Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pfffft, Snowstorm at Night!? That Just Means Racer-X Puts On The Skis. (Except Dave. For him it means cuddly wuddly up wid a big soft bwanket)

I must admit the 45 mph wind gusts were more fun when they were at my back. But no worries either way because I had my X hoodie on. Happy blizzard everyone!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Why not race with the pro's...?

New England State Championships / first race as a CAT 2 'cross race junkie:

Course map:

I forgot how down-and-out Fitchburg, MA can look in places, as it did on the way to the venue where the first annual New England Regional Cyclocross Championship races were held. The venue itself was fun and quite scenic, and the vibe was anything but down-and-out; a park setting and a course that was fast but took skills as well, complete with a 'crop circle' - or circle of death. Yes - I got dizzy, but no - I did not die! As a CAT2 I was made to race up in the elite group, not with my 2010 peers, in CAT3. This was good. I like pain and suffering - and was excited to try racing with bona-fide pro's. On the start line, I had second thoughts.... Why did that upgrade go through so fast, anyhow...?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Art Imitates Life

Here's an OLD comic I found yesterday cleaning out my desk...

Dollars, Donuts and Derailleurs

Ah, the Ice Weasels... I wish more races had the vibe and atmosphere found here in Wrentham. Rowdy crowds, irreverent announcing, crazy barrier prizes, beer hand-ups, and an overall party flavor. New, this year, was mild temperatures, a dry course, and a fly-over.

Similar to last year, at least for me, was a mechanical issue with my bike. Unfortunately, the Fickle Pickle of Fate was not on my side this time around. You see, last year, my pedal broke right in front of the pit area--I had to run about two steps to get my other bike. I was not so lucky this time around.

I had a decent start, felt good, had some gas in the tank, and was optimistic about the race. On my first pass over the barriers, my chain fell off, DESPITE a chain keeper. I ran a little farther to get out of the way to get the chain back on, but, the chain keeper, which should have kept the chain from falling off in the first place was preventing me from sliding it back on. Oh, and a quick look at the back of bike revealed that the chain had already lodged itself securely between the rear cassette and the spokes, and the derailleur was up at an odd angle. My assessment was that the bike was out of commission and I was far away from the pit. So, I started running, all the while riders were passing me until there were no more riders to pass me. I still kept running, er, jogging, um, okay, finally walking. It was a long walk. I got to the pit, switched bikes and headed out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 Days later... (ride update)

...and I still don't feel 'right'! Cleaned and tuned the mighty 'cross machine and suited up for a sunny - but cold - ride a while ago. It felt great to get out and spin the legs out, at last - but good grief, I'm still sore and underpowered!

Bike is running smooth and snappy - if only I could too. Hope the Racer-(c)X gang has fun out at The Ice Weasels race this weekend - I'm finally taking a 'pass' and sitting this one out in preparation for the following weekends' First Annual New England Regional Championship race - hosted by one of the N.E. 'Cross dynasties - The Goguens. Should be fun, and is just in time to close up 'racing shop' here at the home of Glen's Operations Camp.

Hope everyone else is taking advantage of the unseasonably dry weather and out riding whatever 2-wheeled contraption they prefer! It's been an awesome year, that much I know.

Monday, December 6, 2010

NBX Grand Prix, Warwick RI - Day 2

Implosion - Master 35+ Category Race - Day 2

It's been a few years since I hurt like I did this past Sunday in Warwick, RI. In fact, I haven't been so completely thrashed without waking up in an ambulance (which happened at Snowmass, CO in 2004). The same wicked fast Masters 35+ group lined up - about 50 of us all told, and tried to stay warm on this very windy, very cold morning. I dug deeper than I have all year this blustery fall morning - and paid the price.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

NBX Grand Prix, Warwick RI - Day 1

Big Time with the Big Boys - Master 35+ Category Race - Day 1

After some great results in the CAT3 Group - where skill levels range from razor sharp to dull as a doorknob, I threw my hat into the big leagues, where I'll try and stay from now on. In four big races this year, in the CAT3 group - I was in, near, or just behind HUGE pileups. Bone crunching, yard sale style mania. Having accrued enough points to upgrade to CAT2, and not having any points to speak of in the Verge New England Cyclocross Championship Series - I had nothing to lose - and everything to gain - by racing with the smartest, fastest amateurs out there. That is, if you can call retired pro's and silly fast CAT1/2 guys amateurs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fourth Time's A Charm? Not Quite.

For some reason I was under the assumption that with more racing, you are supposed to get better. This, rather unfortunately, has not really been the case for me and cyclocross...yet. I still remain hopeful.
On Sunday morning the weather was cold but dry, the bike was tuned, the Racer-X cheering/heckling crew was ready and waiting, but I had apparently forgotten one very important mojo. From the minute I knew I would be starting at the very back of the pack of 55 girls, I lost the "Eye of the Tiger". I really tried to tune my brain to the station that was playing my suggested theme song, but ALAS, all I could find was a Golden Oldies station...and so the race went.

Verge Series - Sterling Day 2 (for the show)

If you look close - you'll see one X'er (Rob) catching another (Dave)

After a great race on Day 1 of Sterling, part of the Verge New England Cyclocross Championship Series - I was ready to test the legs on this cold morning, Day 2 of the weekend. I've had a good track record of doing a little better on day 2 of 2 day race weekends, but felt old and tired Sunday Morning. Perhaps it's because us amateur CAT3 folks get grouped with the 'elite juniors', like Nate Morse - who train on the heavy hitting C.L. Noonan / Corner Cycle squad - which happens to turn out whole families National Contenders, like the Keoughs! Or perhaps that I'm just old.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Sterling Performance

So another race is in the bag. In the history books. In the toy box. In the cheese filled balloon. Or whatever. It was cold, it was early, and it was fun. I felt better than I did last week, but still lacking some oomph. I've ordered some oomph online, but with the holidays, I won't probably won't have it until later this year. Then there's some potential compatibility issues and I'm not sure if I'm going to have to upgrade the whole system. With my performance circling the drain, I've decided to focus on something that I have a bit more control over, and I'm just going to focus on looking good. And damn, I nailed that.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Verge Series - Sterling Day 1 (for the money)

So much for the fabulous rankings - where I've worked through some good results and usually am granted a decent start position... no, not in the Verge Series - where I've not done ANY of the races this year. Mid/back of the pack start position among the hooligans, degenerates, and singlespeeders (just kidding;)) was where I'd be - and would be working VERY hard to catch the elite end of this CAT3 / Junior Expert group. Can't everyone agree on a rankings system? No matter...

Thursday, November 25, 2010


How do you know when your helmet has done its job? When it's filled with dirt, rocks and grass after a crash. Despite Rob obviously sliding on his head, he still beat me!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shedd Park - Part III

Jesus Christ on a bicycle.... that hurt. It was cold out, and I was strangely 'off' this past week, never feeling the pep like the week before. No less, family cheering section AND Racer-X crew were both out in full force, so let the game, er - race begin.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shedd Park-Part Deux

I'm still trying to get a feel for Cyclocross. I thought I pretty much had everything all figured out after my second race...GO HARD. That's it. Just find your pain cave and suffer as much as you possibly can. My opinion on this hasn't really changed much, but I do think there is a bit more strategy involved if you want to place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I'm in there somewhere...
I'm coming back from a miserable race performance two weeks ago at Applecrest Farms, and if I hadn't have thought that I could have done any worse, I was wrong. I lined up at the start of the Master's Cat 1-4 race with nothing in the tank. My brain was writing checks that my legs couldn't cash. I had brought a rubber chicken to a gun fight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Investigation Cites Illiteracy, Bad Cooking, Possible Lack Of Oversight At Racer-X.

A new self-help book “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” has labeled Racer-X athlete Andy Nook both illiterate and a bad cook. When reached for comment the book’s author Dr. Theodor S. Geisel cited doctor/patient confidentiality in refusing to answer questions regarding these explosive allegations. However, anonymous sources claiming to be close to the situation and identifying themselves only as Two Hump Whump and Yink, have relayed what they experienced during Andy’s recent session with Dr. Geisel:

“We took a look. We saw A Nook. On his head he had a hook. On his hook he had a book. On his book was ‘How to Cook.’”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Plymouth Day 2 - CRUSHED IT!

After 3 years of racing 'cross - I finally sprinted to a win. I have not been so worked over, cracked, cramped, ready to puke in a mighty long time. It felt, in a word - sublime. It takes a lot of work, as you all know - to train, balance life, family, work, money, responsibilities for us amateurs - and not that I do it to win, place or show - but shit! What a thrill.

After an OK start, from the back, no less - I started picking guys off, right away. I was going to turn myself inside out to NOT let the 15 year old phenom - Nate (?) get away so easily this fine, cool, cloudy day. After 1/2 a lap, it was him out front, and me - planted on his wheel. We opened up a good gap in the first 2 laps, working together. I had said something like "lets work together and see if we can stick it for the win", and that was the plan. Well, provided I had the gas in the tank and could ride my bike smart...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Plymouth CX - Day 1

Short and *cough* sweet report:

I woke up feeling amazingly crusty - though rested, from a full nights sleep. With wife and kid out of town for the weekend, the house is too damned quiet. But I did sleep. After a crazy week last week, I wound up sick and blowing crap out of my nose these last few days. Funny - I think that happened last time I was about to be left alone! It's some devious plot, I'm sure...

...none the less, I do not have brain cancer or any other serious ailments to complain about - so I ate, hydrated and CAFFEINATED like crazy. Still sore 4 hours after waking up, I popped 2 Vitamin I as well (Advil, if you don't know the catchy lingo). Rolled into Salem, MA a wee bit early, so I headed over to an old favorite, Bagel World - as I needed more coffee, and a fresh bagel with cream cheese. Got 'em, headed over to the King St. residence of fellow CAT2/3/4 group hammer, J-Rock (and roll lately - he's been coming on strong!) and we loaded up the pimpin' Chevy Geo Toyota Corrolla Old Guy Tie Salesman team car with a full quiver of KHS bikes.

(photo from LAST years' Plymouth CX Race)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Filler: T6 Socks On The Run in Dave's Haunted Forest

As I sat around waiting for the Wicked Ride blog update I glanced over and saw one T6 sock on the floor with some dog hair on it. This was odd because during a break from constantly hitting my refresh button at Racer-X in anticipation of the Wicked Ride update I had just pulled a T6 sock from the dryer. Did they not get washed together?! Can I not trust my eighteen month old kid to properly sort laundry? What happened on the Wicked Ride? Was I misunderstanding it? Was it a Wicket Ride? A Widget Ride? Pure fantasy maybe? Why no update?! WTH?!?!?!?!?!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple 'Cross 2010

Ahem. So - never did get that race report up for the MRC race a few weeks ago - but it was an uneventful performance, except that I raced the super-bad-ass 1/2/3 race, which puts the pedal to the metal for a whopping (by 'cross standards - long) 1 hour. Speaking of pedals....

... Well, never mind. A flat tire and a broken pedal made it technical, let's say.

On to better days! Today was perfect cool fall weather. Dry and sunny, but windy and chilly. The race being on an orchard was a treat, so the whole family piled into the car and off we went. In the "what race category should I race in today" internal dialog, I chose the Masters 35+ 1/2/3 race, mainly to race with James and the other older guy hammers.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

'Cross Racing Advice

I'm not sure if I should be using this open forum to be giving specific advice to one person, but I feel that perhaps my tips can help anyone racing cyclocross, both newbies and veterans.

MRC 'Cross

As the cyclocross season is in full swing, there can be multiple races every weekend. Stronger riders will race both Saturday and Sunday, while losers like me usually pick one day. This past weekend, I was stuck because I wanted to attend both the race in Portland, ME, my old stomping grounds (as in, I was stomping the books and studying all the time), AND the race in Lancaster, MA. What to do, what to do? Initially, a merry band of fools had planned on racing in Maine, so I figured that would be the day. I pre-registered, then the plan fell apart, and soon I was the only one planning on head downeast. I was thinking about forfeiting my race entry, skipping the solo drive to Maine, and instead doing the closer race in MA, but I was still undecided. Then Mother Nature intervened.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

We interrupt this lazy off-season to bring you a cyclocross race.

After the SM100 I was done, cooked, kaput. I wanted to forget about all things bike related and just drink, eat and be merry with fall festivities. My indulgence and gluttony was in full swing when Rob tried his first cyclocross race in Gloucester. At the time, I was totally content to have a beer and cowbell in hand and cheer on from the sidelines. As I watched the race, I could see the pain and anguish in the faces of my fellow teammates as they suffered through the course followed by the unmistakable twinkle in their eyes at the finish and accomplishment of surviving. Then came the post-race camaraderie when they shared war stories and talked about the carnage. I quickly realized...I was jealous.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Night Weasels Cometh!

Click here, and click NOW to be taken to a wonderful world magic, wonder, romance, intrigue, and of wet, muddy, night weasels. They are like a plague and pestilence, wreaking havoc where-ever they roam. They must be stopped.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

2010 Gran Prix Of Gloucester Report

Gran Prix of Gloucester - No Rain / Much Pain!

The 2010 Chapter of the now infamous Gloucester 'Cross Race, aka New England Worlds - is in the books. With slowly building end of season fitness, I signed up the instant registration opened as this one fills up fast. This would be the one weekend I'd lay it all out on the line. My good friend, Rich Siemer - was going to make the trek from Washington, DC to experience the mayhem first-hand. He's an avid Mid-Atlantic CX'er and a very skilled technician. His Ritchey 'Break-Away' bike was awesome - fitting in what looked like a regular suitcase. Racer-X head honcho and event coordinator extraordinaire Dave "yes, why not - I am trying yet another bike/handlebar/accessory set-up for the first time in a monstrous event" Alden-St. Pierre would not only race, but snag a stellar tent & crew spot on the start/finish line next to the Factory Cannondale guys. He'd also assume duties in the cheer, wrench, shoot, video document, and heckle the rest of us section! I mention these two guys up front for good reason; they both play / have played a pivotal role in my cycling meandering and evolution (if one can call it that). The other character in this plot - besides the assorted Racer-X hooligans, is the other New Mexico CX transplant - Jamie Ryan-White.

Monday, October 4, 2010


So as earlier mentioned David had talked a few us into trying our hand at cross racing. First off, thanks Dave! One for talking me into it even when I swore I would never race cross, and two for setting up the Racer-X tent where we could all use the central location to house our goods, etc..... You put a lot of work into these events for all of us and I wanted to point that out. This is the face that Dave would give if you try to thank him!
"If I get just one person hooked on
cross.... thats all the thanks I need"

So normally I write in my blog more about diabetes management, as that is really my focus. I have come to terms that for the most part I am the 'middle of the pack sport guy', and that is ok. My goals are all focused around managing my diabetes on the bike and in general. That being said, cross racing was going to introduce a whole new set of challenges for me.

GP Gloucester 2010

I started my 2010 Campaign for Cyclocross Mediocrity this past Saturday at the Gran Prix of Gloucester, one of the largest ‘cross races in New England.

It’s one of those races that limits the individual race categories to 125 racers, and they sell out, with riders on a wait list. It’s one of those races that has riders in the lowest category (what should be analogous to “beginner”) traveling hundreds of miles to race on their bikes worth thousands of dollars.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snot, Beer, Jiffy John . . . Obviously a Must Read

I did the VT50 mtb race last weekend. I should have had a snot rocket going like some of our past teammates have done in photos.

Course was great, super dry. In fact, it was a little dusty. This was the fourth year in a row I have done this event. My wife and I make it a weekend away. I ride, she runs, but only the 50 k this year.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My English Teacher Said "Sucker Brook" but My Ebonics Teacher Said "Sucka Brook". Cyclocross Is Confusing.

I have no race report of any interest. Just read Glen's below and trade out "faded" for "accelerated", "got dropped" for "passed", and "locked up my lower back" for "settled into a good tempo."

Much like G-Roll I also have a two variant method for the pass:
1. When riders go by me I try to latch on as inconspicuously as possible. Often when the passing rider looks back I turn my head and whistle a dainty tune pretending I'm just taking in the landscape. Then when there's a straight away or climb I pass them back. Racers love that.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sucker Brook 'Cross Double Header

When one hot, hard, fast race ain't enough...
Week 3 of the 2010 'Cross season saw the Racer-X duo of Jamie and I headed for southern NH, Destination Sucker Brook. Not sure if there was a brook - or if it sucked. There was a LOT of dust, and it was a good fast power course that suited Jamie and I well. We lined up for the 35+ Masters race at 11am and took off with a tight group of 35 or so fast effin racers. I had a decent start (I'll let Jamie fill in the details of his race with his report) and settled in mid-pack somewhere, waiting for the first lap jitters to calm down. The frontside was open, grassy, and all power. Found some decent lines and rode them pretty well most laps, and once through this grassy frontside, the race headed out into the woods on a nasty gravelly road section into a moon dust hard left. Somewhere in here I whacked a rock and felt the tell-tale squirmy rear end.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bradbury 12

I can't believe it's been a year since the Bradbury '09, my first race. With 2 races under my belt, I had less fear about passing and getting passed (mostly the later). I was ready to move beyond survival mode and decided to set some goals.

Kingdom Trails

Skip on over to my bloggity blog for pics and words regarding yesterday's journey to Kingdom Trails. We laughed, we cried, we rode, and I, as usually, took lots of pictures. Go now!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Double Duty 'Cross Race Weekend

In a better late than never attempt to get ready, somehow, for 'cross season, I'm piling on as much volume and racing as I can early on here. First up was an odd-ball course in a fun race down in Brockton on Saturday - the Travis City Cycles CX race. Mixed bag of terrain, in that there were paved sections - both park trails and roads. There were flowy single track sections in the woods.
Then there was one grassy chicane type section. This race

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Well, since both Jamie and Glen have posted their perspectives on their leisurely ride which was my lactic acid bath, I figured I might as well tell my story too.

Yeah, TTT. On the road. I'm not a "road rider" per se, and have never raced on the road. I think this was pretty evident when I was pinning my number on (right Jamie?).

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cottage of Wattage

Well, Velo de Mer ring-leader, Mr. Shawn Gavin got me hooked on this bizarre TT / TTT thing. I mean, who wouldn't fall in love with a discipline that has you on an almost entirely uncomfortable bike locked down in an aero position and pedaling as hard as is possible for as long as one can?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

'Cross in August - who me? (confessions of a racer junkie)

You'd never catch me dead in a 'cross race so early in in the season - but I had the unique chance to show my little sister, and her daughter (12 years old) what this odd discipline is all about. Why would they even care? They live in the middle east, as my brother in law is Saudi. They currently reside in Cairo, Egypt - and yes, from their house they can see the pyramids. Yes, those famous pyramids.

Monday, August 23, 2010

My VT 30 Saga

Just to keep things interesting, I've posted my race report on one of my other blogs. Why? It's long, and full of speculation and conspiracy theories; and I don't want to bump those track racing photos any further down than need be. I feel a new t-shirt logo coming on... Until then, click here!

Single Speed Impostor!

You know the cliche, "never bring a knife to a gun fight," well that's sort of what I did at the VT30 (aka Pittsfield 666...aka Pittsfield 6 hour endurance bike race) this past weekend! I was a sport level rider, masquerading as an elite racer!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Report, Just a Picture

A reminder that it's almost cross season. Tall black socks and all. Because Jean would want it that way. Also this picture bumps that picture of Jamie at the track off the top of the page. Our mountain bike friends were starting to whisper about us.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The X Is More Than Just Two Acute and Two Obtuse Angles Thrown Together! This Weekend It Had An Oval!

Hanging around the super secret Racer X club functions can be disconcerting for a former roadie like myself. All these new terms and phrases make me feel like an outsider. So I've been taking notes to maximize my enjoyment of the Racer X experience. You know, to get in on the group rides and such!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Darkhorse 40- Don't Miss It!

Before the cobwebs set into my brain, I want to give a shout out to the guys at Darkhorse Cycles for such an amazing and truly fun event at the Darkhorse 40. Thankfully, this race was so incredible that it made up for all of my follies on the bike. Here is a run down of just how bad my day went, then I'll move onto more exciting stuff, like how cool this race was.

Monday, August 9, 2010

3 weeks and 3 chances to inflict pain

I'm a bike racing whore. There. I admit it. If someone asks me to race - despite never having done an event - or a whole discipline - I'll likely say yes. Just don't try and get me into triathalon gear... yet. Such was the case a few weeks ago when a friend from the Velo de Mer group asked if I'd do a Team Time Trial. I had toyed with the idea last year, but never could get it on the schedule. This year I could - and did. I thought "hey, bolt on some clip-ons and don an aero helmet - and presto! I'm good to go. Well, our in house TT and Track pro, Mr. Jamie Ryan White would have none of it - and threw his tricked out factory KHS TT bike at me, and a spare set of wheels - as if the deep section front wheel and disk rear wheel with tubulars weren't enough...

Wildcat Epic 100--Day 2

Peppy. Chipper. Zippy. No one would have used those words to describe how I felt on the morning of Day 2 of the Wildcat Epic 100 MTB stage race. I did, however, feel ready. Ready to ride and to squeeze out whatever remaining adenosine triphosphate my little mitochondria could generate.

My morning started by checking out of the Super 8, grabbing some pre-race coffee at Starbucks, and waiting for Pete--A.K.A. "Sprinkles," at the parking lot. Most people looked about the same way I felt, tired, but looking forward to another fun day on the bike.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wildcat Epic 100--Day 1

I'm sitting here at a Starbucks reflecting on my day... Today was Day 1 of the Wildcat Epic 100 mountain bike race, a two day stage race, 50 miles each day, starting and ending in New Paltz, NY. The words that are coming to mind as I reflect are "fast," "fun," "awesome," and "coffee." The last, well, because, that's what I'm drinking.

This is the first year of the race, and while I'm only half done as I write this, I'm pretty confident I'll be back.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pat's Peak.

It is often said that races are not won or lost on the actual race day, but in the months to weeks leading up to the race in the form of training and preparation. And while, training and preparation are, of course, important components to any racer's "plan," I have something else to add: fear and intimidation.

That's right, if you can strike fear into your competitors' hearts, strike it there on the shaft of a flaming crossbow bolt, then you've got an advantage before you even leave the start line.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big Ring Rumpus: Jamie Words/Tom Picture

Race morning is always frantic for me even with a pre-packed bike and backpack. I struggle with a mental battle of
a.)Do I need a full tummy or
b.)Do I need to feel skinny on the line.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Weeping Willow Race Report

You think you're getting a full race report here, but a-ha, you're NOT. Instead, you're getting a photo that I borrowed from Seaside Cycle's FB photo page and a link to the coolest bike clothing company out there, Twin Six. Trust me, I'm sort of like a doctor's helper, and I promise, the click won't hurt a bit. Click here, and do it now!

I'm awake now!

Wow. One would not expect to jump so fully into such silliness as racing a fully rigid singlespeed 29" wheeled clown bike, a week after building it, and hey! Why not race Elite too. Are you fucking kidding?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weeping Willow!

I need some time to gather my thoughts about the Weeping Willow race, but in summary--what a great event! It was so much fun to blast around on that course and to hang out with so many good friends. So while I'm primarily focused on replenishing my barley and hops stores, I'd like to send out some HUGE "thank you"s…

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good Weekend.

A couple of good mountain bike rides, a good get together with friends, and great weather... Yeah, this weekend had all that. And, we also got our new team jerseys--so now we'll be rockin' in style! Thanks to Jamie for the first self portrait in the new threads...

Anyway, I got out to Bradley Palmer/Willowdale on Saturday with Jean and Rick, and Harold Parker on Sunday with Todd, Ron, Leslie and Bob followed by a road ride in Salem and Beverly again with the beautiful Jean. That works for me!

Don't forget--we've got a field trip planned for May 14th & 15th--May 14th we'll be rockin' the deals at the Pearl Izumi outlet in North Conway, NH, and on the 15th (Sunday), we'll be riding and grinnin' at Kingdom Trails, in East Burke, VT. Are you in? Let me know.

Oh, and congrats to Glenn for his 3rd place in the Beverly TT.

Stay tuned for some video from Harold Parker...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This past weekend I tried my legs out on the Singlespeed-A-Palooza Race in New Windsor, NY. Yup, a single speed only race with 250 one gear, mostly rigid racers ready to tear up the 25.5 mile course. We showed up the day before to pre-ride the course and found it fast, fun and swoopy...just what a single speed course should be. Too bad the rain came in over night and turned the surface into a thick greasy mud! Thankfully, I played it conservative and changed my gear ratio from 32:17 to 32:18 to fight through the muddy mess. Anyway, here is the play by play:

When we woke up on race day it was steady rain and in the 40's. UGH. With faint determination we made it to the race and were ready to go for the 9:00 start time. 8 Minutes after the Expert/Pros took to the course, I was off! Rosy, a cool girl we met on the pre-ride, had the hole shot and took the lead (or so I thought...more later.) She was riding a 2:1 gear ratio which gave her great advantage on flat terrain, but eventually caught up to her on the muddy climbs. After a few encouraging words, she let me take the lead (or so I thought) and I managed to get into a groove in spite of the slick course. With dirt in my belly and mud in my eyes, I finished the first 12.75 mile loop feeling pretty good.

Starting my second loop I could feel a "fullness" in my legs on the climbs. Uh Oh...the cramp monsters! I stopped, stretched, downed a TON of fluids and ate two GU's. Unfortunately I think it was a bit too late. For the remainder of the race I had to take a couple of quick stretching breaks to keep the monsters at bay, but at least they stayed at bay! Anyway, I came up to a girl along the second loop and thought, " I catching an expert here or was there someone I didn't see?" Turns out she was an expert and let me know that I was actually in second place and the first place sport was WAY out ahead. Wow, that sucks. Oh, well...onward! I caught a second girl fairly quickly and thought that maybe, just maybe this was the sport girl, but it was another expert having a bad day with crashes. Pretty soon after, with more dirt in my belly and mud in my eyes, I was done! Second Place Sport Woman!

I'm still baffled that I missed seeing the first sport girl take off, but it isn't all that unusual for me to be oblivious to my surroundings. She was probably with us ladies at the line-up the whole time and I just didn't see/talk to her. But a mystery remains for me because Rob is sure he passed her early in the first loop. I have to admit that the start was confusing because we were told via email to start with the Sport North men, but there was a small sign at the starting line-up that actually put us behind them.

No matter! I came home with a new Thompson stem, cool trophy, t-shirt, water bottle, and a belly full of hot dogs, beer and dirt! Good times!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Random Road Ride Rambling

On a typical day, I *try* my best to be ready to ride at the designated time, I prefer to stop infrequently and above all, I try not to be an anchor.

Today was not a typical day.

First, I think someone slipped me a ruffie or something because I was woken up by the doorbell when Jamie and Glen were at my house at 10:00am. WTF? I haven't slept that late since I've done overnight shifts. Crap. My "give me 15 minutes" turned in to about 30 minutes as I fed myself and the dogs (no coffee for me!), walked the dogs quickly to allow them to relieve themselves, suited up, prepared a couple of water bottles and finally strapped on my fanny-pack. Yeah, I'm rockin' a fanny-pack. What do you want to say about it? Here's the deal, ever since last year's "photo a day" project, I feel naked if I leave my camera at home. So again, yeah, I'm rollin' with a fanny pack. Deal with it.

Anyway, we rolled out of the driveway and headed toward Gloucester. As I'm primarily a mountain biker, and essentially a singlespeeder at that, I'm not well versed in road etiquette. I could be described as a squirrel. Glen and Jamie taught me the meaning of the "flapping chicken wing," and how NOT to attack hills, and passed on some other pearls of wisdom. 

As if my 30 minute delay at the onset of our ride wasn't bad enough, I also flatted. My tube change was pretty fast, but then Jamie noticed that my tire wasn't seated properly and the bead was popping out. I was able to deflate, re-seat, and re-inflate fairly quickly, but I was feeling like the black cloud on this ride. Oh, and I was sucking wind, but that's beside the point. 

Glen also flatted, but his tube change was done in the blink of an eye. Jamie used that opportunity to promote the fine bicycle products offered by KHS. We were back on the road fairly quickly and after a total of about 20 miles, I was back home. Jamie & Glen headed back to Salem, no doubt talking about New Mexico races from 5yrs ago...

When all was said and done, my "recovery ride" had me peaking with power at more than 1000 watts at one point, with plenty of surges over 600 watts. D'oh. I can recover for the next 7 days at work!