Monday, April 26, 2010

Binghamton Circuit Race

Well this was our first real weekend of racing. Battenkill does not count in my book (mostly because I essentially dnf'ed due to a mechanical- thank you wheel car for just driving by without stopping). Making the trek from all directions include Eric and Mike down from Potsdam'ish area; Bruce, Doug, Ashton, and Jeff from the greater Plattsburgh area; and myself from Princeton, NJ where I was all week for work.

Binghamton bound

The Fairfield Inn hooked us up with three first floor rooms right next to each other. There is no possible way that Marriott made money on our stay. Each individual member of the team essentially went to breakfast and said "yes, I will take one of everything." After our fill of granola, yogurt, coffee, Belgian waffles, bagels, coffee, fruit, and more coffee we made our way to the race.

It was a cold and rainy day. Really perfect weather for a race except for the fact that it was cold and raining. Doug, fresh off of his 2nd place Battenkill finish, and myself raced the first race. I didn't get much of a warmup in due to not wanting to sit outside in the rain on a trainer. So I did what any smart man would do to warm up, go on a solo break.

Said solo break

I headed back into the field after a few laps out and then Doug took his turn trying to get a few different breaks started. Essentially for the rest of the race I watched Doug mix it up at the front, covering breaks and trying to get stuff started while hiding. With a few laps left I started to work my way up to the front. Doug found me and offered some help but we got split up. A Team Ommegang rider went off the front with roughly one to go and almost held it. I shot out of the group like a prepubescent boy way way way to early, caught the Team Ommegang rider, then promptly died about 10 meters from the line taking 4th. Doug finished with the pack after putting in a lot of work during the race.

Next to go off was the 5 field which Mike, Jeff, Ashton, and Eric were all in. Jeff and Ashton mixed it up early trying to start breaks and attacking like made. They each made one to many attacks and were dropped by the field. Mike and Eric hung in strong for the majority of the race riding a very strong first race for them both.

Bruce's P123 race was something. Bruce covered every move he could and was pretty active at the front however a 3 man break made it away which did not include a Team Wear On Earth member. Bruce was leading the chase from the field to bring them back however he seemed to be the only one doing so. The break stayed away.

Bruce in the pack of the P123
Bruce, fairly fired up about the results of the p123 race went on a solo break from mile 0 in the 3/4 field that started immediately after his race. What was the purpose of this? Pent up anger? Looking for photo opportunities? Really just trying to get warm. Bruce came back into the field after creating a solid gap and staying away for a couple laps. We stayed pretty active at the front, covering breaks and putting in a few solid attacks one including both Bruce and Doug. In the end it all came back together. Bruce and I found each other in the pack and I began leading Bruce towards the front. I had good legs and as the climb started I could feel myself on the verge of blowing up and pulled off, leaving Bruce all alone to fend for himself. In hindsight (which sucks) I should have gone until I had blown up trying to get Bruce closer to the finish. Oh well, live and learn no? Bruce finished with a 7th in the sprint. Note to self, practice lead outs.

Not 100% sure what happened with the 5's second race of the day. I know Ashton and Jeff learned there lessons and stayed in the pack. Ashton ended up 7th! Overall a great weekend for the team. A lot of lessons learned for all parties involved and I am now one step closer to a Cat 3, only two more top 10's until I can upgrade or about 10 pts, whichever comes first.

Nice long report. Next stop Marshall & Sterling Saratoga SpaCrit. You can register here or come down to watch. If you are coming to watch, what better way to watch the race then by volunteering!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Join Team Wear On Earth

Interested in racing but just dont know where to start? Want to get stronger at the Norwood Duathlons, your local TT, or improve your racing overall? Does the voice of Phil Liggett inspire you? If so join Team Wear On Earth! We are a group of riders from all over the North Country, from Watertown to Canton, Potsdam, Plattsburgh, and Lake Placid. Ranging from high school students to college students, teachers, to masters racers.

Benefits include...
-Shop discounts
-Really cool team jerseys
-Attending cycling support groups, aka group rides
-The opportunity to be mentored by more experience riders
-Having fun
-Transportation to races
-Having the opportunity to discuss the subtle differences in embrocation choices

-$25 annual membership fee
-Min. of 4 races a year
-Volunteer at team events

If you have questions please contact Mike ( or Tim (

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hell of the North v2.0

A gloomy beginning to the day. Ominous clouds and chilly weather threatened to undermine our noble intentions. After burning my muscles with some Icy/Hot...the poor man's "embrocation", and watching Jeff hop himself up with a 5-Hour Energy, we started our adventure. We talked and joked...we laughed and teased. Our joy ride was cut short upon turning on the Mitchell Road and the formidable hill that begins with a mile. A true classics hill full of jutting rocks, loose sand, and slopes reaching 10 to 14% it became clear quickly that as Jeff had predicted...'it was on...on like Donkey Kong'. We then proceeded to hammer the sandy 3 mile section of pave while fishtailing and swerving around holes and washed out sections of this logging road.
After a quick pace line to Ausable, we begin perhaps the steepist pitch of the day that is Grove Street...where Doug attacked and proceeded to drop me, much like Contador will drop Lance on every mountain in this TdF, a truly humbling and impressive attack that left me cursing lactic acid and half delusional. Once the group was all together on Green Street, I attempted a cheeky move to get away from Doug, but couldn't get him out of my slip stream, Then we headed on the glasstonite of the Reber Road and the rolling hills, we came out for a nice leisurely stroll South on 9 and cruised it into Willsboro while Jeff, Doug and Shawn sprinted out a few times, keeping the pace real high. We went into the 'boro for some water for some, after doing a bonus hill, and then began the climb out of Willsboro and a quick stint on more pave until we got onto Shunpike. Immediately the attacks were fast and furious for the length of the ride. Sara, our female compatriot rode like a champ all day...constantly bridging gaps and chasing down the would-be climbers. After a 32-mile per hour pace line, we headed towards our last prize of the day...the ever inspiring "Arnold Hill". Along the way we ran into our #1 fan (not my mother this time). Jason B. drove up and told us he'd resupply us should we survive the last climb of the day. At the base of the hill immediately Jeff went out of the gate in typical "Jeff the Bold" fashion attacking the lower slopes like a man possessed, perhaps eeking out the last of his caffeine induced haze. Without panicking, Doug and I refused to chase, and settled in for a little slower climb, and eventually we were able to bring back the brazen attack. 'After playing possum' and sitting on Doug's wheel through the wind to the top, a cow bell was heard in the distance and a flushing of shame and lactic enabled a quick acceleration out of me, and I began to chase Jason up the last pitch while he was wearing only his Speedo, a pair of bunny slippers and helmet with horns...truly a fan of the sport. When looking back, we saw Sara banging away on the pedals with a look of grim 'Cadel Evans' look of determination on her face, while Jeff, reeling from his attack desperately trying to close the gap, but Sara would not be caught this day. Once at the top and thanking our support van and fan, we began the easy ride back to the school. Once there we all agreed that it was an experience we'd not have missed for a moment...and we all anxiously await the next time we should put our fortitude to the test...and give the "Hell of the North v2.1" a go. Until next time comrades...I remain thankful for friends to share my suffering.

The End.