Monday, June 10, 2013

GLV - Just wow.

These past few weeks have been really great for my bike racing team, Green Line Velo. I am really amazed at the progress we've made since we were just a bunch of ex collegiate racers trying to have a good time.

After the great success of the 2013 Purgatory Road Race, I think our team President captured all the awesome things we've been doing inside and outside of racing the last few weeks on the twitter, see below
















Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Podium? You never get on the podium!" - Orchard Cross Report

You're darn right I got on the podium, mom.

But before we get to that, I'll talk briefly about the weekend as a whole.

Saturday's plan was to do the cat 3 race at Canton, a race that I've done well at in the past. And based on my recent string of not doing terrible I figured I had the legs to pull out a decent performance by wheelsucking my way to the front of the race. I of course prepared for this on Friday night, by eating barbecue, having some beers and playing Golden Eye.

OK, BOOM race day.

I started 2nd row, and had a plan, it was to get up in the front group and hang out. I managed to avoid a couple odd bobbles at the start and make my way into the top ten no problem heading into the field.

A few gaps opened with some shenanigans and I was back in the low teens heading into the long power section (well the whole course is a long power section). Anyhow, as the lap drew to a close Cosmo came by me and I thought to myself "TIME TO GET ON THE COSMO TRAIN TO THE LEAD GROUP!" But it was not to be so, as Cosmo cruised by in a full sprint my legs responded by saying "nah, that's ok, we aren't going to catch that wheel." And then, pulled out the parachute, yes, it was lap 2. From there on it was a gentlemen's slide into the 30s and found myself in front of some regulars and cruised in for an unimpressive result (by this season's standards).

Not pedaling that hard, photo by Meg

But after that I was mulling around, chatting up some folks and somehow decided to do the elite race. Which went just as well, where I rode "hard" (if you can call it that) for part of the first lap, and tempo for the rest of the race, finishing NOT LAST, which I'm calling a small victory.

That night I had some dinner, and NO Golden eye in preparation for Orchard Cross.

Now, let me tell you about the Orchard Cross course, it was amazing. It had a minimal amount of long power sections,but a maximum amount of greasy non-pedaling turns, weird off cambers and a pump track section.

With this in mind I rocketed off the front row at the start and did not win the hole-shot on purpose, and let Oscar take the charge for the first half lap. I then passed him in the pump track and gunned it up a small power section. Then it was time to SHRED. I made the most of the off camber section, railed the turns as best I could and at the end of lap one I had opened up a gap on the field.

Now, unbelievably, this lasted for another lap and I came through the finish line with Chris Zigmont totally butchering my last name over the PA, but who cares I WAS THE FRONT OF THE BIKE RACE.

Tragically, it was not to last, and Matt Sousa used his messenger watts (it's a thing) to blow by me halfway through lap 3 and brought Oscar along with him. Now it was time for some strategery. I sat on Oscar's wheel for the next lap and a half or so, recovering (also a thing) and put a lot of faith in him to not eat it on a greasy corner or let anyone catch us.

At 2 to go I put in an attack on Oscar in hopes to dispatch him and his dad legs (double the power as he has another on the way). I managed to keep him at bay for a while. However, he made his way back to my wheel early on the last lap and I panicked for a moment, but he subsequently disappeared into the abyss after trying to make a pass that wasn't there and took a spill.

From that point forward I just tried to ride steady and not make any mistakes. I rolled in 15 seconds behind Sousa for 2nd place.

Now, for those of you taking notes, the difference here was the Golden Eye the night before the race. So, if you want to podium bike races, DO NOT play Golden Eye the night before races, this works 100% of the time after you played Golden Eye the night before. Another interesting fact, I haven't podiumed at a cycle cross race since 2010.

Anyways, my plan for the Cycle - Smart international is Golden Eye on Thursday.


Friday, September 28, 2012

How to be a career cat 3

Tired of sucking? Tired of waking up at 5am to race? Tired of being pack fodder for Tim Powers? Do you just want to be competitive, but not enough so that people call you a sandbagger?  Then this blog post is for you!

In just a few easy steps you too can master the skills needed to be a career cat 3 cyclo-cross racer! 

With my years of experience I've learned how to be around 30th in some of the nations biggest cat 3 races, and so can you! 

Approach
The first and most important thing for you to know is that your race DOES NOT MATTER. Regardless of how much it may matter to you, it is so totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things. In reality, it's just a way for you to call your self a  "bike racer" to your co-workers and not just some other loser that rides alone on the weekends. 

Priorities
Another key principle is to remember that you have more important things that you should/could be doing with your time and money, like your taxes, cleaning your room, paying off loans, just generally all the important adult things you put off to go play bicycles. Once you don't think, but KNOW, that you have more important things to do, you are ready for the next step.

Training
If you have any of the following things, get rid of them:
  • A Coach
  • A Plan
  • A Power Meter
  • A hear rate monitor
Now that you are a coachless, planless, meterless human you are ready for the next step. Don't train. Don't even use the word "training," riding your bike outside of racing is simply that, "riding." No intervals, no structure, just ride enough that you enjoy it. The added bonus of this strategy is you never "have to" ride, you ride because you want to, because the weather is nice, because you need to get out some frustration, because it's fun. This alone removes so much stress from your life.

Eating
Eat whatever you want. I mean, you totally burned 3000 calories over the weekend, so of course you deserve BBQ chicken and beer for recovery. If gluten free vegan cupcakes are your jam, have a half-dozen. The point is that you've already told your co-workers you are a bike racer, so they assume that you, much like Lance Armstrong need 10,000 calories a day just to survive. 

Racing
Race all the time, because it is your only real form of training. I usually do 40 races a year across all disciplines, road, MTB and cyclo-cross. Also, go to training races, as many as you can. This allows you to FEEL like a bike racer, but you don't actually have to go out and do intervals on your own to hang out. You get all the benefits of a high intensity workout, without having to be anti-social. It's amazing how much you can race by spending all week on the couch and then smashing your face each weekend. Also, racing all the time will improve your crossresults.com points, which means that you won't necessarily start front row, but you won't be last row either. 

Race day
The first thing you do is ride the course, just fast enough so that you'll know how to handle everything at speed, but not so fast that you'll tucker yourself out. This is far more important than doing a real warm up, because if you can't pedal fast at least you wont fall down, and look a fool.  After that, be sure to socialize, people only know you are a bike racer if you walk the walk AND talk the talk, so be sure to talk about the weird off camber, the angle to the barriers or your "training" from the past week. 

During the race
Don't soft pedal, don't give up, and race hard. Give the fan(s) a show, if people really, truly believe that you are trying they can't insult you for sucking, and since you haven't been training you sure won't be at the front of the bike race either, so they can't call you a sandbagger. It's a truly beautiful system. 

After the race
Don't cool down, socialize! That's what post race is for, talk about the off camber, or the guy that "totally dive-bombed that corner." 

NOW REPEAT. 

Remember that if you do all these steps, you'll never actually get good, but you sure as shoot won't get really bad either. You'll be in the happy medium (somewhere around 30th) for the rest of your life!

Good lack and happy mediocrity!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

September is awesome

September 2012 is one for the ages, and it's only going to get better. I started it off in my happy place, Maine's North Woods, where I went for some swell bicycle rides around a very large lake.






I then made a quick trip down to Maine's Mid-Coast where I took some more photos and was rather pleased with life.

I then spent a few days back in reality at work, home etc... and did the Portsmouth Criterium, which was just the best. I followed that up by fixing up my cycle-cross bicycle and gluing up some tubular tires in preparation for the Green Mountain CX weekend.

After that I'll be doing the TD Bank Mayor's Cup with 13 teammates around Boston's City Hall, and that will be just super.

I'll close out the month with the GP of Gloucester and some beers.

I'm so thrilled that summer is over, because I love cool mornings and not sweating all the time.

So in summary, September is Awesome.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I still don't totally suck at bike racing

Despite what my road results profile might say, I just wanted to dispel the rumor(s) that I suck at bicycle racing.


So, I have some proof from the Portsmouth Criterium! 

That's right, I called my shot, like the great Bambino and delivered.



Also, I won $25 (AMERICAN) by sprinting and a pile of Skratch slaying it on the front. 

SO TAKE THAT.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Cyclocross: The answers

I've had my fill of everyone asking the same questions about what to buy and how to do this, that or the other.

SO, for you newbies out there these are the answers to your questions.

What clincher tires should I buy? Michelin Mud 2
What tubular tires should I buy? Challenge Grifo
What clincher wheels should I get? Mavic Open Pro
What tubular wheels should I get? Mavic Reflex
Do I need tubulars to win? No
Do I need a carbon bike to win? No
Do I need a custom bike to win? No
Should I get disc brakes? No, neutral support only has clinchers
Should I get 11 speed? No, neutral support only has 10 speed
What clothing do I need? A single longsleeve skinsuit, or a standard jersey/bibs combo
Should I do a step through dismount? Yes, when arriving at high speed
Should I bunny hop barriers? No, if you have to ask, you aren't good enough to try
What is Adam Myerson always talking about? Unclip your left foot before dismounting or you're going to get hurt
How do I pick up my bicycle? By the downtube, always
Ride up or run up? Depends
Do I need to wear gloves? Whatever works for you
Who's a sandbagger? Anybody who wins more than 2 races in a non-elite category, unless they can't upgrade because of rule restrictions
What do I do? I'm freaking out? Calm down, you are doing this for fun


Monday, July 9, 2012

New Britain Highlight Reel

I didn't do much down at the New Britain Crit yesterday, but I did come away with these two amazing highlights from Adam's live coverage of the New Britain Category 3 Senior Men's Criterium World Championships of Central Connecticut. :
Then, 1 lap later:

After that I tried to "lead out" my team, and almost killed myself when a pebble took out my back wheel. Teammate got 4th, so I suppose that is good.