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!!!!!!


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 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


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.


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.


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.


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.