Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Much...

Cannondale Slice
Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
The weekend didn't have any big news or riding involved but I did confirm my passport to the Leroy TT on Thursday Night. I'm not sure what to expect from me but I'll try to go fast as possible. I haven't heard the TT Champs of the US yet but I'm calling it... Batke brings home another Ohio National Champ Medal.

I guess eventually I'd love to invest in an all-carbon Slice from Cannondale. I save and save but that still is a huge sum of money. So... Can I borrow 10k?

Friday, June 27, 2008

LT Power Testing + 25 Miles Today

We went for an early ride hoping to make it to The Fast Track's office. Dad and I didn't quite make and turned around at about fifteen miles or more. Then we headed to Bike Authority for Sean to give me my testing. Another five miles and we make it to the shop. I then proceeded to get on the trainer and warmup for about five minutes. A sub-Max 3min ramp test was in store first. I started at 100 watts. Three minutes later I up'd it to 120 watts. Then 140, 160. 180 watts seemed impossible but I managed and some to get a new LT of 185! A 23% increase since January! I didn't do that good in the Wingate test but still managed 70 watts more average than last time. We then rode home to add another 7 miles for a grand total of about 60km on the day! I'm pretty pleased with my results especially since I just twenty miles before the test.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

State TT: The AfterMATH

This is about time trialing obviously. I can't really talk much of position or equipment(not yet), heck, I'm on a cross bike but I have had some fantastic success with some of my dad's/ now my theory's. We pre-drove the course at Groveport last week and the whole time I was thinking of taking corners, avoid this bump, etc. But most of all...winding it up. The second thing my dad told me before Presque Isle(my first TT) was keep it steady and then with about two miles to go, really wind it up and see what you have left. The first was leave it all the on course BTW.

At PI, I went a tad faster with 2 to go, but didn't know of the mile markers were right. The last corner came and I could sprint at 30+mph. I used it all but didn't ramp it up enough. Avg: 20.9mph

Then at the first Lake Effect TT, I went out to hard, then kept the cadence high and ramped it up well but gave out a few meters before the line. Avg: 20.5mph

By the second TT, I knew where to go hard and how to push it on the downhills. The final straight, I went about 25mph, but didn't calculate that it was a decent descent. I sprinted up the final climb easily at 20mph and crossed the line exhausted but again I knew I didn't play it right. Avg: 20.8mph

Now at the State TT, I approximated about 20% to go on the pre-course drive-through at this huge mansion at I think 1.8 miles to go. Right here I pounded it on the course going near 25mph on the flat. I crossed the bridge and had a little sprint left enough to hit 33mph. Avg: 21.82 or more (distance not sure)

I have progressively gotten stronger and much better at the pacing drill for a TT. With more TT practice, equipment, and confidence, I went nearly 1mph faster on a slightly rolling course vs. P.I., not any elevation. This sends me positive signs all around for time trialing. I'm also a lot better at the "saving it" theory. My dad doesn't believe in that one.

As for nearing time trials, there is a Colavita TT in 3 weeks (the Sat after 4th of july weekend) that if Mr. Diffenbacher wants to drive us to we'd love to accept. Besides that series, Presque Isle fall edition is all for road TT's. I'm shooting for 22+mph at P.I.

One of my favorite races ever was the Reagan Park TT (mtbs, not road, I'll be crossing with a single ring) that is smoother than the Groveport TT but twistier than a spool of thread. I pulled out a 50m 4s time for that. I'm aiming for a 48 or so this time. I'm not sure of the distance but Twining put out a 33:46 so it's gotta be short or he's 2+minutes faster than anyone.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ohio State TT: Report

Great time in Columbus this weekend with Julie, Dad, and all TLE members. We stayed in a sweet room at Hampton Inn the previous night. Fresh legs and a carb-infested week led to my legs cooperating and really going. Got my 1rst off #, and then completed rollout. Decent warmup but didn't go hard enough.

Started 8minutes late so my warmup diminished by the 1rst corner. Went out nice and good, about 100m down was the 1rst corner. My HR read 183 by then. Nice! Kept the 18-20mph pace on the way out and by mile six I was flying with a good tailwind. 22..23...24...25...33...

Had a great finish and felt great. Ended up averaging 22MPH! Huge improvement from PI which is my next TT race. Race went quick for me and had to know the course because of no corner marshalls. No one passed me and no one finished for another 4 minutes. That would be Drew Bercaw who I got 2nd in the 13-14. I managed beat my good buddy Erick in the 10-12(I've never beaten) by 1m 20s. Next year is my year for the State TT Divison Gold. Nice job Juniors!

Ended up winning 1rst pick in the raffle which ment me taking home a new set of Aluminum Independent Racing wheels valued at $300!!! Super perfect training set that is almost 303 dish deep.

PM 1rst overall with a 49:37 over 23.7miles. Jon Card 2nd. Batke 3rd. Overall a very good day for our team.

Christina - 2nd. 25-29
Julie - 4th. Overall
Robert - 2nd. Junior 13-14
Rudy - 1st. 50-54 - Top 10
Brian - 1st. 35-39
Mike - 2nd. 30-34
Pete - 2nd. Cat.3
Derek - 2nd. 45-49
Bill - 2nd. 40-44
Tony - 4th. Cat.3
Matt - 4th. Cat.1-2 - Top 10

Congratulations everyone! I gotta run. Sorry for short post. Looking forward to another conconi/wingate test soon and then rebuild for P.I.#3, B.A. Cross, and maybe even a guest appearence at....

Check my flickr for some more photos, non- action of course.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Pleasure of Going Off 1rst

has been given to me for the State TT. Of the 97 participants, I'll go first. Forecast looks good for 8am. Opted out of Lebron ride today. Heading down around 4pm then pre-riding the JR. course.

Bib State Cat Name License Team/Club Start
800 OH JM13-14 Sroka, Robert 270997 Lake Effect 8:00:00

8am Partly Cloudy
65°F SW 8 mph

Speaking of great luck with start times, my dad starts 1 min ahead of Brian Batke, the man to beat.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Team Lake Effect TT #2: Report

A great day outside for a Time Trial i.e. low winds, a slight overcast, a perfect 60*f, and then MR. Sun came and joined about an hour before Brian Batke went off. Tony, David Thornton (sychocross competitor), and I did a quick warmup lap about an hour pre go time. I would start 12th of 25 participants with Trace Althans breathing right down my back a minute behind. The rest of my warmup went well rolling around here and there. The wind picked up a little for the race but that was ok.

My start was pretty quick as I stayed in the drops and pushed it in my 46-11 (illegal for juniors) right up to the top of the next peak and then some nice rolling descents. Those didn't last long and I hit corner one with good speed and hit a huge headwind. The first lap I could muscle my way through at about 17-19mph, then to 12-15mph on that roller but that's what hurt my second lap. The speeds dropped a good 2mph on each section on the headwind backstretch. The rollers felt good as I really pushed it on descents for the extra momentum. The final stretch is a fun part before the last turn. You feel fast and have a slight crosswind and slight downhill. Fly through the last turn and up the steep hill much slower to cross the 1 lap to go sign. The second lap was very painful on the backstretch but I seemed to be the same besides then. Pushed it on the rollers and sprinted up the last climb through the finish for a 29:18, good enough for top 20 and a shavings of :25 seconds off last weeks time.

I did a 14m43s+15m last week with this week being a 14m26s+14m52s. I'm very pleased with my time, but considering the was a rest week, I should be faster than last week. I felt very good, not great. I'll need great and some if I want to beat Drew at States. I'm not worried about that though, just speed.

So, 25secs nice. My HR avg. was about 190, again. Although I didn't see the high #, I felt it. Feeling good about states and how they aren't hilly. Tonight I averaged nearly 21mph which is fantastic. We also learned I'll need to block out my last two cogs for states. I have a gear restriction limit to a 52-14. I think we'll put a 48tooth on and have a 13cog still? Or a 40-11? Or 44-12? I probably won't need those anyway on a flatter course.

See you at State TT or King for Kids Lebron Ride!

Here are the top ten. Nice job to all TLE members. Matt was a good 30sec faster and Dad was another 7sec faster. Nice job! Cam and Tony looked great too! You too Bill!

1. Brian Batke 11:10 11:07 22:17
2. Matt Weeks 11:17 11:29 22:46
3. Rudy Sroka 11:24 11:35 22:59
4.Cameron Jackson 11:31 12:29 24:00
5. David Thornton 12:01 12:05 24:06
6. Tony Marut 12:05 12:12 24:17
7. Dave Steiner 12:04 12:19 24:23
8. Mitch Gabel 12:15 12:27 24:42
9. Tom Dominic 12:24 12:24 24:48
10. Bill Marut 12:14 12:48 25:02

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Power Output is...

being rested currently. I've been taking it really easy and gone to the extent of not even riding the past three days. I'm saving it for the State TT on Sunday in Groveport. I completed an 8h 30m week last week and 7h 10m the previous so I figured the rest will help. Mostly because this is what I did at PI and I had my best performance ever. HERE is the current sign-up list. Already 5 juniors, I know none except one is 15 years old. I'm not to worried about age group (mostly because Drew is in mine) but more speed and time. Still racing Thursday at 6:30pm on Allardale course at Lake Effect TT. PHOTO : Finishing climb at Lake Effect TT. (I used my phone)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
ride went really well. Dad and I headed out to Malley's and rode to Ohio and Erie Canal trails. 4 laps and rode back. Sweet conditions. Rode at Westbranch w/ Shawn on Friday. Fun. 17.5 miles each ride. Rest til Thurs. TT then rest up for states!

Friday, June 13, 2008

TLE TT #1: Report

I spent the day at the shop, and ended up getting my new Giro TT helmet just in time for tonight. I then set out for a one lap warmup with Bill, Tony, and Dad. They kept the pace easy for themselves but nice and steady for me. The course is 4.85 miles with a wicked downhill to start. Then a steep climb where you can almost coast up. After that is a pleasant downhill to corner #1. There you are on a false flat into a headwind, where it steepens and peaks up to three rollers. The rollers are good for a quick recovery downhill to push up the next. After the last push up the roller #3, you get a nice descent before the final turn. A steep uphill to the finish. I felt quite good and kept going in loops around the park and up to the start/finish area where Lynn and Jane E. were doing a great job conducting the race. I was the fifteenth starter to go off. Shawn was a minute behind me and dad 2 minutes.

I started really well and hit the first corner hard. I let my pace drop a little but the HR went up on the false flat. Over the first roller and I back off a little. The next downhill I'm pushing it and feeling it. After rollers my HR is in red, or 190! The descent before turn three was sweet and I cornered it well up the hill. Click down to little ring spin over the start line ready for lap 2 of 2.

Back into big ring and I stay in aero tuck for downhill and pound it up the next hill. First corner was fast and I rode on the hoods and took it hard. False flat and I click to see my average. 20.3MPH it read. I need to pick it up to average almost 21mph so I'm killing myself through the rollers and fly up the final hill at a massive pace and almost give out before the line. AVG HR - almost 190 HIGH HR - 201! 11 beats higher than my previous max. And my time was great for me at 29:43, averaging 20.5mph on a super hilly course. Nearly the same pace I did at Presque Isle and that's pancake flat. Soo ... perfect for states and felt right on. I'll be back next week. BTW: Giro helmets are the best!

Paul showed literally 2 minutes before Batke went off. PM won by 40secs over Brian Batke who took Ray by a few tics. Dad felt ok and pulled off a 25+mph pace, enough for 4th. Then Willy(weeks), Shawn (I mean Eddy Merckx), Tony (AVG HR 198) finished 6th and I think he took out dad by a good bit. Other TLE members were Gwen, Chris Riccardi, and many many volunteers. Thanks so much team.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Escape from Alcatraz

San Fran 2008 135
Originally uploaded by Flickr de Julie
Julie started her own flickr account called Flickr de Julie.

She did great in SF over an 18 mile course. She had the 7th fastest time among the amatuers or cooperate teams. She averaged over 17mph on the very hilly course. Nice job.

Off to TLE TT.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Here Goes Nothing...

Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
is my new modo. I've been training really well, considering baseball, but still am intimidated by tomorrow's course at Allardale TT course.

Recap since Sat for riding was: Sun-2+hours, Mon-1+h tempo, Tues-1h rollers w/ VO2 intervals, Wed-50m easy spin. Over 100k in four days and felt good on the first 3 but today was iffy.

I felt sluggish and my HR was almost at tempo. I'm so glad state TT isn't on the hilliest course because tomorrow there is no hiding. But states has a relatively steep climb where I'm gonna put all my cards down and cash in on the steep decent afterwards.

Tomorrows goal is play it safe but put out all effort and try to average over 20mph. Wish thy luck.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008


in that order today. I wanted about 2 hours and today and got it all. Took the same route as of lately, rode to Valley Parkway, and just kept riding. Mom came with me the first hour and ten minutes where I was in my endurance zone for HR. After she pulled off and I saw no one in front of me and decided to do some more VO2 intervals.

The first was 2 minutes long and then I'd hit a stop light so I just decided to make the stoplights and slow people my recovery and make a TT of it. Looked a little TT like today i.e. skinsuit, booties, no gloves to more prepare myself for Lake Effect TT's which I'll now make both. 25 minutes of TT with two stops and a few slowdowns and I go into a tempo ride to finish it off. My TT was pretty good, about 20-21mph the first 20min, then 19mph the next 5min. Considering this is minus aero bars and helmet, plus a strong crosswind, I'm a quite pleased. My HR was around 165, so I'll be going harder in a race, too. Tempo+ another 7 miles home and I'm at 2h 4m and 46s, NICE! 28.5 miles total and 7+ hours on the week! About 150km this week, not too shabby! A few more rides and bring on Granger Park! AKA TLE TT.

Ordered Giro Advantage II red/black TT helmet Friday at the shop. Pickup soon!

Good luck to Julie at the Escape for Alcatrez Triathalon today!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hoping for 7+ hours

this week and next week of riding. That would follow my new plan to peak for the State TT. This would follow about the same training route I took for PI just with more intense efforts this time around. The TT course for juniors has a 210ft gain over about a mile so I'll be working on that soon. Looking to average over 21mph with steep descent after climb.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

An hour+ tempo ride

<<< Pit stains on my base layer

today following a VO2 interval last night. Today I went down to Valley Parkway past 130th to Handle, turned around and came home. Besides older men on cruisers trying to race me, I saw RGF's Polo. He rode past me before 82 and went past where I turned around and he caught me at the base of the last climb to State road. There he pulled off into the BMW RGF mobile and headed off while I rode home. A whopping .6 mile extra!

Yesterday was wet out and looked like more rain so I didn't take chances and rode the rollers for an hour. It was hard without a HR monitor to do V02 intervals but I was close, or they were hard but not so hard. I took my HR on my last test and looked at the watts of that, then plugged the watts into Kreitler's website, which equaled 15mph with the headwind fan 1/2 open. The fan was a little more open than 1/2 way and my intervals were more at 16mph(make sense, I should be stronger than in Jan.)but here is what I did anyway:

10min warmup
2min x 4 V02 with 2 min rest inbetween
4 min recovery
1min x 4 VO2 with 1 min rest inbetween
25 min cooldown

It worked very well for my developing roller workouts w/o a HR monitor or wattage meter. According to Kreitler, I was doing about 190 watts for those tough intervals. I think that makes sense. The intervals are kind of short for VO2 but I'm gonna work my way up. Hopefully to almost like 4 minutes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 photos

Cyclingnews accepted two of my photos to showcase in their NUE Series #2 Mohican 100 photography. See HERE, then scroll down to photography and Images by Robert Sroka. OR look at the thumbnail gallery HERE My photos are the 6th and 7th photos. This is the 1rst time my photos have been © and it's pretty cool. The 1rst photo is of Chris Eatough (2nd overall 100 miler) and the 2nd is of Jeff Schalk post race. I can thank Flickr for letting me translate the photos to black and white and much more focused.

Lake Effect and State

TT's are approaching fast and need a plenty more miles in. I've put in some decent hours but mostly at a steady pace. VO2 Intervals on this week while trying to avoid baseball and the rain.

Well, I think it's time to buy the new Giro Advantage TT helmet. I've been saving for a while now and want to get it before states and possibly that last TLE TT. Maybe I'll call the shop today. I can even get it team colors.

BTW: Hincapie clothing is great. Perfect size and keeps you cool. I'll try the skinsuit tomorrow if it is nice out.