Wednesday, June 29, 2011

backseat driving without commentary

I grew out of my 56cm frame so I inherited my dad's 58cm frame.
It's very white and went well with my bar tape and bottle cages already. Click to make it bigger and less pixelated. Last night was its big debut at Westlake after I got the fit dialed in with Sean moments before. It was riding awesome but then something started to feel weird in the rear end. Gaps started opening around lap 5 and I found myself going across a good field split. My rear end sort of turned over in turn 2. I looked down to have only maybe 30psi left in my back tire. I was nervous I "rolled" it slightly (clincher) but later found 2 staples near my tire that were slowly sucking the air from me. I rolled back to the car with my hand raised and in the gutter. It took me one lap to change but I decided to wait one more and be a bit more ready to try and jump from 0 to 30. I got back in and sat at the back not wanting to interfere (no free laps at westlake) and watched TLE be aggressive. More backseat driving at Westlake! It's fun to watch the fast guys do their weekly business but now I kind of want to get in the action. Sometime before I flatted, I unclipped after turn 2 one lap due to what I thought was a mishift.
I looked at my bike back in the parking lot during my 2 free-laps and two links didn't seem to want to stay "in tack" with my manly-man chainring. I rode very cautious then from lap 8-24 at the back. I lubed my chain more detailed today but think my manly-man ring may have a slight wobble in it, from my cottage of wattage (legs)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We awoke a the ripe hour of 5am to get to my mom's first triathlon in 17 years. At first I was thinking, "why would anyone start a race at 7am?" Then I realized the answer: "to get to a bike race in columbus by 11am." My mom did very well winning her age group on minimal preparations and with an eddy merckx style bike leg.
After a brief two hour jaunt to Grandview Heights... I got prepared for the bike race. Last year at Grandview I didn't even make it half way through the race before I got droped (actually I got dropped so early there is only one "p" in dropped) My only goal this year was to make it to the finish and have energy to cheer on the later races.

Our race started off like a real race, someone put in a huuuuuuge attack off the line and like 6 people crashed in the second turn of the race. Luckily, my late registration placed me at the back of the starting grid allowing me to avoid this. On the other hand, it did take like 4 whole laps to get back near the front, and guys were already popping off by then.

The maybe 40 second hill kept minimizing attacks but kept knocking people off the back. It didn't have the crazy number of surges per Westlake but having to keep pedaling after a jump after a turn hurt everyone. My average pedaling power was 331 watts for 42 minutes...

Anyway, with close to fifty starters, I bet their were less than twenty going into three to go, when we got a prime bell? I could have spent a few matches and got that (no one jumped too hard) but I figured the way I can't seem to recover in the heat I should stick in the pack and hope for the best at the end. One to go comes and guess who is on the front, RIDEFREAKINGON. Todd was in the first lap crash, didn't take a free lap, rode back to the front, and was covering moves for his teammate Matt the last few laps. Jeeeez. In the final turn heading up to the climb, about 10 of us have 5-10 seconds on whats left of the field, about a dozen. I took a risk diving into the turn way on the inside to avoid a manhole cover and lucky I did..three guys tried to go hot and hit the manhole cover, crashing each other to the outside. Matt (who wins all the races) jumped after a nice leadout from Todd, who had crashed, again, and I was there. This is it, phat victory here I come. But, Matt just rode me right off his wheel in the last 200 yards. Then Purdue guy jumps me with 50m to go. Ok, keep turning over the pedals and get on the podium. I can smell someone coming up from behind, so I go for the bike throw but throw too early for the finishing checkerboard, and not the actual line. 4th.

That was a really bad last 30 seconds I think cooling down. I really cracked hard, I was thinking win in the last turn and I got fourth. But, that little yellow measuring device told me different: 651 watts for the last 30 seconds. My all time all time all time high was 702 watts near the start of a "best legs ever" ride and up a stupid steep hill. But, I still got droped in the sprint baddddd....
The 1/2 race didn't disappoint. This guy with his boss shoe covers spent the first 8 laps off the front before being brought back from a Paul Martin-esque chase. Then, a few laps later he rode across to Bauldessare/Knapp and helped drive the break to the win. It was an exciting finish where all four in the break threw their bikes and no one knew who won for 10 minutes afterwords.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

thank you breakaway

I pedaled 4 miles over to the store around 4pm yesterday. Sean checked my saddle height (only 1/3 inch off this week) before dad and I jetted off to Westlake.

Being it slightly over 90°F and almost 100% humidity on the longest night of the year (50 miles) my plan was just to make it to the finish. There was no Paul Martin or Andy Clarke so I think that heats everyone up a bit more too, thinking someone on their team can actually win. But, soon enough, I see my dad and looking at each other with "the move" a good bit up the way with no LE mates. He had already covered a lot so I figured I'll get one and give him a little break. But, as Bob Martin and I bridged across I turned my head as we made it to the front 4 and we already had 3/4 of a straightaway (ie. almost half a mile). It truly was the right combination after a lap with 2 spin (jason h/aussie r) 2 rgf (jim b/dave c) 2 carbon (b batke/aaron c) and 1 ernie (strength of 10 men) plus dopey young me. Bob Martin seemed to like his RGF chances and quickly dipped back into the field. Good thinking I say, but with no black and red represented I wanted to at least stick it out. I took three turns at the front before realizing my head might explode if I take another one.

So I told the break I won't attack, but don't yell at me for sitting on. No one seemed to mind as I was having the Jamey Driscoll cross-eyed look anyway. (That's how you get most aggressive rider each day, just look like you're dying)
I sat and got to watch the race unfold from a new perspective, the back of the breakaway! After about 4 laps of sitting on (so maybe 15 of 25 laps in) Matt, Cameron, and Steiner joined the party. Matt, Aussie, JB, and Ernie instantly got away leaving about 6 of us in the first chase group. This is when I started hoping the field would gobble us up. I was feeling better and started rotating through per Chernosky's request but didn't really want to change the outcome of the race knowing I had just had a free ride around in the break for half the night.

Thankfully, just as we heard the Weeks/Baldesare/Thompson/Marenchin gruppo had 45 seconds, my dad along with 5 more (3 spin and mitcholo) came across to our break basically cutting the field in half. I had run out of water so Thom Dominic was super cool about it and lent me a huge bottle with about 4 laps to go. Now the games started...the break of 4 was deemed gone, and Chernosky really wanted those last few points for 5th place. For once I don't think he fancied a "field" sprint as fresh-legs-dominic was looking good, so he jumped with 2 laps to go. The one spin dude (they had 6? in the front 15!?!) went with him but for some reason I don't think Chernosky lost that battle. So the first six places now gone, everyone had a teammate up their besides Dad, I, and this sweet white/red kit man, we did a steady final two laps having a huuuuge gap still on the field.

So still no top 5 for LE, but I'd like to say we are getting closer. Usually, we have Pete to count on to make this group, then make the final four selection but moving to Seattle didn't help our chances last night! I am thinking a private jet team funded for Pete to still get to do Westlake Worlds and help us out. We already miss you Pete and you haven't even officially moved yet!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

fun father's day

Not signing up early didn't help at the Reagan Park TT. Julie, Dad (capitalized for Sunday), and we started about 5th, 3rd, and 2nd from last in the sport class out of about 60 sports racers. Somehow JimmyMac snuck between me and Dad in the start order. So I would be "chasing" him and dad, along with Julie chasing me. Juan held us up and we sprinted into the tight singletrack. It was a weird feeling not being 100% pinned the whole time in a time trial. All the turns let you recover because I couldn't pedal through most of them without totally dieing. My trail knowledge was quickly deteriorated due to my tunnel like vision trying to catch the old man. It didn't really help anyway because I haven't really ridden Reagan yet this year (too wet) and when we do, we always ride the opposite direction. So I wasn't as smooth as I have been there. I kept pushing though convinced I had good legs. I caught Jimmy after some roots (he was on his cross rig) and could see dad a few switchbacks ahead. All three people on the course were screaming at me to catch my dad. Somehow I did right before the trickier logs in the Annex trail. Dad letting me by never happens but I tried not to kill myself right in front of him. Between passing slower riders and my killer (ha) accelerations I managed to put a good gap into dad. Then I started getting cocky in some turns and crashed pretty hard 3 times consecutively, each one behind a certain Miranda family trying to not ride into the back of them. Each person in the family needs to get disqualified for not letting anyone by and riding like a jerk. My dad then caught me when I was trying to pass one of them and yelled at me to go faster, so I did. I was pretty recovered from all the time spent wiggling on the ground and he said he was very surprised to see me again.

I thought about going through the finish line on with dad on father's day but instead I attacked him on the last little twistie bits. Don't expect me to be riding any cool new bike stuff soon after that move!

I got back to the prelim results already disappointed in my time but saw I was still sitting in first U18 about 30 seconds up on Jason, but second overall sport, a mere 49 seconds behind first! Not too bad, but man it would have been nice to not crash so many times!

*My phat $35 gift card winnings were later given to my dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

training races = way more fun than actual races

I guess I have done 4 races since I have updated the 'ole blog.
Saturday was the State Road Race in Shreve. The race was presented by RideOn and was theirs to lose in our race. I think they had something like 12 guys in our race and we only had 40 starters. It was relatively hilly and relatively hot so everyone took the first of four 9 mile laps easy. The second time up the hill was hard and split a good bit of the group up. Then on the third lap, RideOn started setting a good clip to the top of the hill, where three of their guys attacked and were gone forever. This time, I was right there, but just couldn't physically stay on their wheels. On the last time up the hill, I took a pretty good dig and dragged out three other racers. We put in like 7 miles off the front before they all gave up. I tried to counter attack that but Linknothing was happening with still five or six strong RideOn's in the field.
Sunday was a 1.4 mile circuit race with a pretty good uphill and some steady winds throughout the day. Only one RideOn guy got away with 4 to go. People actually wanted to work but Matt was still stronger solo then a few guys working. I realized this going through with 1 to go and jumped hard trying to get across, if not, hopefully screw up RideOn's win streak of everything cat4. Basketballshortskid came with me and we instantly had 10 seconds, and only 5 more up to Matt. I swear Matt turned around and kicked again like he had been coasting along (even though he had been otf for the past three laps) so neither I or basketballshortskid got onto his wheel. We still railed the down but with a hard charging leadout from who else, RIDEON, we were totally swarmed in the final turn, a mere 300m to the line. I guess not all is lost as they only got 1st,2nd and 5th compared to their usual 1st-6th.
Tuesday marked my first Westlake without school before hand. I was still tired the first 20 laps somehow and LE only had Pete/Dad/early on Vanucci covering moves, but, be it the strongmen they are, LE was present in each break of the night. My legs started to come around and I soon moved up quite a bit in the field. Right as I was moving up, with about 5 laps to go, a perfect combination (Cameron, Ernie, Stiener, Pete, Batke?!) minus Paul Martin went up the road including Pete. Paul sat in for about a lap until him and Pendleberry started trading 30mph pulls for the last three laps. This caused a major field split with only about 12 making the front group + 5 more in the break. I think Dave Chernosky must have told Pendleberry to pull back Cameron because, well, he did. So with half a lap to go, there is more or less 15 people getting ready for the sprint. I wanted to counter after Pete came back but Brian Batke had the same idea and made it slightly too hard to throw anything real down. So into the last corner we go, dad on my wheel, with Pete/Ernie on the inside of me. I basically follow Aussie Rob into the finish but can't come around him, but neither can Dad or Pete after a long night. So LE gets 7th, 8th, and 9th I think. Woops, no top 5 = no nothing. But, the only people in front of us were:
6-Red Kit Man
So that's a win in my book.
Wednesday I went to Westbranch with Sean.
Thursday I convinced my dad we needed to go to Leroy even though the weather wasn't looking like it was to cooperate. I used the disc with a 404 front along with my Garmin. I pasted splits to the turn, the turnaround, and the turn again on my screen. My goal was to break 17:45 after two weeks' prior's 18:15. At the first turn I was right in line with my 4:25 goal to the corner. Sean told me to try and pick it up as much as you can for the uphill so I did. My split was 9:30 and I think I did it 9:10 or so. After the turnaround I instantly felt the power of the magical disc and actually felt fast on the downhill. I looked at my split and was 45 seconds ahead of it. Thoughts of breaking into the 16 minute barrier raced through my mind but those were quickly pushed away with a massive headwind. Ok, still push through and manage a 17:25 back on the original course. Still 50 seconds faster than 2 weeks ago (no aero wheels though..) and average speed of 27.04mph. I'll take it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

one week left

I swear the other day I had an 88% in every class and a 98% in one. That extra 2/3% has been really getting to my head. What I should do is just take 4 classes seriously and just take a B in the other 3 so I can get my phat 3.5gpa but instead I throw myself out there more evenly spread and get screwed in the end. But, its almost over and next year I'll plan better.

This song reminds me of summer. It was the official song of the tour (NOT the official car of lance) and was used for each stage about 34605 times.

This might be my last summer without a job so I am gonna take very much advantage of it.

monday - easy ride
tuesday - maybe a light ride in the morning, westlake in the evening
wednesday - core in the morning, ride to reagan for group ride, group ride
thursday - easier day or leroy tt depending
friday,saturday,sunday - endurance adventures or races.


can't wait.

just have to make it through 10th grade finals first.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


Doesn't my scanner make this look computer animated?
I am trying to make it out to LeRoy a bunch more this summer. Even though it isn't quite summer yet (for me, one more week) Dad and I were able to swing a trip out there Thursday night for the time trial. I am starting to think it is a wive's tale that the course is really far away, because even with mild traffic we still got there in exactly an hour. I decided earlier to race with my 32h standard wheels with my powertap and a few other slightly "un-aero" items. I drew stick #6 putting me behind Chris Nicula and 30 seconds in front of resident time trial hero, Brian Batke. Jim must have gotten stronger over the winter, too, as I found my push off the line immensely fast.

For some reason, more than likely adrenaline, I started pretty hard and turned the only corner onto Kniffen with the wind at my back really opened it up. Dumb. I got half way up the hill to the turn around and knew I made a mistake in my unplanned pacing strategy. I got to the turn around just as Brian wizzed by me, made the turn with him, then got gapped instantly to 30 seconds on the downhill. The downhill is a 2 mile stretch that starts at about 6% then is more of the opposite of a false flat, maybe 2% downgrade the rest of the way. Now I realize Brian is going a lot, lot better than me, but I weigh probably 30 pounds more than him and he put literally 45 seconds into me just in that 2 mile stretch! After making the turn onto Indian Point with only 500m(?) to go I was struggling to hold it above 300w. Usually, this is when I know I didn't go hard enough and am holding 350w more or less. But not tonight, I blew up early and paid for it with not the time I was looking for, 18m and 15s, on the 7.85 mile course or about 25.8mph. This required a power of 304w average, at an average cadence of 87rpm at 4.18w/kg. I would have liked a 320w with a sub 18m time, but that's what happens you kind of bonk half way through a time trial. Still, that puts me 2 seconds faster than my best time last season with full aero gear.

Another positive I can take from this is Mr. Batke said a sub9/1080 combination is almost a whole minute faster on the course. I am thinking this must all be on the down hill?!? I will have to test this later on in with Sean's 1080s and possibly using the team disc for a PR.

My dad, as per usual, had a very fast time and Tony I think set his runner-up PR there (or possibly third). Bill had a slightly off night but is putting in a good block of training for a big Tri next week so he had a real excuse. We all did a nice 10 mile cooldown before indulging in burritos.