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Sunday, May 23, 2010

All is not lost!!!

Keeping with the season finally.

This weekend was an aformation to the fact the my season is not wasted. I, like many if not every racer had a time this year where I thought this season was gone beyond all hopes. Using my powermeter to track my threshold power around 50 or so watts below last year's had me wondering if I would still be racing after this season.

I thought Vint Hill was a fluke and it was all becuase Evan towed me to the line. I stopped using power, much to my coaches dismay, and just kept training. I started feeling faster but was I?

My trip down to speed week left me feeling confident that while I still might not be fast enough there wasn't anyone that was going to take the wheels that I was following. I came back ready to race.At Fort Ritchie I bridged to the break only to be left to be caught by the field.

I had a good day at Deep Blue besting my last years time by around 30 seconds. Then at the Carlisle 40k this weekend I posted a 51:35. To be fair this is a fast, or short, 40k but using Mr. Frick as the standard of what is too fast, I was only 30 seconds behind his winning time last year.

Why am I writing about my turn around in mentality? I have some friends, and not just one, that have had some set backs this season and are not where they would like to be. So hopefully they read this and realize not all is lost, it's only May.

This is something everyone goes through and it is the first thing forgotten when you climb up on the podium.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What is a picture worth?

This weekend was a mix of highs and lows. At Fort Richie, I made a huge effort (for me) to make it up to the break. Almost as soon as I got there I got gaped off the back and it was just Joe and Tim going up the rode. I thought cool, I'll just let them go. If someone wants to stay with them they will have to tow me up, first mistake. Nobody towed me up, they just attacked the little chase group leaving me me with plenty of room to ponder over my bad decision. I might have been able to cover the attaches if I had some time to recover but instead I spent two or so laps chasing before pulling the plug. I felt really bad about leaving Joe out number by Harley.

After rejoining the pack I slotted myself about fifth wheel with Ryan McKinney chasing. I think Ryan spent about five to ten laps at the front before his teamates joined him. Dc Velo brought the break to within 18 seconds or so before they gave up chasing.

After the chase stopped is when I decided to make up for the fact that I got popped out of the break. I was able to sit behind Bryan V. as he rode tempo. I was able to jump on every attemp to bridge. I know I pissed off Steve Wahl several times but he knew the deal. I did my final pull with one to go and rolled through happy in dead last.

Not much to talk about as far as Deep Blue goes. I don't know if you can make a TT sound interesting. It was the windiest I have even TTed in, at some points it seemed as though I was riding at a 45 degree angle. I did not feel like I did that well but the wind must have been on my side. I finished 2nd behind Mike Githens who absolutely crushed it.

All in all, a good weekend, I feel fast after speedweek and just hope it sticks around for a while. But now for the good part. I do not currently have a good banner photo for my blog so I am starting my own photo contest. A picture might be worth a thousand words but I'm sure someone would rather have two pounds of coffee from my friends at Pound coffee in DC. So if you see any good shots of me let the photographer know. I will give away two pounds of coffee and credit the photographer every time I change it, probably a once a month deal.

On the Pound Coffee note, they just opened the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT) that connects from Union Station to New York ave, very close to the coffee shop which is located in the new ATF building in north Capitol Hill (right across the street from the New York Ave metro stop). Pound would like to let anyone know that they are one of a few places in the area that is cyclist friendly. They won't mind if you need to fill up some bottles, grab a coke or cliff bar. They also have really good ethnic food and the menu changes every day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm a slacker

I know I just stopped writing on the rest day but it was for good reason. First, my energy reserves started to diminish quite rapidly as the days went on. Second, I also had to do finals for 2 online classes I was taking and one of them included a good size paper, so after all that writing I did not want to look at a keyboard.

Recap of the Week

I will have to say looking back at the week it was by far the coolest experiance I have ever had on a bike. The crowds are bigger than anthing I have seen at a bike race and being the one on the other side of the fenses was a cool feeling. At the end of the week I noticed some of the Pro squads coming around and being a little more friendly, guess they just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to crash them out first. It is also a cool feeling to have not racers at the events, they are very interested and will stop to ask questions about everything. I just wish the sport could be like that all the time.

It was also a huge learning experiance. I am sure I got faster from the 4,000 plus 30 second intervals I did out of every corner. But the real gains are going to be from the skill of how to ride a crit. I learn a lot from teamates and some friendly pros like Adam Myerson. I have heard a mix of coments about Adam but he is cool in my book. I found myself fighting to get around him several times only to end up right back behind him. That was before he said something like " Hey jackass! Just follow me and you will save a lot of energy.". Then after the race he commented about how he was not trying to be a dick but to just give me some pointers.

When racing for pure survival you learn to break down every section of the race and figure the most efficient path possible. I learned taking some risks at the right time can move you up 30 spots and don't waiste your energy fighting over one wheel. Granted some of the skill will not apply to MABRA crits, I still think I will be a better crit racer after that week.

If you have never done a race of that level you can not understand the speed. Even last year when I just upgraded and did my first 1/2/3 race I could get to the front if I wanted to. I only got to the front of the race once in the entire week and it lasted about 5 seconds. My best finish was on the last day at 34th and I was very prowd of it.