Sunday, March 28, 2010

More Centuries and some good mountain bike rides

Rode my third Brattloboro loop in 8 days this past week. Last year I think I only rode 100 miles once of twice, so three times in one week is a drastic increase. This past century was particularly hard, with a killer head wind combined with killer pulls from everyone made for some really tough riding. Normally drafting reduces your effort when you are behind people, but the way the wind was coming there was almost no relief, so you were either pulling directly in the wind or doing an equivalent effort! It was really hard, but that seemed to be the general consensus amongst everyone else as well, so that is always a good sign. Either way, the back was easier with the tailwind and a reduced overall pace, and I felt pretty good when I got home. I then went to upload the exercise file to my computer..... but it was not there!!! This was a heartbreaker because the first half of the ride was so hard, and my power numbers would have been great, it was pretty disappointing. But, what are you going to do?

For the weekend I was originally going to go down to Princeton, NJ to race collegiate road bikes, but I decided to stay back to get work done instead. On the bright side this opened the door for some MTB rides. Sean and I hit the woods both Saturday and Sunday, and although the temperature was a little cold, we were running some pretty hot laps :). Check out some pics from the end of our ride on Saturday:

On Sunday we went to ride the technical trails, and as Sean put it we did out first ride of the year. What he meant was that he got a flat tire! And after using all of our supplies, my rear tire than started losing air, perhaps Sean was right, maybe the season does not really start till you get a flat in the woods.

After a pretty good meal on Sunday, when it got to be later in the evening I was still hungry, and for the first time I can remember I wanted chocolate. I am not sure about your beliefs in evolution or creationism, but I made something that could be applied to both theories, my creation is seen below:

What you are looking at is toast with peanut butter, banana, and Saunders hot fudge (Grandpa be proud), I call it the Peanut Butter Delicious. From an evolutionary standpoint it started as peanut butter and toast, then evolved with banana pieces, and for its ultimate adaption it covered itself with chocolate. From a creationary view I am pretty sure the Lord would have made this thing on the 7th day for a snack after all his hard work the previous week. Either view point, I believe we can all agree that this thing is suited very well for consumption as a late night snack!

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Sponsors and Riding and Racing This Past Week

I am glad to announce three new sponsors for the 2010 Season:

Competitive Edge- Glad to say that the best bike shop in New England will be helping me rip it up. From bikes to skis, its the the place to go!
PowerBar- Everything in the realm of nutrition will be provided by PowerBar, from gels to bars and recovery drinks, they make the best products on the market!

Defeet- My favorite socks and knee warmers will now be a sponsor, all right for aireators and wool!
Links to their websites can always be found on the side of the blog, check it out! I am really looking forward to their support in the coming year.

This past week has been a fantastic week for riding, with great weather and good legs I really enjoyed the riding. After racing last weekend in New York in the rain and cold temperatures it was a relief when the sun came out and temperatures warmed up. To celebrate I just rode and rode, in fact I rode over 300 miles on the road, which is the most to date. This was helped out by actually riding two centuries (100 miles rides) one on Wednesday and another on Sunday. Both rides were a lot of fun, with Wednesday being a bit more difficult, and Sunday I was riding with the Wheelhouse Racing team, which allowed lots of drafting in the pack and lots of good socializing. The ride actually took us up to Brattloboro, VT and with a cool new cycling computer that has a GPS, I can show you the map!(those numbers are the miles)

I also went to a road race on Saturday in New York state. It was a race that took us around a 6 mile loop seven times, and on the last lap we were to turn off the race loop and then finish on a straight road. I raced really well throughout the race and was feeling great, and with one lap to go I was ready to go for it! I had stayed out of the wind for most of the race, so I was feeling pretty fresh, and with about 0.5 miles to go I started to get into position to make the left turn into the finishing straight and put myself in a good position for what would end up being a sprint. I got towards the front of the pack and was sitting about 5th position on the right side of the road getting ready to dive into the left hand turn with full speed, and then right when I was about to start making my turn, no body else was..... The racers ahead of me and to my left just kept going straight, putting an uncrossable barrier between me and the finish line. As I was looking back I saw a group of riders get into a crash, and at then finally some riders made the turn, so in the end someone who was in about 30th place most likely won the race. Well, this is how it goes some days, but I got a great workout in and made it home in one piece.

Overall a great week on the bike, lots of good miles and a good race under my belt, I will leave you with this popular road sign, which apparently also applies to road bike racing.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Racing in the Windy City (not Chicago though)

This past weekend the UMASS bike racing club made our way down to New York City for some collegiate road bike racing. Myself and ten others made our way down on Friday evening, and everything was going so well, until it started raining, which is what we had expected, but had feared. We got to our shady motel around 8:00 PM, after which we unloaded our bikes in the rain and then settled in for some food we made in the hotel room, which consisted or rice, beans, and tortillas, pretty good.

We woke up Saturday morning to pouring rain and gusty winds, and this was only the beginning. We made our way to the city and when we arrived the rain was coming down in buckets, and the worst part was the wind. The wind was just pushing its way around, if you didn't have a sure footing you were going to be a kite without a string, you were never coming back. Long story short, our team had a pretty good showing despite the weather. Myself on the other hand, I didn't do as well as I would have liked, but at least I didn't get blown away by the wind or drown in the rain. Now the good news, the race was at a really cool venue, Grants Tomb in Riverside Park, a memorial to General Grant. It was neat to race in a large city like this, this is what Grants Tomb looks like:

On Sunday we raced outside of the city in FDR Park. This race went better for me, however I didn't finish well, I felt good throughout the race and got some good training in , which is my ultimate goal for this road racing.

Overall it was a fun weekend, however it seemed like the 11 of us were always packed like wet sardines. We had 11 people in one van, then during the races the vans had 11 peoples wet clothes and people, and this made for a very tight wet squeeze. Also, the power at out motel went out, so 11 people were hanging out in a tiny hotel room with 2 double beds, however were not wet, but we had wet clothes drying everywhere. It is nice to be dry now.

As I look out the window now I do not see rain clouds or gusting winds, so lets hope the weather can stay like this for a little while, so next time we race we can actually catch some rays.