Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just What I Needed

Arcadia today was sweet. Motivation has returned. Actually I did only a little bit in Arcadia - I did what amounted to a long road ride on my cross bike. I got lost. It was great. I had a great time. Once I found my bearings I made my way back to my car, got some more water and then went into Arcadia itself. I practiced mount and dismounts. I made some serious progress into eliminating the dreaded stutter step when remounting - I did about 3 miles of this. Getting on the bike, off the bike, on the bike, off the bike. I felt awesome when I hit the remount right, it felt "right" and so smooth. I've still got a lot of work to do though. It was a great ride...I decided to call it a day when I started getting tired and thus banged my stuff hard on the remount. Yep, cross....banging stuff around, landing on the rear wheel, getting dirty. Its gonna be fun this year.

Well, Thats All For Now

Its that time. Every time I've looked at the road bike the past couple of months I've uttered a subconscious sigh to myself. Apart from brief and intense motivational moments attributed to racing, the desire to do the requisite training is not there. I do admire those who can train all year, race for results & balance multiple priorities successfully. So the road bike is hung up...its coming out though for a couple more midweek Ninigrets, Bob Beals, Topsfield, and one of those late CT races. Only one bike gets the coveted spot in the living room. My yellow GT cross bike is there now - where it will stay until the end of January. I think its a wise decision to just finally admit that road is pretty well over this year for me instead of mentally beating myself up all the time about not wanting to ride, not riding and subsequently not performing to where I think I can perform. So fall is for fun and thats exactly what is going to happen. Today I'm taking the GT down to the Arcadia area - the place where I first started riding actually - I still have my old Univega MTB I got when I was 15 - it still fits too! I grew up down there and I used to ride in there all the time so whenever I go there its like a homecoming for me.

Good luck today if you are up at Green Mountain. Shit, the 1/2 guys finished about :20 mintues ahead of virtually every other field in the 64 mile race. If the times are right that must have been a fast, hot and hard race! I think today is the hard day up there so good luck!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Crazy Ol' Kids

In my neighborhood I've noticed some of the craziest kids doing the craziest things. Yesterday I saw a kid drop the hill onto North Main with a razor scooter. He dropped Abbott St. Abbott St. is so bumpy you have to slow down to less than 10 mph to avoid bottoming out your car. North Main is busy. Today on my way home I saw a 13 year old on a "motorcycle" and a passenger rip down Camp St. He almost dumped it because he doesn't know how to really ride a bike & manage the weight of a passenger. He swerved hard a few times to stay upright. The bike was still larger than the kid and passenger combined. He then kept right on going. The bike was one of those mini bikes but it was totally done up. Very wide front and what looked like a somewhat large engine. Damn...the thing looked cool though.

About cycling, I've been out riding more this week than past weeks, trying to build up to Bob Beals. Cross is coming too. I really have no expectations for cross except to have fun. I guess I should start doing some specific training though.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thunderstorms and Fall River

Fall River: I really like this race. I signed up for the Cat. 3 race on bikereg and then I signed up for the P-3 race on the day of. The 3 race was at a decent pace, nothing too severe at first. Yabroudy and 3 Exodus guys went off the front at 15 laps to go. I knew that this would be too long for me to stay out so I didn't go with them. About 8 laps, maybe 10 laps is my absolute limit in a break like that with those guys. They stayed away the entire time which is exactly what I feared when they went away. Besides, these guys were probably the strongest guys in the race. Not a lot of guys were willing to chase either - someone would go off the front and the field would let them and then a half lap later they would get caught. Same old story. The field spent the last 5 laps getting ready for the sprint for 5th. I felt like total shit at the end so I didn't do the P-3 event I spent $12 on. I need to be riding more, this I know. In an attempt to ride more yesterday I went out in the morning - north to Lincoln and Smithfield land. It was sunny in Providence, nice temperature, a bit windy though. I got to Wilbur Rd. and proceeded to do repeats up it. It started raining big drops. Big drops are bad. I instantly turned around and thought that I could somehow go the direction where there was blue sky and "beat" the thunderstorm. I do know this is impossible but I tried anyway - and thus failed miserably. Then it started dumping down big drops, it got windy, cold and started to thunder. No shelter anywhere and I'm not really a fan of being out in a thunderstorm like this. So I decided to cut the ride short and head on in. I basically time trialled back to town. Once I descended Woodward into Prov. guess what? It was sunny and dry.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swimming and the Olympics

Unless I've been mistaken, I thought the Olympics featured more sports besides swimming. I'm usually wrong about these things but I've got a hunch that there are a few more sports involved.

Witches Cup

Well I drove up to Salem to participate in the Witches Cup race.
Just a FAQ about the drive although I don't want this to be a blog where I continuously whine about traffic!
Q. How long does it take to drive to Salem from Providence?
A. Under normal circumstances it takes about an hour and a half and is about 75 miles.
Q. How long does it take to drive to Salem if you leave Providence at 3PM on a Wednesday.
A. It takes two hours and forty five minutes (2:45).
Q. Why does it take so long?
A. Because too many people attempt to get on 3 north and especially 93 north from Boston.
Q. During this trip, how long does it take to get from RT 2/128 North to the I93 Exchange - this is about a ten mile stretch.
A. This takes one hour ten minutes (1:10)

My performance is this race was lackluster to say the least. I am disappointed in myself and really aggravated in general. It took me a little bit to click in which in this field made my mid pack position at the starting line evaporate and which put me squarely at the back. From the line guys were getting gapped back there (which is why you stay out of the back of these at all costs). I mean gapped - like big gaps. Like, why did you come out to race gaps. It wasn't really all that hard at first. It felt like the end was near but I thought I could make it - I got about 20 minutes in before the last ten or so guys came off the rear together and since I was in the rear with them I came off. I think there was a crash in the corner (I heard one but didn't see it) and then a huge gap opened. No chance to chase on - believe me I tried with another guy and couldn't make it up. This thing then looked like it slowed down the field was all together. Some guys who are really strong came off also which made me feel a bit better but whatever I know I can stay with a really strong group like this.

I was super mad at the end of this event. I am currently still really pissed off and unpleasant and I really don't want to be. I should have been riding more this week. I should have gone to Wompatuck last night. I should have raced this weekend. Truth be told, I was lazy and now I am paying the price.

There was even traffic on 93 at 9PM going south. Like 15mph from Columbia Rd. to Furnace Brook Pkwy- another section of a few miles.

I will be out at Fall River doing both the Cat 3 race and the 1-2-3 race. I perhaps may go to Loudon although thats damn far from here for a crit. I am absolutely focussed on this race right now. I want to be out racing. I am a better racer than what happened tonight this much is for sure.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I've been doing a lot of walking the past few days. Today is no exception. I woke up this morning (late) and did the normal dog walking routine, eat breakfast, surf the internet and drink my usual massive amount of coffee. I then decided to take this pair of pants to the tailor b/c like every other piece of clothing I own they do not fit properly. On my way out of the driveway the car is pulling hard to the left...this can only mean one thing - flat tire. So I pumped it up with my bicycle pump (217 pumps by the way will inflate the small tires on my car to about 30psi) and took it to the service station to have it plugged. Yes, I can do this myself but its a real pain in the ass so I'd rather take it somewhere. I should have done it myself but I probably would have had the same results.
One of the lugs that holds the tire on snapped with a hand wrench. WTF? These things are supposed to be strong, stronger than the force of a single human being. Strong enough to hold a tire on a car and stop it going 80mph. If I remember right momentum = mass*velocity and a car has a hell of a lot of momentum at freeway speeds. Anyway, this created a problem because now there are two things to fix: the pin which attaches the wheel to the car, and my tire (which has to be replaced). The huge metal piece in my tire had to lodge itself near the sidewall - which means the tire is garbage now. So what I thought was going to be a 20$ or so job now is going to cost like 100$ (probably more). Yep, probably getting somewhat ripped off, but maybe not. I can't tell. They wouldn't replace the pin for free which kinda pissed me off but they took a lot off the labor.

At least I got to walk a mile and half home. So I'm not going to Nashua - I could take the train up to Lowell and ride up there but thats a major pain in the ass. Nor can I really spare the extra money right now.

There's gonna be some running race in Providence Sept. 7. I might hit that up. 5K. I've never done a running event before. I hope they have some running events later on in the year because I think I'll be more conditioned then. November/December would be good.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Well I just registered for Fall River. I want to do Salem...but I dion't want to go who's in? FYI - The current list of confirmed riders will let you know why I don't want to go solo.

Jesse Anthony Team Type 1
Peter Bradshaw NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental
Chris Coutu MetLife p/b
Tom Gosselin Fitness Together/IF powered by Lionette's
John Grenier BOB Cycling-Stonyfield Farms-Goodale's Bike Shops
Craig Harrison Sunapee/S&W/Continental Paving Racing Team
Morgan Hiller CLNoonan/KAM/Coast to Coast
Daniel Joakim Bicycle Link/MBRC
Tim Johnson Health Net Pro Cycling Team
Ryan Kelly NorEast Cycling
Robert Kramer Ridley Factory Team
Sean Langford CCB/Volkswagen
Frank McCormack T.E.A.M. Fuji
Mark McCormack T.E.A.M. Fuji
Shawn McCormack T.E.A.M. Fuji
Shawn Milne Team Type 1
Colin H. Murphy Kenda/Raleigh Cycling Team
Adam Myerson Time Pro Cycling
Mike Pavlov CCB/Volkswagen
Mike Rowell NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental
Kurt Schmid
Duane Skofield BOB/shift-stonyfieldfarms-Ariza-goodales
Ward Solar Nerac Cycling
Roy Van Cleef NEBC/Cycle Loft/Devonshire Dental
Pro/1/2/3 Entries: 24
Total Entries: 72
Not liking this ... but it should be exciting nonetheless. Fuck it - I'm going anyway.

I've been in Boston all week working regular hours (not flex hours...that would be different). Do not let anyone ever mislead you about this: The commute fucking sucks. Anyone lying to themselves in an attempt to rationalize this is lying to themselves.
Train: almost 2 hours each direction door to door (which is what counts isn't it?) & don't think you're getting a seat before Mansfield on the way home either. Cost including green line bullshit 9.75$ each way. Good thing I rode my bike to the station b/c that would cost more.
Car: can be OK but its tedious and they drive like idiots (I'm totally convinced they do this on purpose). About 1.5 hours each way. Can be shorter, can be longer. Ultimately cheaper than train. No place to park, must find parking so you can factor this into commute time.
Bike: 3h each way. Cannot be done everyday.
Since its like 9PM I've got to go to sleep because I've been the crankiest son of a bitch all week. Good night.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Long post about Wells Ave.

Today was my first day on the road bike after a week off. A swift MTB on Wed. and my normal little rides around town the rest of the week. Nothing yesterday...feeling burnt out big time so I prescribed some rest. Today at Wells I found my rhythm again. I felt better when I was warming up in the parking lot. During the race I did manage to get into the break at lap 20. This was way too long for me. I lasted in it until lap 11 - so about 18 minutes give or take. The break was slowing down and I took too much of a pull and I went off. The field almost caught them in the finish. I should have fought harder to stay on, I probably could have. I should have taken some pulls off. Kinda disappointed in myself but this was good training anyway and this taught me that I can only stay in these things for about twenty minutes or so. Believe me, the time I was in this break felt like an absolute eternity. I did get a prime which was cool and I felt like my sprint was coming along so I've got to ride the wave and race Nashua.
I'm in Boston all week so I'm going to hit Wompatuck on Tuesday...Ninigret might be a real stretch though. Probably do an evening TT in Seekonk while taking Thurs/Friday off or easy. I hope to ride up to Boston at least once and get a ride back. I figure that if I leave at 530 I'll get there about 8AM which should be plenty of time. We'll see about this one.