Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Get Your Cowbell On

I love this video on Don Frey's blog so I thoght I'd share it here. If this doesnt get you juiced up for some cross action then your dead or dont wear lycra.

As for cross, I got in a great rainy workout in the grass and mud tonight. I wish I had taken a pic. I must have done 50 dismounts today too. I did so many I was bound to screw one up and I did, but it wasnt a hard fall. It added to the effect all the mud and grass on my shin, shoe and sock!!

Now someone please explain this to me?? Why is it when riding on slippery trails sometimes you just start to get pulled off in some direction (usually down the scary embankment or towards the tree) as if some human flesh magnet is pulling you off trajectory? Other things today that I never knew or have forgotten like muddy wet cleats make it hard to snap into your pedal when trying to stand and sprint-best to remember that one or else. Also wood is very slippery when wet so watch where your first step after dismounting at speed lands. I put my foot right on a wet piece of wood on the trails and I looked like I was being sucked into a vortex to another galaxy. Luckily I stayed on my feet and didnt do a header into anything.

I think it is these oddities to a roadie like me that will keep me out of the A's at the Bike Authority CX series till I am ready. I have the fitness to be in the A's, but I dont want to be the one who trips on the first barrier or falls over in the sand in front of the whole field and ruins the race for those with more technical ability and less VO2.

If this makes you scared to ride next to me at cross, well good-stay well behind me then!! But never fear, I am a quick learner.

OHHH-YEAH!! MY daughters singing Wonder Boy in the tub-OH YES that ROCKS!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

In the eyes of a child

Who can blame me for being a kid at heart? My beautiful 5 year old kindergartener reminds me every day of the simple wonders of the world. A reminder that its Gym class day at school or the offer of a bowl of ice cream elicits such a smile that it would easily light up a ballroom.

How do people become so jaded? Its just a wheel or its just a helmet, who cares about 100grams. Sure sometimes even the most jaded person, devoid of the kid sight will have a favorite bike part that they like to strut or hope someone notices so they can talk about it. Like an anodized Chris King headset or a new carbon bar.... or maybe its all just an act, maybe jaded is cool and I am out of touch... possible, I am almost 42 years old and still say "dude".

The kid sight is a wonderful gift and I wish i could give it back to those who have lost it or never had it. In the meantime if you see my gawking at your bike or staring at something and I appear to be in my own little world, I am. I am looking at the world in the eyes of a child.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kirtland Park, oh pure sweet hell

Square wheels' Paul Salipante running the steps
I had a feeling during warm up that today might be alright. I hadn't fallen once and I had made all the 180's in the amphitheater (AT) successfully. I'll admit I came the day before and Brent helped me tremendously on the technical bits. I got lined up on the first row and when the bell rang I sprinted off but let myself get boxed out and raced down to the first turn and got a few guys at the end, but when we made the 180 someone in the top 5 fell and I had to unclip and go around and start from a dead stop.

We went through the rolling section along the trees and hit the first run-up. As I entered the baseball field I realized how far ahead the top 5 already were (Tony (team lake Effect) then Cameron (RGF) , Lesko (Stark Velo) and someone else) so i set off in pursuit going down the off camber hill to the 180 (where a rider short-cut it and got an earful for it too) and over to the light pole and around the soccer field it was all balls out. I am not sure where I was on lap 1 but somewhere around 5th spot so already a big jump ahead.

Lap 2 starts and I sprint and bury it the whole way down to turn 1 again and get a couple more guys. I am now in a 3 way battle for 3rd spot and we pass and re pass depending on how well we carry momentum. Parr gets me in the off camber hill and I get him back on the soccer field just before the narrow door (that was a tight pass) and off to the AT again.

On lap 3 were already hitting traffic and I think I change my line for a back marker down the 180 on the western end of the AT and I overcook the bottom and start to drift down the next embankment. I try to ride back up but I stall out and pop out to look back and see 3rd and 4th bearing down on me so I wait for them to pass, clip in and get going again. Major time lost not only one 2nd, but now Tony who's already way ahead!!!

Brent and John have told me cross is about not losing time so I curse myself, but I stay calm so I don't push too hard in the technical bits and make another mistake. But I hammer the grassy flat again and I am back by both and after the run-up and the baseball field I don't hear anyone behind me and I am going after Cameron who's going really strong in the flats too.

At some point I get him and I push hard because I know Ive got to make up a lot of time to Tony who's at least 25 seconds up the road. I push and push and I am pretty happy with how I am doing in the AT, run-ups and getting back on the bike (keeping moving forward). What i am not happy about is how I am through the snake part of the course. I am pushing too hard I think and keep missing apex's and feel slow.

I get a perfect gauge of how I am doing compared to Tony as I enter the baseball diamond. Early in the race I was in the baseball diamond and he was already around the 180, but soon I am exiting the diamond and he is coming right at me. I am sure his dad's giving him gaps and he can surely see me coming and I see him out of the saddle sprinting the soccer field. We also cross each other in the flats by Marginal and I am getting closer, but I know time is running out.

In the last 2 laps we hit some serious traffic and I am sure it slows us both down, but the last time through the baseball field hes opened up the gap a bit again. The guys are yelling at me in the AT to sprint out of every corner and encouraging me which is awesome. I go really hard all last lap just in case he bobbles, but really hes got it in the bag. John had told me hes a smart cross rider and probably the one to watch this race so he was right on that.

I cross the line second in the B race and Tony Marut wins. Cameron fades at the end and gets passed by Eric Lesko. Results here: So I finish my first cross race and maybe the most technical course (in terms of raw terrain) of the year and was about 20 seconds behind the winner. I'll take that as a great beginning.

I really like the style of racing in cross. First you battle the course, all the bumps in the grass when your hammering, the loose dirt in spots, sharp short descents and painful run-ups. Its all new to me but I am trying to adapt as fast as I can. My dismounts and remounts have improved a lot just since last week at Edgewater practice. I know most of the top 5 today had me in the technical bits, but it was a power course too with lots of area to open the throttle. I am learning a lot of things the hard way too. Like when suit casing your bike up stairs, if your front wheel hits a step-you get it right in the chin and mouth. My teeth hurt a bit today I think from me socking myself right in the face multiple times. Then theres the man to man battles. Burying it to bridge gaps and hammering by to try and drop your opponent as fast as possible. It has an aggressive edge to the competition which I like. Soon we will have to battle bad weather too.

Now I know why they call cross pure sweet hell. Yes to all of the above!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pics from Bike Authority CX B Race 1. Kirtland Park

Just a couple of pics of me and Tony (who won). Look at Tony's form going from the dismount to a shoulder carry. Pretty sweet. Thanks to Dave Steiner for the great pics.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blood, skin lost, lost traction and a flat

And I still had a blast-how about that?? Dave Steiner takes me for a lap of last weeks course at Zak Dieringer's Edgewater park practice race. This is our warm-up and I go to say-to me it feels like a freakin mountain bike race or an adventure ride. Down a narrow path into the woods and then a short steep descent with a 90 degree turn at the bottom on dirt and some rocks. I am not wired for this stuff, but hey I am game-I just know I have a better than 90% chance of eating it-hey-I know myself when offroad, not good.

I wont bore you with the details of this weeks course, but to me its technical enough with some short steep hills to go down and up and one long run-up and that dreaded section through the woods. Its short too so 7 laps are called. We start and my goal is to find somewhere in the pack to settle in and get some experience and watch more experienced riders. You know blend..

Well that lasted all of a half a lap because as we go I am feeling good and weve already gapped a good portion of the 20+ guys who showed up. Its Matt Weeks and Brett davis, Dave Steiner then me(maybe others) and I am flying into the barriers and making up a lot of ground, clipping out with my right and swinging it in front of my left foot like you see the pros do!! But I got to tell you, my barrier running is like an aircraft carrier landing, a controlled crash!!

Because of the single track section I lose a lot of time and on lap 3 I try to make it up down the gravel road by the shore and the 90 degree turn to the long run-up. I take the corner fast and just like that I am down on the ground and my knee and left arm are scraped up and bleeding and its quite a knock. I get up and try and close the gap on Dave who I believe is running around 3rd with Matt Weeks and someone else just anothrt 10 or seconds ahead.

I am surprisingly still pretty close to Dave still because we see each other at one end as I go down a fun descent hes coming up the other side. I should mention Ive already made two blunders. First I ran a section I could have ridden much faster and of course my crash. Daves damn good at cross if you ask me.

Well I am in chase mode as it should be on a cross race and I am starting to hit the barriers with dbl vision. I start to do a normal dismount, but later I decide I need to hit them with my right foot ready to run because it feels better to me. I come up to a barrier, do the unclip thing, I put my right foot down in front of my left foot which is still clipped in and my left foot does NOT unclip. BAM baby-I am down again!! Body blow, body blow, body blow (remember that arcade boxing game??).

Well I think its about now that I decide that I am pretty banged up and bloody and this is my first freaking Cross race. So now I am going 70% up to the barriers and still taking it really easy in the technical sections. I surrender another spot and Dave has increased his lead on me by quite a bit. Farther than I care to dig for. I am in cruise mode and stop taking the barriers so fast and hey-I stop crashing. I am lapping some guys too so I am doing alright.

I also practice shouldering the bike up the long run up and thats kind of cool. Later I learn I could have ridden half way then dismounted or all the way up. I make some sloppy dismounts and mounts too and once the bikes chainring bites me in the right leg too. I also hit a manhole cover in the grass and pinch flatted my tire. Its getting squishy, but not flat, but by the time the race is over its flat!!

So what do I think of cross? Well- I could do without all the scrapes and gouge in my knee and the mystery welts on my back right side!! I am gonna be mega sore tomorrow and even worse Friday!! I still suck at singletrack and sharp descents, but all in all I kept the leaders reasonably close considering the deficit I put myself in by all my mistakes and times deathgripping the brakes when i know everyone in front of me was just letting er fly. Hey-I put a lot of thought into it and it was almost exactly as I expected. I knew I'd crash and I figured my fitness would keep me pretty close and its as much fun as I expected. Also-it turns out HEY, I run about as fast as a snail on teflon so I better try riding up most hills.

Bring on Kirtland Park and no scary descents!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Presque Isle-Me Dumb Dumb

Bring me some gum, gum.

So it all starts like this...let me take you back a few months to the Presque Isle event from the Spring. Like this one a cool day (but not as cold as today i think). Its my first test and I come out happy as can be. 5th overall and 1st in the 40-44 age group. Fast forward to the last month or so and I am focusing my end of the season on the fall edition of PI by doing 6 time trials.

Now FF again to today. I get up at 4am and am in the car at 5. I arrive at PI at 7am, dress, get my race pack and am on the course about 7:15 and do a full lap of warm up and roll inot the lot at 7:54. Cutting it a bit tight. I hit the bathroom and head to the line for my 8:01:15 start and lo and behold they are already way pacst my number, but the official timer still says 8:01.

SO OH crap-I am asking an official for help and I say I am number 12, when do I start. he looks quickly at his paperwork and says if your late-go now so I sprint away and notice number 51 next in line to go. I literally rocket away, but luckily I got a great warm-up in and I settle onot my bars, reset my computer and start the race.

The first thought that goes through my head when I get rolling is to just sit up, why bother. Luckily for me I hate quitting and have never quit a TT so I buckle down, but for sure in the back of my mind I am wondering if I am pushing as hard as I should because the speed isnt too fast. I am only going between 26 and 28 when I can and my HR isnt very high. But this is all about perceived exertion and my legs and breathing are telling me I am putting it all into the pedals. Measured out in 12 miles worth of effort and no more.

3 miles goes by and I am already passed 4 guys and gals (I was suupposed to start 6th, but who knows where I really started). After 4miles I notice I am clocking a mile in about 2:10. I do the math and thats a 26 minute run if I keep it up!! I am not super sure of my math, but for the time it keeps me going. I reference the speed I am going now vs what I expect in vs what i did on the out and the speeds I did last time. Its all a big mumbo jumbo of thoughts. OH yeah-I am concentrating on the speed I am going now too. Its easy-keep the pain-o-meter pretty well pinned-just push till it hurts all the time to turn the cranks.

Regardless I still look down and see 26 and push it to 27 and then when I see 27 I push for 27.4 or whatever I can get. I make the turnaround and hope that theres more tail wind then the way out and there isnt. If anything its more cross and harder so now I am fighting for 26 to 27 mph. I see 8, 9, 10 miles and then I start to push for home.

Its very important to note that the other thought I cannot get out of my head is what an IDIOT I am for coming to the line late after devoting two months towards this one event!! But I counter this with the fact that in the end my real time is what matters and I can still compare it to Ciocco, Hodos, Thor, Weeks, Diffenbacher and the rest!! I also am confident my time will be fast even with the delay compared to the spring.

10 miles in I am really pushing for the line, but I am so whipped that its more about maintaining speed then going faster. In fact its really about not slowing down. I have now passed every rider I could see and Brent also told me to leave it all on the road, save nothing. So thats a mission accomplished.

I come across the line and of course forget to check my computer. I finally look at it awhile after coasting and it reads 27:35..... SO more quick math and I started it late, looked at it later, my mind is telling me its around 27:00 to 27:25. In the spring I went 28:05 and Hodos won with 27:04 I think. And I am certain today was not a fast day. It was in fact a brutal day with what felt like riding into a headwind in and out. In reality I think the wind was blowing from the north east and wasnt an aid in either direction. I dont know the wind speed, but at times the leaves on the trees were flipped backwards and branches and long weeds were swaying on the side of the road.

Matt Weeks and I cool down and for almost a lap and as we roll in I go to see timing and ask if they wrote what time I took off and they did not. So its a done deal-my start time will be my original start time. When results come out I am listed as 28:33. Not shabby for being late. I do some more investigation and I am fairly certain I started between 1:00 and 1:15 seconds late. Wow-how did I do that?? Cutting it too damn close thats how. Bloody 41 year old bladder is my excuse!!

I'll be darned, even with a 28:33 I am 9th out of 129 starters. Take away a 1 and I have a theoretical 27:33 and that puts me 4th after Jay Joslyn from NY, Chris Cioccio,Eric Hodos and just ahead of Matt Weeks and Scott Thor!!! When I got home I looked at my HR data and from the time it goes up dramatically sprinting away form the line to when it starts to fade as I stop pedaling over the finish line it reads out as 27:24!! But I lose first in the 40-44 age group because 2nd (first??) got a real 28:26!! Still a nice plaque and it will go in my daughters room. Great thing about your kids!!

So whats what?? I have to laugh, Ive had a great year and I had a solid TT to close the road season. It sucks my mistake cost me 1st overall in my age group and 4th overall, but theres just too darn much good shit to be happy about. In the spring I was behind Hodos by a minute and Cioccio by50 seconds. Now I have cut those defecits to seconds. I trained hard for this and left it all on the road as they say (even though my heart wasnt really into it 100%).

Ive made a lot of friends this year and meeting more all of the time. I'm so shy you know!! But it was great to hang out with all my TT crazy brethren at PI. I have a feeling I will be going back every year for a long time.

What a great year!! An extra thanks again to Rudy Sroka and Bike Authority for the loan of the amazing Zipp Disc and to Brent for getting me here. But number one thanks to my family for allowing the time to train and to travel to these races.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What happened to my spin?

I was aghast on a training ride on Tuesday how piss poor my spin had become since winter time. I am not saying that I cannot spin, I can and all the way up to 198 rpm at last check, but its just that its become well...low on quality. So ive got a cure for the spin blues. Are you already one step ahead of me? You got it-its time to build a fixed gear POS bike!!

Anyone have an old cheap frame in the basement thats between 50 and 54cm (ctr to ctr) and has horizontal dropouts? About the only requirement is to have a fork and drilled for front and rear brakes. I'll piece together the rest slowly and with the help of my friends Craigs List and Senoir Ebay. Heck if youve got more old parts that build up a fixie-by all means lets make a deal. I have a set of 32 hole tubie rims just hankering for a hubset!! ohhh a fixie with big fat cushy tubies!! Lovely.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shes ready!!

I bought some wheels off of an elite racer up in Michigan and had Thom Domonic go through them at hubbub. So I finally have a dedicated wheelset for this bike. Sorry to all the locals I bugged and bugged about wheels!!

Uh-oh..NO Power this winter and other ramblings..

One great thing about being a psychotic bike racer is learning more and more about how your body responds to training and racing stress. After while you can say-that feels like Z2 heart rate or that feels like L2 power and most times you would be correct or close or close enough.

Well, the next challenge is Cyclocross or as Noel calls it Psycho cross. All of my testing in Time Trialing has proven to me that I dont need a power meter to go fast anymore. Actually for short duration I may be quicker without it. But speed and wattage is not the only thing that is gained by faithfully downloading data after every ride. Cycling Peaks software has a whole arsenal of graphs and numbers that it talies for you and turns them into more data and more acronyms like TSB, TSS, CTL, ATL and on and on.

Whats this have to do with cross? Well i am not comfy about using my mega buck rear wheel in cross and thats my only way to get this lovely data. So heres the dilemma for me now (its always something). How do I keep tracking all my acronyms throughout the winter without a power meter? Well the initial answer is simple, like time trialing, you dont worry about it anymore. Train with power and race without it.

But what will I do with all those innacurately tallied acronyms?

On another note, lovely construction has ruined our usual routes. Fairmont between Richmond and Brainard one lane each way and Mayfield construction has put massive traffic on all our favorite and usually car free roads and hills.

For example at 7:20am this morning I got passed by more cars up Old Mill in 2 minutes than all the cars who passed me the previous 12 months combined. All in a mad rush to get to work too. Luckily most moved pretty far over to pass. In fact the only guy who buzzed me today was, you guessed it a white haired gent in his Mercedes convertible. Up a blind hill no less. Just shows theres really little correlation of income level and morality or intelligence. I'd say more on the subject, but then you might not like what you read.

And last today, I am publicly saying I am not doing enough Green things to save this planet. I have started to save more electricity and am encouraging my wife to do so as well. I turn off just about everything I can find when not in use. but I keep trading better and more effective training for commuting and I just have to stop doing that! The seasons about over so no more excuses!! Must commute more.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Dream Come True

I got my start into competitive cycling in college at Ohio State Universityin the late 80's. I was always on a team of some sort and with Mike Orwick (now Michael David) we also formed our own small team.

But the team that we all dreamed of being on was simply called Team Columbus. Looking good and unique for the time in there yellow and black kits on Trek Carbon fiber and aluminum bikes. Those guys were amazing with names like Braumberger, Doc Savage, Carelson they went up against the big dogs at crits and stage races and stole a lot of primes and wins from the pro teams of the day.

So fast forward to the now. I am racing hard and getting in breaks and working hard in them. I am sure in the back of my mind I am hoping someone is noticing the work I am doing.

At the conclusion of a Westlake Training race I am shooting the breeze with racers and out of the blue Brian Batke and Tris Hopkins pop me a question that blows my socks off. of course nothing as mundane as what tires I run or what cranks I like, but would I like to ride for Team Columbus (2008 edition) next season? I think I smiled from ear to ear and said "sure".

So now I am on what I truly think is the best local team. They race with aggressive tactics that always seem to end in one of the team landing in the top 3 and many times winning. They are a small team (this season only 3 riders) and yet always seem to put numbers in the break and can control the outcome of the events with smart racing.

As if I need any help in this area, but I will be even more motivated in 2008. I will be the least experienced and weakest rider in the team, but they believe and I do too that I can contribute.

I would like to thank my old team first for giving me a team to race on this summer (Snake Bite Racing) and now to Brian Batke, Tris Hopkins, Tom Frueh and Tym Tyler and Torelli Imports for taking a chance on me and without realising it fulfilling a bike racer's dream!!


In John's Words

Maybe this is a great example of why its good to wait a day or two to write your blog entries!! An excellent recounting of the Fall Challenge:

I especially like the bit at the end about being philosophical. All true!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fall Challenge, Dead Legs Fred

This could be one long post, but I'll keep it as short as I can. A lot happened in the space of 50 miles today and thats why it could bloat. Its 8pm now and my legs are fried. It hurts to walk and my internals are all scrwed up. Fun-eh? Yes it is. I love bike racing!!

Rain it did and the start was brisk. I was near the back which is odd for me and I was getting nervous as I missed Batke going after an RGF and Thom Domonic bridging. I wanted to go in that move, but I was completely boxed in. But with Quinlan and so many others in the field, the race was far from over.

Up Quick the first time I went around Tris and Brent Evans (my coach) and set a comfortable tempo. The first lap is a bit of a blur, but I recall team tactics being played out as Color Me Safe and Torelli and RGF didnt have to chase. It was a bit early, but John E, myself and Dan would take some turns on the front. SOme other teams were near the front, but not really aiding the effort.

At some point Kirk Albers attacked and I took off with Brent, Tris, Jeremy and Dan Quinlan in tow. Maybe someone else-but those were the main guys. Again I was psyched as this was a solid move with race long potential. The RGF guy popped ahead while Brian and Thom kept a gap. Mostly it was up to Dan and I to do all the work in the split so we did. I was pretty active and when he hit Quick again I noticed Chernosky (the fastets sprinter in the race) had soloed up to us. Dan went up Quick fast and I got popped. I was really mad at myself, but calm. I new race over, but I wasnt going to give up. I dont know why my legs wouldnt respond then, but they didnt. They were onfire and there was no more rpm in them.

So back in the mainfield I dropped and we chased for the entire lap. My Snake Bite teammate John Ehrlinger really shined. He was teling me to draft and recover and I would and he was pulling and encouraging other riders to help. he in a word was impressive! His form is coming on strong and Ive never seen him ride like he did today. Against his well I would recover, pull hard and recover. I know that catching a break is hard and even more so when only 3 guys are doing the work so I kept working.

The next lap (maybe 4th of 5) we got slowed bigtime by the wheel truck helping Jeremy Grimm who had flatted. the guy parked it in the middle of the road!! brent told me the split (which had now come back together) also got slowed twice. Once as Dan fell and another behind slow traffic. Regardless thats racing and it was unfortunate for them, but good for us. Also I was chasing hard as were some other guys (a guy form Spin, John E, Jeremy,Josh Halvax) so we put ourselves in a position to capitolize on some luck and I am proud of that. Usually the pack gives up and loses minutes, but we never did.

Up Quick I almost bridged that lap as I attacked onto Akron Peninsula to close the final meters. But we kept them close the whole way up Quick this time and when we got around to Steels Corners road Jeremy kicked it hard and brought us across-FINALLY. We slowed and cat and mouse ensued. Up Quick for the last time and no one attacked. I set tempo over the top hoping to thwart any attacks. As we neared the line I tried to remember landmarks and with 3/4 of a mile to go I put in my hail mary pass.

I drilled it over a short rise and down. But alas there was still one longer roller to the school and I blew up hardcore on it. Stick a knife in my legs-they are Done!! First came Jeremy and Josh then everyone else. I looked back and no stragglers were going to come by so I just rolled in and got a suprise 10th for my efforts.

A quick note, the emotions today was the real action for me. Excitement, aggravation, feeling proud of John, the high of chasing, chasing and more chasing and the
never ending battle of telling yourself that "you can DO it", keep pushing. I wish I could touch on that more than the physical action, but maybe tonight I am just too tired.

It was another race played out well by the teams. Torelli and Color Me Safe and RGF got guys up the road early so they got to sit in. That left MVC, SBR to do the brunt of the chasing and we did. I had a blast in the rain today. Not optimal to get dropped out of a winning split, but hey, it happens. And what a way to bring to close the road racing calender for 2007 with an exciting and action packed rainy race!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Leroy TT 09/06/07 New Max heart rate

Brent and I discussed last week some changes to experiment for Leroy this week. I also had some theories I wanted ot try too. I am sure some think and rightly so I am only going there to try and break the course record, but thats only a small part of it. I am there to test and improve first and foremost. Rudy loaned me a Zipp dimpled disc wheel to try, I lowered my stem 1 full cm and would be running off of percieved exertion alone. NO Power tap this time.

The wheel required a lot of tinkering with cable tension and end stops and even during warm-up I was still not able to drop it into the 11 cog without soft pedaling for a secnd till I heard it drop. Quickly the wheel is fast and I DO think its faster than my wheel covers. It seems to accelerate quicker and its easier to chnage speed during th run too. The rest is purely subjective, but it realy feels like its just not there.

Brent gave me a new warm-up to try and I was able to get 75% of it done pre-race. Jim Behren had me go first and when he said go I sprinted harder than normal, but shorter, got on the clip-ons and really started to hammer. My HR was higher (and so was the temperature, but less humidity) all the way out and my speed seemed quicker than last time too. After the turn I think I was into a headwind where last week it was a tailwind. Percieved exerion (PE) was still high, but speed seemed down. I pushed hard up the rise and hard up the hill to the turnaround, but again not as high of speed as last week. I also now am comfy in the corner here so I nailed it fast and on the bars this time. I experimented last training ride with hauling ass in the corners on the bike and its paying off now. Its like the bikes push and need ot be manhandled to the apex with a lot of lean.

This time knowing last week I lost alll my time around the turnaround I sprinted out of the turnaround and down the hill. I saw 37mph down the hill and watched the speed drop to 34, 32, 30 as I approached the corner. I Went through hard and leaned way over and did a hard 2 second outof the saddle sprint and was 2.5mph faster than last week!!

The last two miles proved to be a mental and physical hell that truly made me want to stop pedaling and give up. I wouldnt and didnt, but let me tell you I was in agony and it was so bad I couldnt even push over a small rise. I had to wait till it was over and will myself to push on the slight downsides to pick speed back up. What was an easy 31mph at tempo on warm-up was everything I had now and not only that, my heart rate was pinned 4beats below max for 14 minutes straight. I honestly couldnt have gone much harder. I went 2bpm higher than ever before and my average HR for the ride was 96% of my new max HR.

I drove it home past Jim in a new personal best time of 16:52 at 27.4mph (7.72 miles)!!! I am sure that everythng we did this last week paid off and constant time trialing as painful as it is has really helped. Its like doing intervals or climbing. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. OK, in this case it never gets any easier, it gets a lot harder, but you do get faster.

How much faster?? Well my first time ever on the course was 17:15 which was good. With the exception of Matt Weeks (who by the way is a friend, not an adversary!) that was a record time by 20 or more seconds I think. The next time I put my disc covers on my rear wheel, but paced myself on what I thought weather conditions had dealt the course. I ended up going 17:05. This time I went with no power tap, dimpled disc, lowered my frontal area and a modified warm-up and a go for broke pacing strategy. Alright there was no pacing strategy!! It was go hard on the out and bring it home with anything I had left in the tank. I'd love to know what my average watts were tonight!!

I think I am done at Leroy for the year. I am fearful another run like tonight will zapp my mental reserves for Presque Isle to push that hard again. I would like to thank Jim Behren for doing this course for so many years. Theres probably three more events so maybe I'll go to the last one for fun....haha..did you hear that I called Time Trials fun....

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Talking about things that have made an improvement and how its people that always bring everythng together. Over a year ago Brent advised me to get a Wobble-naught (Wn) bike fit which was fantastic and without a doubt some of the best spent cycling cash a rooonie. Mike Vanucci did it for me at where else? Bike Authority.

Chris Bilowich and Pete Scacheri with the purchase of their new bikes also did the Wobble-naught and they too are believers.

Due to an odd pedal stroke in my right leg John Reade asked me who did my bike fit and I told him it was Mike. He went on to say that the entire Abercrombie and Fitch cycling team are WN fitted. A quick trip to the website shows a whos who in the pro cycling world who have had fittings.

Now I like technology and to be on the cutting edge as it were. I believe in some old school things too though, but let me get back on topic!! So John tells me all about the technology that is available to riders who travel to see Tom Coleman the founder of Wn in Boise, Idaho. EMG to track when muscles fire and video technology to see the leg in motion. They bring it all together to make sure you are getting the most out of your body.

John did a great job explaining it all and here I am screwing it all up. I'll need to have that conversation with him again sometime. Suffice it to say for now that the technology available is incredible. So in a nutshell what does this mean? More power to the pedals. How did this all come about?? Listening to those around me. Should I thank some more people? I hope I already have.

Thank You

Mark and I were riding home from hill repeats of a sort last night and got to talking about why some riders move from Cat.5 to Cat.2 in one season and why some riders with the same coaches stay Cat. 4 or 3 forever. Some coaches I guess got together to discuss what the difference is and one thing that riders who excelled quicker and reached a higher level was how closely they followed their coaches plans. It doesnt matter f the plan worked or failed for them as long as the rider did exactly what their coaches asked of them. I find that interesting because for me I have followed what my coach and others have told me to do almost without exception and lets face it, Ive had a great first year of cycling.

I call it a first year of cycling because after a 15+ year break I was happily getting dropped on every club ride within the first 5 to 8 miles. So thats like starting over from scratch to me. Why was I happy? Because I dont let that stuff discourage me-it just adds fire to my belly to improve. I knew that being dropped is only a mark of my current fitness level, not what my potential could be.

I also try and actively surround myself with people who can help me. sounds terrible?? But I dont think I am ever the guys who responds to advice with "I already knew that". I have a thirst for anything that may help me improve and I am not afraid to ask for it too. Let me be clear on that statement that that does not involve any drugs. I mean knowledge, software or equipment and training, nutritional tips.

So I feel like saying again Thank you to all those who help me to improve as a cyclist. I dont dare try to name everyone for fear of leaving out someone, but today I must shout out to those guys at Bike Authority who today helped me on almost all those fronts (technology, equipment, knowledge, training tips.....).

Thank you, thank you and thank you again!!