Monday, May 24, 2010

Change of plans

flip Flop
flip flops
Friday eleven P.M....Winsted is out, Tymor in.....

Jocelyn is used to it by now....The flip flop I'll call it. Why you ask? With the Weeping Willow in Massachusetts and Tymor in New York it was looking like Winsted was gonna be the sacrificial lamb (all three on the same day) and not pull a good field. So the decision was made and off to New York we go.
I haven't raced here since my first year as a semi pro. Then I was happy to beat anybody, now my expectations are higher.
This course has two heads, first is basically a fun section of single track around the lake (twisty and flowing). Going way hard not thinking of what's ahead I get blocked and miss my opportunity to make the front group almost immediately. Only thinking of picking off the stragglers now, we get to the infamous climb, (head #2). At 175 bpm I can't go much harder but if you don't want to walk you will, so I do. I saw 183 at one point but refused to look after that. A sketchy off camber desent offers the only "recovery" on this course. Four laps go by like a blur and I finish fifth.
I must be getting better since those first semi pro races because I didn't walk nearly as much as I did back then and dare I say, "I actually found the course to be quite enjoyable". On the fitness front I know where I need to improve and plans are being made already to do so. A course like this will expose you for what you are or are not. Could I had gotten the same eye opening experience at Winsted? Maybe, but at Tymor I was guaranteed to be exposed for what I am right now.... pack fill....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

UCI international license...$150 please

Because I don't have one of these..
I won't be going here..
So instead I'll be here....

See you there....

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Ramapo Mountains

Long technical rides, lugging stones off the hill and splitting wood. That's how my weekend was spent. No race at French Creek for me. I just spent some time getting reacquainted with the Ramapo mountains and doing some neglected strength (yard) work. Five and a half hours in the saddle on Saturday, followed by dead lifting logs into the back of two trucks then a hour of weed whacking left me throbbing on Saturday night. If that wasn't enough I also did a five banger on Thursday and on Friday constructed a rock wall to line my driveway. Cross Training....I LOVE IT..
Sunday I went to Stewart for a short three hour tempo ride...It felt like a cake walk. This week is done and a season high of twenty three hours were hit. Shouldn't tell you that, Right? It doesn't matter, nobody reads these blogs anyway.
On the way to work this morning I saw a huge black bear. He must have been 500 lbs. As he was sitting in my neighbors driveway (waiting to get back into the garbage can he was eating from) I wondered how many times will your garbage get tossed before you wait till morning to bring it out?
This coming weekend is the Rob Stine north south ride in Rhode Island. I'm quite sure Rob isn't bringing us up north just to ride some rail trails. Should be fun...
Ike, enjoying the new rock wall...

Ike, Not liking the truck in the yard...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fork you...

Change can be good... but not in this case.
After riding with T.J. and Roger on Thursday at Wawayanda I decided to run a 35x20 to "kill it" in the singletrack. Roger was riding easier gears and seemed faster today. Riding the singletrack like a superstar was great but spinning like I had no chain on the fire roads while everyone dusted my ass was not fun and left me exhausted. Ultimately I ended up dismounting the same sections I would have run anyway. Lesson learned!

Suspension forks are heavy, climb like shit, track even shittier and late in the race make me even more tired. I know I'm gonna hear some flack over this one but the 3 seconds you gain on the downhills are lost immediately on the climbs (and much more). I like to go up hill fast and the sussy fork doesn't. Not to mention my fastest lap on Sunday was ridden (unintentionally) locked out. Wanna go fast uphill? leave the squish at home. Lesson learned!

I have a riding style and when I take others advise on gearing, lines, strategy, etc. it hardly ever works. It seems like I need to relearn this every year. From riding alone Ive taught myself to ride efficient and fast. Maybe not as fast as you on a given section but an overall fast that equals a good race performance. Good race performance was no where to be found this week at Wawayanda. Sure it was hot but that's not what the only problem was. I listened to too many others. So don't be offended from now on if I don't listen, cause your wrong....For me that is.

Feeling like a overheated Chevy Nova on a hot summers day
I must admit I have a weakness. Finishing races in the blazing sun has always been hard for me. It saps the energy from my legs reducing me to a pile of no powered poop. Normally on these occasions I would do a lap, drop out and live another day. Not today. Why you ask? Because I D.N.F. too many races only to realize I would have done well if I had just stuck in there. I promised myself I wouldn't drop out of races this year just because I'm hurting, Stupid promises. I can't say I wasn't aiming recklessly into rock gardens to try and puncture my front tire but no such luck. So I finished, and I'm happy...I think.
I'm looking forward to the next few weekends to just go out and ride my bike. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the temps will stay mild. See you out there...