Thursday, February 26, 2009

From H.P. to Paris-Roubaix

For starters, the weather was actually pretty good down at H.P. today, and the amount of people that showed up for the noon ride justified that. I love these mid-week crits, so to speak. For me, it seems like I always learn something new about the way I ride or find out something new that I never want to do again. I try to use the times I go down there as a learning experience and so far I think it's paying off.

Anyway, for the latter part of the evening, I bought I ticket to go the Road to Roubaix movie at the Arlington Drafthouse. The event ended up selling out so I was pretty glad that I didn't wait till the last minute. I think the mixture of cycling, food and especially beer really gets a lot of people excited, so it was easy to see why this event would sell out. For me, I really just wanted to see a good film. Since I don't drink, that didn't factor into the equation at all for me.

After getting a good seat around 10 after 8 pm, the movie finally started at about 9:45 after raffles and sponsor shout-outs. My personal opinion is that the movie wasn't that great. I've seen Off Road to Athens. I own it, and I really liked that documentary. I figured this documentary would be along the same lines but to me it lacked something. I guess I was expecting to see a little bit more about how the cyclist prepare for Paris-Roubaix. I wanted to see something about the training and the equipment selection and everything that goes into racing the race. I thought that everyone that spoke just kept saying the same thing over and over for 75 minutes. "Paris-Roubaix is a difficult race and takes mental toughness" and "You have to be a little crazy to do Paris-Roubaix", with an English, French, German, Italian and Dutch accent. I was just a little disappointed, and I like road racing more than mountain biking so I really wanted to like this movie. Maybe if I had had a couple of pitchers of Dogfish ale in me I would've liked it a little bit more, but that's just my opinion because I'm sure there were people there that absolutely loved it and thought it was Oscar worthy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm allowed to change my mind!

Ok, so I woke up this morning feeling a lot better so I decided if the weather holds I will race at Tradezone #2. We shall see.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Come on already!

I'm getting really anxious for the warm weather and the real racing season to start. Unfortunately it's also causing me to lose a little bit of my training motivation. This was my first real winter of actually training and right about now I'm extremely sick of riding inside most of the week. The weather is really starting to get on my nerves as well. When it's beautifully sunny outside, it's freakin' windy, I mean wind tunnel windy. Take last Thursday for example. After waiting all week to get a chance to ride outside I get down to HP for the noon ride and I have to battle 30+ mph wind gust! Very discouraging! Literally at one point I think I was leaning into the wind at a 45 degree angle just to stay upright. Then, when the weather is warm, it decides to rain. Mother nature needs to be shot and I got the Glock .40 to put her down.

Anyway I guess I'm really just looking forward to the season starting more than anything. I just want to make sure I don't end up as one of those riders with good early season form that fades and fizzles into nothing towards the end of the season. I was getting excited for UMD but because of LAX we gotta wait for Jeff Cup. Tradezone #2 is scheduled for tomorrow, but so is rain and snow. I've been battling a bit of a cold for the past week or so, and I'm thinking that even though I'm registered for the B race, I might be sitting this one out. As a matter of fact I know I'm sitting this one out. I want to make sure this cold doesn't try to hang around any longer than it has to. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tradezone: Part 1 of many

I decided for this race I would do the B and C race. Not because I think I'm that great, but because I definitely need the training.

So the C race went like this, I won. That's about it. It was about as interesting as you would've expected a C race to be, there were no breakaways and no crashes that I know of. Actually, from being in both races, I think the C race was far less sketchier than the B. Who would've thought. On the bell lap a guy in a nondescript black uniform took off after the first right hand turn. I saw this and moved up to the front, not chasing the guy in front of me because I knew he would be cooked before coming into the finish. On the backstretch with all the pot holes another guy shot past me to bridge the gap and I rode his wheel across until we caught the guy and took off at the bottom of the uphill leading to the finish and that was all she wrote.

After the C race I was actually feeling pretty good. I still doubted my ability to finish the B race once I saw all the familiar faces in the B race, but I figured might as well give it a go. Now, the B race was a race, and I loved it. Attack after attack. I could definitely tell there are a few teams that are on the ball, and two worth mentioning, Route 1 and ABRT. I am not on either team, but I love when they show up to race because I know there will be some good tactics going on to make the race more interesting and feel like it makes me a more intelligent rider. Since this was my second race, I was trying to conserve a lot of energy and make smart efforts, which I did for the most part. I was feeling pretty good until about 5 laps to go. Then the hammer of Thor came down upon me and both my thighs cramped like crazy. I knew I could still hang on but every lap it felt like a cramp kept popping up in a new spot. By 3 laps to go, my hamstrings started to cramp. At this point I seriously thought about just pulling off but I figured I could still finish as long as I didn't try and stand up, which I never did for the rest of the race. Needless to say, I was able to finish in the field and definitely not contesting the sprint. I was upset about that, because I was definitely in good position on the last lap.
But it was a learning experience and now I at least know I need to tweak my race time nutrition a little bit because I refuse to not be competitive in anymore races because of cramps.

By the way, had anyone notice how skinny Kyle is looking these days?! Awesomeness!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The "Dirty" Double

Today I attempted to do the 7 and 10 o'clock double ride.

Now before I continue let me just say that in my riding past the most I've ever ridden in a single day is, at best, 60 miles and this was by myself. No one was attacking hills or pushing the pace.
Also, I've only ever finished the 10 o'clock ride once with the front group and that was just last weekend.

So with that said, maybe undertaking the "double" so soon was a bit crazy. But to get to the point, did I do it? Yes and no. Technically I completed both rides and on the same day. That, I can be proud of. I can also be proud because this was the most miles I've ever ridden, since I've been on a bike or trainer or rollers. But, I am a little disappointed because I got dropped from the front group on the 10 o'clock ride going up Esworthy. I was eventually able to hook up with the second group so at least I didn't have to finish the ride alone. I wish I could say that my failure could be completely contributed to my lack of mental fortitude because that would be easier for me to correct, but it was not. I was completely in the zone mentally. All I had to do was talk myself into getting back on the bike to start the 10 o'clock and I knew I would be OK. But physically, my legs were toast. My mind had enough strength to hang on to that wheel in front of me, but my legs checked out of the game somewhere on Tuckerman. In that moment there was nothing I could do about it but get dropped and hope another group would come along to sweep me up.

But I am not deterred because I will accomplish my goal. I know somethings that I can work on to get better at doing both rides but if any of you other dirty double veterans have any pointers on completing them both with the front group, I'm all ears.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

One Goal Down

This past Saturday I was finally able to complete the 10 o'clock ride with the front group. I know it's not that big of a deal but it was definitely a big hurdle for me. Mentally more so than physically. The next challenge on the list before the season really gets going is the 7-10 double of course.