Archive | April, 2013

Bike Line Spring XC @ Fair Hill 2013

29 Apr

So this weekend was going to be my first ever MTB race down at Fair Hill (Bike Line Spring XC @ Fair Hill Mid Atlantic Super Series). Id never been down there but heard it was non-technical and flowy like White Clay. I hadn’t been on my MTB at all since my epic fall/surgery combo over 2 months ago other than the Thursday night Belmont ‘race’ I did last week. Luckily that gave me some confidence as I didn’t fall once 🙂

Saturday I had to get things together for the race. 1st up was to cut up my Thule roof rack trays in order to have them fit disc brake rotors.




While I was out there I got a little yard/alley work done.



What you do when you have too many old bike parts.  Old drop bars + zip ties = garden hose hook



Long day of yard work usually entails a nice cold brewskie.  Im pretty excited that Full Sail is now in PA.  Love me some Session!!


We had some dinner plans at 9 that night and got a bit fancy, then out to the bar.  I missed dancing as I figured I should get some sleep for Sundays race.



I met up with Mark, packed the bikes up, and headed down to South Philly to pick up Mat. We got everything together, grabbed some coffee at Ultimo and cruised down 95. All three of us were racing the Cat2 19-29 XC race. We picked up numbers, bullshitted, and got in some warm-up.



Fair Hill Strava Data

We lined up and I was able to squeeze in 2nd row on the edge. We then sat there for 10 minutes (not so fun) as my nerves were starting to get the best of me. I don’t like starts. Theyre very hectic/draining mentally and physically.

Eventually we got the whistle to go and over course the guy in front of me couldn’t clip in to save his life.  I had to make a quick move to the left and get back in the mix.  The start was fast, really fast.  My goal was to get towards the front but not burn too many matches as I had no idea what I was getting myself in for.  At the first river crossing I got dominated by the dude in front of me with a face full of water and shoes drenched.  Holy hell, Wasn’t expecting that!  By the time we hit the single track more than a mile from the start, a group was off the front (maybe 7 guys with a few off-off the front with Ryan and Mark in the group somewhere) and I was in the next group of 4.  I tried to follow their lines and do whatever they were doing in single track but could tell they were able to flow WAY better than myself.  Soon Brendan from Bicycle therapy gapped our group and I was sitting behind 2 now with a large gap behind.

After a few more sections I was able to pass the 2 riders in my group when we got out into the fields.  I tried to make the gap as large as I could in these sections as I knew they could catch me in the twisty sections.  I had a blast ‘ripping’ around not knowing what was coming next.  I almost ate it hard over the metal-grate ramp they had set up over a log… wasn’t expecting it to be that short and kick you so hard.  Front here on out the race was kinda a blur.  I got amped up going back across the start/finish with some teammates cheering me on.  I still had a good gap but wanted to put in some hard effort on the open sections again.  About halfway through the next lap I could feel a bit of pressure behind me and I could tell I was starting to fade.  My goal was to keep it upright and keep some in the tank incase I did need to sprint at the end.  I ended up cruising the last bit making sure no one was too close behind me.  I soft pedaled the last bit after being in the pain cave and ended up 9th out of 28th.  Goal accomplish, don’t fall/die and try for a top10 result.

Overall I had a blast.  It was like a cross race but it was warm outside.  Cant wait to build the fitness back and get some technical skill for the next couple MTB races.




I was a newb and forgot beer and food.  Thanks to Derek and Ryan for both.  Next time ill be ready!





Cat2 19-29  a solid 6-10 of philly dudes


Oh i won $5 gift card to Bike Line  and a sweet bottle.


95 was a mess driving home with beach traffic… totally forgot about beach traffic.  but we did see this gem ‘Truck Norris’



Weekly Activity

26 Apr

Just some random photos from the week/weekend.



Always burned out cars in Fairmount.




Cruised by the Lone Wolf Cycling party and scoped their new kits/hats/and such.




my carbon ‘gravel grinder’    Hate that terminology 🙂


Little Phils action



Saw a motorbike crash on the commute home… Then did a quick bike swap and headed up to Belmont for the Thursday night MTB race.





Lower Providence Crit 2013

22 Apr

Daniel Harwi Memorial 26th Annual Lower Providence Spring Classic Criterium

This was my first crit back after over a year. Watch the short & sweet video first, read from there.

Strava Jawn

This was my first cat4 crit ever (I know I dodnt race on the road often) and first race in general after surgery from a couple months back. I wanted to test my fitness after being off the bike for a month and to see how far off my game I was. Goal was to stay upright and stay with the pack. Of course neither happened.

The course is a flat 4 wide corner crit that seems pretty easy. I hadn’t been in a pack in a bit so I left myself some room until a few laps in when I got back in the swing of things. My first impression was that there were some sketchy dudes in the mix. For some reason people at the front would take a pull and whip to the other lane when they were done like they saw their favorite pro do in a sprint… unfortunately the pack would follow and we ended up in the right hand lane taking corners on the inside for no reason.

Fast forward a bit and I was towards the front and saw my buddy go for a flyer off the front. I know hes got better legs than most and is a TT machine so I jumped and tacked on. Unfortunately after taking a pull I knew I didn’t have it and we got consumed a lap later. I had to get the heart rate back down and sat in for a few. On lap 4 after corner 3 I went hard and got towards the front. As we got to the start/finish for 3 to go things slowed a bit and then ramped back up. After corner 1 things mellowed and a surge came up the left side. In the video you can see the guy about 3 riders up from me in the Blue Mountain Velo kit sees a couple people shooting up the left, makes a sudden move to grab a wheel and hits the front wheel of the gun in green argyle, which sends him violently into the pack.

I had one of those, ‘oh shit’ moments and locked them up/ The best idea is to keep your line and hope for the best as you don’t want to swing wide and cause another crash. If you watch closely to the right, the bike bounces up and must hit the guys wheel to my right making him turn-bar into the pavement causing him to break his collar bone. Hope you heal up soon bud.

Would have loved to contest the sprint, seen what the legs had but another day.

Stolen Gram shots



Edit: Added some new pictures.
Thanks Doug!!!
More photos here!

smooth B in the turn

Cat 4 Providence




Ben out of the wind

Me failing at making a move stick.



Ben in the sprint



Masters Race



15 Apr

I’m been slowly getting back into the bicycle commuting game and have been taking int he nice weather we’ve had the last week or so. The trails have been getting pretty busy with walkers, cyclists, and bird watchers. Its nice to see people outside again, even if they’re a slight inconvenience.


We cruised over to a buddies after dinner Friday night to hang out at his new place. Solid line-up of bikes.






Saturday late morning the lady and I went on a road ride for 2.5 hours. It was quite nice out, high in the low 60s and some wind out of the west.








Now that its nice out everyones back on the SRT. Todays best site was a tri-guy with one of those dangling testie jawn that people use to put on their trucks and such. I didnt get a great photo unfortunately, but you get the point. Spring has SPRUNG!!!



I had plans of riding Sunday morning but was feeling lazy so I tinkered on the car a bit. Later that afternoon we took her across the bridge to NJ for the first time to meet up with some friends.


Sunday night we made some food, hung out with a friend, and passed out early.


Raw Talent Ranch WV – 2013

9 Apr

March – April are usually the times when people start riding outside again after the winter months. This year we decided to have our training camp up in the same place we did last year, Raw Talent Ranch in Lost River, West Virginia. It was another  great year of amazing scenery, mild weather, wild descents, and slews of dirt/gravel logging roads to explore.  This year was going to be a bit different for me though.  I was on the fence about even going since I hadnt ridden since surgery other than for a quick spin with the lady.  I knew what these mountains had in store for me but didnt want to miss a good opportunity to hang out with the team and ride bikes. I shot some GoPro video Ill try to get compiled over the weekend. Photodump time…


Day 1 – Thursday

30.7 miles – 2894ft of climbing – Strava Jawn

I rode out to the burbs Wednesday after work in order to leave Thursday AM. We packed up Jamie’s Sprinter van and headed over to Dave’s to grab more bikes, food, and people.



Most people were scared to get in the van so it ended up being Jamie, Pete, and myself who took the non-stop cruise.



Start of the front side climb past the state park.


Got to the cabin around lunch, just in time to hang out with Gary (the super cute dog)!



We started to unload bikes and such and waited for everyone else to arrive to get a short ride in.


The front side decent was a bit scary… tons of gravel all over the switch backs.  My only goal after surgery was to no eat shit for the weekend and of course on the first decent of tyhe trip I pulled a cyclocross ‘one foot off’ after almost going in the gutter.  Being off the bike for a while will make you lose a little something something/i have no descending skills.  After saving it i cruised a bit more cautiously the rest of the way down.





A little house built around a Winnebago at the bottom of the dirt climb back up to the cabin.


The dirt accent hurts.  I usually cant take photos until it ‘flattens’ out a bit.





Day 2 – Friday – Apple Orchard Ride

72.2 miles – 6,852ft of climbing – Strava Jawn

We took the back side decent down, which is fast with plent of blind turns and switch backs.


We made it to the bottom to find Rob had de-lamed his rear wheel.



After letting a bit o pressure out of his wheel we went back to it.


Ben looking good as usual.




First climb of the day, Turkey Mountain Rd.



Top of the climb.


2nd climb of the day hurt a bit more due to the wind, Apple Orchid.




Ben taking it all in.


3rd and last climb of the day… the backside.  For me the backside is probably the hardest climb.  Both times Ive done it was been after this same 70some odd mile ride and always puts me in a dark place.  Luckily Maria was around to help boost my morale.



Day 3 – Saturday – Crooked plus a little extra dirt/gravel on the ridge

56.8 miles – 7,341ft of climbing – Strava Jawn

This was a route that we had wanted to do last time but never got the chance to.  I think Crooked is part of the road race that Raw Ranch sponsors out here.



1st climb of the day, Country Route 59/2.  There was still snow up in shady spots throughout the mountains


Holy hell this decent was fun.  Super flowy, not too too rocky and you could see around alot of the corners for cars.  Mucho Mucho!


Hanging out a bit at the bottom of the decent.


Crooked climb hurt a bit. It was dirt/gravel with a slew of switchbacks (ie the name ‘Crooked’).  Jamie crushed the hill and took soem photos of Pete and I and we crested the top.  Th decent down was steep and about as close to mtb double track that we had found.  A few sections were still muddy from snow with pitches of 30% or greater.  It was a blast.


Too lazy to pull the sleeves off…


Bottom of the front side/easiest way back up to the cabin.


At the top of the mountain a few of us took a dirt road on the left that ran the ridge for some amazing views.  Just let it be known, it is far from flat 🙂


Got back to the cabin ready for some food and water.


Day 4 – Sunday

I woke up early and sat outside to take in the scenery a bit.  After a bit we plugged the computer into the TV and watched Paris-Roubaix and packed.  It was an amazing trip, the cabins always a good time, the ridding is both amazing/brutal, and its always fun to spend all day in the saddle not thinking about anything important at all.


See yah next year WV



3 Apr

I found a cheap set of Ultegra level compact cranks the other day on one of the many forums I frequent. Last night I was waiting around like it was Christmas for the USPS delivery. Finally around 7:30pm he came and I got to work cleaning the bits and installing them. Guess I’m going to go climb some mountains this weekend…


First ride in a while

1 Apr

This weekend was the first time Ive been back on the bike in over a month.  Saturday I cruised up north to help/heckle friends while doing some bike work.  Afterwards we cruised Lehigh all the way west and eventually ended up by Kelly Dr.








Sunday I woke up to watch The Tour of Flanders then headed for an hour road ride with the lady.  It was really nice out and I was a bit over dressed.  I forgot what 45F felt like… I also got to try out my new-to-me wheels, Alpha 400s set up tubeless with Hutchinson Atom tires.  Overall I felt pretty good.  The legs felt like jelly but no real pain or anything like that and the IT band was feeling pretty good as well.






Afterwards we met up with friends for Easter brunch at a Diner.