Tuesday, May 31, 2011

no pinning

Every race this weekend was at least 3 hours away each direction. That seems kind of pathetic to me but what do I know. It's just funny because in April/Early May you can do so many races everywhere, but now, the lull begins. So anyway, I didn't race, the first time I went a weekend since April 10th, but I did get to ride my bikes some. I guess that it has been 7 weekends. Since there is too much going on next month.. and I can't decide exactly what to focus on, no matter what event though, I am trying to get some (ohio) climbing legs then for whatever it may be.

TUES: 50.2 miles w/ 300ft of "climbing" - race at westlake
WED: 6 miles w/ 2ft of climbing and core workout (rollers)
THURS: off
FRI: 27.9 miles w/ 1403ft of climbing ~2 hours brisk road bike
SAT: 26.2 miles w/ 2339ft of climbing ~3 hours hard at moho
SUN: 28.3 miles w/ 2074ft of climbing ~2 hours easy road bike
MON: 68.1 miles w/ 3341ft of climbing ~4 hours steady road bike

I used that ridewithgps site where you actually don't have to ride with your gps to track your everything stats. It *seems* to read a little bit lower than my garmin but it seemed in line except for Monday's ride, I would have put that closer to 4500ft of vertical. So here is a summary of the first part of the racing season's training:

Week of 4/4 - 11.5 hours (1 race)
Week of 4/11 - 12.4 hours (1 race)
Week of 4/18 - 11.7 hours (1 race)
Week of 4/25 - 7.5 hours (2 races)
Week of 5/2 - 8.0 hours (2 races)
Week of 5/9 - 7.4 hours (3 races)
Week of 5/16 - 10.3 hours (1 race)
Week of 5/23 - 15.2 hours (0 race)

My little plan is to tone it down the next two weeks while finishing up 10th grade. I want to keep some good intensity but keep the volume at only 8 hours per week, then come into the State Road Race and Wooster Crit feeling fresh. Then I can start to ramp up into the Pro-20hr-no-job-summer weeks and start to think about some longer races.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

ToC / 1rst Knob (for me) / 1rst A Westlake (for me)

Just in case you missed it, this guy finally won a really big race. I guess it helps when you aren't the designated slave for the "official" team leader (also that Horner didn't have to carry his bike at all) By the way, did you know Chris Horner and I are basically related? He raced cross for a season or two with the Indiana Regional Medical Center Team. The director of the team, Ed Krall, is someone who I have raced with multiple times though never actually talked too. But close enough, Me and Chris Horner = best buds.
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Saturday I got to test out my new parted out mountain bike in the second race of the Vulture's Knob XC Race. I was slated to do two laps of the 7 mile loop that consists of even more climbing/turning than last season! It was my first time on trails all year it showed. I made it to the Over/Under (halfway in?) the first lap with the 2 leaders of the Sport race in sight (they dropped me on each descent) and decided I would try to make it across before Maizeville where the locals could lead me through. Well, in turn of trying to keep up I blew all the air out of my fork trying to "race" the Under. It took me a second to diagnose the problem so 2 more Sport U18's got by me by the end of the lap. I eventually turned my the lockout out on the fork and pulled the fork up but not before my rear wheel fidangled itself out twice! Man that sucks. That killed all of my little momentum so I just took the second lap relatively moderate trying to get some skills back of what little I had, again. I managed to catch 1 guy in my class so I ended up 4th under 18, or about 9th fastest overall sport time. Only 8 minutes out of 1rst!!! (Insert excuses here) But, this year I am actually going to do some more mountain bike racing so maybe I'll be able to pick up some results there....moving on!
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Tuesday I did my first A race at Westlake World's and I was pleasantly surprised. As expected, the turns were very smooth, but surprisingly, so were the accelerations, they just happened to be 2x as long with no recovery in between in comparison to the B race. It is also a great feeling (in a new different sort of way) not being the one who does the attacking, rather being the attackee in the A's. Anyway, the pace wasn't too relentless so after about 6 of 21 laps I began to move up and try to help my dad/pete/chris a little bit. And of course, the one move I follow ends up being the longest move of the night! Not my plan by the way. Brian Batke attacked with Andy Clarke right on him and I was on Drew's wheel as he bridged across. It was pretty nice having the two 16 year-olds + one RideOn guy who seems under 20 go across. I took my first two turns at the front getting no "free" rotations like Drew and RideOn got....And being after Brian and before Andy in the rotation didn't help for the 'ole legs. But after 3 turns through and 2 full laps. I sat up a little bit, realizing I couldn't take it much longer. Thankfully, I could see my dad and Chris coming across with another 3-4 in tow...ahhh.. a perfect excuse to go back in the field. Thanks mates. This lead group eventually swelled to about the 12 superheroes of the race but Team Ernie/ Some Spin pulled it all back with 4 to go for another field sprint. As much as I'm mad I couldn't stick it in the break til it swelled up, at least I gave it a go considering I was worried about not making it to the finish of the 44 mile race earlier that night. Also, I think our site is doing Westlake Results this year?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

solar panels and masters racing

On the ride home from Chippewa, there is half a bridge out. There's a stop light that's solar powered and we always get "stuck" at it. We always joke that it never turns green because we never get any sun.
About a mile south of the Chippewa loop, there is some major water buildup.
This is part of the Chippewa loop when me and my mom were re-conning it on Mother's day. This is looking up right after there was the crash/split in the cat 4 race.
Here is the slight kicker up to the ball fields. The picture is slightly imbalanced but the road is still built on the camber, not into it, which makes it harder. I wanted to counter over the top of this but was boxed in.
The whole course is slightly tilted which makes for some slightly interesting racing, and a whole lot of 2x riding, even if it's easy, versus a fully flocked across the road field. Nate Loman solo'ed away for the Win on Saturday at RATL in the Master's. He went on lap 3 of 18 and held a steady 15-20 seconds the whole way. It was fun seeing someone trying to go across with three or four of our teammates grabbing his wheel.... I am glad that suffering on his wheel up Boston Mills a few Wednesday's ago pays off for him.
My dad was allergic/sick to something all weekend. He got 5th to 3 teammates and Jim Yankush Saturday. Then on Sunday, he was feeling better, probably due to all the climbing, but Phil Hines (another master's teammate) came up to him and said he was going to win today. So when Phil attacked and John Lowry and Jason Suppan went with him, my dad was relatively confident. No one tried to get across so my dad patiently waited until the gap was big enough to attack with one to go. He rolled across the line in 4th solo cutting the gap in half to the break in the last 3 miles but quickly learned Phil got 3rd out of three in the break. He literally grabbed his stuff under the pavilion and rode home in anger without collecting his pay (I later got it). Like, the most angry I've seen him after a race (that wasn't Westlake) in a very long time. Rudy Sroka doesn't like to lose. Neither does Robert Sroka, he is just more accustomed to it. I am curious to see if my dad ever lets a teammate roll up the road again even if my dad is suffering like there is no tomorrow and just covered six back to back moves.

Monday, May 16, 2011

not for a lack of effort

This was one of those weekends you look at on the racing calendar and you know it's gonna hurt. But once again, I did a lot of hurting taking a lot of wind and got very little on the result side. But I could have sat in and got the same result (well maybe Sunday....if only), but not hurt so much. Hopefully it will pay off later though. Saturday I decided to run my PowerSnap for the first time at RATL and I set new 5 second, 1 minute, 2 minute, 3 minute, 4 minute, 5 minute, 10 minute, 20 minute, 30 minute, and 40 minute powers, by a lot, too.
Saturday at RATL I had Johnny to help, so our plan was for me to get something going very early, and him to counter it very hard. So we roll through the neutral start and iJump from the start line and do a full on hot lap per cross, average speed: 28mph, 37mph jump on the downhill, gap: about as much as that picture above with everyone right there. Apparently I wasn't the only one feeling froggie™..
After that it got pretty RideOn gayed out where they went to the front with their dudes and half of them sat up and the other half rolled away. Johnny was on it but somehow got put back in the field with the break rolling it up to about 20 seconds. With two RideOn's in the break, along with one Competitive Gear, and all of their teammates licking their chops, getting across was possible, but you had to do it by yourself, and drag at least one of each of their guys across too. The gap stretched to almost 30 seconds and the primes began being rang for the field. I won two of them but was later told they were given to the break after all (then don't ring the bell and say its for us)
So with about 5 to go, Johnny and I tried taking some seriously long pulls to get it close. We did get it back down around 15 seconds, but then were too winded to get across. Then I got crashed into the curb in the sprint by another RideOn dude. Awesome. I've never screamed so much at the poor guy after calling it out. But he was nice enough to say sorry.
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Sunday was Chippewa. My dad and I pedaled down (about an 8 mile warmup) then sat under the tent hoping the rain would stop but it didn't. I really wanted to work for Johnny because he said he was feeling good and with a hill-top sprint I thought he couldn't mess it up. I was a little nervous about making it over the top of the hill but it was no where near as hard as last year. Two of five laps in, there was a pretty good crash and a huge field split to boot. I think there were probably 15 in the group left of maybe 30. It got down to about 12 with one lap to go and I continued to work at the front making the pace hard enough apparently to not let any attacks happen, but even if they were John would be on them.

The last time up the baseball field pitch, a Stark guy put in a dig, but I got majorly boxed in wanting to go for the counter. Anyway, after the descent there was 6 of us (3 or 4 RideOn, John, Me) ahead of another 6 or 8 with maybe five seconds so I set a good pace right up to the last steep pitch making sure there'd only be 5 going into the finish. Well I managed to blow up one RideOn guy and myself, leaving John with 2 RideOn's going into the last 300m. Long story short, he got 3rd and I couldn't keep it together and got passed by all those 6 behind us only beating the guy I originally blew up. Not what we were looking for. The results say I lost 33 seconds in the last 300m uphill. Awesome. Maybe it was too much work on my part and not being there to the very end to cover one last move, maybe it was because RideOn was at the front a whole 3 minutes of the hour long race, but in reality, those two are just about the strength of John with the smarts of Brad Carvey, so I guess I can't be too disappointed (but I will be)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

no cigar

I feel this year like I'm a million times stronger this year, but, does that mean I'm racing a million times dumber since I am getting the same results? Either way, I thought I played it out smart yesterday at Westlake but once again, could not pull off a W, let alone a top 3. Did everyone get stronger/faster/smarter or is my top end just totally gone after doing a winter of true zone 2 all winter? As I continue to question myself my little powermeter says I am going stronger than ever, so I am going to just start doing the A races. Forgot learning how to win, it's impossible anyway! I am just going to ride/race my self out of this funk either way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

new title same story

Oh, I know you are probably sick of hearing my lame excuses about how I lost another RATL, so I won't put you through it this week. Needless to say I will be staying at cat4 for the rest of my life. Well at least this week I made the most of it and made some people suffer at least a little bit. I'll be back for more Saturday though!

I also think I may be doing Westlake (more than likely my last B race there) again tomorrow night so I am pumped to lose another field sprint! Get ready for another lackluster race report.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a, b, and c

The average blog post is written about:
a) how cool your bike now looks
b) how bad the races have been going
c) how terrible the weather has been.

I will discuss each topic a little today.

a) My dad finished up my tubulars two weeks ago and here are some pictures of them. I ended up with the tan sidewalls which are pretty old school, yet neat enough for racing now-a-days. He also finished up my MTB wheels with pretty orange hubs and all. We are having a little confusion with the tubless kit stan's sent us but we should get it worked out soon enough. That means more pictures!

b) The logistics worked out enough for me and dad to make it to Westlake Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the logistics didn't work out for many other people so we had the lowest totals of all time, 12 B's and I think 9 A's. But, in everyone's defense, it had rained like 3 inches all throughout the day. The B race started really slow for a few laps getting used to the new pavement and the wetness, until I decided to split things up a bit more. I got it down to 5 people and due to some weird circumstances we had 4 going into the final lap. I more or less had been the only one taking a pull worth a damn during the whole race so figured, what the heck, might as well lead out the last lap too. I did that and was the jerk who took each turn at 4mph then shot up to 30mph to make the guys work at least a little. Well, I managed to tire out one enough to get 3rd in the sprint. Whatever.

c) I have only shown the bare skin of my legs 3 times all year. I have only worn just shorts 2 times. And I have been without sleeves on the arms 1 time. It is cinco de mayo and it's terrible. The average high for this week is generally between 64° and 68° and it's been just above 40°...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

getting closer....still not there

I felt like being aggressive at the Covered Bridge on Sunday. I have put in a ton of time on this course over the spring and winter and wanted a result to show for. I didn't quite get it, but I was at least more satisfied than last time.

Fast forward to the last lap. I followed lots of moves and never really got outside the top 10 places in the field waiting to hunt down attacks and make 'em stick. Sadly, between a mega-alliance (like WWII alliance) of Soupcan and RideOn, no other singles had a real serious shot at staying away even with one of their guys, unless, you were like 30% stronger than everyone. Which I obviously am not. It was getting sketchy slow, but I knew exactly how much I had in the tank and wanted to wait until at least we crossed the railroad tracks before any big shots were flown.

Fast forward to 500m to go. Right after the last bit of roughish pavement and before the parking lot, another Soupcan rider goes and gets a good 20 yards instantly, and no RideOn guys go or pull from the front. I get ants in my pants at like 450m to and go across which takes to the crossing of Ira. This is in the bag with no Alliance chasing me down, I thought. So I gave my last little kick past Soupcan and got 5m on him, another 10m to the field with close to 100m to go...ANDDD......They all come zooming by and RideOn/Soupcan still takes all the places in the top 5. Whoops. Couldn't wind it up anymore though so I am content. I roll in probably still in the top 10 but at about 10mph slower so I try to stay out of the way.

Still not enough top end. Last year I could have made this stick in July. But my better base should keep me going well longer, so maybe I'll hold out a result one of these times.