2014 Naval Yard Crit (Men’s Cat 4/5 & 3/4)

21 Apr

I cruised down to the 8miles down to the naval yard to get some racing in. Game plan was to do well in the 4/5 and double up on the 3/4 to get some miles in. I thought roughly a week off the bike would be a good thing but it wasn’t. My game plan was to start the race off fast and break it apart. The 6 corner technical course had me weary of riding with 50+ cat4/5 riders.

Naval yard crit

Naval yard crit

Womens:

Naval yard crit

Naval yard crit

Men’s 4/5 Video:

Strava cat 4/5: http://www.strava.com/activities/132213586

20 miles
0:47 moving time
Avg speed = 25.3mph
Max speed = 33.1mph
Avg power = 296W
Max power = 1,318W
Avg HR = 192bmp
Max HR = 205bmp

I cyclocross-started from the gun and led out the first lap and worked at the front for the next whiles. Not too long after there was maybe half the starters or so. I was feeling good and the pace felt pretty high. We tried a couple breaks but nothing stuck. Fast forward to 3 laps to go and 1 rider was off the front. I was sitting in trying to conserve. Coming into 1 to go I was somehow on the front with a really strong rider trying to go bridge the gap. I didn’t want to chase but had to put some effort in. Bad decision number 1. After it came back I sat in back in but jumped in the pack a bit too far back, mistake #2. Coming out of corner 1 on the last lap I was sitting on Justin’s wheels (from Tuckahoe) and let his teammate jump in in front of me. I knew they would have a good lead out and I wanted in.

Thing slowed coming into turn 3 which I wasn’t a fan of and got worried. We took the right through corner 3 and I crept up the right hand side before the left hand turn of corner 4 and a rider on a blue bike got wild and bumped me enough that I thought we were going down. I yelled a bit and told him to keep it up. Im glad he did. We slowed a bit coming into the left turn of corner 4 and with 2 more corners to go I JUMPED on it. Unfortunately for me there was no tension at all in my chain and I looked down to see WTF happened. Turns out the bump-age had dropped my chain to the inside (I think the little chainring). FUUUUUUUUUU I hurried to shift back to the big chainring and get back on it. A gap had formed and my plan at being in the top 3 was not a reality. I sat on a wheel and got outsprinted as usual. Not how I planned on ending that race at all and finished up 10th/70+ starters

Cat 4/5 Results:
Naval yard crit

Strava cat 3/4 (Pulled the plug): http://www.strava.com/activities/132213577

14.5 of 25 miles
0:35 moving time
Avg speed = 24.6mph
Max speed = 32.7mph
Avg power = 277W
Max power = 1,122W
Avg HR = 188bmp
Max HR = 201bmp

I was cooked from the race before. The 3/4 race was not good for me at all. It entailed a lot of coming to a rolling stop of 10mph to a violent sprint back to 30mph 4-6 times a lap. It was brutal. My legs were too cooked to move up off the back and I couldn’t hang anymore. Before I got caught up in a stupid crash at the back I pulled the plug and called it a day. Pretty shitty day of racing to be honest. It was good to see the guy who won the 4/5 race also win the 3/4 as well as the Bicycle Therapy train do some damage in the field sprint. Luckily the philly cycling crew are solid group of people and we headed to Cantina to eat&drink.

RecoveRITAS

Naval yard crit

The damage done
Naval yard crit

And a little of this was happening to the crew
Naval yard crit

After that we headed over to a buddies to help on some car modifications
Naval yard crit

Naval yard crit

Sunday we crushed MTBs and I remembered how much fun single track is. Lots of work needs to get done but who knows when that will happen. All I know is its about to be nice out and I cant wait.

Naval yard crit

Naval yard crit

Austin, TX – An Eating Vacation

17 Apr

Friday night the lady and I flew down to Austin, TX for a wedding and a bit of a vacation. Theme of this vacation was eat a lot and excise zero. We got in late but got a pickup from Chase & Ashley and b-lined it for a Tex-Mex dinner at Matt’s el Rancho. I was so siked for legit chips y salsa and some Loney’s!!!! OOOOOOOOOOHIE!

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The next morning we picked up some food for the next day at one of Austin’s sweet grocery co-ops, Wheatsville. I seriously love that place, and can’t wait for the kenzo/fishtown co-op to open. We smashed some breakfast tacos and other nonsense then made a quick beer stop at some wild man artisanal gas station for choice Belgium/Texas brews before headed out to Horseshoe bay for a wedding.

We had a few beers and got dressed up for the wedding. The open bar was flowing and some dance moves were thrown before passing out back at the lake house.

The next morning the lady and I watched Paris-Roubaix on an iPhone… Not optimal but it worked. We then said some goodbyes and headed back to Austin. 1st stop was to check out the new Austin Beer Garden Brewing (ABGB) in order to relax and take it all in.

Parking lot find…

After a pitcher or so we made our way to Whisler on the east side for some fancy dranks/cocktails. After hanging for a bit we cruised back north to Titiyas for some legit Thai food. I couldn’t decide so I opted to order and app and 2x dinners. Both were dialed. Next up was an ice cream stop at one of the more artisanal stops on the trip, Sweet Ritual where they share the space with a juice bar & record shop/ They had the best vegan ice cream lineup I’ve ever seen to date.

The next morning Ashley flew back to hotlanta and we headed to Whole Foods. The weather yielded temps in the 40s and monsoon type rains. Lucky for us the flagship Whole Foods is huge for optimal food/beer nerd-ing out. We opted to her made-to-order (think Wawa but healthy) breakfast tacos there as well which were super delish.

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One of the only things on my agenda was making it to Mellow Johnny’s. Back when we lived in Texas 5some years ago I hadn’t gotten into road bikes yet, so I figured I should make it happen. It definitely didn’t disappoint and was impressive to see some of the old race rigs.

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Next up we cruised to Pinthouse for some microbrews and personal pizzas. Best beers of the weekend may have been consumed here with some La terroir & La Folie on tap from New Belgium. Ohhie! $6 For a 12oz pour of +7% sours!? Count me in. Seriously can’t wait till they distribute to Philly one day. The margarita pizza and pretzel were good toboot.

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To keep on the microbrew roll we drove over to Blackstar Coop for more of same, good beer and some legit homemade garlic fries/chips. We headed home for a catnap.

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Later that night we met up with some old Texas friends at Liberty. I hadn’t been there in many of years but it was about the same. $1.50 PBR pounders and food from the East Side King trailer did not disappoint. We order slews of beers and some beet fries, cilantro rice, and fried brussels sprouts. Very jealous of their new-to-me food trailers scene. We ran into a few philly friends as well, laughed too much, and I had one of the better nights out in quite a while.

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The next morning we woke up knowing we had a flight out around 3pm so we needed to make moves. 1st up was lunch at Bouldin Creek. Id never been to their new storefront but that place still has amazing veg food and a solid vibe. I crushed way too much food before walking across the street to get some after lunch desserts at Sugar Mama’s.

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This bike had it all… aero bars AND a 2×4 attached to a rear rack?! ooooohhhie

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We had to be at the airport in 30mins or so but I had one last stop I needed to make. I had read about a veg Jewish food truck called, Schhmaltz. How could I NOT go?! I ordered a Reuben for the plane ride and we giddied up to the airport.

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This brings me to now, Wednesday night typing on my super delayed flight home. I just ate said Ruben a second ago and wish I had ordered 3x instead of only 2x… the 2nd is for a fairly-Jewish-but-will-bend-the-Passover-rules-for-artisanal-vegan-Austin-Jewish-power-food, teammate Blake. It took me a bit of self control not to pound through his as well… Anyways I digress like always. Austin keeps kicking ass and I had another amazing weekend with slews of food, tons of friends, and a dab of sleep. Viva la Texas!

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Editors note: the child directly behind me started to throw up a few minutes later which caused his sister sitting next to him to start spewing up as well… Picture one of those chain reaction vomiting scenes just like in the movies. I got zero hours of sleep on the super delayed flight home. Nonetheless, Viva la Texas!

Raw Talent Ranch 2014

9 Apr

This was the 3rd year our team had ventured down to West Virginia to stay at Raw Talent Ranch in the mountains and ride bikes all weekend. I knew what these climbs presented and threw on my compact 50/34 and 11-28 cassette to not kill my knees grinding up everything. Thursday morning I packed up the BMW 2002 and cruised up to Pottstown to Jamie’s to carpool down in the Greenland diesel Polo. We picked up another teammate and hit the road.

We got down to the house around 2pm, got things together and took off on a quick ride around 4pm. Descend the front side, try not to eat shit on all the cinders laid over winter, cruise around the valley a bit, then crush it up the dirt ascent back up to camp. It’s a good way to get the legs back up and ready after a 5hr car ride.

Day 1 Loop – Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/126722495

30.7 miles
1:51 moving time
3,035 ft of elevation
Avg speed = 16.6mph
Max speed = 40.7mph
Avg power = 204W
Max power = 1,036W
Max HR = 201bmp

The pie plate came out for the WV trip!!

Made some homemade date & cinnamon coconut milk rice bars. They were pretty solid@!!

Raw Talent Ranch Barn

Game time!

Still in happy mode (before the mountains crushed me)

I still have 0 idea what this means

Its not camp without a solid soak

Eric ‘The Breadman’ Saxman cam through on the homemade focaccia and loaves!

Day 2 – Apple Orchard – Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/126949212

71.6 miles
4:33 moving time
7,513 ft of elevation
Avg speed = 15.7mph
Max speed = 50.1mph
Avg power = 190W
Max power = 1,051W
Max HR = 194bmp

The next day we woke up to weather in the low 50s with highs in the 70s and a chance for rain. It’s pretty hard to dress for rides around there as there are multiple ridges where weather changes frequently. On top of that rides usually take ~6hours with stops and such. I made the decision to roll with a light weight wind breaker and embro on the legs in order to minimize the clothing in my pockets as there was only 1 general store towards the very end of our ride and I wanted to bring a slew of food. The game plan was to ride the Apple Orchard route which ends up being the hardest day for me usually.

We started the route descending the backside where we quickly ran into very think fog where it became almost impossible to see. On top of that there was more gravel in the switch backs than I had ever seen on the road before. We took it very slow on the top and opened up once the visibility and road condition got better.

We cruised for a while in the valley before our dirt climb first climb up Walnut Bottom. After a quick gravel decent we ended up on a smoothly concreted 4 lane highway that started to climb a bit and led to a straight on 6% downhill. The potential to go fast here is high with the low traffic, nice decline, and proper road surface but being in the valley yields a good amount of wind. This year I was able to put my chin on my stem and pedal enough to get a tick of 50mph cruising down it compared to the mid-30s that we ramped up to the year before.

After a bunch of shit-eating-grins we got back to it and pace-lined to the start of the orchard climb. **Note to self for next year, the asphalt section of this climb hurts more than the dirt/gravel portion!!** The owner of the barn and all around great guy Jay, rode with us the entire day and like usual kept us all entertained with excellent stories. He also does a great job of helping sike you up for the wicked climbs but when he said the start was a gradual 10% and I look down to a constant 15+% my grim turned quickly to a grimace. Shit that is brutal. Around the time we hit the climb the sprinkling rain turned to more of a steady rain and I stopped to put my windbreaker on.

By the time the asphalt turned to dirt it was quite a bit muddy and it was some Rapha type shit… low 50s, slews of fog, and enough rain to make your front wheel scoot around while your shivering on the downhills. At the top of the climb we waited and regrouped for everyone. We climbed just a bit more to get the body warmed up and descended on a fast dirt/gravel/mud ridden double track full of cattle grates and large cliff faces. My fingerless gloves made braking in the drops almost unmanageable so the decent was very fast for the lack of sight I had. The surface was quite a bit smoother than last year with a lot less large rocks and gravel. After the dirt decent the road descends farther with more switch backs and leads into rolling steep hills and continues to dip down to the main road. At the bottom we re-grouped again at the general store.

After everyone warmed up we all sporadically left the store and headed through the valley to the worst climb of the day, the backside. I think it may be one of the hardest climb Ive ever done. The Strava segment tells me it’s a Cat2 climb, ~5miles long, over 2,000ft high with an average of 8%. Unfortunately my Garmin had other plans and transposed all my data a few hundred feet from the actual road surface.

A foggy start to the morning

A proper dirt climb

Highway hammer-fest

Mark checking his wounds after a little pothole incident

Ryan having more fun than I was…

A very wet orchard climb

Wet backside climb

Eric’s mud face

That night Eric helped get my bike dialed in after the harsh conditions

Solid dinners all week

A lil Lamas action

Drying soaked shoes by the fire

Day 3 – Crooked Loop – Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/127295821

49.1 miles
3:35 moving time
6,962 ft of elevation
Avg speed = 13.7mph
Max speed = 45.4mph
Avg power = 207W
Max power = 925W
Max HR = 191bmp

The crooked was going to be a rough one since everyone already had a solid amount of miles and vertical feet in their legs. This rough has a slew of dirt/gravel climbs & descents. So much so that Jay (who runs the barn) always uses his cross bike with 34c knobbies. The dirt decent from the barn was in perfect shape so we bombed it hard. By the time I got to the bottom of the decent I realized my front bottle was MIA. Welp that’s gonna suck… luckily for me a teammate saw it bounce off a few rocks and snagged it for me. After being pretty entertained by the 40+mph dirt decent we got back into the groove of the paceline until the Breadman got a flat. A few of us went and checked out a damn that was right off the road where a few people fish and hangout.

We tackled a quick climb, hit the wicked winds in the valley and finally got close to the climb they call ‘wicked’. The profile on Strava makes it look pretty intense as it’s a very steep 2000ft peak which drops off quickly. The front side of the climb has slews of switchbacks tracking up the face of the mountain with a couple points of relief in the bottom section. The gravel wasn’t too deep this year so most sections you could down shift a couple and stand to pedal without the fear of spinning out.

Once at the top we all joined up for a couple pictures before the wicked MTB-esq decent. My confidence was high after a couple other dirt descents and it almost took its toll. I cam in hot… some would say too hot into a steep 180 switchback that made me have an ‘O Shit’ moment. It twasn’t that bad as I didn’t even take a foot out of the pedal but I definitely locked the rear up. After calming down a bit I ran into Jay and talked a bit before hitting the bottom.

We cruised back to camp with a short trip to the front side climb. A few of us stopped into a general store to grab a bit more liquid before the 8miles climb back to camp. During such time we spotted something that they call a barbeque loaf?! Never seen that one before.

During the ride up the winds howled and out group of 9 dwindled to a group of 4. Mark and myself were taking some deep pulls while Ryan and Rory sat in. I tried my best to stay on Marks wheel up the climb for as long as I could but just like every other climb during the week, I couldn’t hold his wicked pace. I knew today was the last climb so I would push sporadically as my legs regained their composure. Once at the first crest we descended a bit on the ridge where I was pushing the pace trying to make back time. I eventually reeled Mark back in and rode next to him talking for a bit. As the landscaped kicked again I sat on his wheel hoping NAY praying that I would see the barn soon. I stayed on his wheel for a bit longer until the hellish road kicked again, this time HARD! He rode away from me like I wasn’t even pedaling. I crushed as hard as I could on the next flat but had nothing left. Mark rolled in a solid 20seconds before me and I greeted him at the barn with a solid dare I say fist bump. Solid day, solid ride.

Morning sunrise

Dirt descent from the barn

Dam action

Climbing wicked

Top of wicked

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Team shot

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BBW sauce loaf?>!
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Simpler Times eh?

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Day 4 – Ridge Ride Solo – Strava Jawn: http://www.strava.com/activities/128075666

18.6 miles
1:15 moving time
2,493 ft of elevation
Avg speed = 14.9mph
Max speed = 38.9mph
Avg power = 208W
Max power = 830W
Max HR = 176bmp

Sunday morning is usually set aside for cleaning, packing, and watching whatever Classic is on TV that weekend. I woke up early and wanted to take in the sights and sounds. I did a solo #yawnpatrol ride on top of the ridge. It’s a fun little ride with some brutal punchy climbs and ~1/2 of the terrain dirt/rock farmer roads. It was chilly ~30F but felt warm with the amount of climbing and the pounding sun. I was loving life, bombing the descents until I finally got a rear pinch flat where the dirt became littered with exposed rock. I wont complain as it was in the low 40s by then and I was in the middle of nowhere riding my bike… ie the complete opposite of my normal daily bike commute though Philly. I changed the flat and backed off on the gnarly-ness degree as that was my only tube. I cruised back to camp and got to watching Tour of Flanders. The race this year was very entertaining and didn’t disappoint. Ben had gone over to Belgium a few days before and my goal was to spot him on the Koppenberg! Check and mate!

No work + riding all day with a solid crew = the life. 2014’s version of RTR did not disappoint at all.

1st flat/mechanical of the weekend for me.

We watched the race and got to see friend & teammate Ben on TV repping hard! #PHLCX

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Polo packed up and ready to head home

I got home and met the lady at the corner bar to relax and fall back into real life. It was another solid weekend.

Philly Phyler RR & South Jersey Spring Series #3

17 Mar

Saturday: Philly Phyler cat 3/4 RR

NOTE: Im bummed that my SD card was full pretty much all weekend and like a dum-dum I didn’t notice. I don’t have any sweet GoPro footy from the weekend. #wompwomp

STRAVA: http://www.strava.com/activities/121474808

Avg Speed: 23.4mph
Avg Power: 257W
Max Power: 1067W
Avg HR: 180bmp
Max HR: 202bmp

A bunch of us met up to ride over to the start of the 3/4 Philly Phyler road race. This was my first go at the race and my first RR in ages. I was a bit weary as the pre-reg list looked pretty deep with talent. I think we barely made it past the natural roll out when either Willem or Jack from Bicycle Therapy attacked on West River. This seemed to be the theme of the day. I was feeling pretty good heading up the climb from West River past Strawberry Mansion bridge and was getting into my groove.

On the third lap the pace slowed a bit and myself and a couple went off the front. This only last a very short amount of time but it felt good to give it a go. Going up the climb for the third time I was cross-chaining like a champ trying to keep the legs spinning rather than mashing. Right as we turned right up Greenland Dr I was sitting in the middle at In the top 15 or so when SHHHHHHHH…skiddd…… fuuuuuuuu!!!!!!! When I was out of the saddle stomping the pedals my $150 wheelset had way more flex than I was expecting and tweaked enough to suck in my rear derailleur… this caused my hanger to shear off and bend my chain around causing my rear to skid to a stop immediately. I then was in the center of the pack hoping I didn’t get rear ended with 50+ dudes still needed to get past.

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All I was thinking was stay thin!!!! Paper-THIN! It worked and I didn’t get smashed. Luckily for me Thom Cal was right there and we chatted a bit and I pulled some links out of the chain and took the RD off to kick/push my way back to the start/finish. I was a bit bummed but what can you do. On my way kick/pushing on the West River Dr path I hear a ‘Yo Dream/Greenberg?!’ and I loop back around to find the #messlife dudes doing their thing drinking brews and watching bike racing. I hung with them for a bit watching the rest of the race pounding a couple beers. Food for thought, you will feel loopy after not eating for a couple hours, racing hard, and pounding beers before food.

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I eventually make it back to the start and felt a bit more bummed about the situation. I caught a ride home and during the trip I had the lady sign me up for the South Jersey Spring Series the following day.

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After eating and hanging out for a bit it was time to replace the RD, hanger, chain, and cable. I like to have things ready so luckily I already had all of these pieces in the tool box ready to go.

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Sunday: South Jersey Spring Series #3 cat 4/5 & 3/4

Cat 4/5

Avg Speed: 23.4mph
Avg Power: 283W
Max Power: 1125W
Avg HR: 190bmp
Max HR: 202bmp

Strava: http://www.strava.com/activities/121474801

I wasn’t planning on racing on Sunday… but sometime you need to make moves. I toyed with the idea of doing the Temple Crit but knew the strong field would be tough to get through so I opted for the easier S. Jersey jawn. We got out to the race around 9:20am and got things together. It was cool 32F with a wicked wind.

The race started fast… or I clipped in and made it that way. A few breaks went early and I didn’t a lot of work reeling a couple of them in. I think that was when the field blew apart a bit. I realized the legs didn’t like all the work at the front but honestly no one else was doing any work and it’s a training crit. With about 5 or 6 to go a few faster guys went and I jumped with them. We made it ~2 laps before we were caught and the legs felt it. With 2.5 or so to go Andrew went and I wanted to go… I really did but I didn’t have it. I was sitting on the front and kept the pace the same but didn’t chase. I knew he could take it if I gave him some time. As we rounded the line with 2 to go a couple people went and I jumped on. We kept the pace high for the last two laps. I was feeling alright but not exactly good… we were closing down the gap on Andrew but I was hopefully hed keep it going. As we came out of corner 4 I was sitting right behind Nick (2nd wheel) and got outsprinted at the line and ended up 4th/51 with Nick in 2nd and Andrew in 1st…

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Cat 4/5 Results

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Cat 3/4 Race

Avg Speed: 24.1mph
Avg Power: 255W
Max Power: 996W
Avg HR: 187bmp
Max HR: 205bmp

Strava: http://www.strava.com/activities/121474805

I wasn’t feeling it so much but we jumped back out there for the cat3/4 race. As usually Byron went from the gun and the pace picked up but after he got caught things ramped down. The first 15 minutes weren’t bad. A few minutes later I see Justin go and I jump on with another guy or so. We keep the pressure on and the 8 of us slowly start opening up the gap on the field. At first we couldn’t organize so well but eventually everyone start taking pulls and it feels like we are actually in a REAL bike race. Ooooohhhhieie! We all put some serious work in with Nick Cal taking charge and giving some orders. I we then see small packs in front and the carrot in dangled in our face… we scoop a group here, then another there and before we knew it we had lapped the field with most people getting pulled.

Unfortunately for us those last couple riders latched onto our group of 8 (even though they were a lap down) and made things more chaotic than it needed to be. At this point the group of us slowed a bit but kept rotating through. When the lap cards came out people started thinking more stetigec and trying to get some recovery in. With about 2 or 3 to go there were a couple attacks that went off the front with no one wanting to do too too much work. Justin went hard and I didn’t want to see him get away so we put in some work but I think he blew himself up in the wind. Coming into the last lap another guy went off the front and I was sitting 2nd wheel. We came out of the chicane and he had a gap but was looking like he was fading. I was encouraging the guy in front a bit and sat on his wheel going into turn three. As we came out of turn three and up the slight incline I jumped hard, out of the saddle and going for broke. I came into turn 4 hot with no one in front. I gave a glance back and sprinted to the line. On my left I saw the wheel of Paul from Kelly Benefits. I then saw his wheel go slightly past mine, I dug. Dug really hard and could tell I was getting it back! I was all in but the line came up quick and I was inches from victory. I felt great about the performance and would have loved a victory but that will have to wait. I ended up 2nd/34 and was SO siked to get into a winning break/ It has been a goal of mine since I started ‘racing’ on the road.

Cat 3/4 sprint

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We checked the results as the lapped riders had also sprinted making things tougher.

Cat 3/4 Results

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I was excited as it was and to get paid on top?! Cant complain about that.

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Once back in the city it was margaritaaaa time (editor’s note: I drank a Tecate instead)

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And a shot of tequila with candles for Brendan’s 30th

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I then proceeded to cry and sweat all over the place eating some Thai food

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Then headed over to the surprise party to hang with a choice crew… It was another solid weekend.

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2014 South Jersey Spring Series – Race 2 (Cat 4/5 & 3/4)

10 Mar

After racing for the first time in 2014 last weekend I felt confident in the legs. Now that I knew I could hang in both races the goal was to make the legs do some work. The day before the race a couple of us went out for a 4-hour road ride to take in the 58*F sunny weather that was predicted. Valley Forge was hopping with the nice weather. Its always fun to cruise through the battlefields.

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And somehow like last weekend we ended up drinking way too much at a beer event at Standard Tap. Cant go wrong with some big barrel aged smokey beers…

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Cat 4/5 Mens Race video:

Cat 4/5 Strava Jawn (my power meter was acting up… low battery I believe)

Cat 3/4 Strava Jawn

Sunday rolls up a little sooner than expected but I pack the car and get ready for the cat 4/5 & 3/4 race. Only difference from last weekend is it was wet and pretty windy. Game plan was to tax the legs, stay up front & out of trouble, and DON’T miss the break if it happens again. Nothing wild to report, not many crazy crashed (I think just 1), did some work, sat in, did some work, sat in… the norm. With about 6 or 7 to go things picked up and everybody got ready. A couple thing went and came back and going into the last lap a person goes off the front. There are 2 or 3 people in front of me and Im hoping they’ll do the work. Unfortunately I get boxed in on the chicane as we slow… the guy gets farther away. Coming out of the chicane I know I need to bridge the gap as 2 people fall off. Now there are 3 people in front. I get close but cant quite tack on before turn 3 and realize the front 2 are pulling away with very little real estate left. I make a charge out of the saddle up the slight incline coming into the last corner but the legs don’t have it. I sprint to the line just to keep my position and roll in 3rd/55+. I felt good mentally but the legs were very tired, in a good way.

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I messed up eating as I didn’t know there was a new race between the 4/5 & 3/4 and had to pound some extra food right before the race. Usually a bad idea for me but it worked out. The legs felt heavy and I was hoping to hang the whole race, as I knew I wasn’t contesting anything. It went well though, did some pulling, reeled in a couple of attacks, and hung the entire time. Didn’t contest the sprint but wasn’t planning on it. Rolled in ~17/30+ I was excited to race with tired legs and still be able to hang, because this is a training series… and cross is just around the corner ;)

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I was hoping to help Jack but the legs weren’t agreeing with that plan. Anyways he doesn’t need my help, that’s for sure

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Afterwards we ran some errands and swung by a new veg place, Green Medley in the Moorsetown Mall (weird I know)

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2014 South Jersey Spring Series – Race 1 (Cat 4/5)

3 Mar

Cat (4/5) Race + Video + A couple photos.
Ill Post the 3/4 race tomorrow.

Video:

Strava Jawns:

cat 4/5: http://www.strava.com/activities/117361480
31:15min = 12.4miles
Avg Power: 266W
Max Power: 1,147W
Avg Speed 23.8mph

cat 3/4: http://www.strava.com/activities/117361476
46:23minutes = 18.5miles
Avg Power: 256W
Max Power: 1,065W
Avg Speed 23.9mph

Sunday was the first race of the road season down in South Jersey at Team Independence Cycling’s Spring Series Event. They are putting on 4 weekends of racing so if you havnt already jump in the mix to support a good team and solid dudes (https://www.bikereg.com/Net/sjss2014). Coming into the race I was feeling good and the 10am start time for the Men’s Cat 4/5 meant I didnt have to worry about going to be early. Luckily for me Jeff Appletans got me pretty drunk earlier that day at a legit beer tasting at Iron Hill (NJ) for some dialed wild ales and burbon barrel aged jawns so getting rest was easy.

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Anyways I woke up around 8 and got things together. The venue was about 30minutes from Philly and easy to get to. I picked up my sweet Sommerville CLOTH number that was used for both the cat4/5 and 3/4 race. Sweet!

Mens Cat 4/5 Race

After a solid warm-up we lined up and the race started hard from the start. OK, game time. The course was pretty fun with a chicane and easy 90degree turns. After watching the field go though the chicane a couple times I realized being near the back was not an option if I wanted to stay upright.

There were some issues with lapped riders but thats the nature of a 4/5. There are people with such a range of abilities in that race that it can make it tough. After a pull at the front I tucked in to save the legs as I planned on doubling up for my 1st 3/4 race and had no idea what to expect.

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Of course that lap through the chicane two riders touched shoulders, then wheels, and I thought I was going to take it… I saw the wobble and thought, Oh Shit!/ Luckily they kept it upright but one rider looked to have dropped a chain or broken something and pulled off.

About 2 seconds later a rider who had just taken a weirdo line took another odd line through the chicane and over steered out of the corner causing him to turn-bar into the pavement and eat it. The next thing I know is a bike is bouncing at my head and Im doing 20+mph… I grab the brakes and move to the right but the bike keeps bouncing farther than I was expecting so I swerve left to avoid running it over. Im now barely moving and need to put in an effort to tack back on.

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It was uneventful for the next few until 5 laps to go. I quickly made my way up front to make sure I was in good position as the legs felt solid. On the back side with 3 laps to go I was sitting 2nd wheel and the pace slowed. I then see Mr. Nick Cal make a hard attack and I follow. I should have grabbed his wheel but I didnt think he’d had the gusto for 3 laps. What I didnt realized that there were slews of lapped traffic ahead of our group.

Nick was able to get past a slew of riders that were strewn across the course. I had to take a poor line through the chicane that round but kept him in sight. Then I realized there was a lapped group of maybe 15 guys that he was then able to jump through and get some more shelter. Shiiiiiiit! I knew he had a solid chance of staying away now but I didnt want to cook myself like I always end up doing at the end of a race pulling the field around… what to do?!

Coming into the chicane a rider came around and I glad fully sat in. Unfortunately on the backside I could tell he was coming un-raveled and had to get around. I tacked onto 2 other riders coming into the 2nd to last turn. I kept a tight line and was able to move past the breakaway rider and now was sitting 2nd wheel on the CS Velo guy going up the slight incline.

I tend to go too early so instead of going around I sat on with hopes to actually out sprint someone. Coming into the last corner I had to slow a but behind the CS Velo rider a bit and by the time I got out of the saddle the CS Velo guy already gapped me and he was wheel-to-wheel with Nick going into the line. Nick was able to keep the win by inches and I came in 3rd out of 49 starters. I felt good about the day and got ready for the Cat 3/4 race in an hour and a half. Ill post that race recap tomorrow.

Congrats Nick on the win!

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Results:

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Winter 2014 Edition

28 Feb

Ahh another long lull between posts… unfortunately there isn’t all that much new these days as its been cold, snowy, & icy about every day it seems.  We got a quick tease last weekend with temps in the high 50s but its back to cold…. this morning’s commute to work it was 16*F without windchill.  Ive found the cold-commute isn’t too bad if you do it everyday, but if you take a day off and drive in… oooohhhie!  you are going to have a tough time wanting to take 15minutes just to get dressed then face the brutal arctic air.  It’s well worth it, just hard to stay motive sometimes.

Anyways after looking through my spreadsheet (where I tally all my cycling miles), I realized that last month I rode 3x less miles than in 2013 or 2012…  I know we had very mild winters the last two years but the difference between riding 237miles and 660miles is huge.  I bring that up as March 2nd is the Philadelphia regions first training crit of the season and Im not sure if I feel ready at all.  I feel like Im just getting done recovering from cross season and its already go time again.

Its going to be an interesting road season because for the first time ever, I actually have goals?!  Sounds weird I know, but Im hoping this will make me actually race more than a couple races in the season.

Goal #1 – Don’t get hurt too badly. -  Im prone to injury and I seem to get succumb to a bad crash at least once a year.  This year will be different!!! Probably not BUUUT, lets keep it civil this go-around.

Goal #2 – Cat up.  Game plan is to learn how to sprint and get some points to cat up from a 4 -> 3.  Im hoping some structured interval training will help (more on that later) reach this goal.

Goal #3 – And the only real goal that matters… Use road racing to help my overall fitness.   I bought an International license to race a couple UCI CX races this year.  It seems stupid to some extent… pay $100 more dollars than a regular license just to get pulled/lapped and not even get to finish a race?? Sure that sounds foolish but I know my fitness isn’t going to be at this level forever, why not jump in with some of the best racers in the US and have a go…?  There aren’t many sports where you can literally compete against pro-level athletes being a amateur-at-best athlete.  Anyways I digress… no more cross talk until road seasons winding down.

A couple random photos through the last month of my cycling life.  Enjoy.

Couple wild-life double track photo-opts.

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West philly was a sheet of ice that day. thank god for studded tires
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Snowy bar trip
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Bare legs last weekend!
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