Monday, May 24, 2010

Bring Back The Love for Cycling: Team Broccoli Style

If the Tour de Syracuse did not display some outstanding races and great performances, it may have shown the many clubs that participated the way a cycling team should be. Well managed, fit, glycogen full, and totally filled with shenanigans. Team Wear on Earth set a new bar for making racing events fun and more relaxing for everyone. The seriousness/nervous expressions from teams and individuals around us could not help but break down to laugh and smile. Wither it was from obscure comments, practical jokes, or straight explosive decompression Team Wear of Earth made everyone's day.

On numerous occasions people would come up to us and ask where we are from, how much they liked our kits, and at times some wanted to know if they could be on our team, probably jokingly but subconsciously they really wanted to be.

What really got peoples attention was during the final climb of the Road Race, which was a pretty respectable climb to the finish line. After the Cat. 3 and 5 races, Jeff (the Bold), Ashton (The Blind), Mike (the Squeaker), and Bruce (the Almighty) staged for a surprise to fellow teammates Doug and Tim. As Tim was on the finally climb, he soon found himself surrounded, not by competitors of the race, but by crazed teammates running besides him in bibs and socks. Tim, spectators, and racers, couldn't help but smile and laugh through the pain of the final climb. Yes I said spectators suffering from the pain of the climb. I think I got a cramp walking up it.

Even though we had our fun, our shenanigans did not affect anyone else. Wait! I take that back, it affected one guy. While warming up for the TT, Jeff finished his water and decided to throw the water bottle into the back of the WOE van. Jeff not knowing the power held within his Howitzers, thought he lightly tossed the bottle. However, the bottle flew hitting the top of the van, bounced over it, and hitting a racer in the head that was parked next to us. All I'm going to say is he shouldn't have been parked to close.

Even though this shenanigan filled team may have fooled around nonstop. It also showed that it could handle the road as well. The team finished with 7 top ten finishes (2 in the crit, 2 in the TT, and 3 in the road race) over the weekend. Bruce dropped the hammer during the TT and won it, passing at least 4 racers.

The trip ended with a stop to the famous Dinosaur restaurant. The team reminisced about the weekend while enjoy some awesome food. Everyone finished their plates, except for Jeff who couldn't man up to finish it. Also the bill showed that tired sleep deprived cyclist are not mathematicians. For it took probably as long to figure out the bill as it did for us to fest on our meals.

Team Wear on Earth, would also like to extend a HUGE "THANK YOU!!!!!!!" To Moe, who housed four members of the team and brought us to an excellent Italian restaurant, where we got a great meal and a pretty good show.

Official results from the Tour de Syracuse Omnium

Bruce B (Cat 3) - 6th overall
Tim A (Cat 4) - 12th overall
Jeff K (Cat 5 <35) - 5th overall
Ashton (Cat 5 < 35) - 8th overall also KOM
Mike K (Cat 5 < 35) - 17th overall
Eric G (Cat 5 35up) - 27th overall

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Race prep for Syracuse

Bike racers are anal, lets be honest.  The team is heading down to the Tour de Syracuse in a few days and we are all chatting about equipment, gearing choices, what wheels to use, if we should bring TT bikes for the massive 3 mile TT or just say f'it and do it on just one bike cause it is just 3 miles.  This doesn't mean we can't wear funny looking aero helmets.  Oh and how could I forget about hotel choices?  Cheaper hotel vs free breakfast?  Free breakfast won that battle. 

After swinging by the shop earlier to pick up my new wheel bag I did what any respectable bike racer does in preparation for a race, take apart the bike and put it back together.  This year I am riding a Specialized Tarmac which I LOVE.  I started my cycling career on a 2004 Specialized Allez while living in NH and am happy to get back to where I started after a brief hiatus with a crappy overseas no name bike which I ended up flexing out in a matter of weeks.  The Tarmac is a blast to ride, stiff, responsive, and looks awesome (last part might be the most important). 

The frame pre cleaning and spare wheels in the corner

So what is part of the pre race treatment on the bike?  Well it starts with a cleaning via pledge and lots of paper towels.  FD adjustments, RD adjustments, tossing the race wheels in there with the cassette I will be running for the crit (11-23), tighten every bolt that I can find and torque it to spec, checking brakes, switching out brake pads, cleaning the chain, cleaning the cassettes, cleaning the cassettes on the spare wheels, finding the spare wheels, making sure the spare wheels are still actually functioning, and then finally the brief test ride.  All in all not to much work, maybe 30 mins when all is said and done.

The race set up

Tomorrow I am off from work which is great for the reason, well, I dont have to work.  I have plans to meet up with Matt Russell for a ride and then get to help him with his swim at the St Lawrence pool.  Matt is fresh off of a great performance at Florida 70.3 this past weekend. 

Stayed tuned on race updates from the weekend, we will try and toss something up Saturday night and then if I am still alive Sunday night too.  Next week will be tricky training wise, all day meeting on Monday, Philly on Tuesday, and back home Wed.  Good times.  At least we have the weekend off from racing so can really get in some good miles before the CT Stage Race (crit, 10mile TT, and 91 mile RR).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Montpelier Training Seriers

Okay so I figured seeing this was a training race, it would be a good time for a training blog post.

I don't think the conditions could have gotten any better for us, it was sunny and warm. However, there was a decent wind that affected the home stretch leading to the finish line. The course was 0.8 miles long (1.5 km) consisting of a decent and then an immediate climb. The climb was 350m long with a max gradient of approximately 5%, and a total acent of about 85ft. Not as ridiculous a number as Ashton and I had posted in out post race Facebook messages having confused the length of the climb with the total ascent per lap. Opps.

Members for the team that showed up to the event were Ashston, Eric, and myself (Jeff). This was Eric's first real experience with a crit, seeing Binghamton had no turns. He participated in the C race/skills clinic and came in 3rd during the race part. He was a total gentlemen and let the two ladies ahead of him cross the line, which he could have easily pulled back. All three of us participated in the B race, where me and Ashton were predicting to do well. This is were some misfortunes turned on us.

This was a training race so totally understandable that this things would happen. The organizer forgot a video camera for the finish line, had no final lap bell, and the first lap of the race was SUPPOSE to be neutral so everyone could see the course one more time before the race. This only led to an epic fail, seeing people started racing on the ascent spreading the group out and leaving people to really fight for positions.

As the race went on, which was 20 laps, the field became spread out very quickly. On about the 4th lap Ashton and I got boxed in on the climb by some of the weaker riders and were slowed down substantially. I caught a break by being on Ashton's wheel and was able to pull around and sprint across the gap. From here on it was pretty much a normal race and I don't believe there was a single crash. I tried working with some riders, but they had no clue what i was talking about......a pace line.

The lack of preparedness by the race official took over on the final laps. With them not pulling anyone from the race things got a little hectic towards knowing which lap you were on. I'm pretty sure I remember seeing 11 laps left and then on the next lap i saw there were 6. Nevertheless, as I crossed the finish line with one lap to go, that's what I did one lap. However, as told by Ashton's dad after the race, I think we forgot to do the final lap (but everyone else behind me did the same thing). This could have played into my hands seeing I finished behind the one and two finishers. Thought it was funny some guy wanted to sprint with me to the finish line for like a 11th or 12th spot. I doubt there will be official results posted seeing things got so confusing. But hey, it counts towards our race totals.

I then tried racing in the A race (10 minutes after the B race), which consisted of mainly Cat. 1-3 and some scattered 4s. Before the race I asked the organizer how many laps i would have to do to get credit and his response, "that's a good question, I have no idea." Anyways, I gave it a go, soon to be at the back of the group. I did 3 of the 25 laps, just did not have the legs to keep pace. A lap or two later the organizer starting pulling people from the race and at a pretty fast rate too. I think he realized he couldn't keep track of everyone. Overall it was a fun time, and I had to good crew cheering me on during the A race, where i pretty much joked around with for three laps.

Next stop.....Syracuse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Exciting news about the ADK North Country Race Weekend

One of my favorite races on the calendar, the Balloon Festival Road Race sponsored by Farm Team, has been canceled this year. This is a great race in an amazing town. I love racing out of Cambridge, NY as it is also the site of the Tour of the Battenkill. On a side note if you are ever in Cambridge you need to eat at the Common Ground Cafe, this place just rocks. The Balloon Festival course featured a killer climb in it which treated Team Wear On Earth member Bruce Beauharnois very well last year as he left with a win. This year the race was also going to hold the NYS Junior Championships the following day like it did last year. However both events are sadly not to be anymore.

However what does this mean for the Adirondack North Country Race Weekend? Well it was previously named the NYS Road Racing and Crit Championships however now it will also be hosting the Junior Championship in both events. We are working on updating the race flyer to reflect these changes so give us some time. This year will provide some great competition as we already have commitments from a few big name Canadian programs. Just in case you are not pumped for the race yet, check this video out...

Team Wear On Earth has had a few days off from racing which has been a nice break. This last weekends planned training camp was canceled due to, well snow. I know a great deal of us plan to attend the Montpelier Training Crit Series that starts up on Sunday. This will be my first race back with healthy lungs. I developed a bit of a chest cold after Binghamton which developed into severe bronchitis with a touch of pneumonia. Fun stuff really and spending the better part of my day in the hospital Thursday was not exactly the highlight of my birthday. For now I am just trying to regain fitness and get in some what decent shape for Syracuse and Killington.

Ride hard!