Wednesday, July 29, 2009

when watching grown men leap into pools

Not too much going on in the Carolina of North these days. Been just keeping it nice and easy everywhere and getting some core work done and other small projects. Like watching men trying to make the biggest splash in a pool.

And, counted the race # numbers this season. I've done 11 races this year (counting week night races), 2 being peaks, and generally try to keep the number under 40 this season. I have decided I will probably have 18 cross races this year give or take a few, so I have like about 5-7 races left before cross. Presque Isle for sure, a few more Westlakes, and maybe another road race for fun.. or the FIAC National TT CHAMPS!

But that's about it for now, need to make some August decisions, what happened to mountain biking?

Monday, July 27, 2009

fun facts since 1/1/09

Originally uploaded by Robert Sroka
I recently found this feature on and finally went through the other day and plugged in every ride since the beginning of the year. With slow miles on the trainer with too much resistance I have put in 174 hours of riding, 1787.23 miles ridden, and another 188.31 miles raced. 1975.54 miles total, so almost two k in 7 months. Here are the totals for each bike I have used:

Optimo #1 (pictured) - 614.26 miles
Optimo #2 - 547.07 miles
TT Killer - 348.71 miles
SingleSpeed- Hardtail - 388.2 miles
1898.25 total and another 75.29 miles on 'other bikes'

The other cool feature is miles of use in each of my shoes. I have put in 977.26 miles this year on my SIDI's which were retired last week to my new ones. And my roadie, Diadora's, were another 972.81, nearly equal balance between road and mountain shoes.

The other new old thing I have been up to is my core workouts the past few weeks! Those are mainly stability ones but done correctly should help my racing get to the next very reachable level. I am up to about 12-15 reps for each workout but plan on doing 2 sets of those reps sometime this week. I am planning this week to have since saturday, to next monday, five completely 'rest' days, and four more stability/core days to help build that up and hold twice a week leading through 'cross season.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

an out of office reply


We made it to the ocean in one piece, 12.5 hours of driving total was plenty for me. And the best part is I am not sun burnt yet. I am just curious on why someone would post a video on the web proclaiming "how to install adobe flash player" when adobe flash player is needed to view the video. I am trying to install a flash player to edit photos for posting out of a getaway (Gateway, sorry) computer. *In the end, solved my problem but I could not actually run the flash player without administrative permissions to the computer, d'oh!

Besides that though, the rest of this week will be recovering and relaxing. I did not bring any bikes for the trip which would be so much of a hassle, but I needed a mid-summer break anyway in my training to still be cruising through December 13th, hopefully. So here I go to 90*F weather with 90% humidity, can it ever be too warm?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Excuse me sir, but your horse just bonked


To bad I almost forgot to write about this ride, because it was great for us city slickers. I guess that was one of my first real country out-back rides. Sunday we went to Punderson State Park on the cross bikes for some dirt and gravel roads. We did get to see and pass on the hills, bonked horses- who also laid lots of poop. Maxxis Raze tires also were good for this ride with 65psi but they kind of stink like horse poop on real cross stuff.

It went well and felt good and could really drill it if need be on the non paved with a 36t single ring (shawn had a 39 little ring). Except, around 40 miles, I fell into a dip on the paved ROAD where my tire just went into a groove leading me off the road. I picked up my front wheel out and dabbed my toe hard on the pavement to avoid falling. It was a great save though and I kept it upright but my toe killed for the remaining 14.5 miles which seemed all uphill by the way. Besides that though, I enjoyed all 54.5 miles of back country. pictured above are the three younger women walking... smoking.

I also have 2 Maxxis Crossmark tires available. 26 x 2.1 inch and are pretty knobby for being a faster roller. I will put up an ebay auction today after I weigh them, preferably close to 550 grams. $25 for 2 tires, used 3 times by Julie. I got to clean them and my bike yesterday in the rain! Yahoo, ready for NC now! Quite possibly the most fun I have ever had cleaning a bike, making spoke bubbles pictured below.


Time to get back on the couch and watch the tour.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leading both fields: Sroka


I am perusing through websites and blogs looking for the correct term I need for this post but I just can't seem to find the right one. It could be 'the short end of the stick' or something along those lines but what I am really looking for is a creative way to find first place out of the money as it seems so many people get this place. Whether everyone gives up after they see the first couple places go by, and we keep going, or we are just first losers. Which is still a vast improvement for me so it will make a good story anyway.

Most of the usuals were out even with a good chance of rain including 3 other Lake Efectors - Jane, Terry, and Austin. The race gradually got moving along and on the fourth lap we are lapping Austin and I am of course squeezed into the gutter like my usual status and yell to get on my wheel. Well, a few laps later he rolls up and looks very pleased that I screamed at him as he is now about 5-6 riders from the front of the group and ends up holding on to the sprint.

But the all time coolest thing of the night is when I see my dad towing the break around while lapping us I quickly jumped to the front for just a second so at one point: My dad was leading the A's, and me the B's. Hopefully more of that to come.

So Jane is covering every thing tonight, and I see it all. I'd love to help but she seemed so insistent on going with literally every move. This week I was a lot more comfortable with the group and actually enjoyed the speed and almost dipped down into zone 2 on one of our very pleasant recovery laps. I sat very close to the front and closed every gap especially after later primes just to find out that the winners would sit up anyway in the 'B' race. So with four 2 mile laps to go (of 16) the eventually winner jumps hard and I leap across the gap really fast only to see him sitting up already. But I forget it and just sit tight and conserve at about fourth wheel.

With two to go it gets really fast then drops to a measly 18mph on some of the windy sections with one lap to go. At 1.5 to go is right when the pace is high but not to high, and everyone is ready to settle down for the sprint, this is where I should really go. But, I am third wheel going through the final corner and with 400 meters a train of about 5 go and I catch on and ride the same pace and get another racer and another gives up. So I got 4th place, and they pay and advertise to 3. And we had 5th place with Terry, too.

Finishing stats at the sprint were:
115 rpm - I need a 9 or 10 tooth cog in the rear to stay with 53t big rings
33.3 mph into a very light wind
33.33 miles into the race - very, very creepy compared to speed
45-11 gear ratio - maximum and past junior by a tooth in the rear
196 bpm - really high with help of high cadence
1:26 into the race

We ended up averaging only a tad over 23 mph which I very much enjoyed and since there were only maybe five primes the pace only really spiked past thirty I think three of the five times. Staying up in the field is a lot easier than tail-gunning it I guess! My dad made the break also with 4 other RGF'ers and still got second. That is impressive!


Monday, July 20, 2009

ready to obey traffic signs and not go fast!


This post is a step-sister to this one courtesy of Ray, because today it was confirmed. After receiving my second JCB Biathlon pamphlet today, it clearly stated about how I would not be racing the 14th annual biathlon and defending my title with running mate Chris. I was quite exited opening it to see me crossing the line as first overall team ahead of second who is in the picture so very close. But if you look down below, you will clearly read that, 'Due to the urban nature of the bike route, all traffic rules and signals must be obeyed. Roads will be shared with motor vehicles. Police reserve the right to stop participants along the course. I guess reading THIS article was true and this confirmed. Sorry JCB, no more 'real' racers there.


In other news, my dad and I hooked up a new bike rack in the garage that holds six bikes, but still not enough for the twelve that usually are in the garage, plus three more in the attic, and the other four in my garage. But still, never enough bikes.

Lastly, another Westlake tomorrow before I leave for North Carolina on Friday. But the real question is, what race Thursday?

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to know your not having a good race...


- The absolute number one sign you are having a bad race is if you start thinking of excuses or a cool format for a race report on your blog. Or just try and not write about it.

- You don't see the heart rate ever dip out of zone 5 on a good for recovery course. Threshold is way too easy to go.

- You make the break off the back instead of off the front and your dad has to tow and push you for 3 laps to get back on to the already depleted group.

- Your legs feel pretty good you just can't stay with that one big acceleration.

- Your dad says the 'A' race was much easier than the 'B' race.


- You upload your pictures before your Garmin data.

- You bring out your nicest wheels and still get dropped.

- The first thing you say after leaving the parking lot is "Why didn't we go to Westbranch?"

- You are positive you will never visit this church again.

That is how I knew I was having a bad race.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

don't judge a post by it's title


The cadence/mph cables on my cross bike weren't looking that hot anymore just sort of dangling around. And for the past month, I have had the my IQ114 monitor sideways so I had to turn my head to read cadence, etc. That was no good so I cleaned it up the other day and made both the garmin mounts and IQ mounts legible and working. I also saved another 5,7 grams by not using certain parts to the mounts that were unnecessary for their current state of being. Cleaner, neater, lighter, working.

Also, Tuesday morning we went to the O&EC CVNP Metropark whatever their called trails that are in pristine condition. Mike Ryba worked on the trails for 7+ hours the other day chopping down and hack sawing back all the overgrown in that first 1.5 miles. So Dad and I put in 4 laps, totaling around 8 miles. Mike said he would finish up cleaning the trails last portion today, so hopefully, it will be in mint condish for a long period of the summer to come. Thanks Mike.


In other business, Cannondale released its 2010 line of products this past week. The Super Six high end road bike came in under 12.5 lbs apparently with Sram Red and an SRM pre-attached. But the coolest new bikes seemed to come out of the Urban/Recreation section of the frames. The all carbon QUICK pictured above is a 2x10 commuter that is so fast looking. It appears to even have the indented downtube that molds to the front wheel comparable to a high end time trial/ tri bike. Super sleek, super fast, super black, super QUICK. And of course the standard, BB30. Cannondale still hasn't come out with a carbon modeled cross bike which I think is smart so far as every bike is relatively affordable and still quite light for the non-carbon budget.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poor Planning

This weekend I could have trained for a stage race, and could have done the Friday crit have I brotten a bike or two. My baseball game was rough to say the least- I tripped running to first my first at bat, and totalled my knee until late tonight. Then my Saturday game was rained out, and I guess it barely rained an inch on the racers in the road race but I didn't have time to make it. And Sunday I was too tired to race again, darn. But I got to show my mom the local double track which was fun. So, it sounds like a missed out on a good weekend.

But, thats over and I get to race again on Thursday, yes... But where should I race is the real question? Leroy, Chapel, Lorain, B.A. group ride, Westbranch group ride, your choice?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

TOV Prologue TT: Race Report


Friday morning I had the oppurtunity to get in my only race of the weekend, and a rare open 'free' time. Thursday I did a few openers up some hills on the way into my dad's work. Then spun home easy for another 25 minutes and still got in an hour for the day before my baseball game.

I stayed well hydrated and felt decent but my legs weren't that perfect state they could have been in with the baseball game. But I still was in good spirits and remembered the shortness of the course warming up and still thought I had a good chance of putting out a decent time that might get me a top ten or so in my first cat 4 race.


Anyway, the race started off and I going along very good holding 25mph to the 1rst corner which I blew through way too fast for me but it worked out good. After swinging through the turn I went way right but after going into like 6 different potholes I just decided to ride close to the double yellow, where their was a very good line. I'm guessing I lost about 10 seconds being dumb riding in the gutter up that roller which is a lot in a 5.53 mile tt. The next corner I took in my tuck and came out good and was hammering in my 45-13 at a good cadence near 90rpm which I checked on this site is 24.4mph. That was cool to see. But my cadence was all around, down to 79 hitting a hole up a roller, 114 spinning down the roller. Oh MY!

But I suffered enough and could see the finish at my goal time, 13:16, or 25mph average. I sprinted hard but forgot to stop my Garmin and rolled back to the parking lot and was just under 14 minutes still starting it 3 seconds early before my start. So I would guess 13:25 or :35 at absolute the worst. I will have to check the offical times to see what they put me at though. So, I stuck it out and really enjoyed these short races where I can actually go all out. Not the offical results, but they had me around 12th place overall in the 4's with a 13:15 time! But I heard they messed up 30 seconds for everyone. Just 2 spots out of the points, but I'm actually glad wasn't one! So, either way a high 24, or a low 25 mph which I was pleased with considering.

HERE are some snaps from Day 1 of TOV. 148 to be exact.


Thursday, July 9, 2009


This will be the only race I'll be doing this weekend and I am not pre-registered so I will probably be there til noon waiting to start. Plenty of time to warmup though! Have to go print off upgrades sheets.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And There Goes Cancellara..


We arrived pretty late because of traffic but we put in a few laps with dad working on and discussing the corners and where it should be hard, etc. etc. Then I got hooked up with the 303 tubulars courtesy of the Zipp man Dick Brink but since the rims were so wide I had dad adjusting my brakes pretty much up until the start line!

So, the neutral lap began and that aided my warmup and they rang the bell for a first lap prime, crap. It got so fast those first ten minutes I couldn't believe it. Looking at the Garmin data, I averaged a heart rate of 186 the first five laps including 2 sprints in my whopping 45-11 at 32mph across the start/finish. That stretch was definitely the hardest part of the course. But I knew if I hung on, it would get much easier. And it did with one lap almost like a recovery lap and I finally dipped back into lower tempo pace. Fewww!

Then the next ten or so laps were very uneventful with only a few fliers with one lasting nearly 6 laps but he only had maybe 15 seconds the whole time. And I was getting to know the corners a lot better. They were fast and a few times I had to close gaps others started but it went good and I was feeling pretty darn good with those 303's dropping like 2 lbs. of rolling weight off my training wheels. So with 3 laps to go, I started saying, "I'm gonna make it," vs. lap 1's, "OH CRAP, I'm going to get dropped on the first lap!" fiasco.

Then the last lap came around and it was way, way too slow. I guess I watch way too many 'pro' races where Columbia High-Road (or whatever their called now) ramps it up from 5k (or 20, like the other day) so no one can attack and Cavendish can barely hold on then totally sprints from the third wheel and wins by two bike lengths. So, I did my best Cancellara impression and jumped with a little past the 1k to go. I was going past the ball fields super hard and what it looks like averaged 28mph or so across that stretch. Then I sorta blew up and couldn't hold the 28mph I needed to hold. But, it was not to be anyway and I got reeled in at about 400 m to go then lead it out to about 300m and sat up because I was pretty toast from holding an average heart rate of 182, 5 beats over my actual threshold! for over an hour and a half with only brief recovery periods. And wow, can they sprint in the 'B' race!!

I learned a lot from this race. I learned I could stay with the field with a big effort but would be able to 'race' it when the distances begin to shrink. I definitely would be okay with a few less laps! It ended up the farthest race I've ever completed, 38 miles, the farthest I've ever ridden on a single bike, nearly 50 miles with warmup/cooldown, and I think the most time I've spent at LT in one time. I belive 2 almost 30 minute segments of LT. Oh my.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I don't have versus

And I am terribly regretting not calling Time Warner Cable (the power of them controlling you) earlier because the soonest they can come out to put vs. on our TV's is July 14th and to charge us for start up fees and installations! Ouch, Lance and Vande Velde will be hours ahead by then! Heck, with all the crashes in the TTT today, Matt Weeks could have beat some teams by his lonesome! And 'Cav' is still in 60th place with two stage wins! The time trials do mean everything so far!

folding bottle cages and a rubber band.

Without VS. for a while, I hope to get in some more miles sort of as my summer base. The last two weeks I've broken 200 miles mainly in my EN zone hopefully to catch the endurance bug for the race tonight, zipp worlds. I also kept some intensity with my 'unstructured' training on the 'hill' rides my dad have ventured me off too. One day having nearly 45 minutes of tempo/vo2 and another 12 minutes of LT in a 31 mile ride. And if I can get it together right, maybe I'll borrow some fancy schmancy 'hoops' for the bumpy, pot-hole infested race tonight.

It is scheduled tonight for 19 laps, 38 miles, which if I actually warmup right and pretend to cooldown I should break 50 miles, besting my old single bike record of 45 straight miles. Because my dad has towed me around in the tandem for near 60 miles some summers.

Speaking of endurance and long rides, Sunday we got out to Mohican so I could finally see the state parks loop. I was allowed to use Julie's Rush and began to start to like the feel of it when the seat post kept dropping. 2.5 miles of standing later, 10 miles of riding gingerly, dad created franken-post. Then I switched to the hardtail taurine to not further the damage. But, for a review of the rush, it was very sluggish. It rides where it wanted in the direction it went. The FS saved you from killing yourself and your praised the gears and you tried hauling up the climbs but it didn't want to come with you. The descents left you over confident and in need of berms to really 'rail' those tighter corners. I very much was disappointed in it. I had to big ring it constantly to keep up with dad and julie on the descents where their hardtails were hauling! I feel like I could flick my hardtail here and there recentering it when need be. But with the rush, you go where it commands, just my two pennies though. Lower tire pressure maybe have helped a little but I was already at about 28psi each and didn't want to flat on a smooth trail with our tubes holding my fat butt up.

As for the trail, I wasn't so impressed either. I guess everyone just praises it because of the 'flow' that I wasn't getting. It was more too much pedaling with not enough turns, is that flow? But, the reason everyone loves mohican sp is because of the limited technicality on the ups, but the fast downs, and it being a whopping 24 miles of new trail. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a beginner trail, but the stuff at westbrach seems to be much more difficult even if it has the elevation change of florida compared to mohican. The trail definitely seemed to repeat itself many times with a long climb followed by a fun descent, again and again. So, I guess I enjoyed the trail but wasn't as satisfied as many seems to be, claiming 'best trail ever...ever...really.' From what I remember, I enjoyed Big Bear a lot more, but maybe it was the bike? the seat? the tires? or the gears? Anyway, here is another hobo picture of my tt bike, with my cell phone duct taped on, What? I needed to wear my skinsuit and nothing else!


Saturday, July 4, 2009

what a wild weekend

What I should be doing next weekend:
Thursday Night: Chapel Racing Criterium

Friday Morning: TOV TT
Friday Night: TOV Criterium
Saturday Morning: Colavita TT
Saturday Day: TOV RR
Sunday Morning: OMBC S+S Trails
Sunday Day: TOV Criterium #2

What I probably will be doing:
Friday Morning: TOV TT

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why is Beyonce on your blog?

Because I just upgraded my cycling license to a category 4 road racer, category 4 track sprinter, and category 3 cyclocrosser! The upgrade was easy, but will my new license arrive for the TOV TT? July Schedule to be published in the corner soon!

Transition: The Period After Peak


This is the few weeks in the summer I am supposed to take a break from scheduled training. It has been going well because I have been focusing on recovery and endurance rides to help revamp the legs but have also thrown in a few hard rides to not be totally flat when I began training again. Which I scheduled for next week because it has me driving nutty doing 'unscheduled' rides on whatever bike now. And I have still been able to put in the good hours (8 riding a week) because of that no-school thing.
Summer Plans:
So, the plan is to have 3 weeks of TT training again with racing on the weekend and hopefully some during the week, or Friday mornings, and to a week off at the end of the month. No riding. After vacation, 3 more weeks of solid training with some racing and then a taper to Presque Isle. Hopefully by then I can pull out a 25mph run if possible.
Race Schedule (tentatively speaking):
7/7 Westlake Crit
7/10 TOV Stage 1 TT
7/16 Leroy TT
7/21 Westlake Crit
7/23 Chapel Racing Series
7/25-31 Vacation
Today Plans:
The rest of the day today will be spent cleaning the TT bike, maybe a short ride, recharging the cameras, loading the iPod and hopefully selling enough on eBay to get a couple of these.