End of the season rides

The end of the season is near for us Oregon bike racers.  California still has a lot of action going through September(why don’t we here in Oregon?  The banana belts should be in September instead of march, breast way better weather!) but here its cross time.  I guess that’s no surprise, I think it would be a tough case to argue against that Oregon has the best cross scene in the nation, with cross stuff going on every week, all over the place, and the huge numbers that turn out to races such as the Cross Crusade.  All that and some of the top cross racers in the nation hang out here.

But I still have a bit of California racer blood in my legs, and have a hard time saying goodbye to road races in august.  Ill have to  catch some of the early season cross races before saying so long to the start line this season.

Ill also spend some more time exploring new roads on the cross bike, and climbing incredibly steep hills only to bonk half way up, and eating blackberries on the side of the path to get the sugar needed to make it back.  Yep, sounds like some good times.

The cross bike has risen!

The road season is winding down, information pills and that means one thing-Cross season is coming out to play!

That means its time to dust off the cross bike, pilule and get it up and running again.  I got my bike tuned up and working again just in time to go help out at the cross clinic.  I got it put together just in time, impotent but could have used a few rides on it before heading to the clinic, where the cable stretch from a new shifter and cables made using any of the easier gears on the hill impossible.  But luckily for me, I was mostly able to sit back, as I was paired with Molly Cameron to instruct, and didn’t have much to add as Molly really knows cyclocross like non other.  We had a great sized group of riders, small enough that its nearly one on one instruction, and everyone is able to get adequate attention.  It was a good time, I’m already looking forward to next weeks session.  Hopefully Ill have a fully tuned up bike now that I’ve got the time to get some miles on it and work out its issues.

Monday Race Clinic! Come get fast!

Well today was crit champs, ascariasis but the race didn’t happen until after some other good training and racing happened.  First off, medic there was the Tuesday night crit here in Eugene, then the Team Oregon Mid Summer Crit series crit up in Hillsboro.  And  there was also the crash aftermath from twilight-a large bump at the base of my skull, just below where the helmet covers.  This showed up the day after the crash, and the night of the crash a head ache showed up that lasted about 3 days.  I’m pretty sure I had a small concussion and hit my head below where my helmet covers.  That said, make sure you get a helmet that covers as much of your head as possible, even the back.

The tuesday night crit was fun and a good workout.  The Wednesday night cirt was also fun and a good workout.  The only problem was that I tried out this new bandage that is similar to tegaderm. This one is mildy soft, and apparently melts when mixed with sweat, or any moisture, hence thats how it works well to aid in recovering road rash.  You just take the gel bandage and put the whole plasticy thing over the road rash and let it do its job.  Theres no gauze or any of that stuff, and no need to change it, like tegaderm, as you put it on and it helps keep your regrowing skin clean and uninterrupted from foreign objects interfering with the new skin, such as gauze sticking to the new skin cells.

But it also melts a little when you sweat, and then it sticks to your shorts, and makes taking off your kit really hard.  Basically there’s this little square patch of glue, on one side is fresh skin cells that are still a little sore, on the other side is your short.  I think it took me at least 10 minutes prying my shorts off without ripping the whole bandage off.  I’m glad that its all healed now and that I don’t have any more of that to deal with for the time being.

Fridays ride consisted of not riding, and instead picking blackberries in order to make some fresh jam, have blackberries on ice cream, and blackberry muffins.  Yep, the season is winding down.

And then today was crit champs.  It was a great course, the Albany course is really smooth and has great corners.  There was a good sized crash in one corner, not sure what caused it, but I got bumped around a bunch, and bent a spoke when my wheel hit another bike, and the spoke got caught on the bikes quick release.  Stayed up, but the wheel was really out of true, and rubbing the break pad.  I noticed that at about 9 laps to go, but I don’t think that had anything to do with my lack of results.  It was not real aggressive racing, there weren’t too many attacks, and the usual suspects were given no slack to get up the road and establish a break.  I made a few attacks, but nothing stuck, and there were no counter attacks to my efforts either.  At some point in the last 10 laps, a break of 3 went up the road, and managed to stay away.  At 2 to go, I made an effort to stay at the front, and got shut out of the inside of the corner where I was trying to move up.  Had to hit the breaks, and lose a bunch of positions, and ended up in the back.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make up any ground at this point, so I sat up to avoid any crashing that may happen.  Sam Nicoletti from GLs took the win, keeping the crit champ in pink for another year, nice job!

Theres still time to catch some more great clinics offered on Monday nights.  The focus of the clinic tomorrow, online
Monday August 17th, more info
will be on pace line and echelons.  Come and learn some new tricks for saving energy, riding smoothly, and safely maneuvering in the group.  Improve your ability to move in the peloton as well as improving the ability to work with other riders in race, training or group ride situations.
 
I addition to the one hour clinic, the clinic also includes IN race instruction, tips and advice, as well as post race analysis and conversation.
 
As well as great instruction, you also get one upgrade point for the class, or may use the clinic to count as one race towards your upgrade to category 4 or 3.  No prior clinic or race participation is needed to attend, that said, more experienced riders will also have tons to gain from the experience.
 
The clinic is at PIR Monday night, Aug 17th, 5:15pm, 15$ gets you in the clinic, sign up at the Monday PIR registration table!  Feel free to contact me with questions, or check out the coaching page for more info, or the Upper Echelon Fitness website. 
 
See you there!!!
 

Crit champs and the rest of the week

Well today was crit champs, pharmacy but the race didn’t happen until after some other good training and racing happened.  First off, there was the Tuesday night crit here in Eugene, then the Team Oregon Mid Summer Crit series crit up in Hillsboro.  And  there was also the crash aftermath from twilight-a large bump at the base of my skull, just below where the helmet covers.  This showed up the day after the crash, and the night of the crash a head ache showed up that lasted about 3 days.  I’m pretty sure I had a small concussion and hit my head below where my helmet covers.  That said, make sure you get a helmet that covers as much of your head as possible, even the back.

The tuesday night crit was fun and a good workout.  The Wednesday night cirt was also fun and a good workout.  Nothing like racing the other strong  guys on a weekday training session to make you push yourself and dig deep.

Fridays ride consisted of not riding, and instead picking blackberries in order to make some fresh jam, have blackberries on ice cream, and blackberry muffins.  Yep, the season is winding down.

And then today was crit champs.  It was a great course, the Albany course is really smooth and has great corners.  There was a good sized crash in one corner, not sure what caused it, but I got bumped around a bunch, and bent a spoke when my wheel hit another bike, and the spoke got caught on the bikes quick release.  Stayed up, but the wheel was really out of true, and rubbing the break pad.  I noticed that at about 9 laps to go, but I don’t think that had anything to do with my lack of results.  It was not real aggressive racing, there weren’t too many attacks, and the usual suspects were given no slack to get up the road and establish a break.  I made a few attacks, but nothing stuck, and there were no counter attacks to my efforts either.  At some point in the last 10 laps, a break of 3 went up the road, and managed to stay away.  At 2 to go, I made an effort to stay at the front, and got shut out of the inside of the corner where I was trying to move up.  Had to hit the breaks, and lose a bunch of positions, and ended up in the back.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make up any ground at this point, so I sat up to avoid any crashing that may happen.  Sam Nicoletti from GLs took the win, keeping the crit champ in pink for another year, nice job!

Gresham

Day 5: Gresham, dosage I almost didn’t race.  I was feeling really tired, surgeon and a little sore from the crash, therapy but after seeing all my team mates signing up, I decided to get kitted up and race as well, get out a little pent up aggression from friday.  I signed up, watched the finish of Kareys race, and then rolled around the course with Marcel to warm up a little.  I wasnt too concerned about getting to the line right away, since I knew it would take a few laps for my legs to warm up, and until then I was just going to suck some wheels.  The first lap hurt, Im not gonna lie.  It was pretty hard.  But by the 5th lap, I was feeling pretty good, and was starting to be an active rider in the race.  I went off with a break with Jeff Bannink and Joshua Liberles.  We were off for a few laps and picked up a prime, but were brought back.  I still kept on trying to get breaks, and spent a lot of time off the front.

I took a few laps on my own for a while after making an attack that no one responded to.  While I was up there, I picked up some Clif recovery drink mix, which was very tasty on the way home I might add.  Shortly after I was brought back from my solo attempt at an escape, there was a large break that was rolling away that I was in, but it was being brought back.  Thats when Chris Hamilton of Rapha Racing hit the gas to get a new group going.  I jumped on his wheel, and looked back after a couple of seconds to see it was just the two of us.  We worked together for a few laps, then Omer Kem bridged up to us completing the horse power needed to stay away.  The three of us rode very smoothly together, and aggreed to split the primes and just keep on rolling smoothly through to the finish.  On the final lap, Omer set us up for the sprint by taking a final, lap long super pull, with Hamilton on his wheel, while I sat in 3rd.  Hamilton attacked going into the final corner, jumped to stay on his wheel as he railed it through the corner-I wasnt letting any final corner crashing stop me this time-followed him down the finish straight before I hit the turbo button and started my sprint to come around him.  It felt really good to take the win, expecially after such a dissappointing ending to friday night.

Team Time Trial

Well today was crit champs, pharmacy but the race didn’t happen until after some other good training and racing happened.  First off, there was the Tuesday night crit here in Eugene, then the Team Oregon Mid Summer Crit series crit up in Hillsboro.  And  there was also the crash aftermath from twilight-a large bump at the base of my skull, just below where the helmet covers.  This showed up the day after the crash, and the night of the crash a head ache showed up that lasted about 3 days.  I’m pretty sure I had a small concussion and hit my head below where my helmet covers.  That said, make sure you get a helmet that covers as much of your head as possible, even the back.

The tuesday night crit was fun and a good workout.  The Wednesday night cirt was also fun and a good workout.  Nothing like racing the other strong  guys on a weekday training session to make you push yourself and dig deep.

Fridays ride consisted of not riding, and instead picking blackberries in order to make some fresh jam, have blackberries on ice cream, and blackberry muffins.  Yep, the season is winding down.

And then today was crit champs.  It was a great course, the Albany course is really smooth and has great corners.  There was a good sized crash in one corner, not sure what caused it, but I got bumped around a bunch, and bent a spoke when my wheel hit another bike, and the spoke got caught on the bikes quick release.  Stayed up, but the wheel was really out of true, and rubbing the break pad.  I noticed that at about 9 laps to go, but I don’t think that had anything to do with my lack of results.  It was not real aggressive racing, there weren’t too many attacks, and the usual suspects were given no slack to get up the road and establish a break.  I made a few attacks, but nothing stuck, and there were no counter attacks to my efforts either.  At some point in the last 10 laps, a break of 3 went up the road, and managed to stay away.  At 2 to go, I made an effort to stay at the front, and got shut out of the inside of the corner where I was trying to move up.  Had to hit the breaks, and lose a bunch of positions, and ended up in the back.  I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make up any ground at this point, so I sat up to avoid any crashing that may happen.  Sam Nicoletti from GLs took the win, keeping the crit champ in pink for another year, nice job!
Stage 4 of the week: After the twilight crit, order
I did a team time trial in Washington.  It was pretty hard, ed
I was the only guy without a TT bike, and my recovery from the twilight was terrible.  It was an hour of pain and suffering.  I spent the whole time staring at the wheel in front of me, and contemplating at how fast the asphault seemed to be moving.  Pretty soon I just started counting to 30 over and over again.  It seemed to be a montra that kept me on track a little better.  It started from taking 30 second pulls, counting 30 breaths before pulling aside, but eventually became so ingrained it was lasting the entirety of the course.  Finally finished the TTT, and I was pretty glad to be done.  Especially since it was starting to rain, and it was cold.  Why does it always seem to rain for any race I do in washington?  Why do you bike racers live there?  I thought we had it bad down in Oregon, Im pretty glad I dont live up there.  Brave souls, all of you WSBA members.

Portland Twilight and the days before it.

So this week was kinda a little stage race in a sense.  7 days in the week, health care 5 days were spent racing.  What better way to spend a week?  First off, sick   for the first time, website like this I raced PIR.  It was pretty fun, but no offense Portlanders, the Tuesday Night Crit series here in Eugene is a harder race, and Ive got the power data to prove it.  I spent most of the race riding hard, attacking and generally getting in a good workout.  Good times.  Wednesday, I was out helping out the Team O crit, and seized the opportunity to jump in that and race.  It was a pretty good workout.  The course is a little goofy with the two 180s, but it was pretty fun.  Every time through the 180 I tried pushing the grip of my tires a bit more, seeing how far they would go.  It was fun.

Thursday was a nice little recovery ride.

Friday-started out with an easy spin in the morning to loosen up the legs and get the blood flowing.  Back home for some lunch and R&R before heading to the twilight.  After getting to the twilight crit and getting ready to warm up, I discovered that I forgot my shoes at the house I was staying at.   After a few seconds of mildly freaking out, I decided the best plan of action would be to ride back to the house in regular shoes, trade shoes, and ride back.  Getting in a warm up and solving the shoe problem.  I did that, and it was much quicker than driving there.  I’m pretty sure Ill almost never drive again once I get moved to Portland.

Starting the race this year was excellent.  A call up for being #2 in the BAR made getting to the front easy, and kept me ahead of the crashes, guys getting dropped, and general craziness that this crit seems to have in it.  I kept active at the front, and made sure I could keep tabs on what was going on, and who was attempting to go up the road.  After a while, there was a break with Adrian Hegyvery, Steven Beardsley, and two other guys, that seemed to be sticking.  The pack was still moving along though, so although the break wasn’t getting closer, it wasn’t getting any farther either, with Omer Kem on the front of the field throwing down, demonstrating what it means to have the fitness of a pro.  After a quite a few laps of this, the pack seemed to slow just a bit.  It looked like the right time to attack and bridge up to the break, as this was the time the gap would start to emerge.  I attacked just before a corner, and railed it through, feeling my tires barely remaining in contact with the slippery and rough corner.  Coming out of the exit, I hit the gas hard, gaining as much speed as possible before the next corner, where I would have no choice but to lean the bike as hard as I could, coast so I don’t clip my pedal, and maintain speed before the next straight stretch.  I did this formula for about a lap and a half before I made contact with the final rider in the break.  I sat there for about another lap and a half before I could contribute to the effort.  With 26 minutes to go, the break gaining time on the field, and the field seeming to slow down, things were looking good.  I kept on working with my new found break away companions to keep the gap going.  Things were looking good, the crowd was huge and loud.  The tall buildings and the trees of the park seemed to keep all the sound in, this is probably the loudest crit that Ive done, so loud that I couldn’t make out any prime laps, but that was all right, I was hunting for the over all win.  Finally it came down to the final lap, things were good, legs were feeling good, it was all down to positioning and who the best man was on this Friday night.  Going into the final corner, I was on the outside, with Beardsley to my inside.  Midway through the corner, someone came flying in between the two of us, giving Steve a shove to the inside, and giving me a shove on the exit of the corner, straight into the curb, crashing me out of the break.  Not only did I crash out of the break, I crashed into some spectators, and into last place.  Fun.

The best part is that someone has the crash on video, something all of my crashes have yet to accomplish.  I’ve yet to see it (if your the person with the video, lets see that business!!)  Luckily I wasnt too banged up from the incedent, and the people I landed on were all right as well.  Although, the road rash extended onto where my saddle is just a bit, so the ride on saturday was not much fun.

Flat, Fast, Far and frothy

Say that five times fast…That about sums up the OBRA TT championships, this web or perhaps any 40k time trial that is on a flat smooth road.  It was out in the flats of the W valley, cialis 40mg right in the middle of the “Grass Seed Capitol of the World”.  I showed up with time to spare since karey raced about an hour before I went out.  After a leisurely number pinning session I hoped on my time trial bike, aka the rack, and started my warm up.  I started off with a spin on the road to make sure my powertap cables were secure and that the freshly attached wheel cover to turn my power tap into a disc was not going to fall off-I imagine that would put an end to your time trialing.  After heading back to the car to warm up on the trainer in the shade the Upper Echelon tent, the I got to business and had a good warm up, probably the best warm up for a TT in a while.

Once on the road, I was trying to keep my power under control in the first half to ensure I didn’t blow up, and in the process I was able to hold off super fast Rob English for 15 k, I knew he would get me at some point so I was just happy to not have him pass me earlier.  As usual, he won the TT, at least I had a front row seat.  Heading out was fast, but coming back was even faster.  Cruising at 32mph on flat ground was pretty exhilarating.  The second half of my TT was probably the best second half of any TT Ive done, I usually don’t pace it right and blow up at about 5k to go, but not today.  The pain disappeared as I looked down to see 32.3 reading on my powertap screen, and instead it was just a feeling of “Wow, this is  fast, I wonder how long I can keep it up for”.  That question was answered, in the second half of the TT when I was ramping it up, the speedometer didn’t read less than 30 until the final kilometer, when the road has a slight uphill.  So even though your ramping up and putting out even more power, foaming at the mouth in the process, gravity’s slight effect kept my speed down to 29.  Coming back feeling so good, even in the final few kilometers of the race, makes me wonder if I didn’t go out hard enough, or if there was a spot in the middle where I could have pushed just a little harder.  But Ill never know.  Ill have to leave it to the next race to find out if I can push it further.