Thursday, April 29, 2010

Come over here big boy....

Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to the Mayor...
Happy Birthday to you.....And many more..

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Closet single speeder?

After not riding a Singlespeed since last years SSAP, Josh Wilcox (503 cycleworks) laid major smack down on many New England bigs.
Whats up with that?
Conventional wisdom would tell you that even a gearie as talented as Josh when thrown into the biggest Singlespeed race on the east coast should not do as well as Third. Not against the Mighty SBC. Surely not against Foco or Stine. Not to mention Dejay Birtch. But he beat them all.....Hmmmm
I tried to get info about this phenomenon after Singlespeed-a-palooza but Josh just smiled. Has James rubbed off on Josh like some kind of osmosis or something?
Na, I'll tell you what I think....Josh is a closet Singlespeeder, riding his single all winter and probably as much as possible in the spring, Josh has developed into a Singlespeed threat. Coupled with James a possible double threat...probably not a good thing for me since I race these guys often. Put this guy on a 29er and we may all be in trouble. Will Josh be racing a single in the future? Any thoughts?

Monday, April 26, 2010

What happens at Singlespeed-a-Palooza

Typical East Coast weather was in store for this years race, Sorry Dejay.
Call ups are cool. Not having to sit at the start line for 20 minutes in the rain allows us to maintain a sunny disposition. Just a little tip, Leave the trainer at home and invest in some rain gear to warm up in. It will keep you nice and dry while warming up on the greasy trails.
Nice pic, I think this was first lap. James was just off to my right (taking the wrong line), I kept my mouth shut. Do you blame me?

This was the flavor of the day. No it's not my bike, my bike was completely clean due to my excessive use of lemon pledge the night before.

Suck in that gut for the cameras. This pic makes me look like a real cyclist (big ass). Don't ya think?

1st place on the day and lots of fun had by all. What more can you ask for? I'm actually having a hard time finding the words to go along with this story (the mud must have seeped into my brain) so all I'm gonna say is "What happens at SSAP stays at SSAP." If you want to know what its all about, cobble a bike together and sign up next year. You won't be disappointed.

Note: Photo credit George, Talented guy..check it out....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Series leader

Looks like after 2 races in the root66 series I'm now the series leader. I was in this position last year after Winsted woods and decided not to contest. I will not be contesting this year either. That series is brutal. With the points going 10 deep and only 5 points separating most positions it's the hardest series to win. No dropped races in this series means you'll be full bore into the fall, traveling all over New England. Often the men or women who go for it (after winning) never make it back the following year. Not cool.....

Winding trails is a drag race. Start is fifty yards on hard pack then right into a sand pit. I got pushed off the good line and ended up on the right. Good thing since on the left there was a crash tangling up at least a few riders allowing me to get to about 15th place, a good spot on this fast and largely untechnical course. Working my way through the field on the first lap I can see Sean Cavanaugh and Johan Koserius (both of Bethel Cycle) ahead. I bridge to them and hardly pausing set my eyes on John Foley (GF29er crew). Foley is a very consistent rider and normally he is a great wheel to follow but on this course the dual suspension seems to be hurting him. Looking past Foley I can see Harmon in the lead group about fifty yards ahead and slowly work my way up to him. He's drilling it and not backing off much so it takes me the better part of the whole lap to close the fifty yards. I caught James when he took the smoother but longer line going into the second lap. Sitting on James wheel I was feeling good and started to think of bridging up to 3rd place Kevin Hines (Favata and Matt O'Keefe had checked out never to be seen again) so going into a small piece of singletrack I took the lead. Chasing Kevin Hines for about a lap. Bridging slowly but surely I catch him and in about a half of lap he's dispatched off the back. Going into the 5th lap I start to feel my cadence on my trusty 35x16 is starting to slow on the power climbs. James is coming hard and with less than 3 miles to go I just put my head down and grunt it out, Finishing 3rd place.

Anyone who says Winding trails is a easy race has no idea what they are talking about, My average heart rate was 2 beats below threshold (bleeding through my eyes)and I could have gone no harder. Someone once said "If the course is so easy, Let me see you win." True that, message board man..

With Jane winning the women's race and most notably Jim winning the expert SS in a sprint it was good day all around. Chris also won his class at Tour De Tykes. Congrats to my friends and training partners. It's shaping up to be a good year.

Jim, Top step of the podium..Sweetness

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ike's (Winding Trails) statement

Enjoying a good swim at Blue Mtn.

Translated to English....

Hi, many of you know me from the venues of years past. I've been coming to races for as long as my parents have allowed me to. I have never been a problem. Getting along with everyone has been my thing. Recently I discovered that if I show up at Winding Trails I will be asked to leave. WTF? You can't choose who your parents are. Is this racist or just a feeble attempt by the man to keep me down (literary). I've been to this venue before without problems, begrudgingly putting up with the uncivilized mutts that reside there. My mom always cleans up after me and quite frankly I'm a lot cleaner than most of the heathens that call the woods at winding trails their home.
I begged Mike to go to Tour De Tykes this weekend but my whines fell on deaf ears. He keeps talking about James and how he needs to redeem himself, or something. I guess they had a battle last week and feels he needs to face off with him again. Sometimes I don't understand this whole racing thing but apparently I will be staying home this weekend, holding down the couch and keeping the bears at bay.
Anyway I guess I'll see you guys soon....Ike

Monday, April 12, 2010

Le Tour De Monte recap (Fair Hill)

M.A.S.S. Bikeline at Fair Hill...(results)
Woke up Sunday feeling rather chipper, Must have been the extended cooldown I did after Hop Brook the day before. Loaded the car (Jocelyn and Ike in tow), picked up Chris at Home Depot and we are on our way. The M.A.S.S. series is so popular that while I was talking to Chris in the rest stop bathroom the guy in the stall next to us started to tell us about how he races expert SS and he's going to Fair Hill also. Not wanting to make acquaintances in the men's room at a rest stop I politely sneaked away, leaving Chris and his new friend. Shortly after, while washing my hands Chris tells me "I think that guy just peed on my leg". Oh My! Well that must have been the good luck charm he needed, Chris went on to win his class. Congrats. Add a stolen (sport class) 1st place medal and a bonty 29.3 tire to your pee stained sock and it equals a win. Who would have known? What an equation.
For me there was no urine soaked sock to propel me past the super fast Aaron Snyder (Scott bikes). Just a pretty good day on the bike. From the warm up I felt like I was firing on all cylinders. Heart rate in check I pushed myself to the front row. Front row at a M.A.S.S. race. Big balls? Of course the second the gun went off I was dropped to the back (couldn't get clipped in again) Shimano pedals suck! I want my ATAC's back. Working my way through the field on the opening lap I must have passed about 30 riders. On your left! On your right! The passing is so aggressive in a field this big with nobody wanting to relinquish even one spot. Super fast and tons of flow at this course put me in the groove and going into the final lap I could see Andrew Alesio and Christopher Beck (GF29er crew) ahead of me and I set my sights on them. Beck seemed pissed to be getting passed by a singlespeeder, Yelling at Andrew telling him to "go faster, a singlespeeder is about to pass you". By mid lap I had gotten rid of them and concentrated on my kick to the finish.
5th place and after a lengthy wait for awards, a c-note for my troubles.

I won't write much about the traffic on the turnpike or solar panels. I'll leave that to Jocelyn.

Hop Brook Dam....(The day before)
Feeling way too relaxed at the start is never good. I knew when James Harmon (503 cycleworks) cracked a smile as I told him I haven't raced since SSUSA it was gonna be a long day. The gun goes off and like usual I can't get clipped in. Front row to nearly dead last at the drop of a hat. Fortunately Seamus Powell lead the first twenty riders in through the out door (going up the wrong trail in the first piece of singletrack). That allowed me to reestablish my place in the pack (6th at the time). Seamus would later motor by us like a man on a mission to capture the win. He has changed his coach and made improvement over the winter and man it shows. Nice Job Seamus.
This race for me was about keeping James in sight. He's on a single speed also and my whole purpose in the pro race is always to win against the other singles first then work on picking gearies off. It's been working for me for a while so why change. Only this time James was working me over, apparently the preparation for his race in Cali coupled with my lack of racing has closed the gap between us. Digging very deep to keep him in sight I made my move on the last lap managing to put about 30 seconds into him on a very steep part of the course. Riding like a maniac to keep this gap (barely keeping from crashing) I nearly managed to bridge to John Foley (GF29er crew) but I ran out of real estate before I could make a move. 4th place and in the cash not too shabby for the first real race of the season.
It was way too hard of an effort, considering I was also registered at Fair Hill the day after. Or would it be?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Le Tour de Monte

It's like my own mini tour De France (only I'm the only one going for the G.C.)

Yesterday the thought crept into my head. Why not do them both? So sometime on Tuesday I hatched a plot to do just that.
On Saturday morning I'll be hitching a ride with Gerry up to Connecticut (Hop Brook Dam) Banging bars with Stine, Harmon and Parsons only to come home, wake up on Sunday morning to drive to Maryland (Fair Hill) with Jocelyn and Chris. What a weekend. How will it go? Okay, I think...I can't be sure but I think I have decent fitness this year.
When I told Jocelyn about my plan she immediately replied "I'm not going" but I didn't expect you to I told her. I understand that even one cross country race in a weekend is sometimes too much (especially in April) but understand I'm hungry and I don't want to miss a thing at this point. Of course I may not feel this way come August. I'll probably be fried by then. Who cares, It's all about the now... Right now at least.
Experience tells me that I need to conserve somewhat on Saturday to have enough left over for Sunday. You only have so many matches to burn and unless the race develops into a legitimate shot at winning at Hop Brook for me, I will be burning as few as possible.

Fair Hill is awesome and there will be top level competition but Hop Brook brings out the best in New England. Neither one are key races for me, so with a eye on Mohican I'll do both....Should be fun.

Monday, April 5, 2010


This speech is my recital, I think it's very vital
To rock (a climb), that's right (on time)
It's Tricky is the title, here we go...

It's Tricky to rock a climb, to rock a climb that's right on time
It's's Tricky (Tricky) Tricky (Tricky)
It's Tricky to rock a climb, to rock a climb that's right on time
It's Tricky...Tr-tr-tr-tricky (Tricky) Trrrrrrrrrrricky

In New York the people talk and try to make us climb
They really (hawk) but we just (walk) because we have no time
And in the city it's a pity cos we just can't hide
Tinted windows don't mean nothin', they know who's inside

Stewart is flat, Right?