Friday, January 28, 2011

That's all, folks.

After mulling it around a while, I have decided that with the new year I need a new attitude. No more suckage. After a fairly good season, albeit lighter in schedule than the past 2 yrs, I am not sucking. At least not a lot :-) Therefore, boom! goes the blog. I will replace it with another when I get some time to play around with it. As for now, weight training, running (uugghh), pilates, and some skiing to take up my time, as well as some riding. Later folks, and peace out ;-)
Here it is, the new bloggie! Complete with no suckage!
http://ohnoiaintsuckingnomore.blogspot.com/

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Random post season musings...

   Started my weight training. Ugghh. This also includes running. Double uugghh. Also pilates. This I like. I should probably do it all year as we cyclists tend to have weak-assed core strength. Should I do the race in Jan? I dunno. Snow would be cool. Haven't been on the real bike since the season ended, but have been on the trainer. Maybe I'll get out this week. And........
   I think I may have to change my attitude and create a new blog. Maybe a "new year's resolution" blog. I have decided, I think, at least for now, that I don't suck. So. I need a new blog name. Suggestions welcome. Of course, if you are convinced I still suck, well, that's OK too.
   Thinking of maybe heading up to NE and doing a race weekend next year. I'll have to see how my schedule pans out and what Sarah's soccer schedule is like (for those of you who don't know, she's my youngest daughter). Of course, she should be driving by then, so that will help out. A lot. But I still like to watch her games.Also, should I plunk down big $$ to get some file treads (Clement) put on FMB casings? I haven't spent much equipment-wise this past year, so WFT not? It wold be sweet if Clement decides to make a tubie version; that would make like MUCH easier.
   Still at 175lbs. If I can keep the weight to below, say 180 this winter, I will be real happy. Ok. That's about it for now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Last race of the year. PA State Championships and thoughts on my season.

 I did the PA State championships @ Jordan Creek parkway in Allentown, PA. Not exceptionally cold but very windy. I had ridden 1 time the week leading up to this so I wasn't expecting much. Got there, stayed warm and rode my trainer to warm up. Legs didn't feel too bad. Did a lap around the course, which was similar to last year but even better, atmo. This course is on the side of a hill essentially, with a flat section at the top and at the bottom. A really fun technical descent which my Fangos were handling nicely. If there's 1 thing I do fairly well, is descend, and wha-whoo!, barriers that you could come flying into. 46 of us started the combined Masters race. I did OK in the short prologue and then started drifting back a bit. I could see 3 guys ahead of me and with each lap I'd get just a bit closer. 1 of them was too far ahead (Mike Laub) for me to catch but I knew I could get the other 2. The leader came around me right at the finish line for the start of his last lap, so our race was shortened by 1 lap. On the climb up to the finish I got on the wheels of the 2 in front of me and waited. I made a bad turn on the 180% turn before the finish and thought I might not get it done. I passed the 1st guy easily and thought I just missed the second guy (Jay Downs). Turns out I did catch him. 30th out of 46 total, 13th out of 18 in my age group. Legs felt surprisingly good and was pretty happy with my race. It was one of my favorite courses this year. A shout out to Dan K for his weiner hand ups (which I politely refused) and his awesome pecan pie and coffee at the end (which I eagerly accepted). A pretty good end to my season.
    As for my season; I was A LOT leaner this year; 176 as I type this now and I was even down to as low as 174. I haven't been this lean since, well, I don't know when. It definitely makes a difference in your performance. I had fewer turns of bad luck (being in the wrong place at the wrong time) and mechanicals, although a dropped chain and rolled tubie cost me a bunch of places. The tubie cost me likely my best finish of the year at Fair Hill.  I only raced 8 races as opposed to 15 the previous year, but with my oldest daughter being in college now and not having as much $$ to blow on these things, you gotta cut back. I enjoyed the PA series races that I did and I FINALLY got to do Granogue. I'm making sure that's on my calender every year. Missed a lot of the MABRA races but did mostly PA series and MAC, which I really enjoyed. I'm already looking forward to next year. But for now, I'm taking it easy for a week or so, then I'll get the fixie out and think about starting weight training. But I may not do as much weights this year and instead do core excercises like pilates. I really don't need additional "mass".
   It was a weird season of sorts; some of my rivals/friends (Dave Tambeaux and Thor) either didn't race (Thor) or weren't doing as many (Dave) like myself, making things just different. Even though fields have grown significantly. Here's to a good off-season and some skiing perhaps then some road races. Just to get ready for next year.
As an addition; my cross results dot com points are now at 511. I may be on the verge of not sucking :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fair Hill cross, Fair Hill MD


It was a new course for this race; same location, different course. I was expecting a grass crit. I was wrong. Lots of abrupt ups and downs, some elevation change, that coupled with a head wind, was a beast. Off camber stuff, some mud, a little bit of gravel, a big log, a run up, and a long start/finish straight. About 50 of us Masters B's went off (biknben, K-man) and headed up the hill. I was up with the 1st group for a while , then things slowed down through the off camber turns. A lot of them were only passable single file, and if you got behind someone with less skill than yourself, you were hosed (me). One really nasty one I chose to run; it was faster by far. My legs were not feeling especially good, but after things got sorted out a bit, I felt like I was in a decent position (for me). I was pretty much right. I kept swapping places with a couple of guys from Evolution racing; they'd get ahead of me on the back side of the course and I would pass them up the start/finish stretch. I had it all set in my mind as we went into the last lap; I'd keep them close then pass them at the end. One small problem, though; as I remounted after that nasty off camber turn, I didn't do it very smoothly and coupled with the fact that it was on the side of a hill, I rolled my rear tubie. I tried to get it back and at least finish. I was about to pack it in when I gave it one last try; I got it on. Took off and tried to regain as much ground as I could, but ran out of time. I lost at least 5 places, probably more, but still finished 35th out of 42, which, all things considered, I'll take.
Loved the new course; ranks right up there with Granogue and Rockville bridge in terms of difficulty but still really fun. I had my tires dialed in really well and found some good lines after a lap or so. Effing mechanicals. Oh well, that's cross!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rockville Bridge Classic Weekend




Rockville Bridge Classic in Marysville, PA. 2 races, 2 days. Not a huge turnout but better than last year. It was a combined Masters field so I knew I was in for an azz whoopin. About 25 of us went off at the gun (ok, whistle) on Saturday. It was the "traditional loop", complete with a steep run up and stairs, more off-camber turns than I cared to count, and a fairly big power section. On the 1st trip over the barriers some relative neophyte to cross was right in back of me when I dismounted so I wound up kicking him. Apparently he was not pleased with this and let me know at the end. Not the best place to be in a cross race, dutch-bag. The really fast guys took off and I pulled away from him and 2 others. I wound up with a guy on my wheel for a while but managed to drop him with 2 to go. He eventually DNF'd. Got caught by the 2 leaders with about 1/3 lap to go, shortening my misery. 22nd of 24 (9th of 11 in my age group) but in that field I wasn't too disappointed. Mike G came out to watch and brought a few brewskies which were greatly appreciated. So much so that I spilled 1/2 of one on the back of his Land Rover...
Day 2 was a smaller but still very formidable field, changed course; a bit shorter, too. Got there early and warmed up for about 45 minutes which was good since my legs were a bit sore. Got to heckle/encourage a fellow RBRer while warming up who was pleading for a beer handup. My buddy from the day before lined up next to me. After the start I hung on through most of the really twisty section (more than day 1) and decided to run a section of 2 logs and mulch into the stairs. I wound up making (or at least not losing) time by doing this. He and another guy and myself were together for about 4 laps; I led them for a couple and let my buddy go around me at one point so I could sit on his wheel for a while. Passed him on the power section and then bobbled going up a steep off camber losing my place to him and the other guy. Got back to them and again passed them at the finish line, this time for good. Wound up getting lapped by the top 5 a bit sooner but this was a shorter, faster course, so I wasn't surprised. Moved up 2 places from my Saturday finish, 6th out 0f 10, so I was happy with that and I got to beat "my buddy" who threatened "to get me" on Sunday. This was a fun, technical course on both days. I hope this race grows because it's a great venue with a fun, challenging course. Also met K-man (finally) on Saturday. Parked next to me. And beat me. Photos were free to all by Joe Mallis as a courteousy to the promotor since it was a "local" race.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Granogue, Day 2

Fall days don't get much better than Sunday was. Beautiful blue sky, cool temps. Great day for a cross race!
Had to get up at about 520am since the start was 930 rather than 10 am. Wassup wit dat? Anyway, it didn't matter; I hadn't slept much in the previous 2 nights and Sat night was no different. But once I got into race prep mode, all my tiredness just seemed to go away. Got there in time to get a decent warm up and a lap in. Really tough course. I lined up way back (as usual) and we headed of. At race speed the course seemed easier; it just kind of flowed. I saw Bob Kuhn from HUP ahead in the 1st couple of rows. The next time I would see him was when he lapped me...
I took some chances on the course and payed for it; went down 3x and lost my chain 2x. Got it back on once, but had to stop the second time right before the road section which really cost me time. Then my chain started jumping but it wasn't too bad. Since I was farther back than normal, I just kept picking guys off; my legs really felt good. Didn't matter, though. With about 1/3 lap left the 2 leaders caught me making my day shorter. At least one was a team mate :-) I wasn't paying attention on the finish road and 2-3 guys past me, which I never let happen, although, really, what's the difference between 71st and say, 68th in the grand scheme of things? At least I raced aggressive and had a good time. I also got to meet Bob Kuhn from HUP South East (?) and ran into Scott Rosenthall from HUP/Zanacato Racing; the guy you can thank/curse for my Blanco kit. I am definately making this a permanent stop on my cross racing calender.