Wednesday, August 31, 2011

busy week ahead

This week is going to either make me or break me. The plan so far to finish off another good chunk (3 weeks of training) is basically bury myself this week. As much as I want to go into the first cross race "fresh" I know it would put me yet another week behind before the bigger races this season...

So the plan:

Tuesday - continue with my longish uphill Vo2 max intervals attempting to get me in shape.
Wednesday - ride to Manitoc and put in a lap on the mtb or a few laps on the cross bike. get picked up though*
Thursday - go to manitoc with dad (driving though*) and finish setting up the course, then help put on a cross practice trying to break in the course.
Friday - 1rst annual harley hills death climb challenge presented by scott.
Saturday - 1rst cross race of the year. thinking of announcing the earlier races, then racing the A's later on.
Sunday - if I'm not too tired, race the mtb race at manitoc. if I am tired, sleep in, ride to manitoc and ride laps, then get driven home from race worthy julie and dad.
Monday - sleep in and ride until I can't ride anymore. Then, a little rest next week sounds good.

More details:
Here is my Tuesday workout from a few weeks back when my powersnap rim wasn't in multiple pieces. Getting that heart rate high and coasting a lot! So.. Thursday's cross practice usually at Broadview has been moved to Manatoc! If anyone is interested in coming we should be riding by 6pm. It will be a fun, good workout on an awesome course. For directions use THIS, plug in your address, and be sure to go in the 2nd entrance (NOT the one with the gated MANITOC (or MANATOC) SIGN) The course in the woods was very loose (fresh cut) as of Saturday so we need some laps to pack it down! Friday is Scott's inaugural Harley Hills Challenge. HERE are more details, it should be fun. I've talked a bit about this hill before as it is quite the challenge.

See you sometime this week!

Friday, August 26, 2011


Nope, I didn't buy another set of sick wheels, but these are nine things I've been up to lately:

- I destroyed the in-destroyable. I was experiencing some brake pulsing, and I, as usual, ignored this. Well, when I was braking relatively hard I hit a pothole, my rim split in half horizontally. Luckily, I was only a mile from home so I could walk it, but man, no power now!?! Do my workouts even count?!

- I built up my dad's cross bike from last year with most of my parts. It has one chainring in the front and is very light.

- I mean sooper light, like under 17lbs if I cut the steerer tube (~20g), remove the garmin mount (~10g) and put on my full carbon rear brake (24g).

- I will do those small changes and post pictures soon, as in as soon as my brake arrives.

- I put in another good week of training last week, without racing, at just over 15 hours of pedaling.

- I started my junior year of high school.

- I am going to help out Julie and Dad hopefully finish grooming the Manitoc cross course tomorrow.

And now for the real news:

- I got the "Ok" to race Nationals from my mom, again, assuming the race schedule for juniors stays the same from the prior years (where I would race on only Saturday)

- I couldn't be more pumped for this season.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

cat none!

It's funny earlier in the week I was made about my upgrade getting denied...and now I need to send in my downgrade!

Westlake went pretty terrible. Everyone was depressed about what happened this weekend, and what happened to our friends and teammates. It was a tough pill to swallow knowing such innocent and helpful people died after some dumbass went crazy on his girlfriend. There are lots of rumors going around about the shooting spree in Copley, mainly the gunman's motive, but all I know is we all lost a big part of a wonderful family.

The worst possible combination led to me crashing last night, insult to injury I believe is the right term.

We were lapping the B race, at turn 2, maybe 8 laps in, and I was following Dave Walker, bridging up to the front field split. There was maybe a five second gap between us, the front group, then five more seconds to the rest of the field. *Everything came back together after I crashed, too. So neither Walker nor I yelled at the Bees to move over, I think they just assumed what was left of the A race was only 15 guys. And we just assumed they thought there would be more racers.

Anyway, we went in HOT (like no brakes pushing on the weeble-wobble speedplays HOT) and the two guys in the back of the B's also swung wide going much slower (thinking that was the end of the A field). I slightly over reacted and over corrected as to not go into one of the guys and presumably ate it trying to avoid these guys. I washed out on my knee cap and knuckle punched the ground.

Damage: skinned up basically. My right hand fingers all hurt to touch and I can't lean my elbow on anything beside a sweatshirt, but other than that, fine.

Real report, bike damage: bar tape is toast, shifter got a nice little chunk taken out of it but still functional (same with rear derailleur) pedal cover shredded, and my seat is a little torn. Hanger straight, too.

Besides still mint! I was going to retire the SuperSix for this year, anyway, due to my lack of parts for a cross bike and my knees always feeling wonky when going from 175's with weeble-wobbles, and 172.5's with stiff pedals (I like the cross setup better fyi). And I had a few signs I should have retire the bike one day earlier: flat I had to change before the race, bottle boss stripped, and one weeble-wobble completely seized. Weird. But I should have listened and brought my cross bike last night.
Every post needs pictures: Close up, yum. I was trying to show both the tarmac-embedded flesh, and punching bag knuckles. All I could think of was this gang symbol. may remember me from such movies as Spiderman 1 and 3 (#2 was dumb and I don't want to be associated with it)

Friday, August 5, 2011

informal or unformal

Cyclocross and more cyclocross- whats new. I started yesterday trying to round up the troops for some cyclocross practice. I managed to get 5 people (including myself) but 3 had the last name (once again including myself) to come to Broadview yesterday. But considering I only started talking about it the day before I didn't expect too many. Either way, the park seems a little less crowded on Thursdays this year, so we are making the practice open to all- and by open to all, I mean everyone who is stuck reading this and not this gypsy magic!
So here are the details: Starts HERE. We ride around the soccer kids until we get tired of looking at them, then go ride around another field. We have a nice loop in the woods and also 4 barriers available. We usually play follow the leader for a lap or two, and can easily make a 7 or 8 minute lap there. Next Thursday we'll start 6. There might be something resembling an actual course because Szabo and I are getting there early and there will be no school practices/games yet. It'll be fun. Be there or be square.

I also put myself pretty deep in debt this year buying goodies for cyclocross season. I still have one frame/fork left that is the SAME BIKE TONY MARUT RIDES! That means it has the capability to fast. I am trying to sell it local because I only expect $200 for the frame/fork. It seems like a hassle to use eBay when shipping will be a 1/5 of the total cost.

It is a 54cm frame, so anyone who uses a 54-56 road bike would fit well on this. I realized I probably have enough parts to build this up to sell also, if need be. So, for maybe $400 I could put some used Rival with FSA cranks on there along with an ITM handlebar. I could do everything (including tires/tubes) besides actual wheels/cassette/pedals. You could choose between a single or double chainring setup, too, along with options for brakes/seatpost/stem. Perfect starter setup, or pit bike. Email me for more at rob dot sroka at gmail dot com.
I've been trying to get my grimy little hands on a pair of the new Challenge Limus tires. After Quality sold out two weeks ago, had a huge advertisement for the tires on their home page. They of course did not have them available. So I fixed the add for them. To show my displeasure with Challenge, I went ahead and spent $65 more on another brands' tires. Whoops.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

boring stats turned semi-interesting

I've been feeling stuck at 90% a lot recently. I usually blame it on the heat, but, on Thursday, Bill Marut pointed I should take a slight breather soon, then really kick up the training before school starts. To give myself a break, I wanted to bury myself really good going into a rest-ish/easy week.

So after Thursday I started keeping the gas (fatigue) on until Tuesday night. Since last Tuesday I have done a fair amount of riding:

Tuesday 7/26 - Westlake 915kj, 2.5hrs, 55 miles.

Wednesday 7/27 - 650kj, 2hrs EN, 26 miles.*

Thursday 7/28 - LeRoy 726kj, 1.5hrs, 28 miles.

Friday 7/29 - 790kj, 2hrs EN, 29 miles.

Saturday 7/30 - Lakewood 543kj, 1.5hrs, 30 miles.

Sunday 7/31 - 1538kj, 3.6hrs EN, 46 miles.*

Monday 8/1 - 1620kj, 2.6hrs EN, 47 miles.

Tuesday 8/2 - 2097kj, 3.7hrs, 80 miles.

*Cyclocross bike.

That totaled up to 18 hours and 57 minutes of riding since Tuesday. Consistency.

I also think this past Tuesday was the first time I have ridden over 77 miles at 80 miles. But it felt quick because I averaged 21.3mph for the night sitting in the motorpace (A race)

So anyway, that was 341 miles from Tuesday to Tuesday. My dad always jokes (not really joking) that anything in the 70s/80s under 300 miles/week was considered a rest week. And all that rest does is hurt you. No matter what. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise considering for a good time my dad was on Chews' brothers' team. I wouldn't call that family nuts (I don't know them personally), but I'll just use a stat to describe Dan: He rode 134 centuries in 1994, and 31 double-centuries that same year~ that's more than a century every 3 days, and a doulble-century once every two weeks!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Burned as Kelso would say.

Saturday, I got burned before the race even started: On the start when line, everyone was rolling up to the line when my insanely competitive buddy Mark was introduced as "THE OHIO STATE TIME TRIAL CHAMPION" even though I've beat him at every TT this year by multiple minutes (but apparently I missed the Indiana- I mean Ohio TT). I shed a little tear when Brent said that over the loud speaker to the five people who heard it. ZING #1 Either way, Saturday every cat 4 got burned when some dude solo'd away with about 3/4 of the race to go. Achewood Criterium.

He had his three Fuji teammates sit on the front and slow everything down. Me and Spence (along with one or two Snakebiters) gave it some gas a few times but they were so on top of everything. It sucked. They were pretty negative about it, too. I guess I would have done the same thing but when me, Spencer, and one of their sprinter teammates had a good gap, he still should rolled through and we would have had a very good chance at staying away. But, what do I know.

Either way, I resided myself to field sprint duties with about 5 to go, also known as just sitting in. I felt bad doing it, but I was already getting close to minute gaps from reliable sources to the lone leader. Ouch.

Then I screwed up the bunch gallop. I wanted to go into the last turn 3rd wheel (long 300 or 400m drag to the line) but I went in second. Then I kicked too far out in my 11t and hit the wind where I died a slow death. Seated sprints suck bad. I still managed to hold out for 3rd in the sprint, and 4th in the race. Ouch. ZING #2.

Monday I sent in my revised cat 3 upgrade proposal. I added in lots of Westlake starts and finishes, 3rd overall at TOTV (3,5,6), and my 4th at Lakewood (along with my prior stuff which wasn't too impressive). I gave my sch-peel about how I tried helping my teammate early in the year and didn't get too many results for me...sad story I know. But the response I got Tuesday was pretty harsh including: "not even halfway to your 20 upgrade points" and a big phat DENIED written all over my USAC account. Officially Catfour4life. ZING #3.

I was pretty mad about this: why would someone want to race a higher category be denied I questioned? Especially at the cat 4-3 level?! Either way, this fueled me up to ride to Westlake and do Westlake, hard.

34 miles there. 4 more miles warmup. 38 mile race. 4 mile cooldown. Legs are ZING #4.

80 miles on the day including about 12 in a good break with Stiener and Cruikshank (there was also a Snakebite there but he doesn't have a blog so no name drop) Our break was the set-up for a huge counter and I was on it, but nothing solidified. For the next few laps few attacks were laid down until Chris "hot-streak" Riccarrdi dragged out four more going through one to go. Johnny had made it across and led out the promoter for the WIN! Lake Effect goes 1,3 at Worlds!!

All Zings are now withdrawn.