Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reflections on another season passed.

Top 10 things I learned this season:

10. I'm 38.
9. Cervelo bikes really are that good.
8. Sometimes stepping away does in fact make the heart grow fonder of what you left behind.
7. Never ever attack a marathon with 7 miles to go; wait 1 more mile, that way you are not crab running the final 1500
6. 3 marathons in 8 months catches up with #10
5. If it feels like work stop doing it, #8 will bring the fun back in due course
4. I can, in fact, still ride a bike and bike racing with a bunch of hack minded old guys like me really is A LOT OF FUN!
3. EPIC racing is where it is at! Green Mountain Stage Race & Boston Marathon were epic, painful and fun
2. Ironman Canada 2010 is my response to #5
1. My wife rocks more now than ever, especially given #2!!!!!!!

Next installment, 5 athletic goals for 2010.

Thanks for checking in.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Green Mountain Stage Race: stage 4 ++

And now we are done!

Stage 4 was a 20 mile, 6 corner criterium through the downtown streets of Burlington Vermont. Honestly I was scared, really scared I would be shelled by lap 5 and look a fool. Well that didn't happen and I hung on for dear life the first 10 laps then settled in nicely. I actually started to feel really good and then there was only 3 laps left! Finishing mid pack today took me up to 26th overall, 7+ minutes back of Steven Black the overall winner. 4th overall was actually 4+ minutes back of our overall winner so I don't feel bad about the overall either!

The Senior 2 racing was really awesome for the most part, I enjoyed it. Felt old at times, but did really enjoy the 4 days of hard, hard work.

The winning guy Steven Black was impressive and he is still under 20. Lots of room for him to move upward in the domestic cycling scene. He dominated the S2 field which he won't be racing much longer I am sure, pro land is his next step!

BTW: I finish 26th overall and 7+ minutes back on the overall; exactly same as Andrew Stewart of our Master's team here this weekend. Good job for Andrew too!

thanks for reading!

Green Mountain Stage Race: Stage 3

Finally I am up and had some amazing Green Mountain coffee to "perk" my spirits; well actually a wonderful 2 pints of Bristol's finest Ale last night did that just fine but I digress!

Stage 3 was a 75 mile trek through the valley and up over 2 climbs before hitting Appalachian Gap summit finish. The "App Gap" has a 'Baby Gap' for about 5 or 6kms at a reasonable 5 to 6%. good for high pace tempo riding. It then flattens, descends slightly, before 5K of switch back gear wrenching hell. Pitches are up to 20% and I don't recall anything being under 10%. I had a 39/27 gear ratio and barely got the pedals over. for a picture from the top of the climb click here:

Unfortunately this kind of climb makes for really conservative riding until we get there. After the 2nd climb there was a lengthy descend along a dirt road which became the hardest part of the day next to App gap. It was crazy fast, crashes and flats abound. I stayed up right and moved forward as best I could but 60 to 70k/hr on a dirt road sitting 20 riders back from the front is full on "DO I HAVE INSURANCE?" mode!!

We hit Baby Gap and I set a tempo off the front trying to bridge to 6 riders up ahead. 2K later the peleton came whipping by and it was definitely HTFO TIME! I suffered bad but held it together until App Gap proper. From there it was survival. The solace being catching 10 or so riders in the last km. I finished 3 minutes back of the yellow jersey but 6 minutes back off the stage winner. 40th of 77 racers so mid pack.

The kid who won the stage deserves yellow and the overall win. Same kid that rode me off his wheel yesterday in the break went with about 40km's to go today and stuck it. Taking the stage by 50 seconds and putting 3+minutes on the leaders. I think he will be turning pro proper next year!!!

To Gary and the crew, this race is amazing and so well organized. Thanks for putting it on.

Stage 4 is a criterium circuit in downtown Burlington Vermont. I will hurt, I will get spat out the back I am sure of it. My strategy? ATTACK AND PRAY!

thanks for reading.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Green Mountain stage Race: Stage 2

I am so tired I need to be, I mean it when I say need to be, quick here.

Yesterday was stage 2, tomorrow I will write about today's queen stage #3....

Yesterday was 120K circuit race doing 3.6 laps of a pretty good fast, windy, with a large climb per each lap. I attacked half way through and lasted half a lap in a break of 3. I followed wheels, covered some more breaks, then launched with about 3/4 of a lap to go. 2 guys came with me and for about 10K we worked well before hitting the climb. I led up the hill a good tempo when 2 really strong guys bridged over from the chasing peleton. I attacked, and will admit, swore my way over to their wheels. These 2 guys were strong! My two original companions were dropped. Now it was HTFO time!

Long story short I had no idea 2 more guys were up the road. We caught them, dropped one of them right away and then attacked each other in the final windy section. Rider #207 simply rode away from us and there was zip the remaining 3 of us could do. He won by 30 seconds moving to 3rd overall on the weekend. He's a bull and more on him tomorrow.

I fought as hard as I could with the 2 guys, getting dropped and catching on. They were clearly better (ah, and YOUNGER!) Then a rider from the peleton bridged and it was 4 for the final km. I came 4th of the 4, 5th for the stage with the peleton charging from behind. I was thrilled, truly spent and empty knowing there was nothing I could do to be better than the 5th placing.

Tomorrow we write about App Gap stage. One word: EPIC.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Green Mountain STage Race: Stage 1 and the best B&B EVER!

I am racing the Green Mountain Stage Race this weekend ( and we are staying at the most wonderful B&B suite in South Sarotoga called Windy Dog Hill ( Richard and Barbara are amazing hosts and taking great care of our little puppy Gatsby! He loves it here, 16 acres of pure Vermont playground!

Stage 1: 5.7 mile TT mostly uphill

- avg watts 354
- time 16:12
- placed 46th out of 77 (ouch) 1+ minutes back
- feeling = death

My diaphram cramped like a mo-fo! Been awhile since that injury reared its ugly head. Overall a good start but I am mid ranks with the Cat 2 crew. I caught my 30 second guy at 2:30 into it, ah...started too hard do you think? I was caught by the guy behind me 10 minutes in but I was able to keep him in sight.

Stage 2 is a circuit race of about 12 miles per lap and a climb in each lap. Tomorrow, stage 3, is the queen stage up App Gap. 39/27 gear ratio and I bet I will still be doing 60RPM. Stage 4 is a crit in Burlington VT, home of

Maybe today I start an adventure for King of the Mountains (KOM)?????? Stay tuned.