Friday, October 31, 2008

Wholy back of the line Batman!

I signed up for Saturday's race in Noho a while ago. But only this week decided to sign up for Sunday's race. And only last night 3 hours before the deadline, with no day of reg, did I click the submit application button. The list of riders for the 'B' race looks like this.

If you're looking for my name, it's down around 100th place. I don't have any Verge series points that I know of. So it should be an exciting day of "how far up the field can I move." In some ways I'm kind of looking forward to this. It takes the pressure off, and my main goal is to finish in the top half. Just gonna go out there throw so elbows in the carnage and have some fun.

Back row here I come baby!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

MRC race report

I like 9. Wasn't expecting it thought.
For my first race up in the A's I was expecting to start in the back ten tenths of the pack and see what I could do to work my way up. But I guess due to pre-registering a few weeks ago, and some decent results on x-results, I got a really good starting position. 9th! I was enjoying being up in the top five for the first lap. Even though I was thinking to my self, "Man, this is hard. Can these guys really keep this up for another 50 minutes." And, "Nah they're just going this hard to get the first lap preem and then it'll settle down. Then I'll be in good shape to continue on and hammer my way around the course, picking up speed as the race goes on."

That kind of happened. Once the second lap started, there were a couple of hot shots that made breaks in the straights to get up near the lead, and couple other people dropping back after having won the preem...ahem. And then Brad Sheehan happened. We had a misunderstanding and we ended up getting tangled together. Such is racing I guess.
Just to be clear he ended up jambing one drop into my rear wheel and the other around my top tube. We eventually untangled, and things looked good enough with my rear wheel. Meanwhile a good five or six people whizzed by. It would have been more, but I think this slowed up a lot of the trailing pack. The kicker is that that once Brad gets off ahead of me he promptly eats on the second turn we come to. I did my best to avoid him, but couldn't manage to complete miss his head. Sorry Brad.

I continued to put my head down and crank away for the rest of the race. I caught a rider or two, and got dusted on a couple on straight sections. The course was pretty fun. But even by the end of the race I couldn't set up well for the barriers/corner/run-up. That was tricky. The head wind was not fun. I was pretty glad to see Aaron Millet roll a tubular in front of me on the second to last lap. Chalk another one up for clinchers baby!

I finished 12th. (not too bad considering)
Results are here.

Thank you Zoot

So the weather has turned and it's making for some chilly rides.  I mostly get out in the afternoon when it can be kind of warm but cools off quickly.  Everyday it's a challenge to put on just the right amount of clothing and not be too hot on the climbs and freezing for the descents. 
Back in August I got a sponsor package from Zoot sports.  And I was a little surprised to see a good collection of cool weather gear mixed in with the awesome tri shorts, the wicked light and fast racing flats and other warm weather gear that's made training much more comfortable.  But right now it's the running tights, and jackets that are reigning the closet. Zoot's got the jackets figured out, with the right amount of warmth, wind protection, fit and style.  Plus on the biking jacket I like the doubled up stash pockets in the back, and the wind proof front, and the yellow piping. That one's my fav right now.....mmmmm yellow piping.  
It's always a satisfying feeling when I come back in from a ride and I'm neither too not nor too cold.  And I gotta say my new Zoot wardrobe is making it pretty easy.

So, while I'm on the topic, I thought I might just say how fricken awesome my new Zenith is.  It's so nice to be in a snug wetsuit while still being able to move my shoulders freely.  I put it on and feel like a little torpedo, but the proof is in the pudding: dropped swim splits. Such a killer suit. 

I've been feeling pretty lucky to have received such a sweet package from Zoot.  So thanks again Zoot.  From the shoes to the wettie, the run shorts to the cycling vest, it's all awesome.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Man, flat tires suck

Especially when it's 6:05, it's getting daharker out, and it's like 38 degrees. Oh, and you don't have a spare tube, because last Friday you were out on your cross bike and got a flat when you were out on some jeep trail way far away from where you're staying in a town you've never been to. So you have to walk home for over an hour, before getting a lift. And when you go to replace that tube you realize that the only freshie you have is in your road bike saddle bag. No biggie right? I'll totally replace that tube right away. And I don't get road flats that often....yeah just my luck.

Well the good thing was that I was on 142 between Bratt and Vernon. Where there would be a lot traffic heading into town. The weird thing was that most of the cars that passed me while I was hitching were white plates. Like a lot of whiters. Turns out they were all here to change the fuel in the plant while Yankee is "shut down". There shift must have ended at six. I got a ride from a nice guy named Chris from CT. Thanks Chris.

Monday, October 20, 2008

No roots here

It was a lot better than the legendary pain fest I've heard of. But don't get me wrong, my root canal today was no fun. It really didn't hurt to much, even though it's been 14 hours and I still can't open my jaw all the way. On the plus side I'll be getting a new gold crown that'll match the one I currently have on the left side of my jaw. Second molar from the back, both sides. Boo yah!

On the negative side I'm fresh out of fourteen hundred bones. Yeah. I know. For one hour of work. And they said that the "surgeon" who did mine does about 6 a day. And this place has 5 surgeons on staff. That's a lot of root canals. That's a lot of money.

totally not exercise related.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Cross Practice

Here are some pictures from weekly cross practice at West Hill

You'll notice that these photos highlight my beautiful Craft jersey I love so much.

Photos courtesy or Ben Coven.

I'm trying to refine the one handed mount. With this slick move I should be able to shave off hundredths of seconds. Or never be able to have children. Either or.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Uncle Sam..../(am I a Sandbagger?)

I was glad I almost didn't get lost on my way to Prospect park in Troy. I did my usual direction prep of half-heartedly studying a for a week prior to my departure. And as usual it only kind of worked out for me. (It turns out that Prospect park is not directly [read, visible] off of route 7 as you come down into Troy) But as luck would have it I pulled out from a stop sign behind a suburban toting two 'cross bikes on the back. Lucky!

Nycross and Capital Bike Racing put together a pretty cool little cross course. A couple of the highlights were: the spiral of death (a very tight in and out spiral), a spot with a pretty view of Albany (oxymoron?), a nice grassy/muddy run up, a large amount of technical turns, and the slippery downhill off camber grassy S-turn (there was massive amount of carnage here). Plus the major open sections were limited in length and usually had some type of techical element to spice things up (like a dirty uphill, or sloped grass).

After I bundeled up and got in a good enough warm-up I headed to the start 15 minutes early. This time I was resolute to get in the first row, have the holeshot and see how the race would go if I could get the best lines for the first lap or two. It went pretty well.
It was pretty uneventful.
But, it went well.

I was second going into the spiral of death/technical aspects and could see I would be taking better lines than the leader. I glanced back before the first straight away and decided to make a move and keep the persuing hounds at bay. I hamered for the next half lap or so. Next thing I know, I look back and there's no one on my tail. I open up a bit more of a gap, maybe to 10-15 seconds of so and just sit there.
I guess I figured i was going hard enough that I didn't need to kill my self and work for a bigger gap (what would that have gotten me), and then if I did get caught I would still have something in the tank to battle with.
But man, it makes for a fricken boring race. The middle 1/3 lull kicked in and my neck got sore looking back to make sure no one was moving up. I did have to punch it a little hard on the last half of the last lap when 2nd and 3rd looked like they wanted blood. And I only ended up winning by 4 seconds.
Sorry it's not more of a spirited race report. But it wasn't a very spirited race. I was thinking I should have raced the A race. (to be clear I raced the 'B' [3/4]) But on my cool down I rode past a guy unloading three identical, very clean, Redlines from his car and felt pretty sure that I rode the right race for this week.
Well, we'll see in Wrentham.

Results are Here
I won a light for my bike. Which is something I've wanted so that's cool. Plus it costs more than the $17 I would have won if I was in the 'A' race. Well, it did cost more in '05 when it was made. And dispite the fact that the Graphic Designer chose to go with a Scott Howard double instead of shelling the dough for a cleanly shaven pro Cyclist, I think it'll work well.