Friday, December 26, 2008

CBRC Membership and Clothing!!!!

I'm happy to announce that the for the first time you will be able to renew your CBRC membership and purchase your 2009 clothing via bikereg.com. This should greatly simplify the process and make sure everyone gets precisely what they order.

Please go to http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=7471 to place your order. You'll be able to pay via credit card or debit card, just like when you sign up for a race!

The due date for clothing orders is January 9, 2009. Please don't delay in submitting your order!!! In order to insure we get the order back from Verge by Johnny Cake we've got to stick to this deadline.

Clothing samples are available to try on at CK Cycles. Stop in and ask Jeff for the sizing kit. Verge said they've revised the fit of their long sleeve jerseys and some other pieces, so if you're not sure what size you want, definitely stop in the shop and try things on before placing an order.

As in the past few years, the club will be carrying only a limited supply of clothing for crash replacements and new members, so please don't plan on purchasing items out of club stock; you'll literally and figuratively be left out in the cold.

The kit design is remaining essentially unchanged with the exception of sponsor refreshing. So all the blue black and yellow pieces you currently have should still match well enough into the ongoing season. Please remember, everyone should be racing in the most up to date kits, to reflect our present sponsorship.. That means everyone needs to get at least one new jersey, but you don't need to worry about replacing the random odd vest or winter jacket that you wear 6 times a year. It will all look pretty much the same.

You'll also notice there are two different options for jerseys and shorts now. The less expensive "classic" items are very much like those we rode in in 2005-07. The elite collection is the carry over of the 2008 collection, and includes the upgraded materials, chamois, and flat lock stitching we got last year. Verge says the elite collection is their most durable highest performance product. The classic stuff hits a lower price point, which is nice too.

There are a few new pieces of clothing available you may want to consider - the Pelta Racing Jacket, which is streamlined jacket with three rear pockets. Ideal for racing in the spring conditions we see. Compared to the Warsaw Jacket most of you are familiar with, its snugger fitting and more performance orientated. The Warsaw is available also, and carries over unchanged. If you're looking for a piece to do long winter base miles in, or wear at cross races after you race, its the Warsaw. If you want something that's appropriate to race the Johnny Cakes, Turtle Pond, Battenkill, and Jimminy Peak (among others) you're looking for the Pelta.

Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions, and please order early, and order often!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

NBX 2008

This past weekend concluded the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross series at Goddard Park, RI. We had a good crew from the area including Steve, Jim (and his buddy Dan), Q, the Whites, the Toths, Nathanial, and me that headed east for the weekend. Steve, Jim, Dan, Q, and I arrived Friday evening at the Marriot Suites. The Whites were stationed there as well, across the hall. Friday was primarily trashgoat flag and drumstick prep and getting things set for an early Saturday start.

Saturday was a cold but sunny day. Highs were in the mid 30’s. We had a full slate of racing. Steve was first at 9:30 in the Masters 3/4, Q at 10:30 in Masters 1/2/3, Curtis at 11:30, and Jim and I in the Cat 2/3. We started with some yummy waffles at the hotel and headed over to the park. We got or numbers from registration, a cup of coffee, and took note of the course condition. The air was dry and the ground was frosted, mud would not be a factor.

The course was similar to day 2 last year. Racers started on pavement, a few wide turns to get things set in the parking lot then onto the beach and up a sandy hill. Following the run up, racers were into the woods, up another steep pitch on the bike, onto the road toward a grassy upper section, then back into the woods. There were plenty of roots but all were marked with orange paint and smoothed over by anyone riding tubulars. There was another short sand section on the beach, one set of double barriers near the registration pavilion, and a paved downhill finish. The NBX people definitely construct one of the best courses in the series.

I went wildcard as usual with the monkey during Steve’s and Q’s races. Jim kept telling me to relax but I can’t help myself. Although I did try and make the bucket drum last longer than one day (the newly padded drumstick helped).

The Cat2/3 race was wicked fast and every spot was contended. Who says nobody races for 50th? The lasting impression was that I was on the gas for the entire race, no time to hide. After the race I got talking to a guy from Spooky bikes since I want the supertouch. I told him that we made a flag with a goat head and a trash can on it and he laughed and then gave me a strange look. I took that as a good sign. Have you ever looked closely at the Spooky jersey?

We went ballistic during elite men’s race since we were all jazzed from racing plus half full of dollar Narragansetts. Anyway, we made an impression. Q took the flag and he and I were all over the place shouting at Al, Nathanial, Justin, Matt White, and Mukunda (all NYcross vets). I didn’t break the bucket but I tried. Especially when running up the sand hill alongside Al, he asked me, “is that the best you can do?” Why is Al talking to monkeys?

Saturday evening we had some dinner at a tavern. The Whites watched movies and ordered room service. The weather channel called for snow overnight and more snow/freezing rain and wind all day Sunday. Whoa.

Sunday 7 am. Open the curtains, everything is white and snow is falling. Temps around freezing.

Same schedule as Saturday but Q raced the killer Bs. The course was modified a bit and included more sand, more turns (snowy of course), an uphill double barrier, and a sketchy but fun descent. We set up the tent, CBRC banner, and basically tried to help Curtis in any way we could since he was racing for the series title. Curtis won by taking advantage of a bobble to take the lead and then never giving it back. Way to go Curtis!

Steve raced first. He said it was wicked fun but crashed fours times in the same section. We checked that section out and riders were going down during practice laps. The high line or the low line was good but the middle was slick.

Around noon, about 30 min. before Jim, Q, and I raced, the weather took a turn. The wind kicked up and it started snowing more. I let some more air out of the tires and they were perfect. The race was awesome. The first time up the run up my shifter was hooked in a rear wheel and my rear derailleur was in a front wheel – killer B chaingang. We got unhooked but I had a stone wedged into my cleat and could not get clipped into the pedal. I stomped my foot after the double barrier and it must have come out. Later that lap Gary stabbed my with Joe’s cowbell staff of Rah.

The course demanded full concentration. The snow plus mud made the corners tricky but not impossible. I was totally focused. I aimed for every line I wanted to take, setup for the next turn, accelerated full gas, and never made the same mistake twice. This does not always happen but I locked every turn into memory after the first lap and hit them well every time. My best technical race of the year for sure. It was a blast.

Immediately following the race we went to the pavilion for Curtis’s award ceremony. Steve and Gary bought us a round of Narragansett, and then another round. We got packed up and watched the elite race. Nathanial and Al worked well together in a group just behind Justin. It was a good race with lots of attacking.

Below are some pictures and two videos. One video Steve shot and the other is a cool bike cam of the first lap of the Cat2/3 on Sunday.

















You can watch this in higher quality on Youtube.


NBX GP of Cross 2/3 Men Day 2 Lap 1 Handlebar Cam from colin reuter on Vimeo.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the cup.

The NYCROSS.com CX series finished up with the Bethlehem Cup yesterday. The event was well attended and well organized. Chuck Quackenbush does a great job making the event more than a race with a chilli cook off, free beer, and a big fire pit - you could not even have the cross race and likley everyone would still come for the food and fun. But, luckily, there is a cross race, and its a doosey.

The course has been described as Belgian like, mostly because its insanely hard. Everything about it is more difficult than normal. The runup is insane. The mud bogs are deep and long. The places you can rest are non-existenant. Across the board, its just painful. But, its a type of pain that should be imbraced.

Its refreshing to race through muck when so many of the races on the East Coast have become grass crits. The Cup is for sure, its own animal. Its not Gloucester, its not No-Ho. Its not even Uncle Sam. That what makes it great.

My day of racing went like this -In the 3/4, field I had a good start and made the front group of five, but coming into the first big run up on lap 1, I lost my chain. It actually jamed in between the ring and the 3rd eye. I lost about 30 seconds trying to get it out. The whole field went by me. I kept my cool, and decided not to go full throttle chasing, instead riding fast and steady, picking people off. I rode back into about 10th place over the next couple laps - were I usually spend my time anyway, but, on the second to last lap my chain jammed again. I got it fixed more quicklky this time, by actually kicking the 3rd eye with my foot, getting it to move and popping the chain pop out again. But alas, I had lost a ton of places. I went around to the finish, saw my dad and cousin hanging out, and pulled out with 1 to go to go talk to them.

I hate DNFing, but decided that rather then chasing like a maniac again, I would save it for the 1/2/3 race and consider what I just did nothing more than a good warmup.

Stopping early payed off in fact. A few minutes after I rolled off the course, I got to see Curtis White, at all of 13 years old, beat adult Rich Teal in the sprint for the win. That's right, Curtis is now winning adult cat 3 races. Curtis always impresses me, he's faster than I'll ever be and he's not even half my age. Amazingly, I'm not that old either! More impressive than his on bike skill, is the fact that he's one of the nicest kids I've ever met. There isn't anyone in bike racing I'd rather see win than Curtis!

After the race finished up I debated doing the 1/2/3 or just having some of the free beer from the Pump Station. I decided to do the race, and convinced a good contingent of the cbrc cat 3s to enter the 1/2/3 field as well. Thanks to a major UCI race taking place in Canada this weekend, there weren't that many super fast guys there. Not that any of would really have a chance, but with a small group of elite riders present, the chances that I would get lapped by tons of people was low.

James and Danny lined up with me. James and I decided to have a grudge match, talking all sorts of smack about who would beat who. Justin Lindene, who has been top 5 in UCI elite races was there too, which meant our major challenge of the day would be not getting lapped more than once.

The gun went off and we went out fast. The barriers on the course are about 1/4 mile from the start, so we hit them still in a the whole group. I wish I had a video of this, because we were flying, and it was really fun to be in the group with the elite racers, racing over the barriers at a speed you just never see in the 3/4 field. It was a real throw down.

The race opened up in front of me, with most of the fast guys quickly opening a gap. The CBRC contingent, including Chris Delisle, Danny, James and I found our selves racing each other mostly. Chris powered away pretty early in the second lap. Leaving Danny, James and I to fight it out for the "not last place" award. I attacked somewhere in the middle of the race, but Danny and James matched it. James attacked me coming through the mud the next lap, but I clawed back to him. Then Danny charged back to us too. with about 3 to go I came over the barriers and opened up the throttle as soon as I remounted. I got a gap and kept it through the techincal corners that followed and onto the pavement. Danny closed it down over the next half lap though and sped past me in the mud pit after bunnyhopping a log that I had dismounted to clear. It was a solid tech move and good strategy. He carried so much speed into the mud, he was gone while I ground away.

Hoping to catch DannyI took a risk on the sketchy descent following the mud bog, but almost crashed severely, reaffirming the thinking that taking risks isn't really ever a good idea even though you think it is when you're in severe oxygen debt.

So the gaps stuck, Danny finished 8th, me 9th, James 10th. Solid sounding results, until you consider the number of starters in the race was also 10. Justin won. No suprises there.

What was suprising, was that during the race, I really started enjoying the mud, and pain, and suffering. It was hard, it was more pf a man vs. nature then man vs. man challenge. Regardless of what place anyone finished yesterday, all of us who raced as hard as we could and finished really accomplished something. Which, is really as good as it gets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Videos from Gloucester

I've been trying to get these onto NYcross.com but they don't embed in a straightforward way.

Eric through the sand pit.


Monkeyman drumming along.


Jim over the barriers.


Jim through the sand pit.


Wildcard in the tree and Eric up the dirt.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gloucester day one. 2/3 men.

There's an interesting feature of the Verge New England CX series - since the "A" races are UCI elite races, only cat 1 riders and up, who hold UCI international licenses can enter them. This means, if you're cat 2, you're in the "B" race.

This makes the 45 minute "B" race substantially faster then they are around here, because instead of being cat 3 in a group of 3s and 4s, you're now cat 3 in a group of 2s and 3s. This isn't rocket science, but those guys go like rockets.

So, on to race details from day one. The start is a paved up hill section - you start at the bottom of the hill and the finish banner is at the top of the hill.

After all the call ups, I end up on about the 4th row, among mostly people who will likely be way faster than I am.

The starter gives us 30 seconds to go, then counts down 15...14...13.........3...2...1...BANG. We're off. Everyone's drilling it up this paved section, full blown sprint, new definition of hole shot. Some people had trouble getting clipped in and went out the back door faster then a goat in a submarine.

Charging up the hill, we enter the first sweeping right hander - turning on to the grass we're 6 wide, I've got people pushing on me, I'm leaning on guys, and everyone is diving and chopping the corners. Every man for himself. You have no friends in Cross. Ben Hur. Put another cliche here, they're all true.

Barriers...first lap, still in huge traffic. Its a twisty "W" setup where you make a sharp 180 degree turn right before you hit the planks. We're still about 4 wide at this point and no one's giving ground. I stay on the bike as long as possible and roll through the corner and dismount. hit the ground in full on sprint, rock the high school high hurdler skill over the barriers and pass a couple guys. No avail, the remount and acceleration after the barriers is ridiculous. I loose 6 or 8 places.

We bomb down a mild decent, and rock into a big set of sweeping turns, right, left, right... past the pit and onto the power alley - its the back stretch of the course , there's a head wind and you're right by the water. Its the longest straightest part of the course, and all the motors are full throttle. Finally, we hit the next set of twisties, and there's more diving and chopping. I'm loosing places faster then the Dow. We get to the sand pit and its a full blown sprint again. Holy hell - its still the first lap!

We finish up the lap, and I get into a group where I can do damage control, sort of. I ride with 6 or 8 guys. From the looks of it I'm somewhere between 30th and 60th on the course. We sort of settle in, but every few turns we either are caught by a faster rider or run into a slower rider. This produces accelerations, which in turn produce attacks. I am not attacking though. The only thing I am doing fast is going backwards.

Damage control goes on for a while, Cory Johansen, a high school classmate and now rival racer from the fine folks at ECV goes by me holy grail style. Then Buffalo comes up. No words, just a few moments riding together. There's an acceleration again, I'm on the ropes, Buffalo makes it.

Now we're 6 laps into our seven lap race. I've been clawing my way into mediocrity, passing, getting passed, railing a turn then and riding like a full blown newbie all in the same sequence.

On the rocky section of course leading away from the water, there's a sudden squish. I hear hissing. Its not a snake. Its my tire. The pit is almost half way around the course, and there's only 2 two go, but this is GP Gloucester. No one takes a DNF. I start running with the bike, lots of people go by me. I don't keep track. Basically its everyone who hadn't already passed me. I get to the pit and get a wheel from the Mavic guys. I'm back on my way, but the wheel I got had about 20 psi in it. Squish squash, I roll along, carefully passing some people and finishing up the last lap. 90 something place. Not real impressive, but the number doesn't tell half the story.

Check back later for an update on my second experience in the 2/3s. It went better, sort of....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Iron Cross Tales

Sector 1 or How to conserve.

What follows is a race report broken up by sectors, and as time allows. I was joined by fellow Iron folks Chuck Q, Tim H (on single speed by choice or fate) Chris D & Chris M (fresh from a trip to the UK) and Ian Briggs, our stalwart UK member. Jenny Ives rounded out the team. Justin L was to be with us, but had some "UCI points" thingy going on. Whatever. (nothing but love man).
Also special mention to Bina Briggs for capturing our pain in digital medium, and the lovely couple of Coach Jim and Patsy Hartnett who tended to the prima dona needs of 4 old guys (sorry Chris D) who still enjoy potty humor.

We staged on an honor system of what time we expected to finish in. Chris Delisie, Chris McBurnie and I being the wimps on geared bikes went down to the staging area in the under 5 hour group. Once there the crowd generally milled about until one cyclist at the front yelled ready, then go. At first I though it was someone having us on, but we all left en mass and thundered up the gravel path.

Onto the first run up the Chris's and I were together. Naturally I dropped a chain so in a crowd I kept running and managed to get it back on. Then into the spiral of death. No tight little twist, but a giant, field enveloping, never ending, "I'm about to puke" spiral of death. Chris D and I are on the way out when a rider slides out in front of us. In my one cat like reflex move of the day, I swerve right while Chris dodges left. We grin like idiots at each other for having cleared and fellow riders begin complementing Chris.

From there it's onto some sketchy gravel (that would later claim some Jenny Ives blood) and onto a recreation path. There the pace lines form up and folks tend to calm down some. Many folks were happy to drive the train so being nice I let them drive. Through the sand pit and on to the first hill, paved and not too steep but long. Gaps started forming but I let them open since we would hit dirt soon and I don't want to be redlining it there. Once we navigate the through the fence we hit fire road.

Up, up, up. As expected folks start to fade and I just work at keeping a good tempo over the rough stuff. A few time folks will come up and I tag along nicely taking what rest I can. Many folks have already flatted so there will be some long days. Over the top onto a long level gravel road along the ridge line. Another pace line forms up with Chris D and I sitting pretty. One hurried gentleman comes screaming down as the road tilts down and we jump on. We approach pavement again and need to go left. Like lemmings I watch several folks follow this guy right despite signs and yelling riders to go left. Down the twisty descent I lead, and encounter another rider who is left/right challenged at the turn on the bottom.

These are the rolling paved roads before the KOM climb, and we all are getting along more or less. I'm amazed at the couple of single speed guys, knowing Chuck and Tim are doing the same.

As we approach the KOM climb I again focus on keep a steady cadence and not maxxing out. 3/4 from the top folks are starting to loose it so I lift the speed to get out of harms way then start to crank it over the top and onto more fire road climb. Here I manage at one point to open a gap, knowing I'll want to have room once we hit the single track climb, Lippencote Trail. As the road levels out and tilts down a group with Chris D catches up to me. Here I'll work to stay on the front until I hit an unforeseen rock that almost throws me over the handle bars. Then the shorts snag trying to slide back and my weight is stuck over the handles bars. Some how I regain my composure and position on the bike. I approach the first check point and set up to make the turn onto Lippencote and sector 2 with only one wheel in front of me...

...to be continued.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Gloucester.

If you race a bike, if you ever raced a bike, if you ever might want to race a bike, you need to go to Gloucester. The Edringer Grand Prix of Gloucester is one of the largest cx races in the country, and without verifying the claim, I'm pretty sure its the biggest CX race on the east coast for sure.

Here's the thing, size doesn't matter - this is the best race of the year, not because 1300 racers show up to throw down, but the fact that this many racers travel to the eastern end of Massachussts each year indicates how much fun the event really is.

First lets look at the race itself. The venue is Stage Fort Park, an beautiful venue right on the Atlantic Ocean. More than one section of the course places goes within such a close proximity to the water that an error in steering could produce a soggy rider. The course is classic cx, twisting and turning back on itself, making 90% of the race visible from a few vantage points. There' s a snaking up hill barrier section and a wild sand pit that borders on rideable, but is just hard enoungh that only a perfect ride through will be successful- the safe bet is to run, but riding it in front of the crowd is always tempting.

This year a great contintgent of riders from the NYCROSS.com world made the 3 hour car ride East for the big show. Here is a further illustration of how rad this race is - almost all of us had some sort of catatrosphy during our races, yet no one was discouraged and we'll all certinaly return in 2009.

Cheif among the disasters was Dave Beals's first lap crash in the masters 55+ race. Dave went down hard when another rider got tangled up with him as they approaced the barrier section. Unfortunatly Dave broke his collar bone. Medical attention appeared rapidly and Dave was taken to the hospital. Not to be detered, after being released from the hospital he returned to the park, with his arm in a sling, and spent the rest of the weekend cheering and heckling riders from all over the country. Dave - best wishes in your recovey, we'll all miss you at the training rides and races for the next couple months.

Other, far less pertinent disasters included flat tires, snapped derailleur cables, sketchy crashes, scary starts, and Ryan Treborn beating Tim Johnson twice in two days. Now, given the fact that really, nothing went the way of the nycross army this week, and I'm still stocked as hell on the race, you should all recognize how sick Gloucester is.

They'll be some more gloucster themed posting this week, but for now I'll say, mark your calender for 09, you have to be there.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the battle of schenectady

I'm scared. Really scared. This season I've stepped up my game by actually training, and have been getting a lot of good indications from the power tap.

Five minute power? Way up.

Two minute power? Way up.

Results? Not up.

This means the amout of pain and suffering I'm going to have to endure to actually do better in races is going to be a lot. Yikes.

I was hoping, that given my new found training time, and actual indications that I'm a lot stronger than this time last year, I would maybe place higher in races. Strangely, it seems that everyone else is just faster too.

I've been doing intense calculations the last couple days, looking at results from the first few races this year and then races the last couple years. This is what I discovered: I'm finishing a lot closer to the winner then in the last couple years. It used to be that I would be 3-5 minutes behind the winner and place somewhere between 10th and 20th place.

This season, I'm 1-2 minutes behind the winner, still slotting in 10th-20th place. Which is awesome, because I'm apparently a lot closer to the fastest racers in my category, but not awesome, because apparently a bunch of other people stepped up the game as well.

Now I'm going to have to rethink the strategy in hopes that I can get some other edge that will boost me up another 5 or 6 spots. In no particular order here are the potential ways I can get even faster this week:

1. doping, obviously. Now, I don't know where to get dope. And I don't have any money to buy fancy things like EPO or my own pre-stored blood, but I do have a blender and many many bananas at my house. What I'm thinking is that I can blend up a lot of bananas and some protien mix and maybe add a lot of red bull and then some multi-vitamins then store it in a camelback bladder in my basement for a few days, then drink like a gallon if it right before the race. I'm pretty sure this would make me substantially more successful.

2. same as number 1, but instead of me drinking it, I get the 10 racers in the field who keep beating me to drink a bunch right before the race. I bet this helps me place higer for sure.

3. Stop racing completely. Yeah, it may seem like stopping racing is the opposite of getting better results, but that's a short sighted way to look at things. Basically, by stopping now, I would win the race to start another obscure expensive and ridiculious sport. I'm thinking I could be top ten in a goat race next week if I switch right now.

4. goat race? really?

In conclusion: here's a couple pictures from the hard fought Cat Four and Juniors Race this weekend:






Monday, September 22, 2008

Kirkland CX.

The first race in the NYCROSS.com series took place Sunday in Clinton, NY out by Utica. Put on by the Mohawk Valley Bike Club, it was a great course, with a challenging run up, great windy nature trails, a sand pit, traditional double barriers, and some sweet highspeed sweeping turns on slick grass. Overall, it was a blast.


Jimbo on the runup.

I was really, really motivated, for some reason, and went out like a madman on the first lap, winning the hole shot and being the first rider over the barriers about 1/3 of the way into the lap. Then, as expected by just about everyone other than me I blew up completely.


There was a great sandpit, as Danny Goodwin demonstrates here:



After the race Gary Toth came up to me and said "Great job on the first lap, because after that you really looked like crap." It was true. Laps 2 -6 were much more trying than the first one, and included such interesting events as me yard saleing the bike and myself in the middle of the trail on a highspeed 180 sandy downhill turn; getting run into by, and then knocking over Tim Jansen from RPI Cycling in the sand pit, and generally going slower and slower each lap.

Lesson from nycross number 1, don't kill the first lap so much!

Don't miss NYCROSS #2 this weekend in Schenectady - Dave Beals's course is a NY classic!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NYCROSS.com in the Times Union

Great article covering CX in the TU this morning:

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=721597&category=SPORTS

Two articles covering cross and the nycross.com series in two days! Apparently we're not all that fringe anymore. The print version of the TU article is on the front page of today's sports page. How awesome is that?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Breaking News: CBRC not going bankrupt!

The market is crashing. As I write this every bank in the country is being bought by every other bank in the country. Its just a matter of time before CBRC buys Bank of America, and is then bought by Bank of America as well. In preperation for this event, I'd like to announce that I've been furiously working to buy many banks and investment houses for the club, to prevent us from being bought by any investment houses or banks, while also shamelessly shopping the club around to the highest bidder. Right now, as the Dow is closed for the day I can give you an update on the offers received by and extended by CBRC.

Danny Goodwin has offered to buy CBRC for $12. In return I offered Danny three spare tubes for bankruptcy protection. This offer is pending.

CBRC has offered to buy Rock and Republic, but unfortunately Michael Ball wouldn't accept the offer of a 15% discount on his next cbrc skinsuit purchase in exchange for his entire clothing line.

To stave off bankruptcy, CBRC held a meeting of its executives, and concluded that while we're not in danger of going bankrupt, we should see if the New York State will give us three hundred and fifty dollars. I will then use that money to buy a pair of rock and republic jeans, which I will wear to school and other places.

I invested heavily in miller lite this past weekend. It was a personal investment that had little to do with CBRC. The dividends were great though.

Curently I suggest getting into the cyclocross tubulars futures market, and dumping any downhill mountain bike stock you may have faster than Steve Pete on a Santa Cruz V-10.

Lastly, since the market is crashing, keep an extra eye out for cyclists crashing too. Its a bear market. I expect that its only a matter of time before a bear and a rider meet, causing a big crash.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yet another "athlete" returning to the saddle

News Flash:

Mark Sumner announced today he was coming out of retirement. After close to 7 days off the bike he broke the news to Plump Magazine, leader in non-bike related things no-human-should-ever-see news.

When asked as to why return to the thankless sport after an extended absence, he said he was inspired by all the retired athletes making another go of it. That and having extinguished his supply of potato chips and South Park reruns.
More news later

Monday, September 8, 2008

Season 1 in the books

Ok, so I have just wrapped up my first ever season of bike racing (with a weak DNF result at the Catskills Stage Race) and would like to first off thank everyone who helped me in my rookie year. Now, with that out of the way I must say I learned a lot over the past 6 or so months. While I realize now I have much more to learn I'd like to quickly recap the 10 most important things I learned this year. So here goes this corny list....
10-it's way more then just genetics. (sorry dad)
9-when andy ruiz calls you and says dont worry its an easy endurance paced 3-4 hr ride you best be worrying
8-Jimmy Leone will drive to any bike race providing you pay for gas
7-matt purdy likes to ask you questions...when you're going uphill and your heart rate is 200
6-wind DOES matter
5-smartest usually wins. not the strongest
4-if you are going to raise your hands in victory at the biggest amature bike race in the country you best be damn sure nobody is in front of you.
3-eric shcillinger truly believes he can out sprint anyone. even if his front wheel is cracked in half
2-july means rest
1-i should have stuck to running

so i guess ill give cross a go. good luck to everyone and ill see you guys in the cold winds of jan. cant wait!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Stuff of which Dreams are Made

I don't usually remember my dreams. A Freudian would say that's because I'm not ready to deal with them--that they're too disturbing. It may also be that I don't sleep long enough to have any. Here's the thing: last night I had my first 'cross dream and feel compelled to share.

Schillinger somehow convinced me to enter the P/1/2/3 race in Schenectady and I'm there on the line ('cuz I'm well-brainwashed to do whatever Eric says). Nathaniel gives me a "what--you're actually back for more?" look and the whistle goes. Sprint to the first corner and I'm dead last. Fast forward many laps and I finish just ahead of Willem (without crashing and tearing my rotator cuff a-la Troy 2007).

Gary walks up to me and congratulates me because every rider ahead of me pinned their numbers on upside down which, in the universe of this particular dream, is grounds for instant DQ. So I'm on the podium in 1st place, Willem is 2nd, Buffalo is 3rd. Alec Donhue, Justin Lindine, and Nathaniel Ward are seething and waiting for me in the parking lot, so I don't raise my arms in victory salute, I just shrug.

I told my daughter about it at dinner and she thought it was an incredibly unrealistic fantasy. I would never finish ahead of Willem.

Let's hear some other sick 'cross dreams, eh?

-deegee

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

shave those legs.

I would like to officially welcome James back to the north east peloton this week. Mr. Dutko spent the summer off the bike while he was becoming Dr. Dutko, and has only recently emerged from the lab. Lingering early season injuries, combined with that whole, getting his Ph.D. thing, caused James to get some serious hair on his legs over the last 5 months.

So James, congratulatoins, and now that you're back on the road, shave your legs for god sakes, you're a bike racer.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ok,
First, I was not, nor would I ever be in contention in this race. I was however riding reasonably well in the pack, and looking forward to my share in the misery. One to many parallel holes (at mile 25ish) in the road proved to much for the Conti sprinter tubular up front.

Personally, sending the wheel van up the road for a 2 minute, 4 man break, 10 miles into a 70+ mile race is F****D. I'll not give the App Gap folks my money again.

Just a tad of bitterness.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

From the depths of summer, emerges.....CROSS!

Well, its officially on.

If you've been disappointed by my stalwart refusal to post updates on the blog for the last 5 or so weeks, I have good news, you'll have an opportunity to waste time time at work reading my bike smut blog entries again, and now, they're about cross.

So here's the quick rundown of what I did the last month and a half - I worked at a law firm, all the time. I went on like 5 bike rides in the month of August, not enough to write about, but just the right amount to get rested up for some serious cross madness. Gloucester is 7 weeks away, and its time for a big push in training to get ready for that.

I suggest everyone starting out the cx season think about goals. I'll put mine up here to give you an idea of what I'll attempt to do in the next 3 months. They are different then they have been in the past, mostly because I'll be riding the Verge New England Series "killer B's" this year which means I may get crushed every week if I'm not ready to seek and destroy the enemy. So without further ado, the goals:

1. top 3 in the NYCROSS 3/4 overall rankings - two years ago I was sitting in 3rd going into the last race of the year. At that time I was a first year law student. Me not training in order to study for finals conspired against me to knock me off the podium on the last day. Last season I never saw the front of a race thanks to more law school doom, but this season, I'm a third year, which means I'm a senior, which means I have only 3 classes and some real time to ride a bike.

2. score some points in the verge new england series - the killer b field is a hotly contested field. I've never raced in the field, so I don't know what to expect. If by seasons end I can place high enough in the races to score some series points and get a call up to be placed on the first couple rows of the starting grid, that would rule.

3. win something. any race, any field, anywhere. I got a 2nd on the road this season, I won a small tt down in binghamton last spring too. I won a small mountain bike race one time as well (about 10 years ago), but here's the thing. I think of myself as a cross specialist, and my results in cross don't rule as much as they do on the road. This is the year to make the leap, and my last big goal is simply to cross the line with my arms up.

The best thing about cross is that even if I fail miserably, it will still be the most fun on two wheels.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Ok boys and girls, our fearless Iron Cross leader (The Qucifer) is putting out the call for team members for the 2008 Ironcross. Forget your sissy little 45 minutes at a time, running up a tiny incline. This race takes real nuts. Get some.
The venerable, dependable, pleasurable...Mr. Chris M.
Just some more pointless suffering

OMG, is that blood? I feel whoooozie

Now here is an example of having some nuts.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is it just me or did we lose August some place? I like the cold morning rides and all, but the daily showers and high 70's? Normally I don't have to touch my lawn cause it's all brown and dead. Now it's crazy over grown. And with CRRR, NY TT Champs, Chris Thater, GMSR all coming up it is sure to be absurdly long by the time I actually get to it.

On the plus side I'll just mow a crazy cross course into it in September, put together some barriers, and amaze the "normal" neighbors with my antics. I can usually get away with it for about a week or two before the Missus says enough.

Mark

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The summer doldrums

I noticed as I logged in to write this that there had been a post once every 2 to three days from January to June. Now its July 12, and there hasn't been a post yet. Does this indicate that the novelty of blogging has worn off? Or that I'm to busy watching the tour to write interesting blog entries? Maybe I just forgot my log in?

No, in fact folks, we've hit what I like to call the summer doldrums. I'm not even really sure what a doldrum is, but I imagine its something less bad than a sinking boat, but less helpful then a giant squid of friendlyness.

So in bike racing terms we've reached the point in the season where everyone's ridden plenty and raced a bunch and is starting to think things like, "hey, fishing sounds like fun," and "yes, I do like competitive wiffle ball." What this means for the bike racing, is that our once favorite son of sport becomes the red headed stepchild of hobbies.

I've never understood why we start the season when there's still snow on the ground and then everyone gets sick of racing by June 15. It is really a big challenge to be getting on form by the time the first of April rolls around, and then keep that high end through until August, then also think you're going to be Sven Nys all fall. This is why you don't see too many guys win the Tour of Flanders and anything in July in the same year.

For us mere mortals who aren't paid to ride in terrible conditions, I suggest we do something ingenious, and ski all winter long, then when the snow melts, start racing our bikes. Then in July, you'll only have been on the bike for 3 days instead of 3 years straight, and maybe you won't be too burned out to race a 20 mile crit!


That's my suggestion, but obviously I'll see you all at Johnny Cake One 2009 without thinking twice.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

you can be my coach!

So I took about 10 days off the bike when I realized I was starting to hate the road bike. The combination of getting a new job, working a crap load of hours and having raced 16 times from March to the beginning ofJune, made me decide to not spend 3 hours a day in lycra for a little while.

My eventual goal is to competitively race cross into December, so loosing a little fitness now in the name of some rest and recovery will hopefully payoff down the road. Ten days off seemed like a year, and now I feel good to go.

The problem, is I have no idea what to do now to train. I did two longish "reintroduction to riding my bike" days this weekend, with some climbing but no specific goals. I figured a refresher was good before just going straight back the power intervals. Unfortunately, the next thing to do is up in the air. Should I do some base? Hit it with the Vo2 max intervals again? Or do something else? Or do all of these things?

I could read a book, or hire a coach, but instead, I'd like to have you coach me for free. Really, you read that right. What workouts do you think I should do this week?

Keep in mind I have a job, post your suggestions. I'll look them over and pick the most interesting sounding one. From there you'll get to coach me by way of leaving comments on the blog after I post how the workout went.

I'll either get faster, stay the same, or get slower! Its all on your shoulders so don't mess up.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Whiteface report

Well, as many of you know I rode the whiteface road race today. This race promised to be difficult and challenging and it lived up to its rep...sort of. the race went as follows...

First off, it was a 3/4 race. as if that wasnt difficult enough not enough people showed up for the later fields so all were combined in the afternoon with the exception of the pro123. so it looks like ill have to show matt purdy how to climb hills another day. (this is me joking) it was a 3/4 combined with masters 35+ and the women. the race started out as most do. neutral start, chatting, me soiling myself, no big deal. the field was split towards the end of the first lap, on the only major climb of the course...before whiteface.

I found myself in a group of about 20 or so. mostly 3s and masters with some 4s. we road as a group the entire race with the pace car infront of us. eric shcillinger would not approve of this i feel. i found myself sucking the wheel of one mark sumner for most of the race. i figured my best game plan would be to copy the one of an experienced, strong rider like mark. this proved to be a good move on my part. up until the final climb anyways.

as we neared the end of the final lap i founed myself surging towards the top of climb. i was the first one over hill when mother nature decided it was time to turn on the fans. and by fans i mean pouring ran. a complete down pour began to hit us and dont ask me why but i felt the need to attack as soon as this happened. i could barely see 2 feet in front of me b/c of the rain but i put the hammer down and went as hard as i could. we turned left off the course and began our 6 mile route (mostly flat except for one little bump) to the start of whiteface. i figured if i could get enough distance between myself and the group maybe id be ok riding "tempo" up the first part of the climb and then really going hard up the last to challenge anyone who caught up. as i hammered through the down pour i heard someone yell "dude let me pull for a bit" i looked over my shoulder and through the rain i saw myself and one other dude had opened a gap of about 200 meters on the field. Perfect! i thought. this is just what i needed. the two of us began to work together and things were going smoothly up until we reached that little bump i spoke of earlier. well, this pump was not little nor was it really a bump. we started it together and by the end the field had caught us. NUTS i thought.

i was able to position myself somewhere in the middle at the start of the whiteface climb and hung on as long as i could. 1.6 miles of straight up hill is hard. i dont care who you are its hard. unfortunately, my fitness was just not where it needed to be to stay with the leaders. cycling is a cut throat sport. sometimes you get a lucky pitch in baseball or in basketball your last second chuck from half court goes in. but in cycling, if you dont have the fitness you dont have the win. i was dropped about half way up the climb and a last moment surge abled me to pass the dude from UVM cycling that won the first johhny cake. i finished 8th overall and 4th among the 4s. a result i am pleased with.

this race proved to be difficult but not as difficult as i thought. honestly, i felt balloonfest was harder but that could of been b/c it was about 30 degrees warmer that day. i dont know. all the climbs where more long and steady then short and steep. nobody was dropped on them and they were doable for all of us. something to consider for next year i guess. i hope everyone did well in conn. and i look forward to reading the report. good racing to all!!!!!!

-mattg.

oh yeah by the way lost in all of this pointless dribble i just wrote jenny ives won the womens pro123. kickass jenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Check out the Tour of Ohio coverage on cyclingnews.com. Justin Lindine is holding his own in the top ten at the moment. Nathanial is no doubt working his butt off for Justin out there. Maybe well get a race report from Than if he has an opportunity to write an email.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Climbing

So this week we got two races to chose from. Crit in conneticut or road race near placid. in my short time racing i have learned to race your strenght and train your weakness. The road race in wilmington is no doubt gonna be a hard one. hills, hills, and more hills. i am in no way shape or form looking forward to this race. but i feel it is important to still race it. climbing is an important part of our sport. it seems that most races i have been in the field is split on the climbs as darwinsim takes over at that point. i know its hard and some of us (me included) struggle on climbs. but there is one fact and one fact alone about climbing...youll never get better at climbing if you DONT climb. its a harsh reality that we all face. i had some time to myself today (i ate some bad chicken at lunch) and was reading through an old bicycling magazine and it provided some good tips. they go as follows for anyone interested:

how fast you climb is determined by the power you put into the pedals, factoring in the weight you are forcing uphill. losing just 5 lbs could save you about 30 secs. on a 5k climb of 8% grade. combine 5 lb weight loss with a boost in power of 20 watts and youll take off up to 2 minutes!!

on rollers use the downhill. continue to pedal on the descent. then as you start upward downshift to a gear easy enough so you can manintain your cadence, but not so easy that youre spinning out and losing momentum.

on long climbs ride within yourself

Over the top drill: on a steep hill that takes no more than 2 minutes (orchard hill) begin a steady, hard effort (8 out of 10 effort) and ratchet up to 10 by the top. then continue over the crest for one minute. allow time for recovery then do it again two or three more times. each time in a harder gear.

stand sparingly

be upright when you are standing so you can breathe easier

plunking your butt on the saddle is a sign of fatigue. it should be avoided and if you see others do it they are tired. ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK!!

these are just a few pointers i read about today. im sure everyone has thier own brand of training that works well for them. i wish everyone goodluck this weekend and ride safe and smart.

mattg

Monday, June 16, 2008

Harlem Race Report



So I was the sole CBRC rider at the Harlem Skyscraper crit, which was rechristened this year "Harlem Rocks" for its title sponsor Rock Racing. So I'll attempt to give my first ever race report.

First, I was thankful that this year the race was a strictly cat 4 race as opposed to the crashtastic 4/5 field of last year, I believe Danny, Barry and I counted five crashes in that race, one of which took me out just before the bell lap, that was frustrating. Anyway I thought that it would be smooth riding with seasoned veterans (of at least ten races), I was wrong, very, very wrong.

It poured just long enough before the start of the cat 4 race to thoroughly soak the four corner, pancake flat .8 mile course. This would turn an otherwise mundane half hour tactic-free cat 4 race into a demolition derby that took out half of the 56 starters. Like last year there was once again a crash on turn one right after the starting whistle, yup, 5 seconds into the race and someone went down. It got worse from there. Nell and my dad were positioned on the inside of turn one and they told me after the race that there was only two laps (of fifteen) that didn't see at least one person crash at that corner alone.

Early on in the race I figured out the strategy of always taking the turn on the absolute inside, this helped me avoid the massive pile up crashes were one person would go down and slide outwards taking down at least ten riders at once. This what I would see almost every lap:



I would also hear lots of screaming and gasping from the spectators as a ball of roadies and bicycles was sliding across the pavement toward them. I quickly reprioritized, I wasn't concerned with something silly like winning, no I would go home a winner simply by crossing the finish line upright (though it turned out you could cross the finish line a winner not upright). But winning went out the window as an option extremely early in the race after two riders broke away and stayed away sometime around lap two. At the time, me and the rest of the pack didn't think too much of a early race attack by two dudes, they would be reeled in, wrong. The constant crashing caused the pack to be in a constant state of "clusterfuck." So while the race was definitely the easiest race I have ever ridden as far as intensity ( I found my self lamenting not having signed up for the 30+ masters field, Ha!) it was a true challenge in bike handling skills.

So after 25 minutes of anxiety, I finally made it around that last corner with the remnants of the main field, which had been whittled down to 15 riders, I was poorly positioned, but I was ready to try to put myself into contention for the race for 3rd place, but when I got out of the saddle and put the power on, I felt my rear wheel fishtailing, I eased up and rode in at the back of the field, content that I was crossing the finish line roadrash free. Success, a 17th place I can be proud of!

Now getting to watch the pro race reminds me just how amateur being a cat 4 is... The speed! The cornering! The calves! The quads! What a sight to behold! I had known in advance that Freddie Rodriguez would be there, but was surprised to see Tyler Hamilton (doper or no, it still me giddy) rolling around the course for warmup. I won't attempt to do a whole race report, I'll just say that it is a really cool sport that I get to race on the same course just a couple hours before pro tour riders.

Check out highlights from the pro race here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whiteface Uphill?

Anybody doing this one? If one or more team-mates are game, I'm in. I dunno about schlepping out solo. If a poseur suffers in the forest and there's no one there to see it...

I guess I'm feeling rather inspired after watching this viddy of Danielson climbing.

-dg

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

USA Cycling Support Ticket #130948 Closed: License Category Change Request

Dear Eric Schillinger,

The following request to change your USCF category has been approved and processed by USA Cycling:
2008-06-01 14:03
Member: Eric Schillinger
License: Road Racer
Request to change category from Cat 4 to Cat 3

Request was approved on 2008-06-09 20:16 by Alan Atwood

You should get this sticker within the next week. Until then you can print out a copy of your account page to prove your upgrade.

Thank you for supporting USA Cycling.

--USA Cycling Support

Monday, June 2, 2008

to block or not to block?

I've now been through two races this year where I was riding solo and there where 2 or 3 teams with large numbers or riders. In both races breaks went up the road with representation by the big teams, and then the remaining teammates in the field went up to the front and blocked, creating congestion at the front and riding less then 20 miles per hour. Any time anyone went to the front to speed it up the big teams would shut it down. Any attempts to bridge where chased down too.

In the first race this tactic failed completely, even with the blocking the break cracked and we caught them at 1k to go. No one from the team that did all the blocking ended up on the podium.

In the second race two teams did a bunch of blocking. One of the riders ended up winning solo, but the other team missed the podium completely (I won the field sprint for second after chasing, like a mad man multiple times, so ha).

Here's the question then, is blocking a legit tactic? The answer - NO.

I've seen three teams try it this year and they're one for three. If a team adopts a negative tactic like blocking, they are putting all there bets on one scenario. If they aren't willing to commit to counter attacking and just hope their lone breakaway rider can stick it. They don't really have a good chance of winning. This past weekend was a good example of that. One team had two riders in the break. They both cracked and even though there wasn't much of an organized chase both riders from that team where caught.

Fast, positive racing with attacking, chasing and countering, is the best way to race. The weak riders get shelled, and the strong riders contest a safe finish. Simply put, if you can't ride fast, you don't belong on the front slowing the race down. Get out of the way, go home and do some intervals, and come back next year when you're fast enough to actually race and not be a sissy.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

100th Post! Tioga Velo Circuit Race Report

Today's post is the 100th on the Capital Bicycle Racing Blog. Its exciting to see that as a team we've managed to do something, really anything, this many times.

On to the interesting stuff. As I am summering in lovely Susquehanna Depot PA, I decided to enter the Tioga Velo Circuit race today in lew of driving back up to Albany to get dropped on the second lap of Empire Qualies. The circuit race is on a 1.6 mile loop around a potato chip factory. My host for the summer actually is a manager at that factory, so if anyone needs some sweet deals on frito lay products let me know and I'll see what I can do. This isn't even a joke.

So the loop, anyway, has about a 300m rise in it where you climb around a bend up to the top and then go back down. the flat back stretch had a headwind today and then there was a tailwind on the climb. The finish is at the top of the rise.

The 4/5 race was 20 laps. There was be primes.

On the first prime I used my general rule of contesting it to see who else would sprint, how far to go from, etc. Its good practice and all. So at about 500m I see that I am too far back, pull out into the wind and try to work my way up. No one wanted to let me in though so I ended up riding right up on to the front. I went the next 200m in the wind. Figuring I was screwed for the prime since I was leading it out, I drilled it at the bottom of the hill.

I went about half way up and looked back to see what was going on. Lo-and-behold, I had about a 10 bike length gap. I eased up and crossed the line and asked the official if there was a prime this lap, thinking I was a moron and just sprinted for no reason. Turns out there was a prime and I won it (a sweet Chenengo Point Bicycles water bottle).

Back to the race. Apparently after my "show of force" I was a marked man. I tried to get in a couple moves and they kept getting shut down. Finally a move with the right representation (ie: 2 guys from Corning Cycling and a guy from TVC) went away. I tried fruitlessly to bridge, chase, etc, but both of the big teams where interested in keeping the group together and letting the gap build.

Finally with about 7 laps to go I rode up to the front and told the corning cycling team that they should get off the front and stop shutting it down. They ignored me so I said "I'm gonna go across. If you chase you'll tow everyone to the break. I'll make sure you don't see me again if I get across."

Bridging is hard. I got a gap, and drilled it but basically got stuck in no mans land. The corning guys chased me down, a few other guys flying solo came to the front and kept the speed up.

This is where my error came in. I say, "how many people are in the break?" Thinking there are 3 people up the road. Someone next to me says there are two guys in the break.

With 2 laps to go one of the guys in the break pops and rolls back through the field. I can see one solo rider fighting the headwind as we enter the last lap. At the 500m to go he's slowing and suffering and as we hit the finishing rise I punch it out of the group, gap the field and sprint past the remaining breakaway rider, beating him by about half a bike at the line.

I throw my hands in the air and think holy crap I freaking one a bike race after like 4 years of trying.

Awesome right? Then, the guy I pipped at the line rolls up and says, sorry dude, another guy was up the road, you were second.

DOH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So yeah, like I thought, there where THREE riders in the break. One popped and came back. I passed one at the line, but the other one was long gone and finished before I ever saw him.

Celebrating not winning is the new black I guess.

With that result I put in for the cat 3 upgrade. I'm interested to see how fast Alan Atwood denies me. I imagine it will be vary fast.

Would you upgrade this: 3rd cat 4 at Johhny Cake 2 (with 3 canadian cat 1s taking the 1-3), 4th at JC3, 4th cat 4 in Syracuse crit (3/4), 2nd today at the tioga velo circuit race.

obviously I like flat races and sprints... we'll see what Alan thinks.



Thursday, May 29, 2008

return to the blog-o-sphere

welcome back to myself. The last two weeks have been pretty crazy as I had to move to binghamton NY for my summer law school intern job. Don't ask me how or why, just accept it. I'll be back in NYCROSS country August 1, and luckily, there's a bike racing scene here too, so I should be able to report on racing in the southern tier on a regular basis.

Interesting things from my life in the last two weeks:

started working at a law firm in Binghamton. realized I want to be a public defender.

Did the Syracuse stage race. Finsihed 12 on gc in the 3/4. I am the man.

Did some totally wild training rides in norther PA and southern NY, getting mad lost to the point where I called James and had him google map me a route home. it was getting dark and I was on dirt roads.

Showed up at my first TVC time trial, told the president of Tioga Velo that I wasn't very fast, then beat him. is that a fau paux?

went back to albany last weekend, and stayed out with pete until 3am every night. ended up in the fuzebox dancing with this chick and drinking redbull and vodka's like I was on Team Highroad and about to win a giro stage. (ask jimbo to explain this one).

Saw Matt Goedeke get his Cat 1 partying upgrade, on a Sunday.

Okay, this post is not going anywhere so I'm gonna stop.

Bike racing vs another thing will return later this week. There's a lot of awesome things to compare bike racing too in the southern tier.

rock and roll.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

there's really no good pics cause the batteries died but...

Matt sitting in the field during his crit.

Gene stole some one's rollers.

Matt sprinting for a prime I think.
Buffalo and I waiting for the start of the 3/4.

These are some of the most pathetic race pictures ever. I suck at using a camera.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

quick syracuse recap

Here's the recap, el pronto version. After three stages of guts out racing I don't have a lot of energy to try to be witty so I'll stick with the cold hard facts for the most part.

Buffalo, Gene and I raced the 3/4 field.

Matt raced the Cat 5 field for his tenth and eleventh mass starts of the year. Welcome to the cat four ranks Matt. Hopefully you'll be as successful here as you where with the kiddies, and we'll see you in the cat 3 field soon.

Stage One was the Song Mountain RR- 2 laps on the 30 mile loop. Two big climbs up Oak Hill Road and then the finishing climb on Song Mountain Road where no joke. Eight to ten minutes of hard climbing each time where more than I could handle and I got popped off the back 9/10 of the way up the climb on the first lap. Gene stuck the climb and ended up in the largest group on the road chasing the leaders. Buffalo flatted at mile 8 and didn't get a quick wheel change so he ended up mailing in the road race. I road out the race in the "autobus" with other big sprinter typed dudes talking about how we couldn't wait for the flat TT and crit that were coming up.

Stage Two was the Crooked Lake TT. A fast mostly flat 3 mile tt with a winding technical finish. Fast times where under seven minutes for our field. I caught my rabbit and posted a time of 6:42, good for 7th on the day and give me 12 gc points and bump me into 17th on GC. Not bad considering I got crushed in the road race.

Stage Three was the crit. The course was a new course this year - a four corner affair on a 1.1 mile loop. There where two pretty big crashes despite smoothly paved very wide roads. I don't get people's problem but I guess that's how it works in crits with cat 4s. I decided early on that my legs felt okay, but as this was a mixed 3/4 field I found myself not rocking in the primes. I decided after putting in a pretty fruitless but enormous effort on the second prime that I would just chill and wait for the finish. With 5 to go I was moving up and got set up with Gene. The plan was for him to bring me up and then me launch it. Coming into the last corner Gene made a balls out move and dive bombed the corner tight when the fast line was moving up the outside. This allowed us to get open road in front of us and Gene towed me right up the front. He pulled off as we entered the last corner and I rolled around the corner right in the front group.

This is where I learned a lesson though. I can sprint okay. As far as what I do on a bike its probably my best asset. But, in the 3/4 mixed field my acceleration didn't really let me fly by lots of people like I usually can in Cat 4 crits. No one passed me, but I didn't pass anyone either. I maxed out at 39mph in the sprint which is insane as I didn't pass anyone.

Overall it was awesome. I finished 10th (highest place ever in a 3/4 field) and got enough points to move up to 12th on GC. When they post the results I should be able to tell where I placed among cat fours, and may be able to rock some more upgrade points from the crit. That rules.

That's the stage race story. I've got a few pictures to throw up but my camera's in the car so I'll do that tomorrow.

To eat or not to eat...

I know eric usually recaps our events so ill make this short and sweet. I raced the 'cuse stage race this weekend and finished 7th in the CAT 5 road race. I feel my result could have been better for i made a crucial mistake id like to recap for the team...

As most of you know there is one long climb in this race. some road called old sweet road or something like that. Our race split up on this climb (as most do) and i found myself in the lead group of ten at the top of the climb. it was at this point i saw markings on the road that said, "FEED ZONE" so i figured now would be a good time to eat. i sat up, fiddled around to grab my gel, drank some water and relaxed alittle. when i began to pay attention i had realized that a gap was opening on me. i didnt really thikn much of this considering the fact we were going downhill. "so what" i thought. "we're going downhill. ill catch them." well, that thought ended with me killing myself in no mans land for the next couple of miles fighting up and down every roller until the realization had hit me that i was NOT going to catch them. (this was made even more evident by the fact that two dudes came up behind me and said, "dude...youre never gonna catch them on your own."

So long story short i found myself in a chase group of 4 that never caught the leaders and ended up 7th. Once again my mental mistakes cost me. One must even wonder why the hell i was eating anything at all considering my race was only 33 miles!?!?!? oh well...this was my 10th and last race at the CAT 5 level and now i look forward to upcoming weeks/months racing along side my fellow CAT 4 teammates. but i think my days of CAT 5 racing have shown us all that if any of us are ever in any type of break together its probably best to be doing the exact opposite of what i am. or at least pedal over and smack some sense into me. great racing to all!!!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Giro de Syracuse NY

Its that time of year again folks - as the pro peloton rolls through the beautiful Italian countryside, chasing glory, espresso, and Italian models, the cat four ranks in Upstate New York ready themselves for battle at the equally prestigious Syracuse Race Weekend (UCI 0.2) There are a lot of similarities between the two events, such as they are both more than one day long.

The giro's array of stages includes time trials, flat stages and the epic snow covered summit finishes. The Syracuse RR starts and ends at a ski area, but somehow they forgot that there's supposed to be snow and mountains where you go skiing (see post 85) . I guess that's why they've taken to hosting bike races instead.

The CBRC bomb squad will be in attendance in full force, ie: I won't be the only one there. Be prepared for bike riding, bbq eating, and potential fruitless attacks in the crit, followed by me attempting to prove I can in fact sprint my way out of a paper bag. Should be fun.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bike Racing v. Triathlon

Welcome to the weekly CBRC blogosphere version of Iron Chef. Today our favorite thing, bike racing, goes head to head with to our favorite thing sandwiched between almost drowning and running. That's right folks, its time for a triathlon hoagie.



v.

then:

you're not done yet:

where'd his shirt go?

Imagine, you're on your way to a bike race in a boat. All of a sudden you learn that the boat is sinking and you aren't going to make it to your race on time. Of course, the solution is to swim to the bike race. So you jump in, and swim somewhere between 325 yards and like 9 miles, fending off sharks, octopus and overly friendly dolphins.

You suck at swimming since you're like 7% body fat and don't float. You almost drown at least twice. Somehow, you still get to your destination and discover that the bike race is actually a time trial, but everyone is starting as soon as they get out of the water (oh, everyone else competing in the bike race was on the boat with you when it started to sink).

So now a bunch of soggy people riding time trial bikes are ahead of you. Actually, everyone is ahead of you, you're that bad at swimming. There is a nice lady who took swim class at the Y not to far ahead, and since she's on a hybrid and you're riding your P3 you figure you might catch her. You do have a disc after all.

You do in fact pass the hybrid lady, and some other people. Man you are killing it actually. Everyone looks like they're conserving energy for something else, but you're just drilling it like your Cancellara at worlds. You've passed everyone but those two dudes with the ironman tattoos.

Then that's when it happens. Just when you start to get in a groove and really get moving, you find out that you're bike is totally broken. Yup. You can't ride it any more, even though there's a bunch of race left. Now you have to run to the finish. Don't worry though, everyone else also broke their bike, even the lady on the hybrid, so now its a foot race. Man, you wish you hadn't been killing it so much before your bike broke, because now you're running and its not so much fun. People are passing you. Some guys who look like runners, some fast looking women, and then some kids, and then that lady who was on the hybrid. Man, running takes a long time. Why couldn't you just get a bike change?

Eventually you run for awhile and get to the finish line. You've actually won. No, that's not true at all. You actually lost to everyone except the two guys who didn't fend off that dolphin back there during the swim. Ouch. Maybe you should take some swim lessons.

So now that you've swam, biked, and ran, lets see if it was more fun then just biking then calling it a day:

Go for a swim: Tri
Go for a ride: Tie
Go for a run: seriously?
Wet suit: Tri
Skin suit: Bike Racing
No sand in your shoes: Bike Racing
No chamois in your shorts: Tri
Ride in a straight line in a pack: Bike Racing
Never ride with anyone near you, that's the rule!: Tri
Show up with a sport comfort bike and its okay: Tri
Show up on a steel bike and get laughed at: Bike Racing
Meet marine mammals: Tri
Shave your whole body: Tri
Be mediocre at three sports: Tri.
Be mediocre at one sport: Bike Racing

Final Score
Tri: 8.
Bike Racing: 5.
Dolphin: 2.

Tri defeats bike racing. How could it not? Clearly doing three sports at once beats doing one sport at once. Just like being in a one man band is always better then being in a normal, um, 4 man band.



Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alley Cat + Tulip Fest



There's an alley cat this saturday during tulip fest. If you're not going to bear mountain and think you can navigate around albany faster than the next guy give it a shot.

http://www.bikealbany.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/stdflyer1.jpg

disclaimer: this isn't anything anyone with any concern for their own safety would or should do. Its not put on by me, anyone I know, or anyone I would like to know. If you do it its totally at your own risk and you completely and utterly assume all risks associated with riding your bicycle while participating in, and while not participating in, this grand event. I personally and actually suggest you not do it, since you're probably going to crash and then try and sue my pants since you can't handle riding a bike around town. If you do do it, its not my problem, nor is it anyone else's problem.


in anticipation of Syracuse

http://beta.velonews.com/article/75909

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bike Racing v. Motocross

Welcome to round two of the important and influential series "bicycle racing v. another thing." This week I'll compare bike racing with a sport that likely came from the same evolutionary monkey - motocross! In fact, the greatest MX racer of all time Roger DeCoaster just happens to be from Belgium. Coincidence? I think not.


v.


Okay, first off lets get a couple things clear, Motocross and Bicycle Racing are basically exactly the same thing.

Think about it - two wheels, funny head gear, drugs make you go fast, you're wearing tight pants. Which one am I talking about here? I don't even know.

For any of you who aren't familiar with motocross racing, let me explain it. Imagine having a bicycle race, but instead of pedaling, you have a bike that's powered by a lawnmower engine. Since you don't have to pedal, endurance is less important than your ability to do superman seat grabs. The course is all muddy, and there are big jumps in the way. Launching off of these jumps is encouraged.

This is where doping comes in. Not blood doping silly, but actual dope, like, the stuff you smoke. Apparently, being high as hell is the main way to go fast on a dirt bike, since fearing death is the number one limiting factor in a motorcrosser's speed. If you don't know where you are, or who you are for that matter, you're more likely to win. To bad you won't be able to tell the promoter who to make that giant novelty check out to after you crush your less stoned competition.

Assuming you've got a lot of weed and some gas oil mix, you'll also need a motocross bike before you go to the race. I know what you're thinking - "jeez, if my Felt F1 carbon wunderbike cost 5gs, so these bikes with motors must be like $200,000." that's where you're wrong in fact, the F1, and the motocross race bike cost about the same.

Now, what do you get with the Felt - 14. 5 pounds of carbon and glue combined and 20 gears. The motocross bike on the other hand only has four gears. To make up for that clear deficiency the mx bike has like 30 horsepower. Imagine hooking 30 horses up to the front of your road bike and yelling "ya!" I bet you'd be the new protour leader before you could say "whoa big fella."

So, throw on some body armor, (or make some out of duct tape), get some rolling papers (or make some out of duct tape) and head to the track.

How can bike racing even stack up to having a motor stuck between your legs going 70 mph, 70 feet in the air, with your hair on fire? Well, I'm not sure it can. Lets see:

Has a motor: MX
Your the motor: Bike Racing
Mix gas with oil, pour in tank: MX
Mix Accellerade and Vitamin Water, pour in you: Gross
Big knobby tires: MX
Nerdy skinny tires: Bike Racing
Ride your bike to work: Bike racing
Ride your bike to work with the front wheel in the air - MX
Get arrested for riding to work with the front wheel in the air: MX
Eddy Mercx: Roger DeCoster
doping is really complicated, takes a lot of science and might cause you to park your Porsche in a bike rack: Jan Ulrich
Smoke some weed, smoke some rubber: MX
Course is all muddy, and there's obstacles in the way to make it tough: tie (thank you cross.)
Big burly shocks - MX
Your bike looks like a downhill bike with a motor: MX
Ends with X: MX
Is extreme: Bike Racing. Haven't you seen that IMAX movie?

Final score:
MX: 9
Bike racing: 4
Jan: 1

Its a rout folks - looks like its time to fire up the 2 stroke, head down to the dirt jumps and work on the triple front flip. 3o horses can't be wrong!