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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Get Felt

With nothing but saddle sores to talk about from the past couple of weeks racing I’ll just write up a make shift review on my rigs for the 09 season. I rode Felts exclusively this year for no other reason than I got good deals, but it worked out ok.

I spent last winter building base on my 08 race bike, a 2007 Felt F2. It might not be the lightest carbon bike out there but it has to be one of the toughest. After several crashes last year the bike has only chips in the clear coat. Being that it is 4 cm too big for me and I have horrible sprinting form, my only complaint is more likely due to fit than fault of the manufacture. When out of the saddle sprinting the rear wheel spends about 20% of the time hopping and skipping around behind me like a dog left leashed to the back of a station wagon.

After losing several places in G.C. last year by a few seconds in a hill climb I vowed to so something about my 18 lb race bike. I used the trusty VISA to get myself a 2009 Felt F1 SL. The F1 weighed in at 14.06 with stock wheels (no pedals or cages), pretty impressive for a sub $10k bike. After I saw the Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimates in Velo News my race wheel selection was made. After swapping the wheels, stock cables with Nokon (for weight and looks), Speed Play Ti pedals , and a Fizik Arione CX saddle the bike was just at 14 lbs all built up. After dropping 6 pounds myself from doing close to 4,000 miles over the winter and the 4 lbs on the bike I was a bit quicker on the up hills ( yeah I’m a fat ass now that was 10lbs ago). Needless to say I felt like the bike floated up the climbs. I only use the F1 on race day so it always feels a bit quicker. The mix between the bike, the wheels and an awesome fit from Beth Mason makes for the best handling bike I have ever ridden. There are not too many people that can hang on my wheel in a corner, I’ve been opening gaps all season and probably could have won Jeff Cup had I not waited in the final corner for the guy to get back on.

The F1 came with the new Dura Ace 7900 which I love, it shifts smoother, brakes better and its quite a bit lighter than the 7800 stuff. Oh yeah you can dial in the levers if you have midget fingers. As for the wheels I got to test out the MP3 program Mavic offers, the MP3 is their crash replacement policy that can be bought with the wheels. It took 6 days for me to get a new wheel after I used the first one to ride over someone at 35 mph. Just wish they had an MP3 for my knee.

As anyone who knows me knows I like to Time Trial and one reason in my bike. Last winter George Opria sent me an email with a link to an Ebay sale, I think all the email said was “If you want to do stage races you need to get this bike”. The bike was a Felt B2 with Zipps, a 1080 up front and Sub9 in the rear both had ceramic bearing upgrades, all for $3200 or $3600 I don’t remember but it was a good price either way. I slapped on a set of Easton bars and I was ready to roll.

My first ever TT was Evos team winter training TT series, George wasn’t quite ready for the effort since he was a couple of weeks back in training than I was so he paced behind me giving me pointers(good guy to get pointers from). I was the fastest time of the day despite the fact that I had to stop on the last lap to pull my chain out of the chainstays. I was only 30 back from the courses best time held by George so it was game on in a month. I wasn’t using my race wheels and neither was George when he set the fastest time on the course the year before but I was sure as hell going to use my new gear to try and break the record. Well George caught wind of what I was up to and showed up in full race gear to defend his spot as record holder. We both blew away his time from the year before but I got him by a few seconds. I like to think that I got him since I was a few week ahead in my training but he says I beat him fair and square. Well the B2 has only lost 1 time trial and that was due to a flat so I can’t complain about the bike at all. To wrap it up I’ll just end it by saying I think Felt makes a great bike for the money. It might not have the looks of a Ridley or an Orbea but its gets the job done.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Its official..

I wasn’t going to talk about it much till the season was over but since most people know already I’ll just put it out there. Yeah, I’m switching to Haymarket for next season, for a couple of reasons. They are closer to my home, the shop has kept me going and I feel I can pay them back a little for all their help, I have been envying teams for the past 2 years and I’m really excited to be joining one (the biggest reason). I really liked all the guys at Evo and they helped me become a half decent racer, and that was the hardest part. I know they want to have an Elite team and they really wanted to keep me but I don’t think an unknown cat 3 who has been racing for 2 years could recruit an elite team so I took the easy way out. I’m looking forward to being able to do some work for my new teammates. I really think that I’ll make a good addition to the team as I think I’ll be the only TT specialist.

About the Bar and other racing..
So I found myself in contention (if the stars align) for the bar without even thinking about it but with only 4 events left it seems like a possibility. After my complete failure at Page Valley Brandon Lumm (nice guy) scored 9 more points. After spending a night sorting thru all the bullshit I have heard about these bonus points and I have heard a lot. I’ve been told I get them from moving to 3’s from the 4’s and or Brandon would get them if he upgrades to a 2. I heard anywhere from 10 to 35 point. Well, here is the rule in question.

7.b. Any Novice rider who moves from the Novice class to the Senior class as a result of a voluntary or forced upgrade of USAC racing category receives a o­ne-time 25 point bonus in the Novice BAR In addition, Novice class riders may not earn more than 150 points in a single season. Any placings in excess of this level will not score toward the BAR

So, unlike I had thought from what people had been saying that my current 65 point had an additional 25 added to them and Brandon and I were tied with 90. WRONG , I get 25 points added to my placing in the cat 4 bar and zero in the 3’s. So as far as I can figure Brandon now has 99 points 34 more than I do and still 36 points back from Win Elliot. And unlike what people had been saying I can’t find it anywhere that getting upgraded takes you out of contention for your BAR (looks like you where right Pete). But going from a 3 to a 2 has no reward, the bonus only applies from novice to senior.

There is still another 86 points to be had. I will screw myself right now by saying that I should have 51 points in the bag unless someone else has been doing 52 minute timetrials using an alias or I flat again (guaranteed to happen now). But that only puts me at 116 so I’ll need to get 20 more points from the hill climb and turkey day. Fuck this is going to be hard. So at least if I fail at the hill climb I can just say screw it and upgrade after the TT and start working at getting points for my cat 1. Yeah I want to be a 1, that is another reason why Haymarket was my choice. I want to race in the big races that are invitation only, and they get invited thanks to Jared. So on Tim Rugg’s cue my season goals where
1) Go from cat 4 to 2 (Check)
2) Win every type of race ;RR, Crit, TT, GC (Everything but the GC)
3) Make an elite team (Check)

My lifetime goals coming out of this season.
1) 4 more years of Base Possible if my knee can take it
2) Cat 1 I think I can get it with GC result from my TTing
3) Sub 50 minute 40k Just a dream but better to dream big
4) Masters Nationals TT see above
5) Get on the track Just have to drive 3 hours so should be easy
6) Be in a break that makes it with Rugg, we must have been in 5 failed breaks this year.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Not much to talk about

I'll I did this weekend was the Carlisle time trial. I let sara from cycle life use my time trial wheels since one of her goals this year was to break an hour and she had been using regular wheels. I had no goals for the tt so I didn't care. I still set a personal best of 52:47 finishing 3rd overall. So what ever you number junkies think my time would have been if I had on my sub 9 , 1080 and tt helmet on. So I inadvertantly checked off one of my goals of going under 53 minutes. And might have been in the 51's with the race wheels.
-- Post From My iPhone.