Carbon Drop-In Headset
  • Hutchinson Fusion 2 Tubeless Tires
  • Forte Carbon Waterbottle Cages
  • Fizik Bar Tape
  • Polar CS200 Computer
  • SRAM brake and derailleur cables

Let's see, the good things about it? It is light and all-day comfortable to ride. It climbs and descends well and the handling is fast yet predictible. The wheels are the nicest feeling wheels I've ridden since my old tubular days. The brakes are great and the derailleurs were easy to set up and the rear shifts really well. I think SRAM Double-Tap shifing is great. I like the looks of the bike and it's a bit understated compared to the newest stuff out there. That's a plus for me as I wanted something that doesn't look faster than I can ride or like some Fannie Mae CEO's golden parachute gift.

Bad things? The front derailleur shifting is very precise but clunky sounding and the chain is a little more noisy than Shimano stuff no matter how much I lube it so far. I may switch lubes to something else to see if that helps.

Future Plans? I'd like to invest in a set of aero carbon fiber tubular race wheels for crits and time-trialing. I don't know if I'll get those though. We'll see.

Overall: A huge step up from my Jamis in every way and I'm looking forward to many miles of good riding and racing. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Retirement, Where Do They Go?

Today was Erik Zabel's last race, unless he pulls a Lance, as a professional at the 2008 Paris-Tours. The old guy came in 7th in a sprint finish. I think he won maybe one race this year after a career total of around 200 wins. Way to go Erik! I often wonder where all those retired pros go after a long career. I imagine some retirement home for bike racers at the base of Mont Ventoux or something.

Today's Ride: 30 miles in the country under deep blue skies.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mini Bikes and Other Nonsense.

One of the nice things about growing up out in the middle of nowhere back in the day was being able to get a motor under you at a very early age with no parental supervision for days (weeks) on end during summer vacation. I remember vividly my dad bringing home various mini bikes or building 3 wheeled go-karts (motorcycle engines?) for my older brothers. First a Rupp for my oldest brother and soon after some no-name brand for my sister, who quickly realized that mini-bikes weren't for her by wrecking in the front yard on her first ride.

The Rupp was a cut above with shocks and all, but the other was your typical Briggs and Stratton motor strapped to a frame and wheels. Ownership of my sister's bike was soon transferred to my second brother. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time and my old Rollfast 20" bike was starting to look awfully slow next to those. Oh how I longed for the day I'd have my own. Over the years, those bikes were upgraded to faster and faster bikes, one of those was an Arctic Cat, then a Hodaka and on to a killer CZ 250 complete with coffin gas tank. Perfect, since that bike was neck snapping fast and could put you in the grave at any moment. Those were the bikes I ended up learning to ride on when I got big enough to touch the pegs from the seat.

Finally the day arrived one summer where I had worn my mom down enough, and saved enough cash working on the farm ($5 a 12 Hour Day!) to buy my own bike. I ended up with a Honda QA50 like the one you see above, only it was Red. Strange thing about that bike; it ran when I test rode it at the kid's house where I bought it, but when I got it home it wouldn't start. I worked on the damn thing for days after that. It was a complete piece of junk, extremely slow and barely ran, but it looked a little like a Harley and was mine. All Mine! It was a definite step back in performance (understatement) from some of the other bikes we had but I didn't care. I spent all summer working on it, and even riding it a bit when it wasn't broken down. Like now, I wasn't much of an off-road type of guy so it was roads for me. On any given day I could be seen riding this thing who knows where. Sometimes as far as 10-15 miles from home. It had the nasty habit of throwing parts off the motor when it got really hot after a good 30 minute full throttle run to the store with my $1 weekly allowance or some of the cash I earned on the farm. I'd sit along the road and wait for the motor to cool down enough so I could put the parts back on and continue. Gas? I syphoned that out of mom or dad's car with a garden hose. Eventually I upgraded the front wheel with a larger spoked unit I found off an old Harley we had laying around. It bolted right up as long as I took the brakes and front fender off. Who needs brakes anyway? Now it had that cool chopper look I was after.

I loved that little Honda when I wasn't cursing it for being so lame. Finally one day I saw my brother pushing it home with a broken kick-start and a few other problems. He'd "borrowed" stolen it to take to work on the farm and when it wouldn't start he kicked it to death. I pushed it over to the Barn where it sat for years. I'd see it in there and think maybe I'd restore it someday but never did. Finally a freak snow-storm left so much snow on the roof of the barn one winter it collapsed, crushing everything inside, including my Honda. That was the end of that, but my love of two wheeled transportation continued.

Today's Ride: 40 miles, a little over 2 hours (easy, no big hills) Tomorrow I'm planning to go a bit longer, early.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Risky Business.

I got this weekly specials email from Probikekit and after looking at this line-up it got me thinking. Companies are really taking a risk advertising with mugshots, I mean images of pros these days. One positive test, or check issued to some Doctor in Spain and Bam!, there goes the squeaky clean sportsman image. Of course, sometimes I think people don't care one way or another. Anyway, they are pretty cool images, and I do like Speedplays.

Tonight's Ride: 30 miles really easy, got home in the dark.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sorta Group Ride.

Tonight's group ride was probably the hardest one all year. It's a really hilly ride. I drove the car to the shop to get a head start on darkness and to be there in plenty of time to change and hang out with the guys beforehand. Well, in the last minute I decided to get a light on the front and back of my bike since it was pretty obvious we were gonna be riding past dark. After 15 minutes of fumbling around with installing the lights, switching to a different front light and telling everyone to leave without me, I was ready to go. I ended up leaving 10 minutes after everyone else. I time-trialed up St. Thomas and towards the big hill thinking I'd catch them there. Nope. My new bike is really dialed in now that I lowered the seat a tiny bit. Before it felt like I couldn't get any power to the pedals. Staying in the drops the whole time out through Boring there was still no sign of everyone else. Finally on Falls Road after an hour and 10 minutes of hammering I noticed the tell-tale blinking taillights of riders. That felt good. I passed two stragglers, and then caught everyone else at the next sprint point. They were waiting.

We all rode together from there to the final big challenge every week on Caves Road. That hill isn't long or particularly steep, but it's enough to create a good gap if you go super hard. I told my wife earlier my plan was to attack halfway up that hill and see what kind of gap I could get on everyone, then try to hang on as long as possible while saving just the tiniest bit just in case someone caught me. Well, Clark is really strong and he did catch me, then went around. I grabbed his wheel and we traded pulls the last few miles until the finish. Marc and Pete were right behind us the whole time so it was a real challenge to try and keep the gap we had built up.

I went hard up the last little climb and arrived in a coffin back at St. Thomas Cemetery with Clark, Marc and Pete right on my tail. That was hard but fun. I was completely cooked at that point. 1hour, 45 minutes, 34.2 miles, 19.5 mph average, 43 mph max speed, 177bpm max heart rate (That must've been on caves where I went all out for a bit)

Something Stinks.

Is it just me, or do you get the feeling a major news story is going to hit any day about a certain team (CSC) and doping? It seems to me all the stars are aligning for something like that to happen soon. Or maybe not. I'm just thinking out loud.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Gimondi and Cannibal

Goin Downhill Fast.

At the end of the day, this is what it's all about. Goin Downhill Fast!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

How Do You End a Season?

I guess my season technically was over after the Tour de Millersburg, but I continued riding pretty much like there are still races coming. I did 10 races this year and hope to do maybe a few more next year. I don't have a cross bike so that's out of the question. I don't want to start riding the trainer either. I guess I could take some time off and do some running so I can be ready for this on Thanksgiving Day. I don't want to take much time off and gain weight that I'll just have to lose in January and February either. There is that problem with darkness. hmmm. I guess that'll pretty much do it then. So it'll be riding to and from work with maybe a longer ride on the weekend to spice things up. OK, there's a plan for now.

I also started this. A challenge is always good and it might even help. Who knows?

Tonight's Ride: Just under 1.5 hours. 30(29.7 actually) miles. 20.6 mph average speed according to the spiffy new Polar.

Custom Fixie!

It's a bit on the heavy side, but it goes great down long straight hills. Pushing it back up is a great workout too.

Fore!

Best Ugliest new product of Interbike. I hate helmets in general but his thing. Yowch.

Monday, October 06, 2008

New Toy

I got a new toy for the bike the other day and got to try it out for the first time tonight. I'm still learning how it works, but here's some of the data I was able to extract from tonight's ride. Fun!

riding time 1:21
average heart rate: 138
max hear rate: 172
hr limits (zone) 116 low, 152 high
time spent in zone: 1:07
time spent above zone: 5 minutes
time spent below zone: 9 minutes
calories: 958
distance: 25.2 miles
average speed: 18.6mph
high speed: 42.8mph

It'll be fun playing with the interval functions when I learn how.

Friday, October 03, 2008

There's Still Time!

I know it's late and there's only one day left for Oktoberfest over in Munich but if we hurry,... In other news out of Germany, Jan Ullrich is still retired, but if you read the whole story you'll see he leaves the door open to change his mind so he can get spanked again by Lance.

Well on our way.

How dare you even think of doing a business deal that doesn't involve huge sums of taxpayer money, government permission and control! The march towards a perfect socialist society continues. Gotta love it.

Yo Frankie! Did You Ask For a Refund At Least?


Operation Puerto just never goes away. Oh, the pic by the way is taken during The Tour of the Schleck brothers enjoying their day off.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Group Ride.

Tonight I barely made it over to the shop for our little Thursday night group ride. I really look forward to this every week but it's pretty tight timing wise. Get home, change, check tire pressure, fill water bottles and go. How'd it go? Yeah I know everyone is just dying to know.

We have 2 Groups, the 5:15 group and the 5:30 group. I generally leave with the 5:30 group if there are no races on Saturday since they tend to ride a bit quicker and it gives us a chance to play catch the 5:15 group. Always fun. Anyway, we waited until about 5:25 and decided to go. It was just Mark, Howard, The Kid Mike and Me. Mark reamed (jokingly) me out for not showing up for the Race in DC a couple weeks back. That was another fiasco I'd rather not go into (story of my life). He ended up being the only Kelly Benefits guy there. I really wanted to race that one. Ah well, back to the group ride.

For some reason, Mark likes to start these rides out really fast not giving us much time to warm up. Hint; I do warm up, because I ride over to the shop beforehand, not that it matters. It starts out up hill on St. Thomas Lane then turns left for some fast flats and small hills towards Hunt Valley. Mark took a long pull, I took a pull, we look back and Howard is off the back. The Kid is hanging on riding his Flash looking Cervelo. I swear it's impossible to drop him. We motor along trading pulls until we notice one of the 5:15 guys up ahead, pass him and keep going. Horse Farms. Fences. Here comes Piney Grove and the first major hill. Piney Grove. I hear it's 18% and that sounds about right. Mark, The Kid, and I pass a few more 5:15ers including one on a Pinarello Prince wearing a matching Rock Racing jersey. So Pro looking. I get a little gap near the top but Mark and the Kid are soon flying by and it's about all I can do to jump on their wheel. We trade some more pulls, going extra hard towards our first sprint point where we also meet up with the rest of the 5:15ers. The kid goes around me at the last second to take that one.

Clark shows up in his bright yellow jersey coming from Reisterstown to join in the fun. We all regroup here before continuing on towards Boring, Maryland and the right turn at Byerly and our next sprint point. I'm a pretty bad sprinter so I figure I'll do a lead-out for the other guys. I'm secretly hoping Clark or Mark put a hurtin on The Kid. Don't get me wrong, The Kid's cool and all but you know what I mean. Sure enough, Mark and The Kid come around with about 200 yards to go and are gone. Mark takes that one with The Kid right on his tail and me taking 3rd.

Regroup and continue. I can't believe how quickly it's getting dark now. Now we're heading towards this pesky little hill they call "The Nipple" (cows on the left) where Mark always seems to make a jump to put some space between himself and the rest of us. I'm stuck behind Clark. (He hasn't been riding much) I go around him chasing down The Kid and Mark and manage to catch their wheel. The Kid takes a pull. I go around to pull. It's all downhill now. Fast. It's always the same here. Make a sweeping right. Mark flies around on the sweeping left. I try to grab his wheel. Catch him and wait until the last second and jump around him before our next regrouping. That is Tough! Clark caught us on the downhill section and finishes right behind me.

Now it's on to Butler, Mantua Hill and then ummm,... Geist, yeah Geist. Here are some more pesky little hills that aren't steep, but when you are trying to lose The Kid (Impossible I say) they are tough. The Kid and I chat about racing a bit, then Mark goes flying around. We grab his wheel. Time to set up for the sprint to Falls Road. Mark jumps around me and takes this one. Me, then The Kid following. Regroup again.

Falls Road, Knox, Greenspring, The Kid goes straight on Greenspring towards home. We turn Right onto Caves. The last hill. Finally. It's dark now. I crest the hill first, motor along until Mark and Clark catch me. They go around. We trade some pulls. Clark does one of his REALLY hard jumps after my pull where I'm about dead and can barely hang on, not that I'm gonna let them know my calf just cramped up. Last little hill on Garrison, back to St Thomas. I pull into the cemetary parking lot first, Clark and Mark right there with me. We wait for the others. Coast to the finish back at the shop.

Ahhhh Fun. There won't be many more of these this year unfortunately.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Quickie.

I think my wife felt a bit guilty about last night's fiasco so when I got home she asked if I was going for a ride. I had originally planned on a night off, but since she was giving permission I decided to go out for an hour or so. Well, anyway, it felt great. I actually felt kinda strong and was flying out there. I did some hard extended efforts with some rest in between. It was a short yet productive ride. If I feel this good tomorrow and the weather holds up I'm gonna debut the new bike for the group ride and try pushing the pace. We'll see how it goes.