Friday, May 28, 2010

Long Hours

In the Office Chair
I've been reminded that I am a pro-designer not a pro-cyclist lately. One week I barely trained due to 15-17 hour work days. Good thing I kept bike commuting, otherwise I wouldn't have been training. Plus the roads are pretty clear at 1 am and 5 am.

But I was so sleep deprived I forgot how cross-brakes don't stop for sh*t and I crashed on a downhill in Indian Hill. It was right in front of a family reunion in a park! Hilarious. Perhaps out of pride, I always pop back up and wave at people and try not to lick my wounds in front of others.

Rekindling a Little Romance
Bridget and I have been training a lot more together lately! She used to be the only person I would ride with. But we have been so busy the past two years and on different schedules we rarely train with each other. I know she was unhappy with her form going into Cohutta (but still got 10th!) so we have been training a lot more together and I have been putting the hurt on her!

We had two really nice Velo Dates. One was a sleep-deprived Friday night (where I crashed) where we rode up to a pizza place called The Works in Loveland. How do you get pizza grease out of spandex? The second was a little sunset picnic on the Purple People Bridge followed by a hill climb competition up to Devou! Lovely.

In the Saddle
Some of my weekend rides have been shortened due to rain or poor planning and my weeknights rides have been a little shorter due to work. But here and there I have had some fun epic rides on the weekend.

One was a semi-hilly century with my teammates Joe, Rachel, Geri, Gerz and Mott. It is incredible how quickly 6 hours flies by when you have great company! We rode up to Loveland and then down in Kentucky on Amsterdam and Route 8. They finally killed me on the final hill! A total wall!

Another ride that got botched was Bjet's and my first attempt at riding in Shawnee State Park. There has been so much rain lately that I didn't want to tear up trails. We got out there too late to ride the long hours I wanted, and the locals we first met were hostile and the roads weren't marked along 52! Some people out there don't respect the beauty of the place they live in — litter constantly along the roads. We did some "American Flyer"-esque dog sprints! Then we came upon this chicken farm with all their chickens all over the road. Add to that a pack or 6 loose dogs flying at us! We had to gun it as chickens were flying everywhere and dogs were on our heels! I was surprised some farmer in a straw hat, no shirt and denim overalls didn't come running out with a shotgun!

Last weekend was my last chance of putting some hardcore training into my legs. Friday night got rained out. We tried to ride but I didn't feel like forcing myself to ride in the drizzle and thunder. Saturday I turned the screws on myself and rode every hardcore hill I could think of between Indian Hill, Loveland, and Batavia. I put in about 6 hours and 96 miles. Then Sunday I did it all over again. Bridget never rode a century! So we did a very similar route minus a couple climbs and added on a few more miles. I was hurting, but it was great to have a powertap with heart rate monitor to observe how I far I can push myself once the "elastic has snapped." Plus watching Nibali and Basso in the Giro that morning stoked my fire! How do they do that?!

I will be riding over 1000 miles this month! I think my work is down. Time to rest up and get ready for the big event.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Race #37: The Human Yo-Yo

I just did my first crit last night! The infamous Ault Park crit. I remember going to this 7 or 8 years ago and being mystified by that race and the whirl of the pack as they wizzed by.

My legs were still toast after pulling off a couple of hilly centuries last weekend, but I wanted to get some speed work in before Mohican. Talked to Nate before hand, and we both just wanted to ride, no real strategy. We both started from the back which turned out to be kind of chaotic and scary. After a few laps (I was too busy keeping my eyes glued to the chaos around me I forgot to look at the lap counter) I got sick of it back there and decided to work my way up.

So on the hill I did a dig on the outside and went from worst to first! For a second. Coming around the backside I was unable to find shelter behind someone else and prompty blew up (it was probably a sprint lap too and the pace picked up)! Back to worst.

I was feeling a little more relaxed and Bridget arrived so I smiled and waved shouting "Hey, I'm in last place!"

So I dug again. Same thing happened. And it happened again later.

By the end I tried to work my way up and hide behind Nate. We were probably in the first third of the pack with 1 lap to go. But the anchor came out for us and we went backward.

Good thing too. Someone's wheel taco'd and there was a huge wreck up front! Next race I will try to watch the lap cards and do a better job of hiding!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Any advice for a Crit Rookie?

I think I might jump into the B race tomorrow night. I love cyclocross, that first lap feeling where you are all cattle herded together and you weave your way through people — but that is twice as slow... The road makes me a little weary, and that makes me a worse rider. I have shied away from road racing since last year but I think it is time to conquer my fears and have some fun.

What I learned from my lame Cat 5 road race last year:
– Be closer to the front
(If I have the legs I will try to do some work, maybe cover a break)
– Don't race in the middle of the pack if you are not comfortable
(I might race on the outside until I feel safe)

I might ride up to Ault Park tonight and recon the course so I feel all the more comfortable. I also need to get a bunch of junk out of my legs — I did two straight days of hilly centuries last weekend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Riding hills for 6 hours? Stop off for a cupcake "powerbar" at Sugar in Milford!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crashed on the road last Friday night. The marketing Wiz's must see my roadrash budget and started marketing to me using cycling imagery!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A rainy day on the Giro's Strade Bianchi. Crashes, chasing, cross-like conditions. Vino keeps wiping the mud and rain out his eyes, looks like he is suffering. Evans's rainbow jersey is covered in mud. What a race! Bellisimo!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I don't think I am being a weight weenie. I feel a little duped being the owner of a 27 lb. mountain bike that did not come from WalMart.

Minus the replaced derailleur my 2008 Gary Fisher Paragon is pretty much out-of-the-box, including running tubes. Here is a link to BikePedia for the specs for the bike.

I do have some new, lighter tires and some rim strips I am planning install. Running tubeless will really help some of that rolling weight.

I have a smidge of cash right now, about $300-400. I was looking at the Bontrager Race X Lites. I would like to ask a question of my faithful, experienced, wise readers: Should I pick a lighter wheelset and shave off a mere 300 grams of rolling weight? Or just save the mulah?

In the future a lighter set of cranks may be in order, and perhaps a cheap buy like a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost may help as well. Any other ideas for a cheap racer?


This cobbled street is on my way up to the Market. It gives me a great bouncin' around when I take the steel Jamis — but today the Redline Conquest with carbon fork and seat post was a nice reprieve.

One of these days I want to patch together an alleycat race (combined with Easter Egg hunt?) using a lot of these cobbled sections in Over-The-Rhine. It's cool to feel Cincinnati history in your bones!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Still finding Mud in dark places after DSG09

Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt

Super cool video from last year's Dirt, Sweat and Gears (which I called Mud, Tears and Beers). This guy passes me at the Le Mans style start at 0:26 in the video! He passes another Trek Store rider (Bridget? Me? Jacob?) at about 2:19.
From 2009 Cycling Yearbook