Saturday, December 3, 2011

We are currently working on our blog...sorry for the inconvenience.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cross racing on the Specialized CruX

Bikes taking over my apartment
Was great to race cross with teammates this weekend as Bruce and Jeff made the trip down to Delmar, NY for the last of the NYCross.com series.  Only doing a handful of cross races I really have a steep learning curve and so far making slow gains but gains none the less.  My two biggest lessons I learned from this past race, back row starts suck and GO FOR IT.

In cross racing you have call ups, the higher ranked riders get placed near the front of the field which is great if you are a ranked rider but for me, not so much.  Since this is only really my third weekend of racing I have zero ranking coupled with the fact I registered the day before meaning I was the very last call up, even had my own row.  My mistake this week was getting comfortable, I found a group and just sat with them instead of just going for it and making moves up.  I eventually made it to no mans land a minute or so behind the next group just chasing like hell (actually chasing my own teammate Bruce).

My strategy in most crits is to sit in, do no work, and sprint for the end.  This has actually treated me well as until this past year I top 10'ed every crit I had ever entered (minus mechanical/crashes).  Yeah, this doesnt work at all in cross racing so I am learning the meaning of the 'whole shot' and will just go for it next week until I pop.  The true story of this weekend though was the new Specialized CruX which I got to race for the first time.

2012 Specialized CruX w/SRAM Force
This bike simply rocks.I had been racing on another bike (which shall remain nameless) and just cannot believe the difference in performance.  The internal cable routing although a pain for mechanics is great for riders when dismounting the bike and throwing it over your shoulder.  I had heard mixed reviews about the TRP EuroX and their lack of stopping power however  I LOVE the extra brake clearance for muddy courses like this weekend which had some big downhills into lots of mud so really tested those brakes out, no problem.  Overall this bike is set to be raced and raced hard right out of the box (some assembly required) and comes with everything from chain catcher, to gel wrap, to some solid all around tires.  The other aspect of the bike I am loving are the CrankBrother Candy pedals which I picked up at Interbike this year.  I joke around that I actually got the bike to go with the pedals.  Again in this muddy course I did not have a problem clipping in due to mud, I just had problems clipping in cause I am an idiot and start to pedal before actually clipping in, not CrankBrothers fault.

As I look at BikeReg.com I see we actually still have a few weeks left of cross racing as it goes far into December.  My question is do I really want to race in the snow?  Can I give up more weekends for the long travel times? Each race is 4-6 hours away.  I sacrifice a lot in terms of a social life for cycling and believe it or not the road season is around the corner.  My problem is cross racing has just been so much damn fun.  Decisions.  When is your cross season ending here in the northeast?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NYS Rankings???????

New York State Rankings for Team Wear on Earth

Cat 3’s

RR rank

Crit rank

TT rank

Cross rank

Bruce

75

22*

NR

NR

Tim

NR

32

139

NR

Cat 4’s

Jeff

174

93

35

NR

Ashton

133

36

NR

NR

Kyle

145

75

60

NR

Mike

360

74

80

NR

Cat 5’s

Eric

88

13

6

NR

Phil

128

21

25

NR

RR = Road Race; Crit = criterium; TT = Time Trial, NR = Not ranked

*= NYS Champion for that event

Looks like things have changed a little in the USA Cycling points system and they are trying some new mathematical algorithm.


“USA Cycling's Results & Rankings system allows you to search results from races across the country as well as compare the nation's top riders across various disciplines, age and ability categories. Our revamped rankings program aims to provide increasingly accurate rankings using an innovative new algorithm emphasizing quality over quantity. The new system looks at who a rider competes against, and not which events, or how many. A rider's overall ranking is determined by averaging point totals from their top three races. The lower a rider's point average, the higher they are ranked.”

~USA Cycling

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cycling on the rise?

This past weekend I made my first but defianitly not last cyclocross appearance. I felt a little out of place one because I am a roadie, two because I am incredibly out of shape, and three because I was at a collegiate cross race...sorta. See cross does something pretty cool as collegiate cross is mixed in with senior races open to the rest of us card carrying USAC members. I was never fortuent enough to race in college and had an absolute blast racing with the B's against athletes from Army, RPI, Rutgers, and other schools.

The amazing thing about the Northeast is that we have racing at every level and for every age. I enjoyed watching the stars and strpes jersey fly by me at Spa:CX last week on the shoulders if Emma White, the junior national champion, then heading off to ME, NH, and VT where there is an incredibaly active cycling scene between many of the independent schools who have formed a high school cycling conference. This conference is really an untapped resource
for cycling as it gets little to no press or attention of any kind and I can only hope that this changes. These juniors can absolutely crush it on a bike.

After returning from VT through some light snow and passing out in my own bed, forgetting what the feel of my own sheets are like, I found myself raking mountain biking trails behind Clarkson University. Mike and Josh from the shop and some dude who I dont know were busy for a solid 3-4 hours with rake in hand getting the trails ready for use in the crisp air. While we were champions of the rake, Alex McAndrews of Clarkson University was busy winning the Collegiate DH national championship for D2 by over 30 secons. Alex simply crushed the run and still beat the D1 winner by over 10 seconds. This man is a true champion and deserves to wear those stars and stripes as he is one of the hardest working athletes I know. Lord knows how many times Alex and the rest of the Clarkson team has ridden those trails, must be nice to have a trail network like that on your own campus.

So you might be asking where the heck this rambling post is going and to be honest I am not really sure where the end will be. Today the St. Lawrence University Cycling Team gained club status and will field its first spring campaign on the road competing within the ECCC in almost 10 years. Tomorrow I will have the chance to ride once again with Zach Stockman, student at SLU and an alumn from one of those New England High Schools with a cycling team (KMS), who has really been the ring leader in getting the team up and running. Hashing out plans for the coming years, jersey designs, and logestics in-between tempo intervals will be the highlight of my afternoon tomorrow.

See in the last week I have seen how we can help grow the sport of cycling by starting off with the kids race at Spa:CX , to junior national champions and high school cycling leagues, onto the collegiate programs and national champions, and then hopefully onto the next step.

So once again you might ask where this post is going? Simple, bring your kid to a bike race.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I was promised beer.

Typically my cycling season ends at the start of travel season, aka the fall, aka that time of the year when I drive around PA, NJ, NY, VT, NH, and ME in search of the best and brightest students for SLU.  As I mentioned last week, it is a bit of travel as I put over 1600 miles on my car, and by my car I mean my “economy car” from Enterprise.   I worked out with my coach a training plan for the next month, using ‘cross as a way to stay motivated, have fun, and build some base

Said "economy car"

Today was my first experience into the new discipline, excited, nervous I felt like a high school boy going to his first prom, or a high school girl going to her first prom for that fact.  I dealt with my nervous in a very mature and grown up fashion, that is I complained about it on Facebook and then went to the TGIFridays next door to have a few beers and flirt with the cute bartender (who was running a 5k the next day and won her last one).  The bar was small, busy, and as cute as she was not the best bartender, did you know that Fridays has a touch screen computer that tells them how to make the drinks?  That is cheating.  Imagine if I had a computer to help me pedal my bike, now that wouldn’t be fair would it?
Instead of writing yet another race report I have decided to simply list what I have learned from today’s experience so here we go…

  • Friends are great, simply put.  They help you, give you advice, and have post race subs on the tailgate of your pickup (you rock Rego).  Without them this sport wouldn’t be half as fun.  Plus they house you in Albany when you are in need of a place to crash (Thanks Winnie)
  • Mud sucks.  There is a reason why people bring two bikes to a cross race and have someone running the pits.
  • Sand sucks more however in a different, humiliating, wild fishtailing, Im gonna make it, fall on your face sort of way
  • Practice is good and roadies have horrible bike handling skills.  I have never wished I rode mountain bikes as much as I did during this race
  • Tubeless/tubular tires are beautiful things, there is a reason why these are popular.  Pony up the money and get a pair, flatting on the last lap just sucks.   
  • Steal bikes are heavy, even more so when lifting them over ANOTHER set of barriers.  I cannot wait for my Specialized CruX to arrive, hope to have it by next week.
  • Cross racers are fun, supportive, and friendly people.  I honestly suck at this style of racing, at least for the time being.  However when the leaders passed me they shouted out words of encouragement.  Typically in crit races when I pass a lapped rider I just yell at them, was sort of expecting that and pleasantly surprised not to receive the same treatment.  

Tomorrow I am off to Spa:CX tomorrow promoted by my friend Bernie of Goodbye Blue Mondays.  I was disappointed that there were no hand-ups of beer in todays race and hope tomorrow brings something special like a cold drink, some dollar bills, or a corn dog.  I am not above shoving singles down my pants.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life on the road

As an admissions recruiter and a bike racer I spend a LOT of time on the road.  Essentially every weekend from March- November can be packed full of races from road to cross, the fall is constant travel in new cities for work, and the spring and summer brings random work trips as well.  It is a random, obscure, non-stop, crazy schedule.

Of course being on the road I cannot be far from my bike(s) and they come with me wherever I go staring at me from the back seat, heckling me wondering why I don't pay them more attention.  Being on the road isn't the 9-5 job leaving you time before or after work to ride, typically I am up at 6am and my days finishes around 9pm.  Being creative with your time management and efficient with your training time is key.

If you have a 2 hour window in the middle of the day that means a quick parking lot change and an hour of tempo before another parking lot change and back to work.  I was complaining about traffic on the ride from Lake Placid to Princeton, NJ to my good friend Allan Rego, his advice "pull over, get the bike out, ride for an hour and let the traffic pass."  Rego gets it, ride when you can.

Amazing things can happen when you are always ready for a ride, crossing paths with old friends, getting tours of Bicycling Magazines HQ, or exploring some of the dirt roads of eastern PA.  I could be missing out on the sock/dirt line from pave roads or amazing views.  Tomorrow will be an early morning meeting, morning ride, and meetings till 9pm.  Another day of riding when you can and doing what you want with what you have.

The week by the numbers:
1600 Miles in the car
5 major cities
4 rides
1 bike shop happy hour
1 wedding





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2011 Jersey Presentation

The yellow jersey is known to be the leaders jersey, depending on the race, and for that I'll make it our most victorious jersey. For a win at binghamton and becoming the NYS Men's cat 3 Crit Champ, Bruce Beauharnios is awarded the yellow jersey


The Green Jersey represents the points leader in the Tour De France, for us it represents most top ten finishes for the season. For this Kyle Gagnier is awarded the green jersey.


The Polka-dotted jersey, also known at the climbers jersey. Well i am going to make it the diverse riders jersey, which will be awarded to Ashton Momont. For not only competing on the road for a majority of the season, but competed competitively on the dirt as well. This included racing the newly organized Wilmington Race, which was a Leadville qualifying race.




The White jersey is known to be the best young rider in a peloton. I am not going to change it's meaning on bit and say Phil Neisser get the White jersey. Phil, in his first year, remained young at heart and never lost a smile throughout any race, no matter what devil's kitchen he was playing in.



The red jersey, known to be the leader of the vaulta, but the color can also be used for most aggressive rider throughout a stage. That's what i am going to make it, most aggressive. For his attacks at Syracuse, Concord, and GMSR Jeff Krywanczyk is awarded this jersey.



Pink Jersey - leader of the Giro. but we already have a leaders jersey. Therefore I will make the pink jersey the most improved rider. This I have to say is a tie between Mike Klein and Eric G. Mike showed tremendous dedication to racing this year and perhaps came into the best shape of his life. while Eric also showed the same dedication, making a huge leap in his racing career.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Season recap … for me (jeff k)

No, not everyone is done, just me. I wish I could race year round, but at times we have to step back and look at what is best. Right now it’s the best decision financially, I mean I need money to race next year. But not all WOE-ians are done, I believe Kyle has another race left in him and I just found out Phil is egger to get one more in.

In my point of view the 2011 season was a huge disappointment, for me. In the winter months I put in countless hours to prepare for the season, only to get nothing in return. I constantly struggled with my bike and fought off an injury for a majority of the season, starting at the 3rd Johnny Cake race in late March. It was not until the Concord Crit and GMSR that I felt I was coming around. Even then in GMSR I was involved in three crashes, two of which banged my up a little, but I could keep on riding.

My goal for this year was to become a Cat 3., well unless they count coming in 5th out of the cat 4s in the men’s ¾ Saranac Lake Downtown Crit, I didn’t even get one Top ten. Meaning next year I have so much more work to do, to recover from this disaster of a season. As most of you and my teammates know, I never quite. What does this mean….this winter season is going to be hell for me, but there will be logic to my insanity.

Although there were many negatives, there were many positives throughout the season. Overall I believe I became a smarter racer and had a lot of fun. Perhaps the most fun was being a domestique for Kyle at GMSR. He finished 5th overall, so I’m just going to toot my own horn and say that was all me J .

Now it is time to get to the nitty gritty work of building the team for 2012. Lots of paper work to so and sponsors to find. So if you are interested in helping us out, PLEASE let us know. But even with all the paper work there is still time to play, aka building my new bike.

Cheers everyone,

See you in 2012

Thursday, August 11, 2011

UGH

Sorry guys that i haven't put a post up yet. I actually just finished one for our Concord, NH trip. Worked on it all day and then when I went to publish it. Blogger told me I had exceeded the 1MB limit. Frustrated at this, I think your going to have to wait a little longer for a post from me.

NYCROSS.com series announced


Cross season is not far off for us here in the northern parts of NY.  We are getting in our last races on the road and a few weekend rides as a team.  Our email listserv has been a buzz about the upcoming NYCROSS.com series and what bikes we are going to be getting.  It seems most of us are going to be picking up the Specialized CruX for the upcoming season.  Orders are in and we are waiting for bike to arrive, barriers to be jumped, and drinks to be drank.  

Stay tuned for upcoming training weekend pictures, always a plus. 

September 10: NYCROSS.com Beginner’s Clinic, Troy New York (registration)
September 11: Kirkland Cyclocross, Kirkland, NY (info)
October 2: CX at Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY (info)
October 15 & 16: Uncle Sam GP of Cyclocross, Troy, NY (info)
October 23: Saratoga Spa Cyclocross, Saratoga, NY (info)
October 30: Wicked Creepy, Bennington, VT (info)
November  13: Bethlehem Cup, Bethlehem, NY (info)
Head on over to www.nycross.com for updates on all the series info!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Concord ... end of season...or new beginning~?!

As I have begun my journey to prepare for 2012 Ironman Lake Placid, my cycling legs have suffered dearly. Having never ever been a runner (no soccer, no track--I played tennis for godsakes), every run, regardless of how innocuous it may seem, hurts ... badly. Consequently, my riding has come less frequently, and when it does, it's often on the flattest roads I can find. I knew I wasn't in my best cycling shape, but, wheather it's the Transition or 1080's, I have done a few respectable time trial times, and therefore I figured I'd at least be able to survive the Concord Crit, but I really didn't WANT to race. I did however, feel like hanging out with some of my best friends for a weekend, and it was easy to be away because my wife was away with the girls...so I had run out of excuses, and I'm soooo glad I did.

It seems those long hours with Ashton and Jeff riding endlessly in my basement or Ashton's garage were years ago and I had no intention of doing any racing beyond Wilmington-Whiteface RR weekend. Last year the trip to Concord, NH was the swan song of my season..(when Kelley, perhaps rightfully, put the kibosh on GMSR). Luckily, I was introduced to the joys of D/H mtb'ing by Mike, and this new found sport kept me lovin' life till the snow flew. This year, the trip to Concord has rejeuvenated my desire to compete on the road.

A few questions remain...can I scrounge up the will-power to train my biking the way it needs to be trained to compete? Can I lose those last 4 stubborn pounds by September? Can I continue to run and make any progress at all? Will my life and wife allow me to race the weekends there are races?...We will see. For now, suffice it to say that the Concord, NH trip always seems to be a revelation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fun Fact Father's Day

USA Cycling rankings for TWOE:

Cat 3

Crit (pts)

TT (pts)

RR (pts)

Bruce

73 (64)

NR

536 (6)

Tim

348 (18)

NR

NR



Cat 4

Crit (pts)

TT (pts)

RR (pts)

Mike

415 (14)

NR

NR

Jeff

448 (13)

NR

NR

Ashton

788 (6)

NR

NR



Cat 5

Crit (pts)

TT (pts)

RR (pts)

Kyle

37 (56)

113 (10)

163 (13)

Eric

90 (35)

NR

NR

Phil

NR

NR

NR


*NR = not ranked

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Who Will Win?: Da Truth

The question. Who will win the flat 10-mile time trial course, rider A or rider B? Each has their unique bike:

Rider A's Bike.....................................Rider B's Bike










Hmmm……who could have won this event? The answer, we don’t really know. Rider B sure looks like he would win, but when it comes down to the truth, we don’t know. Yes, there was a reason I put the Shiv up against an Allez Expert, simply to try to fool you, which I hope I didn’t.

This is the beauty of cycling. Yes rider B may have every aerodynamic advantage, spending thousands of dollars to do so, but the truth is if the engine sucks nothing can help you. So it’s true a well-trained cyclist on a Specialized Allez Expert can in fact, blow by a Specialized Shiv.

Sadly as the competition gets stronger and the riders more equally matched, the aspect of money can come into play more. For if two athletes are exactly the same in every way, the individual with the more aerodynamic advantaged “should” have a better time. Their result will looks better on paper, because of the money they have or are willing to spend, but they’re actually on the same playing field. It is sad to see the money people will throw down just to shave a few seconds of their time. (you can click on chart to increase size)

There are indeed some advantages of having a TT bike, other than aerodynamics. For instance they can be more comfortable in a TT position and you have a bike already set up for doing TTs. For me any time I want do a time trial, I have to play around with my position on my road bike: moving the saddle forward and tilting the nose down. If you spend hundreds of dollars on a bike fit, you potentially undue some of that work. A road bike can be converted, by simply purchasing a bent seat post ($100), that will allow a 76-78 degree seat tube angle, and clip-on aero bars ($100) a relatively competitive position can be obtained for a fraction of the price. Really the discussion is yours to make. But remember without an engine, the bike means nothing!

Until Next time!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Who will Win?

So for my next post I am going to have a pre-post, That covers a simple questions. Who will win? Rider A or Rider B? The course, a flat 10-mile course.

Rider A's Bike



Rider B's bike


Chose wisely my friend! The answer will be posted Sunday.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tour de Syracuse: Part Deux

So if you’re a good follower, you remember I left off with us finishing the Tour de Syracuse Crit. If you are not a good follower, please refer to previous post. But do not let it happen again!

Now that the day was done, it was time to retire to our hotel and find somewhere to eat. We should have known from last year that this would have been more difficult than we thought it’d be. Orginal plan: Check into hotel and eat in the Italian restaurant next door. Plan failure: four to five major hotel chains surround this restaurant. So being seated wasn’t going to happen until 8:30pm. Therefore, a mob of hungry cyclist paced lined it to the next restaurant, Ruby Tuesday’s. Thirty minute wait, not to bad. But engines in need of calories, not soon enough. After visiting a third restaurant, the pattern continued. Apparently, restaurants in Syracuse don’t understand that six skinny cyclist can eat well over $100 worth of food. Finally we came upon a nice little restaurant, The Green Onion, which looked more like a home than a place to go eat. It was fine dinning, and indeed the food was fine. This would be another recommendation if your every near the Carrier Circle in Syracuse.

With our bellies full of pasta and all other sorts of delicious calories, it was back to the hotel to wind down and watch the finish of the Tour de California. Oh, did I mention out hotel room was on the second floor. That was a fun time getting several bikes up the elevator. But we can safely say that you cannot fit anymore than three bikes, three riders, and small bags into one elevator.

For me cycling trips are amazing, simple because I get to sleep in. I usually wake up at 3am, so a 6:15am wake up, is simple amazing. Unfortunately food still needed to be found. Seeing I was up a little before everyone else I went to the hotel market. Potato chips, cookies, beer, popcorn, and nothing editable. We would have eaten at the hotel, but their complementary breakfast, just gets many complements. It’s not included and it started to late for us to eat. Off to Dunkin Donuts it is.

Making a short trip to Tully, NY for the Road race, we all pounded our breakfasts. With an hour and a half before our start times for the time trial, it was perfect timing. Unfortunately, due to prepping I lack media that would have been nice for show us warming up for the TT. Mike and I were off first, and decided to go Pro with our warm-up and listen to music. His choice was a little more conservative, may even been some Phil Collins in there, me on the other hand got the Metallica going. Mother nature was not kind to us this year and the wind picked up for the TT. Doing a little research I noticed that my time this year was slower than last year when I was a Cat 5. Stupid wind.

It was only a three-mile course but the wind made it feel a lot tougher. Everyone put up good times, having never done a three mile time trial before, but some racers manages to get in the six minute range, dropping us in the standings. Kyle’s field was sandbagged a little in this event for the winner of the cat 5s TT would have placed 2nd in the cat 4s or 7th in the cat 3s.

Once everyone’s TT was done, there was about a two-hour time gap before the road race. Mainly this time was spent, getting some calories in, cooling down, getting bikes ready, and trying to dry out our kits. With all the wind, that didn’t really take to long.

As the race got underway the wind didn’t change a bit and may have even got a little stronger. I wish I could have seen some of the other field flying down the flat section of the course. The 4s were flying at 36mph at times, and I wasn’t even breathing hard. But this wasn’t the problem; later in the course we’d be going into the wind with hills and open fields. I was slightly dropped on a major climb and almost caught back on, I could just about hock a luggy at the back of the peloton, but the wind said "NO WAY." Pegged at a questionable 175-180 heart rate, they weren’t getting any closer. Enter the lonely ride into the wind. Miserable, heart breaking, soul sucking are just some words to describe the feeling of being caught alone in that wind. In fact it made several riders not even want to take the second lap. If I hadn’t been picked up by a group of other riders, I to was on the brink of pulling out of the race.

The only laughter from this race came right before the start of the race, at least for the 4s. During staging a cat 3 rider we knew came down to the front of the line and asked, “did the cat 3s already leave?” An official said “yeah like 15 minutes ago.” Responded to by a simple and disappointing statement of “oh, I better get going then.”

The day was tough and as soon as I got back to the car I flopped on the ground and pondered why do I do this to myself. But sadness was soon turned into happiness, by an American treat. DONUTS! Shannon had brought us some delicious donuts. Okay so not the healthiest of foods, but I just burned 2,000 calories, I think I deserved one....or two.

To no surprise the beautiful weather, besides the wind, we had for the weekend soon came to an end literally as we got the cars packed. It started raining. All we could ask was how long would it rain for this time? As a tradition after the Tour we went to the Dinosaur BBQ, need I say more? Unfortunately Eric and Phil had to get back and couldn’t join us, but for Mike, Kyle, and I we all ended the weekend with a beer. Well Mike and Kyle did. I couldn’t finish mine; it was a little two dark for me. I know I’m such a sally.

Having to push through the food coma, we made our way back to Potsdam. While Mother Nature again treated us with heavy rain.


Results:

Racer (cat) – Crit – TT – RR – GC(#racers)

Kyle (5) – 19th – 8th – 12th – 13th (33)

Eric (5 35+) – 18th – 11th – 23rd – 20th (48)

Phil (5 35+) – 29th – 19th – 27rd – 40th (48)

Mike (4) – 32nd – 19th – dnf – 47th (73)

Jeff (4) – 34th – 21st – 37th – 55th (73)



Until next time!