Thursday, June 28, 2007

Zipp night at the Westlake Crits - A Group

So, I have been looking forward to the Zipp Demo night at Westlake for like 2-3 weeks; the tought of a set of tasty carbon hoops on my Titus Modena....oooooooooohhhhh my. So Gary & I get there at 5pm and I'm talking to the guys from Zipp; Jason and Scott about what I'd like to check out....the Zipp 303 'Cross wheels. They don't have any, but they do have a set of 303s clincher. Cool. Unfortunately, the cassette doesn't look like it's on right, so I end up going with the Flashpoint FP60s. The Zipp guys say the FPs can be used for 'croos also, so I think this should be perfect.
SBR is well rep'd tonight; John, Ray, Gary, Tom & I are riding A's and Jim, Ian, Dave, Jason and Linda are riding B's.
Right after the race I was going to leave for Chicago; 4.5 hrs away, so I wanted to get the race in for a workout and see how the wheels were. (a note on that wonderful drive - I think I'm going to ask Red Bull to sponsor me....4 cans of the stuff later I made it to the hotel.)

The starting temperature is like 90+'F; I'm taking two big bottles with accelerade and one small one with just water. I'll just add to what John has written....
The pace was fast from the start and I was just trying to keep in a good position. The road condition is in bad shape so I'm not sure this is a good comparison for the FP60s. Anyway, about after 5-7 laps, my left foot is going numb and then hurting like heck to the point that I can't even stand on it coming out of the turns. I have to unclip it 2-3 times during the race to try to shake it out. Crap. I remember hitting my split timer on my Polar at the 14 to go lap and thinking, good, almost half way done. Then I start having a hard time staying on the group and for 1/2 of a lap I lose contact along with 2-3 others and start to panic/give up/get pissed at myself and try to get back on. Then in the distance after we go by the B's I see a wonderful sight; the A-'s are sitting up so I jump on it to catch up. Back on I see how we only have 4-5 to go and I start making deals with god and/or the devil, heck, anyone to make it to the finish cause my foot is killing me, my back is feeling like I have been cyclocross racing for like 2 hours; it is really sore now and that has never happened during a crit. I finally recover, take a pull and get ready to bring it in. Pat (now with Orrville) is in the group along with Dick so I figure that I'll see if I have anything left in the tank and go for the sprint for the heck of it finish. I'm watching Dick and others are going at around 250+ meters out so I wait a bit longer and then punch it following Dick. He and I get around 3-4 guys and I actually feel like after the sprint that I have left nothing on the track....I am dead.
The stats say I did work the hardest as I have ytd.
44.7 miles
HR - 160 avg/178 max (yikes, a new high for me)
Speed - 25.1 avg/34.6 max
CAD - 96 avg/136 max
watts - 268 avg/833 max
amount of pain, off of da chart!
start temp 92', ending at 87'F

The FP60s seem slow to ramp up to speed and may even give a harsher ride than my Mavics, but I'd have to take another ride on them to confirm that. They do seem to roll really nice once you get them to speed and worked fine in what wind we had.
I'd still like to test the 303's tubulars out though and see if they didn't give a smoother ride.

Thanks for reading & back to work for me,

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Week and More

Well, I broke the 100 mile mark for last week and got a good ride in yesterday to start this week (that's how Polar does the week's mileage). Plus I put a new ZIPP Contour Carbon bar on my Titus; I went from a 44cm to a 42cm and like the bar and the size a lot so far. I see how it works out as I put more miles on the Titus with it on.
So Gary & I go to get in 30+ yesterday changing the route by going down and on the return trip up Snowville road. For you that have done that "little climb", it's mucho fun, eh?
Anyway, other than Snowville, the route was the same so I wanted to compare yesterday with the ride we did on the same route on the 10th.
The stats for the two:
6/10 - 6/24
time 1:53:47 - 1:42:32
miles 32 - 32.5
HR 131/177 - 132/169
speed 16.9/43.8 - 19.0/47.4
CAD 94/131 - 95/135
Watts 243 avg - 241 avg
ascent 1401' - 1480'

There was no "Riverview S Turn" climb along with the metro park climb, but the total climbing is almost the does this mean I have made no progress? From Snowville road into B-ville is pretty much all downhill so that may be why the avg speed is up.....we will see how I feel at the Westlake "Worlds" tomorrow....

Thanks for Reading,

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Greenbelt Park, MD Training Series Crit

I'm in MD right now on a business trip to Baltimore and having lived in the fair state of MD for like 10 years, I wanted to see if there was a crit that I could race since I missed the Westlake Worlds on Tuesday. I found one at the above and packed my Ritchey Ti 'Cross bike to check it out. The Crit take place in National Park about 12 miles north of Washing, DC ( &, so when I got there, I checked out the 1.4 mile rolling loop and thought it would be a cool track to try. (Update) 55 B riders (4/5 & W3) showed up and as I was getting to the assembly area I saw what looked like Peter was him, so we chatted a bit and then realized that we were going to be lining up at the very back of the 4-5 wide group. Damn. Peter said I'd be lucky to just pick my way up the group to get up front, so that was going to be my challenge for the night I figured. We started & I thought I saw off in the distance guys starting to move....that's how far back we were! Needless to say, riding 4-5 across with only 1 hard turn kept the field jammed. I kept looking for any opportunity to move up and by the 5-7th lap I was sitting pretty in the top 10. The field would jam down the hills at 30+ only to sit up at all of the little almost drove me crazy - I ended up saying to myself (well, maybe out loud) screw this and went off of the front to push the pace up. I jumped at the start/finish and lead down the hill tucked into the tuck position loving the "open road feeling" and then through the rollers and figured I had enough fun and turned the race back to the locals and settled in the first 10-15. Towards the last 7 laps I saw that I needed to keep on the inside of the main decent going into the only "hard" turn, 'cause I didn't think it was too safe to be anywhere else on that turn. That turned out to be true when on the next few laps, A guy lost his back wheel while taking the outside, went down and took 4 others with him and split the field; I was 3 people on the inside of him and saw the whole thing. Whew. The rest of the race was just like before and at the bell lap I tried to get in decent position....the field slowed down AGAIN on the climbs and we did the old 4 across 200 meter sprint to the finish line. I was boxed in and then stuck behind a guy that clearly had no gas left in his tank for sprinting; that didn't keep him from standing up and throwing his bike all over the place. I finally got around him and picked off 2-3 more people and crossed the line in the top 12 spot.
It was pretty crazy, but a great race and one I would love to do on the Titus.
The stats:
29.3 miles
HR - 152 avg, 173 max
speed - 22.8 avg, 39.3 max
CAD - 102 avg, 127 max
1660' of climbing
32% spent in the "red zone"
temp started at 80'F and ended at 76'

*one water bottle was not enough.....

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Westlake Crit; First A Group Race

Do I have great timing or what? Let's pick for the first A race on the 48 miler of pain and suffering. SBR had like 5 guys in the B field; Gary & I decided it was time to grab the hand of pain and go race with the A's. John & Ray were the SBR'ers in the A field with us. For some great details & so I don't repeat what John says, check out his account of the fun.
I don't know about Gary, but I was just in the survival mode for this race. I wanted to get a good workout in and finish with the pack. Simple as that. I succeeded in both. The SBR gang in the A's didn't really have any plan and it showed; I was disappointed also, but it's a big dang jump going from the B's to the A's and I haven't been strong mentally/aggressively lately.
Yeah, I got antsy when we slowed, went around to take a pull, hit the corner where the cops are at to see that i had gapped everyone and figured what the heck, let's stretch it out. The RGF guy came up and I chickened out and didn't want to kill myself to contest the prime so I sat up and let the chase field catch up. The rest of the race I took some pulls to help out and generally just finished the race.
Needless to say I'd like to be able to do more than just finish next week....
The stats:
46.6 miles (?)
HR - 155 avg, 170 max
speed - 24.6 avg, 32.7 max
CAD - 95 avg, 135 max
watts - 278 avg, 1247 max
72'F at the end of the race

So along with the 32 miles of hills I did with Gary on Sunday (more on that later) I'm in route for another good week for me mileage wise.

Thanks for Reading,

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Titus Modena

OK, I think I have enough miles to talk about my new Titus Modena. My Specialized Allez Pro was/is a great frame. The all aluminum bike, the fork is carbon, was pretty light (not sick light by any stretch of the imagination) and made for a great race bike. For long rides on less than perfect (any road in the Cleveland area) roads, I got beat up pretty bad on it and the soccer, hockey and rugby that I had played in the past made it so this 46 year old body was creaking more than a bottom bracket that needed attention. I was looking for something that was stiff, but more comfortable for longer rides/training.
The Titus is a compact frame with carbon tubes and aluminum butting, size is 54cm. Weight as shown is like 18.6 lbs. The bike seems smaller than even the Specialized and the steering definitely felt different, fine at higher speeds but way different at slower speeds. The bottom bracket on the Titus seems to be very stiff, stiffer then on the Specialized even. The ride is not plush (I have a Ti Ritchey 'cross bike for that), but I'm not as sore as I would be after a ride on the Specialized, so I think for such a compact frame it still offers some vertical compliance. It seems to do as well on a crit as a road race. It does descend like a rock and holds a line well and doesn't feel skiddish.
All-n-all I really like the bike; both in the ride and the aesthetics of it. I would like to look into getting a smaller (carbon) bar for it; the current one is a 44 I believe and I think a 42 or even a 40 would fit me better. Is it my favourite bike ever? I gotta say the Cervelo Carbon Soloist (or R3) that I have taken a test ride on has been my lust after bike.
The Titus has been just what I was looking for; a quality bike that was close to the same weight as the Specialized Allez Pro and more comfortable. I sold two of my bikes to swing the deal; my Ritchey BAB steel road bike (Brett) and my Specialized Langster Track bike (Matt). So I feel like I made the right choice for what funds I had (none).

Oh, a trip to the scale this morning and I'm at 152.5! We'll see how long that lasts. It's amazing what happens when you lay off the beer (Guinness is only 126 calories though).

Thanks for reading,

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Quest

To get back my mojo has been going on all d-mn week. Crap.
Sooooo, I got back from spending all day in Nashville giving my deposition (whatever, you get the point - lawyers, you're under oath, blah, blah, blah); seems like somebody wants to get rich the old fashion way, sue my company & I for $1M due to the accident that I was in 2 years ago. That's done and I guess I didn't screw that up too bad.
So I got up this morning and figured what the heck, I'll pretend that I'm going to ride to work this morning (which is interesting since I work from my home office) just like my buddies John, Jim & Gary do (I know there are more of you out there also). So I get the poor neglected Ritchey Ti Cross bike out and head out to Valley View in my Mario Cipollini kit (I look just like him, eh? NOT). Heck, I shouldn't get hit by a car in this getup. Thanks to the iPod and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Linkin Park, etc....the 29.6 miles went by pretty quickly and helped start the day on a more positive note. Still don't have the mojo back but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I think. So, 4 rides in this week and roughly 140 miles....sweet, not the best week I've had "mentally", but at least my weight is holding steady at 154-5 so I got that working for me. :-)
My stats:
29.6 miles
HR - 139 avg, 168 max
speed - 17.5 avg, 47.2* (hmmmm, Gary, this bike seems plenty fast on a downhill) max
CAD - 97 avg, 118 max
1119' of climbing
temp went from 76' up to 88'F

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Westlake Crit Race B Group.....

Well, I've had a shitty last couple of days mood wise; you know, in a funk. I resigned from the Velodrome Board/Committee I felt like blowing off tonight's race. Thanks to Jen K & John E for telling me to get off my a$$ and race tonight.
I've been working on the Velodrome Foundation's new computer to get it going (I hate VISTA) and ran tearing out of the house to try to get to the race in time. I arrived and John, Ray, Tom, Ian, Jim, Dave, Jason & Matt were all there...thanks Tom & John for helping me get ready. I sign the paperwork for Bridgette, get on my bike and off the B group goes, so much for any warm up and I now realize that it's cold. Shoot, I should have put on my knee warmers, thank goodness I grabbed my arm warmers and put them on. Well Jim warns me about this guy from Summitt who should be riding up with the As....I see why, we start going 24-25 right away with him pulling, we see the As after the first lap and Dave & Bob decide it would be cool to lap the A field. I spent the rest of the race covering moves, doing some pulling, trying my legs out in half a$$ sprints for one point Jason and the Summitt guy are off the front and gapping us and then they come into the sharp turn and Jason goes down with the Summitt guy right on top of him; we sit up to see if the guys are ok and then resume the pace.
I felt like my head was definitely not in the race....just a lot of when I was in a shitty position for the final sprint and was only able to get a 4th, I was like oh well.
Well it beats sitting around being bummed....Spin Ride is tomorrow, hopefully I'll have more game then.
My crappy stats:
38.9 miles
HR - 147 avg, 171 max
speed - 22.4 avg, 35.3 max
CAD - 97 avg, 124 max
watts - 233 avg, 959 max
temp - hmmmmm, cold

Thanks for reading,

Monday, June 4, 2007

last week in review

So, a great week for me riding wise....139 miles in three days of riding. Took the weekend off, 'cept for a thunder storm shortened 15 mile ride. Did my allergies get to me on this ride in a bad way or what; it was terrible.
It seems like it is re-grouping time training/race wise. So I'll need to refocus and start on new goals.
The stats for my Sunday late ride:
14.5 miles
HR - 136 avg, 168 max
Speed - 18.5 avg, 43.4 max
CAD - 94 avg, 139 max
Watts - 241 avg, 1057 max *when i looked at the chart, the highest shown was 710 watts
860 ' of climbing
temp dropped from 79' to 64'F

Thanks for reading,