Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Prepping for Green Mountain Stage Race

Well all of our hope lies on one person for GMSR, Jeff.  For one reason or another the rest of us cannot attend this great race.  GMSR is a four day event including a road race, circuit race, time trial, and crit.  Our team has done well in the past with various top 10's overall and in different stages. 

The team is picking up the bill for the hotel rooms for the trip.  I will be there the entire time helping Jeff with feeds and getting him to the races so he doesnt need to worry about a thing.  Ashton and Bruce will be present on Sunday for the finish on top of App Gap.  Now Jeff has done his thing as far as preparations go, it is now our turn to prepare as fans. 

You might ask how one prepares to be a fan at GMSR?  Well it starts with some amazing team apparel that just arrived in the form of team hoodies and polos.  We have one other vital aspect to the team apparel, green wigs.  Other parts of our cheering arsenal might include vuvuzela, cowbells, chalk, and what not.

Stay tuned for updates from the peanut gallery as Jeff tackles his first ever GMSR.  Pictures, videos, and blog post will be frequent!

Gearing up for GMSR

*GMSR celebrates 10 years*

Sense the beginning of the season I've heard a lot about GMSR and this climb called APP Gap and rightfully so. GMSR is like the Tour de France of New England, with classic top of the mountain finishes, such as in stage three (App Gap). And now it is finally here Sept 3rd-6th.

Green Mountain Stage Race Website!!!!!!!

It defiantly has been a long season, with nonstop training and racing sense probably Jan. It has played a toll on many of the WOE racers and would be an epic finish with GMSR. Unfortunately with the long season and misfortunes, GMSR has slowly evaded the team. With individuals going to college, family commitments, burnouts, or simply just not having a bike to use. Out of a core of 7 to 8 races, only one remains to compete….myself (Jeff K). Tim is going to make the trip as well and run support for me and be in feed zones and help out when he can. Pretty much making the trip possible for me!

Getting ready for GMSR has been a little less than ideal seeing, I lost a few days to sickness after participating in a cold a rainy century and a colder TT. Not to mention having mechanical issues with my bike as well to throw in some extra stress. However, that has been cleaned up. So it’s been pretty much easy to moderate riding to get the legs back and hopefully go into the race with fresh and well-rested legs. I do have some concerns, but we will see how they play out during the races. For example descending Middlebury Gap with inexperienced riders and not being 100% comfortable on fast descents myself.

Race Schedule:
Stage 1 (TT) – 4/5 starts departing at 3:25pm (personal start time unknown)
Stage 2 (Circuit race) – 8:45am
Stage 3 (RR) – 9:30am
Stage 4 (Crit) – 8:30am

Stage 1 – 5.7 miles
Stage 2 – 53 miles
Stage 3 – 70 miles
Stage 4 – 15.5 miles
Total – 144.2 miles

Even though I am now racing alone, the thought of racing by myself has given me a little extra motivation. Before I have gone into races thinking okay, this is going to be a learning experience and if I do well, I do well. Not this time. This time I will not only be racing for WOE, but for all the racers that weren’t able to make the race. I will be participating in the category 4/5 field and I am sure there will be some sandbaggers going for the win this year, so given that I may not be the most experience or strongest rider out there, but it doesn’t mean I can’t give them hell.

Tim, recently posted…..a post, on motivation. Well these are the things that motivate me. Being able to look back on a day, whip the dirt of my face, look at my colleges and say “I gave it everything for ya.”

Let’s just hope this guy doesn’t beat me to the top of App Gap!!!!

*Young Moose going for the Finish line!*

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Overtraining, Motivation, and Goals

After my race weekend in Albany I did not want to touch a bike.  I was burnt out, overtrained, and work was piling up.  I knew I was doing this to myself as I trained like a fool the week before.  Lets put it this way, it included lots of high intensity riding and zero to no recovery.  One would think I would know better, and I do, I just didnt really care.

Either way after the weekend I was pretty fried.  Didnt help that I almost crashed on the monday night ride when I cracked my cleat in half during a townline sprint (note to self:  replace cleats more often).  The broken cleat was my excuse for not riding but not the reason.  I had simply overtrained and needed a break.

It comes down to the fact that cycling is a lonely ass activity.  It is a lot of training by yourself and a lot of time being alone.  Jeff posted a great quote on fb...
Cars are parked up and down the street. the smell of the grill and the sound of laughter wafting out to the road conspire to remind a cyclist of just how alone he is. - Roadie
 The thing that we need as cyclist is support, in many ways.  We need support of the shop to fix bikes when they break.  Support of the doctors to fix US when WE break (happens to some more than others).  Support of sponsors to help us get out and race (Thank you Pepsi Cola Ogdensburg).  Support from a coach or a mentor to give riders training advice and race advice.  More importantly we need emotional support.  It sounds stupid but the later is the most important.

We get emotional support from all sorts of places.  This week Shannon, from Wear On Earth, was just chatting with me about the season and how it didnt pan out the way I had hoped.  I guess being in the hospital three times in a season will do that too you.  I don't know if Shannon was doing this purposefully but she did it masterfully,  she brought up goals.  She was asking me what my goals for the season were.  She started asking about goals for the 2011 season and how I intended to accomplish them.

I have my goals for cycling.  I want to be a cat 2 rider.  Is it a long term goal?  Yes.  Do I think I can get there?  Yes.  It is good to have long range goals.  Think of a stone path.  Your long term goal is at the end of the stone path.  Each stone on the path is a short term goal.  You need to set these goals so you can achieve them along the way as you head down the path.  A bunch of little goals on the way to the big one. 

Here is my question to you.  What are your goals for 2011?  What are your goals for cycling?   How do you keep the end, long term goal in mind?  I am looking for ideas of how to keep the long term goal in mind.  I have thoughts of putting a giant "2" on my wall so I see it every day.  Might even make it out of bib numbers.



Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Altamont Crit

Well this is a follow up to Jeff’s post on the New York Capital Region Road Race.  I know it is a bit delayed but it has been one hell of a week for me.  Quick recap...  In the last week I have raced twice, gotten sick, found a roommate, lost a roommate, found a new roommate, then gained two roommates, talked with iPhone vendors, looked at way to much code,  gone through new tour guide training, researched QR codes, sold my bike, sold a car, bought new bike, talked with google about maps, gained a mouse, and…yeah I think that is it.  I guess not to bad of a week, considering I did most of this on top of my regular 45hr/wk job.    
Steve and I chasing...TPP on our wheels

            So back on track.  At first Jeff was not going to race on Sunday however was talked into it.  I then looked at the times and we didn’t go off until 2:10pm…what BS!  Now I don’t typically mind racing later in the day however I was staying at a hosts house and still had a 4+hr drive ahead of me after the race.  This was one day where I really just wanted to get back home after the race. 
            Jeff and I showed up to the race on time however spent a little too much time chatting with a friend of mine who lived on the course.  We towed the line with zero warm up, not exactly the best of plans.  I maintained pretty good position throughout the race staying up near the front, covering moves, ended up in a short lived break with a farm team rider, and yeah, pretty happy. 
            Eventually Allen Rego (now a cat 2 rider) and Jim Walker (TPP) make it off the front.  Jim had some good blocking in the small field and half the riders apparently had never seen blocking before and were too dumb to notice what was going on.  Steve Wells and I did a lot of work trading pulls with TPP members sitting on our wheels not letting anyone pull through.  Long story short, break stuck and I was too spent to do anything in the sprint and finished 9th overall and 2nd of the Cat 4’s.  Jeff was pulled with a few laps to go but rode well in a strong field of mostly 3’s.  I was pretty impressed with TPP's performance.  One of the reasons I left besides proximity was the lack of a team feel, this obviously has changed some this year within TPP.
            I have not really done much riding since this race and my season is mostly over with work picking up.  What to expect from my future of cycling?  Well one more race in Portsmouth, NH, working with a mountain biking advocacy group, and also possibly maybe considering coaching a few athletes.  We shall see about the later of the three. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

NYS Capital Region RR

The Albany weekend for WOE consisted of two races. The NYS Capital Region Road Race and the Altamont Criterium. Three racers showed up to represent WOE: Tim A, Eric G, and myself (Jeff K).

*WOE Racers Jeff, Tim, and Eric pose during warm-up for the NYS Capital Region RR.*

So once again the trip started with a long car ride to Albany, NY to spend the night at a teammates relatives house. We were happily greeted and shown a tour of the house, only to be instructed to make ourselves at home. The rest of the night, was spent talking about the upcoming race and to help Mark, our host, understand a little better how the day would play out. Mark kindly volunteered to work the feed zone for us. Then it was time to fight over who got the extra bed and who got the couch. Which was easily resolved by a quote from “The Mis-Understood World of a Bike Racer.” More or less, he who got the bed the 1st night down not get it the second night.

Well rested and fed we headed to Ravena, NY. All your normal pre-race routines took pace and a little surprise happened to me as well. I was pinning my number onto my jersey, when all of a sudden there was a PFTTSSSSssssssssssssssssssss. The guy in the car next to me immediately went “ut-Oh,” and I soon found out my rear tube decided to pop. Good start to the race, right. Just glad it happened before and not during the race. So in record tube changing time, my bike was good to go again. Finally after anxiously waiting 2 hours, it was time for staging.

*Loop profile of the Race*

The 4/5 race involving Tim and myself, Eric was in the straight cat 5 race. It started off to a 3 mile neutral start;however, it didn’t seem that way. At times my computer would tell me we were going about 20mph. Once the race officially started the pace was very moderate and the field stayed together, with people talking to one another. Upon coming to the first big climb of the day, the front of the field thought it would be a good idea to set the pace at 8mph going into it, with a decent leading into it. With the yo-yo affect in play the field broke up by the end of the climb.

I just missed out on the led group and was kind of caught in no mans land, when all of a sudden…dunt dunt da daaaa….Tim appears out of the corner of my eye leading a pace line to catch the led group. I caught on and immediately was not happy. People do not know how to pace line!!!!! Apparently when it is their turn to pull, that meant sprint and cause hell for everyone else. This killed me seeing I am not very good or use to the continuous short power burst. Never the less we made it to the second big climb and the led group was in site. I took off from the chase group and almost made contact; however, my legs did not want to chase after the climb. Again Tim and his chase group found me and I tried to hang on, but soon was dropped. Caught in no mans land....AGAIN. I eventually found some other members of our race to work with and started pace lining with them.

Coming around for lap two, it was Mark and my big moment......a water bottle hand off. I desperately kept looking for him amongst the large crowed. But once I had found find I through my water bottle, hopefully not hitting him or anyone else, and successfully grabbed a fresh one. See WOE is ready for water bottle exchanges, just not from a moving cars.

Turned out Tim’s group never made contact with the led group, but Tim manage to take second in his group and I managed to solo away from my group to the finish. Overall it was not a very good day, in terms of standings, but a good effort put in by all.

After the race we met up with some of Tim’s friends from Buffalo and talked about the race at Panera Breads. The rest of the afternoon and evening was strictly recovery time and very little was done, except veg on the couch in front of the tele. THEN IT WAS DINNAH TIME!! Mark spoiled us we some awesome home cooking and recordings of the Tour de France.

Altamont Criterium post Coming Soon!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Concord 30th Annual Criterium

The Concord trip brought some excitement to the WOE racers this past weekend, seeing it meant the void of races was no more (several races already on the schedule for the upcoming weeks). However, they were not to excited about the 4 hour drive to get to Concord, NH. So naturally they planned around this and went down the night before, in two different groups. Jeff/Tim to Tim’s brother’s and Bruce/Ashton to a hotel in Concord. Each group had it’s own little excitement, with Jeff and Tim getting lost on some dirt roads (at 10:30pm) which pretty much led to no mans land, but through the use of 2 GPS’s they were able to make it to their destination okay. Ashton and Bruce didn’t leave Plattsburgh until late in the evening and made it to Concord around 2am, only to be quickly awakened by a fire alarm at their hotel at 4am. Needless to say they were both a little tired the next morning, at least Ashton was fashionable in slippers.

Tim and Jeff were the first at the course and quickly picked out a strategic parking location for the team, near a parking lot and pretty much in front of a cafĂ©. Things got interesting quickly as Jeff saw a car going backwards on the course almost wiping out a few cat 55+ members, while Ashton and Bruce saw a car back over someone’s bike.

Concord Criterium map and profile. (20 laps, 56ft elevation gain/lap)

Cat. 4 Race

After warming up by the cars Tim, Ashton, and Jeff spun around a little more and got acquainted for a few other racers and individuals working the race. Soon they were called for staging, but found out that all the other racers were there already. Tim soon pointed out a whole and got the team in a better position for the start. On the first lap there was almost a crash simply because the back of the field could not see the narrowing of the road and a few riders almost crashed, Jeff included.

*our pace car, lasted all day without having to fill up once!!*

Thing were going pretty smoothly until we had to move up in the field. Jeff didn't realize he was in his small ring and spun himself to death trying to catch move up. He was soon dropped on the 8th lap or so, but then followed the motto "never quite, never stop trying." Ashton and Tim took on the rest of the race pretty well staying near the front. Everything was going prefect. Ashton was riding like a champ and Tim was helping him by coaching him into positions and giving him some room to move around. Unfortunately the last lap ended this perfect day. A most likely inexperienced rider, or just a reckless one, took a line that wasn't there and caused Ashton to crash. Ashton himself made it out alright, but his front wheel just will never be the same. Tim luckily made it around the crash and represented WOE well with a 10th place finish.

Cat 3 Race

*Bruce at the starting line, for the first time in a long time*

Bruce went into the race with a game plan and that is what he stuck to. He knew what wheel he needed to be on and that where he was for most of the race, with his opponents marking him as well. It was a fast pass race and everything seemed to be going smoothie with no crashes and no one really causing too much trouble on the course.

*Bruce holding his position around turn 6*

There was a small break away of at the most two riders for a very short time due to prim laps causing the field to bring them back. For the most part about 90% of the time the field was together, the pace just causing the field to stretch out. With about 5 laps to go the announcer of the race predicted a final bunch sprint and that is exactly what happened. The field came around the final turn and racers started sprinting away. However, some started to early and died off, while toward the finish line three racers remained in the hunt. Bruce was among them, in 2nd/3rd position. The winner came in a second or two before Bruce, but with an epic throw of the bike, Bruce was able to take second. Not bad for his 1st race back sense Syracuse.

*Bruce just sneaking in there for 2nd place*

After the race the team went to a well-known Mexican restaurant “Margaritas.”. The restaurant historically was a prison, but now serves amazing food (pretty sure the team gave it 5 stars). They piled into their little 6ftx6ft jail cell, reminisced about the race, ate some great food, and probably made their waitress think they were crazy.


Do to some busy schedules and recent lack of sleep, the team decided to sleep in...until 7:30am. After meeting up they ran around White River Junction for a while looking for a good place for breakfast, and oh did they find the mother load. The Farmers Diner in Quechee, VT (another 5 star experience). Everything pretty much homemade and serving sizes out of the world. To say the least everyone was full.

Once the team arrived at the base of App. Gap, the ride planning took place. Originally it was suppose to be a 60 mile ride, but with individuals having to get back, it was shortened to just 25. But the 25 miles were no joke, it was pretty much climb the back side and then turn around and climb the front side (side GMSR will be going up).

APP GAP Training Course and Profile!

Jeff took his time going down the decent and checked the roads and profile a little bit, before he climbed it, only to find himself left behind. So once again Jeff almost screwed up the ride because there was a "T" intersection and he had no idea which way his teammates had gone. Eventually he found a man mowing his lawn and asked if he had seen a few riders, the man kindly said yes and pointed him in the right direction. Soon after Tim, Bruce, and Ashton came back to see where the heck Jeff was. Reunited they pedaled a little further into Jerusalem and then decided to make the trip back up the mountain.

They chilled out at the top for a minute or two and talked about the climb, then started our final decent. Mainly due to the fact that someone somewhere was enjoying the view from the top with a little wacky tabacy. The decent was fast and probably wore out a few break pad, but all in all it was a great ride and an important one. Back at the cars team WOE celebrated the only way team WOE knows how to celebrate. With a six pack!!!!!!!

Next stop the NY Capital Region RR (Saturday Aug. 14)!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tri-Town Bike Race a Success!!!!!!!

Team WOE leads out the peloton for the 33.3 mile charity race!

*photo provided by North Country Now*

This event was organized to help raise money for the local Tri-Town Summer Festival (Brasher Falls, NY) and with over 60 individuals participating in either the 33.3 or 6 mile races, they were able to make over $1,300.

WOE had 6 members representing the team that day and finished 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectfully. However, it was not about winning, it was about showing that WOE is not just a bunch of racers, but a group of people that care about the community and would like to support it any way we can.

We look forward to future community events and hope to see you out there as well!!!!!!!!!

Also noteworthy for this post is team member Ashton Momot's participation in the Tour de Cure, choosing the 100 mile course, and raising a good amount of money to help support diabetes research earlier this year.