Monday, July 31, 2006
BE Safe Out There
"What's up my brotha'"
"Ummm, did you forget something?" I reply knocking on my helmet with my knuckle.
"No, why?" He looks up at me, sees me hitting my head and realizes his dilema.
As if on Q, Wild Bill gives us a pre-ride refresher on safe group riding skills. It was well called for, well spoke, and well recieved. These rides can get quite fast and furious. We have plenty of red lights and stop signs enroute and we all need to be reminded this is a ride, not a race. All went well and everyone (even Dag) finished unscathed.
Liz survived the Saturday group well, but not the following day's encounter with some large 4-legged rural Pungo residents. Read about it here.
She also wrote a great article about local cycling speedster PaulW that was published in the Sunday paper.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Lots of Racin' This Weekend
Just about anybody who's anybody ( I'm sure not) in the ultra MTB world will be at the Nationals up at the 24 hours of Nine Mile in Wisconsin. Or anybody that's within' an easy drive anyway. The following is a short list of bloggers that I know will be there.
Eddie O and Namrita
Dave Sears - on a fixey
of course the favs will be there too ...... Eatough, Nat Ross (who rode and won team RAAM), and DeeJay Birtch on SS. Good luck to all.
Also big race up at Jay Peak. WICKED amount of climbing - 10,000 feet in 65 miles. Especially the first climb. JW will be there, rubbin' elbows with the dread-locked wonder, in his first post RAAM race.
Speaking of wicked climbing, how about ORAMM. The Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell. 55 miles with 11,000+ feet of climbing. The fast (thin) JB not only won it, but set a new course record. His report is here. Think you can beat the record? Go down there next year and win a cool $1000.
Tour de Toona
The skinny tire crowd will be getting there RideOn at the International Tour de Tuna Stage Race up in Pennsylvania. Pro road racing for men and women has been going on all week, with amateur points stage races starting Friday.
On a local note
We picked up a strong pair of legs when JonP (the Secret Henry's Team ) moved down here from Del - the land of fatmarc. Good to see him as a regular on the Tues and Thurs rides.
Another TT this weekend - won't be as bad as the last one - that's for sure.
Hope you have good plans this weekend to get your
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
What's in Your Tank?
Took the plunge and added some Hammer Products to the training and recovery table. Seems like those that know recommend it highly. Relied on some good real world info from UltraRob and advice from the Hammer folks. Onward with the "Using Yourself as a Lab Rat" thing. We'll see how it works in speeding recovery. Of course when all is said and done, there is no substitute for going out there and thrashing yourself to a quivering pulp, then letting nature take it's course. Then repeat as often as it can be tolerated. Someone once said that there's only 3 things you can to to improve performance :
So when it comes down to it you just have to go out and get your
Jill wrote a nice piece on the endurance recovery thing here.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Life Goes On..........
Saratoga 24 Race Report
I went home
I feel better now.... How about you?
Not trying to belittle the awesome event. The great thing was seeing my UMCA buds and riding with some incredible athletes. And yes - I did pass Sandy Whittlesey. No kidding. Go ahead, ask him, he'll tell ya'! It was not long after he passed me (the 2nd time). He was even more surprised than I was. Of course I didn't stay ahead long (if at all), but had a 1/2 mile or so to shoot the shit with him until the River Road hill came. By the time I got to the top, he was a small dot on the road ahead - and still looking smooth as silk.
My recovery has been perplexing and bewildering. All the secondary stuff that normally crops up after a 24 effort was fine. Knees, ankles, feet, hands, and my "junk" all felt great afterward. Of course my legs felt tired and dead, but that's expected. So I got right back on my bike and resumed my normal 5 day a week riding schedule. All rides at recovery (below anaerobic threshold) pace. The following Saturday I went to pre-ride the 18 hour course. Hard to stay totally aerobic MTBing - at least for me. I found my legs were still totally dead and full of lead. Oh well.
Was entered in the State TT the following day - 7 days after the 24 hour race, and knew it was going to be ugly. It wasn't just ugly, it was WAY beyond that. Never felt so bad on a bike, EVER, EVER, EVER. The first leg of the out and back 40k course was down wind. Even with the wind at my back I barely managed 24 mph. I thought I was saving something for the return beat into the wind, but when I tried to find what I was saving, all I found was that it just wasn't there. Tried to push through the emptiness and pain, and all I found was more emptiness and more pain. That last 12 miles took FOREVER. It didn't matter if I eased up, or pushed harder, I just went slower, and slower..........................and slower. Wanted to quit at least 1,000 times. Told my wimpy alter ego (the one that was constantly whining in my head) to "Just shut up and ride" at least 40 times - every mile. It didn't listen. Eventually the finish line came, and it was over. I tucked my tail between my legs and drove home like a whipped puppy dawg. How slow did I go? - My average speed on the last 12 mile upwind leg was SLOWER than my average (on the bike) speed for the 24 hour race. YEEEESH. Laid in bed that night and almost all my leg muscles were fasciculating uncontrollably. Maybe it was the bowling we did later? NAH. That's another story.
The nice thing is - NOW - 2 weeks later, I finally feel my power coming back. Feeling - dare I say - stronger than before. But there has to be a faster way to recover. I'm working on it. Heck Saratoga was only the second time I've been able to ride 24 straight hours, so I should be happy. And I am. VERY. Seems like as soon as you break through one barrier, another one appears. Such is life.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Tour de Port
Yesterday was the Tour de Port. A Criterimium in downtown, excuse me - Olde Towne, Portsmouth. The venue was nice, with a festival like atmosphere.
When a bunch of lycra clad cyclists storm into a small city there's bound to be some interesting moments.
There were many live bands, including an Italian Duo, which, it seems had four people. Those Italians......
There was also a swing band playing, which of course gave rise to some dancing in the streets...
There were some rather intense moments of bloggers photo jousting with other bloggers...............
and at least one Father/Son pair starting in the Mens 123 :
Above all there was some very fast and furious racing on a very nice 1 mile course with 3 turns and a long sweeper. Conte's came up big with THOUSANDS of dollars of primes. How do you get the guys to jump up the already furious pace? How about a $150 PRIME on the 2nd lap of a forty lapper.........the another $150 on the 3rd lap, and the 4th, and the 5th......................damn. That'll get the lactate flowing fast. The field split early, and after many attempts David Fuente (Evolution Cycling) got away solo to take the cake. He also won the Cobblestone Crit last weekend. Strong, strong, riding.
Many many photos can be viewed here. Best to just hit slideshow if you have a few minutes, then watch the race unfold. The pictures are in the order they were taken.
Got 5+ nice hours of saddle time in this AM. The first 3 or so solo, then hooked up with a big crew, which split up. Rode part of the way back in w/ Marc, Crazy and Brenna. Going back up Great Neck, I hear "Pick it up John" as JDiesel flies by with another rider in tow. Couldn't resist that draft. Nice way to end the ride. Thanks Jim for the pull. It's now 2 weeks after the Saratoga 24 and I think my legs are finally coming back. Might be time to kick it up a notch.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Tripower Flames Burning Everywhere
Super Sally and Lovely Laura took the State Omnium by storm. Sally in the leaders yellow and Laura in the climbers dots. A Crit, a Time Trial, and a Road Race. 1, 2 finish. Ya just can't beat that. They also know how to recover from races.
K-Dog went up to Roanoke the next weekend to win the mountain bike Omnium.
Of course BJ never ceases to amaze. Last year state BAR Cat 4. Nervous about the upgrade. Now dominating the C123 ladies in the State BAR. Then she leaves the flatlands of the beach to go to very hilly Nationals at Seven Springs PA, and podiums not once, but TWICE. The TT and the Crit. Inspirational stuff. Liz has a write up here.
Fast Lisa upgrades from Cat 4 to Cat 3 in 3 races, then in the blink of an eye is mixing it up with the pros - including multi-multi-multi time national champ Tina Pic (in the stars and bars jersey)
Brenna (-->) took first in the windy State Championship TT this weekend, with Laura and Sally in the next 2 spots. Speedy Bill G (andele' andele') and Tim had a great rides too.
Art the Dart and Crazy are in the thick of the frenetic, all-consuming scramble for BAR points.
This just touches the surface........many more TriPower folks out there tearing up the road and dirt. WTG all of you.
A full post on the details of the Saratoga 12/24 is in the works. Kurt put a nice writeup here. Yeesh, just saw the post race photo he put up. Looks like I've been riding 24 days, not 24 hours. Maybe I should change jerseys once during the race .......................nah.
Monday, July 10, 2006
A Brief - some photo links added
Once again RD John Ceceri put on a great event with the help of his wife Kathy, family and friends.
The weather while beautiful, was decievingly hot. High 80's with overcast skies. Hydration and electrolyte balance were critical during the day. The night riding was AWESOME.
There were some exceptional riders out there doing some exceptional riding.
No one has ever surpassed the 425 miles in 24 hours needed to RAAM qualify on this course. It's just that challenging. This year 2 people would. Sandy Whittlesey, who holds the 12 hour record, finished first with a new 24 hour record. Rick Rhiengans came up from Atlanta and finished a strong second. I'm not sure of the total mileage. Results should be posted this week sometime. Rick had set a course record at Sebring earlier this year with over 470 miles.
Eric Jensen, who set a new 12 hour record at Sebring earlier this year, won the 12 hour, with John Jurczynski only 4 miles behind in second place.
John Fuoco came in first in the 12 hr men's 50+.
Rhiannon Bussey finished first female in the 12 hour. It was the farthest she had ever ridden! WTG.
Melinda Lyon, was the first female 24 hour finisher, and set a course record. Melinda also holds the course record for Paris-Brest-Paris, where she was first female the last 2 times it was held. I'll be a witness - this lady can climb, and climb, and climb, and climb.
The course is marked with mile marks. If you are still out riding at the 24 hour end, you just stop at the last mile mark you passed, and someone comes out and picks you up. I intentionally paced myself to stop at the 25 mile mark which was at the base of this short (1/4 mile) 12% grade. Melinda came by me at 23:57. Instead of stopping she says - "Come on, let's do this hill one more time". 24 hours of non-stop riding and she just had to have more! Amazing. There was NO WAY I was going up that hill again......... maybe next year.
Men over 50 -
John Fuoco won the 12 hour
Russ Loomis rode strong to win the 24 hour. Mark Hnatov was second. Tony Goodnight in 3rd.
As for myself, I had a early battle with a poor hydration/fueling plan. Once that was sorted out it was a great ride. Complete with the usual 4AM delerium and hallucinations. Left a little mess to clean up.
Big congrats to Kurt Higgins who completed his first 24 hour race!!!! Over 11 laps. Very very impressive.
I'll have more later.
RideOff - just for a day or two.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Up In New Yawk
The small host motel was sold out over a month in advance, and since I, like, totally had the weekend wrong I'm stayin' in downtown Saratoga Springs. Really nice place.
Got here early enough to spend 3-4 hours working on the bikes which are ready and rollin, smooth and nice. Pretty much set up the same except the gearing. The Six13 has a 12-27 rear cassette, while the R3000 has n 11-25. Rode each of 'em around the Saratoga Spa State Park, after prepping 'em in lot near some bubbly spring water.
Haven't been here since I was 12 years old (that was like about 10 years ago???!?!-- hah) I'm tryin' to live in a time warp. For those aren't hep to the local history, here's a summary. Basically water bubbles up everywhere. FDR liked the bubbly springs so much he built a little bath house around one of 'em about 75 years ago. You can still take mineral baths here. Maybe I shoulda.
Still not sure which bike to ride. The Six13 is plush, but flexes on climbs. The R3000 is tight as a snare drum, but you feel every pebble. A game day decision.
Hope everyone has time to get their
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Time Time Time
Where does it all go? For that matter where does it come from? I guess if I knew that it would be as easy as going there to get some more.
Time waits for no man,
Time is on your side,
Time is the great equalizer,
There is no time like the present.
In the blink of an eye it seems the "Season" is here. Whatever that means.
I guess it means this is how the weekends line up the starting with next weekend through the middle of September:
Saratoga 24 Hour
Scout camp pre-ride, Cobblestone Crit, State Championship Time Trial
PLT Time Trial #2
New England 24 hour
PLT Crit / Oyster Point Crit
18 Hours of Scout's Honor
Seven Springs 24 hour
PLT TT #3
Yeeeeeesh. Too many events, too little time.....................
Looking forward to the Saratoga 24 hour. RD John C. got it right with this course desciption :
"Rolling hills, false flats and some wind. This is a deceptively difficult course. The longest hill is just north of Schuylerville, and is about ¾ miles long."
A 32 mile lollipop with a short 2 mile "stick". At the end of the stick is the 3/4 mile Bacon hill, which has a 10% grade. No big deal the first 7-8 times up it. Ater that it gains a percentage point of pitch every lap. You get to fly down near the end of the lap too. Last year I always ended up wimping out and touching the brakes. It's goes around a turn over an old rough road. At night in the rain it's a rush for sure.
Might do an audio blog from up there if the smell phone has reception.
Now go out there and get your
Sunday, July 02, 2006
The nice thing about Florida training isn't just the nice people you meet, or the new roads you get to ride, but cool chillin' in the pool with your favorite recovery drink close at hand.
Crazy happenings at leTourDayF today
A big Happy 51st Wedding Anniversary to Mom & Dad B. WTG!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
The Day I Shoulda Been Dropped
The Great Seminole County Bicycle Sting
Saturday mornings mark the massive group rides from Lakemont Elementary School in Winter Park. Well over 100 riders go off in up to 5 different rides, starting at 7:30. The penultimate ride is the 1rst group. 41 miles, no (planned) stops, no regroups, take no prisoners, we'll drop you when we can and not even look back, all out, ride till you crack, type of merciless hammerfest. This is a fast fun ride. The goal was to just hangon. The Seminole County Sheriff's Department had another idea .
Followed Turbo Todd and Cori in the easy roll out through the neighborhoods. I'd guess over 50 started in the first group. Pace increases throughout and by Lockwood we had a full head of steam. Jumps out of every corner just to hangon. At a redlight I turned around and was surprised to see I was near the end of the lead group which had dwindled down to 20 or so. Wasn't surprised I was near the back, but was surprised that there were only 20 left.
Saw a few sheriff's cars off in the grass on the side of the road. Florida Ave is normally where those that have anything left kick in the afterburners. A nice straight 2-3 mile section of road with no red lights or stop signs..........except the one near the turn at beginning of the road.
Shortly after the turn, in a full sprint to keep touch with the group and I hear the police siren behind me -
Brip brip, ........ Followed by the Megahorn........ "Cyclists, pull over at the next crossroads, pull over"
WHAT? Kept pedalling on, asked the guys behind me wtf is this? Another Sheriff's car passes us, gets ahead of our 1/2 of the group and pulls us over. WTF!?! We asked "what about the others guys that got away?" They said there were other cars up ahead waiting for them. They had obviously planned this with 5-7 cars set up to ambush us as we rode by. Guess there is a shortage of real crime to fight in Seminole County.
In all fairness to the officers, they were very polite as they wrote us up. We were also very kind and respectful, fighting back the urge to say how we really felt. They repeatedly said they wouldn't be out here if it weren't for "citizen's complaints". Come on now, who's the jerk that's complaining? Someone who gets held up once a week while we pedal down the road? Oh well. We all got written citations of warning for, umm,
As we are getting written up we got to watch the other groups roll by.
Unfortunately we hear that a few riders went down in one of the groups behind us. Hope everyone is well.
Riding on through Tuskawilla I see 3 more Sheriff's cars waiting. They were gonna get us one way or another.
Best of luck to my racing team mates up in Roanoke for the Commonwealth Games.