Monday, October 27, 2008

Orrville Cross #2: Report

Sunday was the second race in the Orrville Series and the last. The course was the exact same just in reverse as the previous week. This course was definitely not mine with lots of straights and road, seemed as even more than last week. Two sets of doubles, two long road sections, and a couple of "S" off-cambers lead to a fast first lap. I had a good warmup with 2-3 laps of the course and about 10 quality minutes on the trainer. Picked my gear after two starts and got the inside line, the best one. Nate and I went two wide into the corner until I backed off. At about 200m past the start was a sketchy off camber where Nate bit it in front of everyone. I asked, "You OK" then jumped the tape and followed an aggressive attack. Once he saw the crash he jumped at the perfect time. At the first instant I thought he was gone but I rode steady for a while and really cut some time into his lead. It was the second race this I wasn't leading after lap one. I counted about twelve seconds at one point. I caught him on the barricades and knew if it came to the last lap, attack before the barricades. He was so much slower over the barricades. I towed him threw the baseball fields then looked back, shifted down 3 times and hit it. I cranked an attack quite hard and gapped him. He slowly crawled his way back as I recovered. I had him right where I wanted even though my legs weren't going full blow. Right when he was within breathing distance I jumped again and got quite a lead. Repeat once more and through the two to go sign I've got about 20 seconds I'd say. Rode hard through the next half of a lap when I caught a Mtb'er warming up for the "B" race. I yelled frantically, "coming up, coming up!!" She made no attempt to move so put my hands down more on the hoods to hit my brakes hard (we were also going into 180* off camber turn) and hit a bump/log hard and ate it over my handlebars. I hate to blame someone else but I do believe this crash was because of her. I knew what happened but was extremely sore to get up throw my legs over my bicycle. It was about 10ft. from me. I would have used my new move (run on right side of bike, push bike forward, and remount quick on left) I developed in case I have to fix my chain or fall. Well I get up and the gap is back down to about ten seconds but its soon down to five as I take a while to get momentum and the legs back. But soon enough I open it up on the barricades and see one to go. I just ride steady and controlled the last lap as the skies seem to open but then don't. In the end I opened to about ten to twelve seconds and threw up the arms for another victory salute in Orrville.

Julie won the women's race closely followed by Trish Ingram. Greg got outspinted by Nate Loman I hear at the line. Nice job guys. In the A's, Paul looked to put the hurt'n on all until Shawn slowly closed the gap but never got him. PM prevailed in the end, Shawn second, Jeremy G. 3rd, and Tony had an awesome race to finish 4th. NICE! Dad, Bill, and Derek would have topped off the masters but there was no masters. Still Dad 6th overall, B 12th, and D 10th. Matt "Willy" looked awesome but had some awesome wrecks to finish pretty beat up. Nice race John Ehrlinger, too.

HERE are some photos from my flickr.

Today was a day to clean up the chain and bike but also to clean up the self as I got a few sores and aches from these past few weekends of hard racing. One more double this weekend which should be fun. 2 TLE races in one weekend, NICE!! Then maybe a rest weekend or Cap City (juniors maybe) John Bryan State Park. Then State Champs, BH., Boughton, and the racing year is over. Starting to look forward to a whole week off of school and bike.

Then some serious LSD before RATL!! Plan it!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

My latest Bike Project (s)


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Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
I'm not really sure what lead me to this idea. I've been pushing around this single gear Cannondale Lebron bike at Ray's Indoor MTB Park since the day Deb Lewis got it for me. It was used by one of the celebrities at the Lebron's King for Kids Ride. I'd dream it be Lebron but the frame size is almost too small for me, let alone a 6'8 monster. This started off as a triple crankset with 9 speed stuff to supply like the norm for MTBs. But we saved the parts, bought a singulator and saved some weight. If I'm not mistaken there is a 32-17 or 32-19 on there, perfect for Ray's. About two weeks back, I took it out for a spin right before a torrential down pour struck and the gear was way easy because of the clipless pedals and fast tires. After a descent you couldn't put weight on the pedals for about a minute of two. It was very fun though learning out to slow down to go fast, or put weight back into your legs. The bike is an absolute tank but will serve as about once a week currently, and a few more times with some winter base miles.

After that bicycle, I'm now supporting four I actually ride. Hopefully. The other winter bike project is to see if Tony Smith will let me keep the fixed geared Fuji for the rollers. Thats another one of my goals for the winter: pedal in a circle not a peanut. The other bikes are my C'dale MTB that will look nice with a single ring on it and then my cross/road/tt/other track bike, the Optimo.

Something keeps telling me to invest in one more frame. The latest Rival is awesome and very reasonably priced but what to dress it on? Option A. Another cross frame, one would be kept as a single ring and ridden maybe once a week with cross tires. The other kept with road stuff and maybe fenders in the winter. Also would double as a TT bike. Then when cross came around, a full pit bike, quite similar to racing bike. Option B. A road frame, great for road but I wouldn't have a cross pit bike. Also would double as TT bike. Option C. A TT frame, possibly the least practical unless we keep drop down handlebars on it for road season. Then it becomes very practical. Option D. Keep saving up for the future and get a road bike later, stick with Optimo now. Option E. Buy a dirt - cheep cross frame with used Optimo components and stock up the Optimo with new fancy stuff. Then have a pit bike for cross, still no road or TT bike.

Besides worrying about the next frame or component, I'm also into getting hiking stuff for the winter. I know some racers who hike in the winter as there fitness builds and can work different muscles. That's the latest training product I'm looking at. Need water proofs size Men 8.5. Sounds like an ebay kind of thing?

Tomorrow is Orrvile #2 for another training race and it looks like we might have some cross weather. Speaking of, I need some mud tires, and skis, and embrocation!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Interbike Providence


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Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
The past few days we had the opportunity of getting out to Massachusetts to see the family. On Tuesday Julie, Dad, and I got to see the latest and greatest bike stuff at Interbike Providence. The first bike we took out to the test-ride singletrack was a Cannondale Rize. The thing was a tank but rode beautifully and kept your back intact with its enormous amt. of travel. Then I noticed a couple of Parlee custom cross bikes built up with new Sram Rival and Edge deep dishers. The acceleration on those bikes were out of this world but the handling was so awesome because of the air pressure. We took those on the grass loop, singletrack, and road loop. I rode a 51cm and the fit was awesome already. The final bike we rode was a Rocky Mountain Altitude full suspension. This bike was a bit less than the Rize and a little more practical for our local trails. Not as much bounce or weigt.

That was it for riding but we go to see some seriously new Sram wheels, Red, and Rival. Sram had the second biggest booth next to Cannondale. Other cool gadgets were the new dimpled Louis Garneau TT helmet. Zipp full carbon TT crank, and the latest (non-electric) Dura-Ace.

Check out some more photos in my FLICKR.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Orrville Cross #1: Report

After Saturdays extravagnza at Spin Willoughby, we headed down to Orrville for another local cross race. I had a good warmup with 2-3 laps of the course and about 5 quality minutes of the trainer at the line. We had about 12 "C" racers and 4 more juniors. The course was a huge hammer course but if you can get on your gear quick, the section was over quick. I took the hole shot through turn 2 when an Orrville rider jumped ahead. There was no point in battling when the singletrack was just ahead. We rolled through the singletrack and then he pulled over basically. His road tactics were never lead so I jumped, then once more before the barricades where I got a 5 second gap. A few more straights and off cambers and I was leading after lap one by a 10-12 second margin. The next lap it really grew. I took the singletrack extremely fast compared to the first lap and held momentum through the turns by swinging my inside foot out. Lap 3 was more of the same by gaining even more time. I got to ride this lap with a rider who was a lap down due to a flat. His name was Sebastian Birch from Velo who would have been a major threat. Either way, I attacked before the barricades and had plenty of time to throw my hands up in victory.

In the "B" field, our CX Clinic buddy Greg from Stark Velo won with ease and put some serious time into other riders. In the A's PM won, close second was Shawn, Jeremy, Cameron, Dad, Dave Steiner, and Tony. Bill and Derek also scored top 12 finishes. HERE are some photos of mine via flickr.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

TLE Cross #2: Spin: Report


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Originally uploaded by Huang Family
Just a quick update before we head off to Orrville..

Took the hole shot and kept looking back. Got a gap of almost 20 seconds when a new rider got within 5 seconds of me. Didn't drop the hammer, but rode two parts 2nd place didn't ride on the last lap and everylap. Victory in the "C" race either way!!

...Orrville looks to be a hammer course like last year so wish me some power today.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Biowheels UCI Cincy Cross: Report

We got to the course nice and early and I got in two laps before the C Men started. Then I practiced starts and rode on the road for about 30 minutes before my race. At the line I noticed yesterdays winner was not in attendance so my whole game plan was changed. The Redzone rider who finished 3rd yesterday (and 11th at Natz being the youngest in the age-group) clipped in fast but I jumped on his wheel for a second before blowing by. I slowly started to work up my places riding hard everywhere. One lap completed and I was 2 wheels behind Julie. The first sand pit was coming fast where I dismounted and jogged through the deep ravines. Once I remounted I noticed my chain had fallen off so I raced to put it back on. The third eye is stuck though so I start jogging to the pits. Bill encourages me to keep running. Erick and Redzone are long gone as I wasted too much time trying to move the third eye chainwatcher. Shawn helps me in the pits and I get going again. It takes 2/3 of a lap for my legs to come back though. I'm hott on the tail of 3 or 4 women when I jump right before the second sand pit. I fly through but my chain falls off again. Luckily, I got the chain back on and remounted. I believe all of my problems were on the second lap. Lap 3 I hammered my brains out but caught only a few more women I caught within minutes of lap 1. I unzipped my skinsuit and pounded the sand pit uncontrollable hard. I look forward and make it through just to finish too soon to catch any more juniors. 3rd place. I think I could have pulled off the win in pretty good fashion with attacks still in the tank. Great legs Sunday.

The heat seemed to get to most of the NE except Julie. She won again dominately. Gary rode the sand to 7th in 3-4 men. The TLE masters racers of Jeff, Dad, Bill, and Derek all rode good to top-half finishes. Ernie was lapped but finished and Shawn's back was messed so he didn't race. Rick took 6th in the Masters 45+ Cat 3-4. Fun weekend and can't wait to sleep in my own bed before a race. Sadie raced strong too. Tony scored a top 10 and Cameron rode to a top 20 in Men's 2-3. Nice Racing all on a very hot and dry weekend. Boy does Cincy like their sand!

Up this week is D.C. school trip til Thusday night. No school Friday and another double race weekend with 2 locals: Spin Willoughby and Orville, two of my best races last year with mucho rest this week.

Java Johnny's Cincy UCI Cross: Report


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Originally uploaded by inquintessence
Day #1 in was at Sunset Park in Middletown and I was racing 13-14. Our race 40 minutes of pure suffering in the 85* degree weather. We ended up having 6 super fast riders in it. John started great and I gapped him on the barricade run-up. I didn't give up and just kept pounding it. I battled a many Cat-4 men including a great singlespeeder. In the end, John prevailed by minutes. I cramped pretty hard on the last lap though. He is an awesome rider who I expect to see do well at nationals.

I got to take some pictures of everyone from 45+ Beginner men to Elite Women. HERE are some photos of mine. RICK'S 743 photos are just awesome. Julie won her race dominately and Tony and Cameron and Nate looked good too. Bill, Jeff, and Derek didn't have the best days but still finished near the top of the 45-plusers. Rick scored a top 5 and Ehrlinger was a place behind Derek. Ernie got in an early crash but still managed a 28th place in Elite. Shawn pulled because of asthma.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Leroy Cyclocross: Report

All this week I was predicting a non-technical course with lots of hammering sections which isn't my kind of course. When we got there though, and I through on my tights, jacket, and water bottle I was not ready for the 6 ditch crossings a lap I was going to take on. I finished my practice lap where I basically look for good lines in my easiest gear, told Julie and Dad of this insanely awesome course, and went back for another lap. My second lap of warmup is take the good lines I found and spin the legs out on the straights. My final lap I go nearly all out trying to hit top speed into corners. Well, I was going to fast through the ditches turnaround and almost had the same warmup disaster as last week, on gravel. Thank god I had my tights on and wasn't going fast. I got up and practiced running the ditches in case they became too muddy to ride. After my interesting warmup on the course, Zach Johnson and I rode on the Leroy TT course for about 10 more minutes then worked on starts. I started in my 36-21 I believe. It was my 4th easiest gear. It seemed to be working just right. I also found a good line to start at. Before I knew it, the racers were lining up. I took my front row position right next to Zach, Erick, and Nate. Nate and I had a gameplan of make them pass us by the way.

Nate seems super jumpy and takes the hole shot closely followed by me, Erick, and a MTB'er with toeclips in that order. I figured how to take the 180* before the barricades and railed it with one leg out. If I could have clipped in faster I could have past up Nate there. I would get my chance.

Within a 100 meters of the start there was the first set of barricades. They were extremely close but Kevin had this great idea of having two sets separated. I liked it so I took the inside ones and used my sweet new updated remount skills and stuck right on Nate. Another off camber and a maze and Nate tells me to lead him through the technical part. I didn't punch it at all just nice and steady. Grooved my way through the rocks and through at the ditches battling for first. Mr. Toeclip decided at the last second to run the ditches so I dismounted and ran the first set then rode the second and ran the third. By after the ditches he seemed to be breathing heavy and we were going to get caught so I jumped. Not fast but steady big gear (for me) across the whole baseball field section through the start finish into the barriers. I see the whole family and that gives me encouragement. I have a nice gap and start to flow with the course. Hammer on straights, steady on technical bits. The gap is gaining as the 2nd lap of 4 I go down the dirt/rock mound and 2nd place is going up. He says nice job as I hammer on. A nice bunny hop over this small ditch and I'm hauling. My legs are responding and I'm nearing the biggest gear into a tight corner. I gear up and fly through corner. This time I ride the first 4 ditches and run the last 2. I hit the mud spots hard and feel better each time through. The 2nd time through the start finish I look back, toss my muddy glasses to Nick Marut, then see I've got some time to work with. I take the barricades slow this lap but everything else pretty hard. Dad gives encouragement and says I have an enormous gap. Then I sort of zoned out for the rest of lap 3 but I know I was pushing a good gear still. The final time through the start finish I get the bell and Nick says I've got in the bag. I back off a touch ride everything right below that top notch besides the ditches. I'm smiling as I race through the mud. I hear the final words from each family member and come through the final turn as a winner. My first "C" overall victory. Tony was warming up near me the last part of the final lap and kept saying throw your hands up so.. I did. I have a few thank yous before I recall the rest of the day. First, my whole family who cheered me on and support me in an odd sport, especially Julie and Dad teaching me and getting me to the races. Also Julie for entry fee money and Dad equipment. Then, the Seans. Shawn Adams for the tubulars and technique. And Coach Gilbert for the power. Thanks to Kevin and CRC for a great event and all the fans by the ditches. You guys really helped.

For the rest of the day, I took some shots of the racers in the B and A races. Julie and Drew both took the hole shot except Drew took the 2nd barricade with him, snapping it into 3 pieces. Julie held off the other 8 women for the win! and Drew recovered from his fall and took 4th. Nice job Guys and Gals. Gary also took 5th.

There was a pretty stacked field for the A race today. A group formed on the 3rd lap consisting of Paul, Ernie, Shawn, and Weeks with Dad and Tony close behind. It ended in that order with there being no master fields. Bill Marut had a good race with Derek, Bill prevailing in the end. And Ray ripped it up on the single speed.

Great race overall. Julie commented that now hopefully our series helped develop any race in NE Ohio where you can put up a great race and get 75+ racers and a good crowd. Today was one of them. Off to wash that awesome Cannondale Racing Machine.

Photos + Results:
Kevin Kimmach Rick Adams Results I'll be uploading various photos of me on my flickr from diff. photographers.

Friday, October 3, 2008

TGIF

The weekend is finally here. This week took forever in every aspect. School was long and boring (the norm) but it seemed forever as I did a one hour endurance ride on the rollers.

Finalized a few more schedule mishaps and a few more to go because of vacation/field trips. Speaking of which, last night we made it out to Shawn's Skillz Camp. We worked on dismount-remount between barricades and run-ups along with a few tempo laps all at Reagan/Huffman Park. My skills have improved quite drastically from last year mostly on the cross/road stuff though.

Tonight I'll try how fast I can corner around a water bottle and other various objects without tubulars. This weekend is Leroy Cross race. Watch out for Brian if the just use the 8-mile TT loop.