Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fair Hill...

Today was the 2nd race at Fair Hill, with this one being the Fair Hill Classic. This is the longest race in the MASS but very fast, my average speed 11mph. They pushed back our start time 15 minutes to 11am, I guess they wanted to give the Experts a little more time so they didn't have to pass us.

The race started just a bit after 11:00, and it was definitely hot though not as hot as last year. The pace off the line was quite fast, with Nick and Bill from Loweriders setting the fast pace. I tried my best to stay with them but fell back a little and was sitting in 4th place for awhile. It was really nice that they had some water stops along the course, definitely helpful with keeping the temps down by splashing water on my neck and back.

After one of those water stops I got passed by 2 riders and I tried to jump on and hang but couldn't pick up the pace. Through "Crack Head Bob" a really twisty section I was riding pretty smooth but didn't seen anyone (the trail weaves back and forth soo much and there is no sight line, so it feels as though you are out there alone). Once out of the the twisty stuff there was a bit of climbing and I spotted a few riders and picked up the pace to try to finish somewhat strong.

Down the last bit of singletrack I spotted the 4th and 5th place rider and sprinted to catch and pass them (the one guy was cramping pretty bad). So I ended in 4th place, but apparently the 1st place rider felt he cut the course as he was 6 or 7 minutes in front of Nick from Loweriders. He did the right thing and reported the accidental course cut to the timing people, and they DNF'd him moving Nick into 1st place and me up to third. I was 2 minutes 44 seconds behind Nick which seems about right as he won the first Fair Hill race earlier in the year but about the same margin.

I got a cool pint glass for third, a metal, and a trip the prize table. I grabbed a shock pump which I was just telling Mike and Lisa that I needed a new one earlier in the day. Now I've got almost 2 months off before Bear Creek, where I need to do really well to secure some double points to make up for missing Granogue, Sewell, and Neshaminy.


Friday, July 11, 2008


Tonight was one of the few Friday nights at the Velodrome - oh whoops the Valley Preferred Cycling Center which is there new name. It was tandemonium night, which is very cool to see tandems battling it out on the track.

Ray Ignosh and Andy Kuklis the local Emmaus contingent were battling it out for a podium spot and I think they succeeded with a 3rd place overall. Kuklis looks soo unhappy as the stoker, well he always looks unhappy when racing at the track.

I rode the brunch with some Nodales and lunch with the Rodale/Nodale crew. Nodales = non Rodale employees on the lunch ride. Brad Ford chose the route for the day as it was his birthday (I won't give away his age as it suprised me - and I'll let you all wish him a happy belated and ask him for yourselves). The route choice was Mill loop, with the plan for the day being to sit in not to "try" for any sprints or kom's. Not that this is difficult as I can't possbily hang with these guy's in a sprint anyway.

I am getting fired up for Fair Hill since it's my last MASS race until Bear Creek. I might throw an H2H race or two in the mix just to stay fresh and to experiment with pacing options. I'm gonna try sitting in a little bit rather than just going out too hard and blowing up and slowing down my 2nd lap.

See you Sunday!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Official training time..

So I guess it's time to get re-motivated to train again. I did some 20 minute sub-lt intervals yesterday recording HR and using my newly acquired Powertap wheel I recorded power as well. I know it's a bit much as far as gadgets go, but sometimes the numbers really help me stay focused.

Here is a graph from SportTracks without the power, as I don't have the correct download cable yet.

I hope to actually do a 20 minute threshold power test to see where I'm at now, and to compare for future tests. Its pretty amazing how much stuff affects wattage on the road. I tried holding a constant 200-220 range and keeping it steady is very difficult. I guess after using the PT for awhile I'll get it more figured out.

Hope to the weather holds out for Fair Hill and see you all there.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Visit PA Stage Racing...

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! The weekend Stage race and mountain bike festival at Marysville was a total blast. However, today I'm pretty tired from all the racing.

The weekend started out with packing the car on Friday morning in the rain and heading to Marysville to setup camp. Fortunately it was dry when we got there and we were able to get everything unpacked and setup before the rain returned. After chilling out for a while, drinking some Mad Hatter IPA and shooting the breeze with some fellow racers, it was time for the night time trial.

The night tt is probably one of the coolest events of the weekend, with riders going out every 30 seconds starting around 9pm and riding a roughly 4 mile course. Most of the course winds between through the XC race course, though sometimes in different directions. I was able to do the loop in 23.5 minutes securing 5th in Sport "A" and 1st in my age group.

Saturday morning was really different for me as I didn't have to wake up really early and "race" to the race. I was already there and didn't start until 12:30, so this was a welcome change to the normal race day prep for me. Beginners went off around 9am which was cool as they went right by our campsite. Our race started right on time and I was sitting in 4th place for a bit and was able to pick off one racer moving me into 3rd where I would end up for the race. I definately need to work on some core stuff and endurance as I was really tired by the 2nd lap.

Later that night they did some awards from the XC races and swag toss. The Spokes team had some great results at this race, although we would've liked more to come and enjoy this cool weekend of racing. There was a trials demo by Topher, Austin Carter and a few other - it was really cool to see what some of these guys can do on a bike.

Sunday morning began with some bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Not sure if this was the best breakfast choice with the hill climb and short track still to come, but it sure tasted good!! I hadn't done the hill climb last year so I had no idea what to expect. It was 2.5 mile climb out of the farm on some dirt, some gravel and some road. My plan was to just keep Travis and Gunnar in sight and I knew I would do well in Sport "A". The worked well as I chased those guys up the hill and got 7th overall and 1st again in my age group.

After some much needed chill time, short track was next. Sport "A" racers were set for 20 minutes of pain. This was a really cool loop about .50 mile and we did 10 laps in just a bit over 20 minutes. I was very happy with how this race turned out as well, I think I got 7th overall and 1st in my age group as well.

I should have secured myself the 1st place points for the Stage races towards an extra XC race. This is something I really need as I won't be able to get to Iron Hill and missed Granogue, Sewell, and Neshaminy. After next week's Fair Hill race, I'll be done racing until Bear Creek so this is a dangerous time for me. Last year during this break from racing I kinda stopped riding all together - so I'm gonna try really hard to stay motivated and get ready for Bear Creek as that counts for 2 XC races as well.

Hope to see everyone at Fair Hill where I hope to not get smoked on the drag strip by all the big ring mashers. See you Sunday.

Pictures from the week should be up by tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I did some hill hunting on the road bike, trying to find some good hill repeat intervals. I found the backside of Hawk Mtn from rt 143 to be a decent steady climb about 2.5 miles total climb. I was running a bit short on time so I just road there from home and did a 10 minute climb and back to the house. Here's a pic of the scenery on the way.

This weekend is the Stage race at Marysville! I just received word there are a few more events for Saturday. The events are Bike Polo, a trials event with course design by Topher Inc., and a dual slalom trike race. Go here for the most up to the minute updates.

All in all this sounds like it's gonna be a great weekend with a bunch of good friends and fun races. Hurry up and pre-register as it closes tomorrow at noon. See you all in Marysville.