Sunday, March 29, 2009

Race Season Starts at Malabar

As expected Grimm was the first to attack and immediately with his power he was out of sight within minutes. With his all stud team mates I figured he was gone for the race. The race pace had fallen to a friendly club ride except up the climbs.

I also had Dan Quinlam, Tris, Batke and Tom Frueh in the 40 strong 1,2,3 field so I figured it was going to be up the other teams like Spin, Indiana Medical and Carbon Racing to make it a race. I took the opportunity to take off at one point and Cioccio, Thom Dominic and I started to open up a big gap. We were rolling down the flat section at a sustained and painful pace but Grimm actually pulled away from us.

Eventually RGF lined up 4 guys on the frnt of the main field and when they did that they closed the gap on us in short order. But like I was saying before you need ot make the race happen and Torelli last year and now combined with Elves and More as Carbon Racing are as aggressive as ever. So shortly after we came back Dan sent off the counter. That drew out Batke, Steve Cummings and RGF's Dan Campbell.

That shortly became the move of the race and as they disappeared I took a break in the back of the field. but what I forgot was Paul Martin was still in the field. And when he launched to bridge to assist his guys in the break I didnt see it. Tris saw it but was just a moment late to launch and that's all Paul needed to hold the gap.

The race pace had declined somewhat again, though a lot of guys were popping off on the climbs and steep rollers all race long. But I wanted to get some good training to get that "race fitness" so I told Tris I was going to start attacking. My first two attacks were pretty much lame. I easily can admit that. First race and all. Also a very BIG reason to start attacking as well was to break up the race. One thing I cannot stand is when the pace is slow enough that guys can hang on that could out sprint me in the end.

ON the 4th lap going down the flat the pace slowed so much we were all on our brakes. I ride past the jam-up at the front and launched as I passed Andy Clark and buried it. I looked back after a minute and I had the gap. I was worried about the climb coming up, but I cleared it fine and kept up good cadence all the way over, stood and sprinted down the hill.

When I finally looked back and could see some guys chasing I was amazed to see it looked like half of the field I had left. So damage done. And this is so typically me I guess, but I kept thinking as I was out there was how great of training this was for time trialing. I held a couple beats over threshold. I also told myself if this worked or didnt I was putting this effort in the bank for later.

I caught my team mate Dan up the last steep climb before descending to the 180 corner to the flat. I kept the pressure on the pedals, but when I hit the flat the wind which picked up a lot at the end was so strong that my speed was only 21 to 24mph instead of 24mph to 30mph where it had been the first time Thom, Chris and I attacked down the road.

Back in the field Thom was chasing on behalf of Spin and I suppose for a good workout as well. Finally after 9 flat out miles I was caught. With only about 2miles to the finish which was up the hill this year that was it for my attacks. Tris took a flyer and Jason Holloran tried a flyer to help Thom then Thom rolled off, but Inferno chased down most of those moves while they held good position for the finish. I to stayed in the front 5 or so trying to not have to come around too many guys on the lower part of the hill.

I followed Tris on the lower slopes, slipped by then Andy Moskal launched hard up the left with Marco and Jeff from Inferno in tow. I picked up my pace and a gap was opening, but for the most part I was holding on. But as soon as it pitched up around the right hand turn I tried to sprint and my thighs both started cramping so I sat down then 3 or 4 guys (including Tris and Thom) came around as I literally almost ground to a halt. I crossed the line in 14th trying to outsprint the guy in front, bt he saw me coming and he took off.

So not a bad finish considering my 9 mile TT effort on the last lap and being my first race. I have no idea where that effort came from, but I'll take it!! A lot of guys got popped and I felt comfy the whole race. Especially on the tough "grinders" in the back. Our team did its usual aggressive style of attacking and counters that established the races winning break. Brian did great to withstand the attacks of RGF to come in 5th place right with Cummings. RGF swept the podium with no less than the Tour of Ohio winner Campbell, uber sprinter Grimm and the Elite National Road champion!! Now that's some fast company to start the racing season.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Impressive driving!!

I was out for the pre-race ride. Gorgeous day. I went when it was still a bit chilly. I put on my so called "Race Wheels" with race tires to make sure everything was cool. Those being the $179 (shipped) aluminum rim clinchers I scored on ebay last fall. Basically a American Classic 420 knock off except a hair lighter and a couple less spokes. Glad I did because I had shifting issues the whole ride. Got some easy work to do tonight in the work stand. Someday deep section carbon tubulars, someday!!

But, gotta love this. Going west on Shaker this am and a lady pulls by, hits the brakes, no turn signal and turns into the driveway and I grab brakes and slow to almost a stop to wait for them to pull completely in the driveway. Car full of family or friends. Hope they were all impressed with her driving.

A driver in the left lane came by on his horn and hand in the air. He looked pissed. I dont know if he was upset because she shot in front of him and hit the brakes or he was upset for the move she pulled on me. I hope the latter. No harm came to me and I didnt even bother to yell. The guy honking took care of that for me. I wish I had taken the time to see what address it was so I could send a nice letter.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

what a fun day

7:30am on the trainer doing a 8 mi TT. Got some crazy data that I cannot resolve, but only guess at. One computer was reading one wattage and the other (on the trainer) was reading 30 watts higher consistently!! Hhhhmmmm.... you know which one I'd like to believe!! But if I split the difference (What a dumb thing to do, but oh well) I am pretty happy!!

11:30am to the skating rink for 2 hours. Getting lessons from my daughters 7 year old friend who is a little rocket on skates (and he and his team won the State Championship in Mite's Hockey). and I confirmed that I am about as bad on my left skate as I am on my left ski. I guess I will have to forgo the World Cup XC Skiing future.....

4:30 soccer across the street with Audrey and friends.

OK, hoping the rain lets up so I can go on a fast, hilly ride this afternoon. Got to see how the legs go against guys who have already done a few races.

I hope I don't get dropped or puke or something.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Coaching and riding

I passed my Cat.2 cycling coaching exam so I am of course now a USA Cycling Category 2 coach. The seminar was awesome and it is great to have now scratched the surface of the science behind the sport.

In other not so hot news yesterday was a Granola bar, 2 Cliff bar, 2 Gu gel, banana, 3 bottles day. Me and my new teammates did half of the Emerald Necklace ride. In the middle we did the Chippewa race course at race pace and then headed down to the Covered Bridge race course and headed home for 95 miles. I felt great the whole way, but missed the clothes by one thin layer. I think we all know what that is like.

It was great to ride with them all. They are all in great shape and a fun bunch of guys and gals. A lot of Dewey's pizza was consumed after wards. Had we ridden another 5 miles I would have had a very rare 3000+ calorie day (and my first century since like 1989).

Also, Carbon Racing in cooperation with Paul Martin and Panther/RGF Racing Team, Snake Bite Racing and the hard work of Brad Hansen we are bringing back the Covered Bridge Race series on April 19, 26 and May 3rd. Please email or call me if you would like to volunteer with corner marshaling for about 3 hours on the 19th.

Malabar Farms starts my racing season on Saturday. I guess its time to break out the razor and race tires and wheels.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Green Future

Like the idea of cell phones. You wouldnt buy a cell phone if you couldnt get a signal right? Its all about infrastruture when it comes to electric cars. Read how one company is doing it here!!

ONe of the guys at the USA Cycling Cat.2 coaching seminar I went to last week uses an Extra Cycle and tows his bikes to many of the local Colorado races. What a sight, eh? I will ask Nick Stevens to send me the picture of him towing his Cross bikes to the race.

Too bad so many of our races are so far away from my home.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

That didnt go as planned.

Looking forward to traine.r workouts is probably not the healthiest thing to do. But Thursday has been my TT bike workout and so far I have been hitting new bests for power and interval lengths have been going up as well. So more power over a longer period of time. Yes!! Thats how its supposed to work. Not personal bests, just bests compared to last week.

Well this AM I really wanted to knock one out as I would be off the bike for 3 days (of great weather no less). But sometimes things just dont work out. Not only did I not hit anything resemblng TT wattage, my TT resembled something more like a casual Tempo ride. I was 30 watts, 9bpm and over 1mph slower than last week.

OH well. But I just kept plugging away. One thing about training with power and HR for so long you just know when your not firing on all cylinders. I wasnt on, but i wasnt sick (well, maybe some bug that robs power) so I just kept going and completed the workout. NO freaking out, just a bit of disappointment because its fun to ride hard and see good numbers.

Bored in Chicago

I am in Chicago for a Cat.2 Coaching seminar. You have to attend a seminar to take the test to become a Cat.2 coach.

Call me a big fat wuss, but Ive been here for about an hour to two and I miss Stacie and Audrey so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man I hate traveling by myself. And worse (again call me a wuss) but I have to go to dinner soon. By myself. BORING!! But they say the Chicago style pizza joint rocks!! So I guess I am looking forward to that.

In the am I want to go for a run, but being 1.5 miles from O'hare and basically always being lost I am not sure where to go.

At least by 9:30 tomorrow morning I'll be knee deep in learnin' stuff. I heard the section on Physiology is pretty intense. Looking forward to that. OK-I hope I dont get lost n my run tomorrow morning.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Outside on my TT bike??

That's not so strange except when you consider Ive logged many, many rides on it since Cross season ended and virtually none of it (save for a few hundred feet)has been outside. I didnt want to get it dirty and the kind of training I have been doing has been better on a fixed trainer anyways.

So with the rain over the weekend (which I let ruin my endurance riding plans)I figured all the salt has been washed down the drains. Do you think it will eventually end up back at the bottom of Lake Erie to re-solidify and someday be used again on our roads?

So with a recovery ride scheduled I rode to the top of Gates Mills and home. I LOVE riding my TT bike. Ive done a ton of work on it this winter and no matter how many times you ride it on a trainer you have to ride it on the road to truly know if its going to work.
P2SL ready for 2009
Well it feels really fast if that's possible. I feel ultra narrow and super low in front and the hundreds of tweaks has made my cadence or pedal stroke feel better than it ever has. And as narrow as Ive made the front I had no problems handling the bike or riding straight. A big concern of mine all winter as I kept making the bike narrower and narrower. I think my helmet will be a lot lower too so less up in the air for drag. I have to get some glasses without a frame or get a visor for my helmet though.

Its not all gravy. I already hit my knee on an arm rest today so I have got to remember to keep the nose of the saddle brushing the backs of my legs when I sprint or it could be one short TT at Presque Isle on April 26th. But moving the pads back was a critical part of the changes so that has to stay. A small compromise.

On another TT note my power has risen 10% already while in the aero tuck. Its nowhere near where it needs to be, but hey, its going in the right direction at least!! Sadly I doubt there's another 10% in there, but one can hope!!

If weather is good tomorrow I'll finally ride fast outside on it to work and back blasting short LT and some anaerobic intervals. If not, ho hum...back on the trainer again. Its hooked up to it already just in case. I'm only on my second viewing of the entire Hobbit series for the winter. I wont even try and count how many times Ive had Paris Roubaix 2007 on, volume off, music blaring. The worst part is, I never see the finish and rarely even get to where O'Grady talks to a dehydrated and fading Fabian and then says "gotta go and win the race now, SEE YA, WOuldnt wanna be YA!!"...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hour of Power

I picked up Audrey from school Friday and then spent the next hour yelling, screaming, running,jumping, tossing, carrying, spinning a whole playground of kids from 4 to 9 years old. I was covered form head to toe in sweat. After that was al the games I could think of on swings. oh, youd be surprised how mnay ways you can swing kids on a swing that makes them go crazy. Me next, me next, me next!! Talk about cross training. We were all muddy, but the parents all seemed happy with the situation.
Whew-I definitely earned my big fat Don Tequila's Burrito I am about to leave to eat tonight!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lakewood Criterium, May 17th!!

Add another USA Cycling race to the local Calender!! Spin Bike Shop will be promoting a Criterium on Sunday, May 17th in Lakewood, Ohio!! I love crits through city streets and if the Spin cyclocross race is any indication, the race will be awesome!!

Mark your calenders.

No official info is released yet, but Greg said to go ahead and spread the word. The date and venue are set though.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Carbon Racing, Go Neutral!!

Dan teling us about carbon footprint
Hey all!! Brian, Tris and I are on a new team for 2009 and we are very excited. Tom Frueh is back too. I dont want to present too many details yet as everything is starting to come together, but I think weve got a wonderful message. Heres the teams Mission Statement: Carbon Racing is a Men’s and Women’s Elite Cycling Team. As the world becomes more aware of alternative energy Carbon Racing will lead by example in offsetting the energy used in our daily lives and cycling activities. We will educate fellow cyclists on our energy impact in travel, hotels and races while demonstrating ways to offset them. Our long term goal is to provide carbon offset services to event promoters.

I already try and encourage as much car pooling to every event as possible. Other things that we can do? We can bring water in reusable containers (not throw away PET bottles), pocket gell wrappers not toss on the road and even ask race promoters when possible to buy local for fruits and other race food.

We also want to make use of the experience of guys like Tris, Tom and Brian in developing young riders. So yes that means we hope to have a development squad and young riders. I am extra excited about that because of my coaching.

The New Team Carbon Racing

But like I said, not too many details yet, but I thank Dan and Erin and Sam for inviting us on this team. More details, Website, list of sponsors and everything coming very soon, I promise!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Getting base miles in

I am trying like mad to get my base miles in so I can have a firm foundation for the threshold training that is starting to come online. So Sunday Derek and I headed off to Burton. Yeah it was cold and so cold that when riding straight into a headwind I was getting a headache at first. But the sun was out and the sky was blue so it made for a gorgeous day to ride. We acclimated to the weather quickly.

It was a bit windy (mostly cross and head) and I was in no hurry so we took our time. After 40 miles we split ways and I headed for some more hills. I got tailwind finally for a good bit of the last hour which made the riding even better!! I headed home feeling good (and a bit tired) with 4hours and 9 minutes in. That beats the heck out of the 1 hour I got on my Computrainer Saturday. But on the Computrainer I got to climb a 3.5 to 6.5% grade climb for 27 minute at tempo pace.

My hope is to get in one or two centuries this month. Something I have not done in over a decade. I am most surprised I have any endurance at all what with all my training coming in 1 to 1.75 hour increments (except the last two weekends). but maybe I underestimating the training I get from the CT and Cross country skiing. The important thing is I have been feeling good on the longer rides, even if they are far form race pace.