Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Raced out at Palmer with Scott on Sunday. The race itself was pretty easy, no real hard parts...a bit of effort on the rollers but nothing really that hard. I tried for a few minutes to get away with some other folks at about mile 35 or so but it wasn't going to happen as we just dangled off the front for a few minutes. Everyone drifted back and awaited the inevitable super crowded field sprint - yes... the sixty mile waiting game. The super crowded field sprint was just that - super tight/crowded and I thought really annoying. I don't like racing where its like a fast group ride with a dollar/points value town line sprint at the end but whatever - the race was fun anyway. I thought I was in a good spot, and I felt real good but I really wasn't in a good spot so I really didn't try all that hard to sprint it out - just kind of pedal on at the pace of the field. This race would have been better served if somehow the last 2 miles or so would have been open road w/ no yellow line (from the railroad bridge onto the finish) but that would have been tough to pull off logistically. With that said, these races are always put on really well and its a real production to put one on so my hats off to the promoters. There were a lot of young and crazy riders in here which made for a race that was far different than Ninigret/Wells or Charge Pond.

Jiminy next week...not sure yet. Maybe & then again, maybe not. Wells Sun.- probably as I can't do the Blue Hills Classic b/c they don't have my category or age group. Sterling next weekend. I like Sterling because you cannot sit in on the sprint - you've got to sprint up that thing - a lot more equity in that sprint. I've been in this race where two guys formed a breakaway that whole race - 60 miles & without a lot of help from their teams. Now theres some bike racing which I respect.

Despite the fact that I thought the race was easy I'm pretty tired still today. Maybe I'll get some time in tomorrow. Oh well...same old story here - this year is going to be called the "year of recovery". Today I also got formally admitted to my graduate program which is a very good thing for me at least - one less headache.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Thousand & One East Side Rides

Once again I rode around the E. Side yesterday. The past year I've found it real hard to motivate and do out of the city solo rides after work. Don't get me wrong, I still do them but not nearly as much as I have in the past, something I'm quite fine actually. Today I did quality full bore race finish efforts up Mount Hope - a combo of Doyle/Cypress with one Jenckes put in there. I've got a nice loop with Cypress that goes Cypress to the top and then down to Camp, down to Locust and then either down Duncan or Jenkins back to Cypress. Its extra hard for me to do this because you spend a lot of time climbing and not really enough time resting. I was pretty beat after an hour and a quarter. I did these rides with my stuff from work on me so hopefully the extra weight gets factored into my fitness quotient.

I think I need to eat more thru the day. Last night I ate almost an entire pepperoni pizza from Minerva's (I didn't get the last two pieces) and some of Leah's buffalo chicken wrap. This is not normal. Same thing tonight - huge amount of food for dinner. I hate thinking about this stuff

Tomorrow its a moderate length ride with TT/Breakaway efforts split up. Today is recovery and my calasthenics routine. Psyched for Palmer this weekend. I like this race - then after that its some base building time unless I'm going out to Jiminy - which I might do actually. http://www.tuckerman.org/photos/photos.htm
The warm weather got me thinking of skiing actually - late season skiing is the best by far. I might hit up the Tuckerman Ravine next weekend to break things up. I've skied Tucks a number of times in the past and had a blast every time. I'm sure its gonna be real chewed up and bumpy. While its anti-climatic to drive three hours & hike two hours for a thirty second ski run it is worth it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rick Newhouse

Today saw the Millworks One Team take on the Rick Newhouse Ninigret crit. Surprisingly, it was warm and sunny at the venue - which resulted in yours truly getting the years first sunburn, summer is coming. Perhaps the cycling weather gods have a sick revenge planned for us? I think so. There has to be a day in the mid 40s of pouring rain coming up. Palmer? Sterling? Which race will it be?

I did the Cat 3 race which started fast and then eased off and stayed 'eased off'. Small field, not too much wind, with some minor accordion effects in the field. No break today - I think by the conclusion of the first ten laps the majority of the field decided that a break wasn't going off so the race kinda mellowed out. Scott was in there with me and got a strong 5th place in the field sprint, I was three places behind to get 8th. I was a bit sketched in the sprint as some guys were doing the side to side thing and taking spots that weren't there in the 'wind up'. Mike and Joe were racing and looking good in the next race, along with Sheldon, Murat and Adam so I think we had a good showing at the races today.

The next race was hard. My legs were a bit tight to start and it started fast - I had two hours to kill before this race started at 1:15 and the other race ended at 11:00. It stayed fast and only got harder as I expected. I was in the third group of six and we were doing about 25/26 mph which wasn't quite fast enough to grab the second group - of six; which got away from us and stayed up about thirty seconds or so most of the race although it was pulling away at the end. The two leaders put about a minute or so on the second group so they must have been going 28mph or so - which would have been super fast for me. I might go out to Myles Standish or to Wells but I might not either. Depends on how I feel. Total today was about 2:10 of race time which is longer than anything I've done so far. My legs are pretty roasted right now which is a good thing for a Saturday in April. I do wonder how the suffer-fest of Battenkill was?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Almost done

Today I went out and did 8 full efforts...5 full on half mile wind ups on the Blvd., 2 Freeman Parkways and one Grandview. I blew up on the Grandview hill so I decided that I worked hard enough. I'm convinced this workout does something but I feel pretty good when I'm off the bike - on the bike after the last one I was unable to get what felt like a full effort so I think it was a good workout.

Yesterday I did about a two hour mountain ride in the Gilbert Hills SF in Foxboro. Most of it was a lot of fun, although part of it was hard for me as I'm kinda a shitty mountain biker. I got real pissed off after having to one foot, get off the bike, get on the bike, turn around and find the trail etc...I decided to go basically as hard as I could (because I was irate at this point) which was much more effective than getting on/off the bike every few meters. Since I like being irate as much as possible I plan on doing at least one mountain ride per week because its fun and great training and I think its going to help some of the burnout I know is going to hit sometime this year on the road.

My term paper is almost done. I cannot wait to finish it as I'm really sick of writing it. I've been procrastinating subconsciously for a while now - sitting down at the computer and then being compelled to do the dishes, vacuum, take out the dog, cut fingernails, sweep the outside stairs, wash the car, writing an overly long blog entry...pretty much anything besides writing the paper. I'm on the paper now - right after I take out the dog and flip through the channels just one more time.

Boston plays Montreal in Montreal tonight. They are down 3-1 and things don't look good but I'm going to watch it anyway for a while because I like hockey and really don't have any other plans tonight apart from writing the end of this paper with the TV on behind me in the hope that something worthy will be on to distract me. If the game sucks I can always watch people get arrested on Cops, 'Jail' on MSNBC (The Jail Channel from now on), drug addicts and their families on intervention, guys beat the shit out of each other on Spike, then maybe for a nightcap I could then watch over-privileged yuppie couples pretend they are Donald Trump when they 'renovate' a home on HGTV. What the F do these people do anyway? I hate HGTV. On second thought I'm shutting the TV off and working in silence. Folks wonder why America, especially its youth, has so many problems, part of the answer is just a click away.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Grocery Shopping

A tad sore from yesterday but I feel better than I did on Monday few weeks ago when I did two races in a weekend. Hopefully I'm getting somewhere with my fitness. Bike's in the shop - broken spoke on the rear wheel and I didn't feel like riding today anyway - its not like I had to ride anyway. Those Mavic wheels are tough as hell. I think I'll go out tomorrow, Weds. and Thurs. - maybe put some distance in at least one of the days. I might break out the cross bike or the MTB and hit some trails this week too just to break things up.

Today's non-cycling and very boring/mundane private victory (is it a private victory or a public one if I write about it here?) involved actually going to Stop and Shop and buying enough groceries to last more than one meal.
FYI: Do not go there when hungry.

On the other hand my dog is destroying this stuffed chipmunk right now. I think it satisfies his lifelong quest to catch a squirrel. At least half of his legacy was sealed when he completed the first half of his mission - catching the skunk a few years ago. Another FYI: Do not let your dog catch a skunk. You will pay dearly. Trust me.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chris Hinds (Ninigret #1)

First 'real' Ninigret today . The weather was interesting: thunder and downpour in Prov., foggy and damp at the venue followed by sunny breaks, followed by thunder and of course, rain. So a little of everything. Race was very hard - I'm really beat right now. I don't know the average for the race but it felt like it was a bit over 25. I think it ended up being about 37 miles in about 1:25 or so (both are estimates as I glanced at my computer while I was wretching at the end of the race like usual). Another field finish which was really my goal for this race - well honestly my goal was to get into at least some form of a break but I need a lot of work before thats going to happen. I was unable to eat before 4:30PM so thats only four hours or so of abdominal pain - which means I must have gone as hard as I possibly could. I just ate Palak Paneer with rice and one order of garlic naan from Not Just Snacks - one of my favorite spots for takeout. A break did get off and put some serious time on us - about a minute and half. It went before the halfway mark and included about 10 or so riders, all of whom were strong. I cannot believe how hard some guys were going in order to bridge up to it. Turtle Pond tomorrow but I'm probably not going up there. Just too far for a race I'm not sure I'm fit for, nevermind a 9AM start which means a 5:30AM time to be *in the car and moving* (actually thats not that bad) hmm? In lieu of Turtle Pond its Wells tomorrow...I might go over to the Tufts crit (Davis Sq) to the bike swap there just to check it out after the race. Hopefully the weather cooperates.

As far as the next races go I'm in for Rick Newhouse, in for Palmer, maybe for Myles Standish, not for Sturbridge, maybe for Jiminy, in for Sterling.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wells Ave.

Wells Ave. on Sunday was cold. It was much colder there than Providence - icy, windy and little wet. I was freezing my ass off before this race began - during warm ups and especially during the eternity that we were on the start line. Scott, Mike, and Joe were there representing Millworks One - everyone was out there riding strong and making a solid showing. Thanks Joe for the glasses. The field was large and there was a lot of talent there - nobody let anything go today so the race ended in a bunch sprint. Today I'm a bit tired and I have a little ache in my throat so I'm going easy today. I was going to do a longer type ride (which lately during the week is about 1.5h, which I know sucks but hey thats life isn't it) with hill intervals (I planned Wilbur Rd/Harris Rd. 4X + until failure) but I don't think I can put a truly full effort into them nor do I think this would be a wise thing to do. While I do know intellectually colds are caused by viruses (and not by freezing your ass off) there is something about getting physically chilled and getting sick. I do not care nor care to care if it can be scientifically proven that this does not happen. Training a lot definitely makes me more prone to be sick - this I know for a fact from experience. This week I need to get in one day of hard sprint training - preferably hill repeats, I think this will get me ready for the race. I'd also like to get in one day of moderate/tempo riding at a longer distance.

I'm going to put in a 'shock week' next week so I'm not going to bother myself about going nuts over distance this week - I'll worry about that next week where I do all long, long rides. The way I look at is like this, the first long road race is Turtle Pond (which I'm probably not doing) and then its Palmer - which is only 60 miles or so and thus not all that long. Then its Sterling on the 10th of May, again not all that long and none of the races I'm doing are back to back until the middle/end of May. I do need to get my ass in gear though if I'm going to Fitchburg...I'll make the Fitchburg decision based on how I feel in mid May. I'm also using faulty logic here to justify my poor training habits over the past month! So, anyone around next week?

Predictions: 1. Memphis is going to take Kansas apart tonight. projected score...Memphis - 82: Kansas -69. 2. It will rain, as currently forecast on Saturday. I'm already getting raingear ready.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I was a lazy ass today

and did not ride my bike.
I did however buy groceries for myself and look for a laptop computer which I need desperately now. Why would one need a laptop computer so bad one may ask? Lets say the person in question teaches three classes of current events and two classes of debate. Now, hypothetically these classes would have textbooks and other random yet seemingly nonessential materials available, like chalkboards and computers. Since these classes have none of the aforementioned the instructor purchased 25 copies of the local newspaper to be delivered to the school daily. This instructor paid for about half the subscription and the educational institution in question was responsible for the other half. Of course, the education institution has other things to spend its money on - consultants, nationwide searches, banquets and conferences which are much more important than grassroots education. So they just didn't pay the paper, which the paper then promptly canceled their subscription. So yesterday this instructor in question walked around in the rain trying to find his papers - not to be found. Now there are 115 students and one teacher who have no materials to read (hell, who reads anymore anyway), and who teach or study in the basement (yep, the basement). The instructor is going to end up paying for these f@#$ng papers, just watch...he just has to get used to the idea of parting with that much money due to the beaurocracy. What makes this worse is that I knew this was going to happen yet I had some hope that it would not. Since I knew it was going to happen at some point I should not be surprised, yet this is when I get most pissed off - when a paradigm I've held becomes true. Yeah, the laptop, I think I could make this class work with the laptop and maybe a projector. I can get a projector I think and maybe even a laptop. Well, the next few days we will be watching "Spying on the Home Front" and then "Bush's War." We will write a paper on Bush's war. I suggest watching this actually.

I have an even better idea. Lets layoff 600 people which the understanding that most of them will be called back at the beginning of the school year. OK fine. Makes sense to me. In order to save money and comply with archaic rules we will do this. In addition to doing this we will pay them unemployment until the vast majority of them are called back one day prior to the start of school. Yes, this makes a lot of sense to me as a cash savings plan. Lets just let a few go though so everyone can worry about their jobs. Furthermore, we all like surprises so you can find out not only what courses you will be teaching but often what school you will work at one day before school (this is a good thing because as a group teachers don't really like to plan things). This is also great for morale. Not to mention that we all have Masters degrees and in the case of the younger staff are subject to stiff regulation by the state. Now lets characterize this group in the press as a bunch of overpaid losers who cannot do anything else. Then lets continue to 'hate on them' when test scores are published and low and behold as if by magic - Rhode Island lags behind the other states in the region...of course because the 'schools' are failing. Never mind the fact that about 7 out of 10 students does not speak English (in the city at least) at home or about 4 out of 10 come from dire poverty. Also never mind the fact that 40% of the students in the state come from the inner city which have traditionally done poorly on every measure of educational progress. Lets compare RI to other states with equally similar demographics - lets see New Hampshire and Vermont (which are the states RI is compared to on an important test). Yep, this makes a whole lot of sense comparing the second most urbanized state in the US (RI, NJ is first) to rural northeastern states which have more in common with rural NY and Pennsylvania. Since I lived in Vermont for seven years I can personally attest that Vermont and Rhode Island schools share little in common in terms of demographics including measure of diversity, school culture and indeed community support. Of course its the fault of the children and of course the teachers that students don't speak English well or they are from poverty.

Well, I don't know where that all came from but I've got to go now!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

East Side Ride

Did one hour with 7 full on sprint efforts...all around the East Side. I'm not sure about the value of this workout but in the past when I've trained for sprints it seemed that I was maxed at sprint effort number 6 and today I felt good through effort 7. Today was my first (ok, maybe second) extended ride wearing light gloves, NO winter hat and only a sweatshirt. Spring must be coming and it felt great to ride in temperatures above 50F.

Charge Pond on Saturday was fun again. Another cold, hard race with really fast guys there. They ran the race in opposite direction - which I think was a much faster course. The terrain is a bit lumpy there so it makes things a little bit interesting.

I just checked my messages and I got messages from "Chris St. James" (Broadcom) and now "Chris Young" (Some other scam company). They are actual recordings...and they both say that it is "Imperative" that I call them (Umm, yeah...I'll get right on that).
Everyday there is a new message on my phone, wasting my antiquated mini-magnetic tape on my answering machine. How is it that an organization whose sole purpose is to flat out steal from you be allowed to legally exist?

I have now painted one seat stay on my orange "Cervelo" white. I'm considering painting the chain - pink. I want this to be the ugliest commuter bike in town. I need to get some more stickers also- I am going to work on this this week. I would like to get some WWF (not this WWE shit, the real stuff: WWF), an Obama sticker, a Narragansett Beer sticker, 'something' NASCAR and at least 3 Mr. Yuck stickers. I would love to see a bike all done out in Mr. Yuck stickers.