Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not so fast!!

Todays plan was to get a better start. So, first thing I missed my pedal, but regained quickly. Just as we're reaching full speed, I hear the dreaded sounds of a crash, right at the front. I had to brake hard and swing way to the side, but I missed the crash. Now I'm just battling to get back up to speed and get to the first turn. Not a good start. Oh well, I didn't really make any big mistakes and did pretty well finishing 16th of 57 finishers.
Since this is only my second year racing I really am happy with my results. Most of these guys I'm mixing it up with have been doing this for years. But I know I need to work on some things for next season. Such as: Sam Morse was one of the guys in the crash, after about a lap and half he caught and passed me. I figured I'd stay with him as long as I could. Turns out that distance is about a quarter lap (or less). He came from the ground in DFL to finish in 6th. So I need to work on better fitness for next year. I spent the last three laps battling with Brian McGinnis. Brian owns a bike shop and says his main training is his commute to work. He also doesn't race road or mountain bike, he races BMX! Today's course had a lot of swoopy, uphill, downhill turns and when I was sitting behind Brian he would slowly open a gap on me through the turny parts. I could fairly easily close the gaps, but each of those chases is a match burnt because I'm slow in the corners. So I need to improve my cornering for next season.
Tom Stevens really puts together a killer course. He's done Gloucester, Providence and Baystate this weekend. He's so good at using the terrain to the best advantage. He puts in lots of uphill and downhill, but nothing crazy. He fills the course with turns that are usually grouped together and keep you on your toes. Just when you think you have the rhythm, he tightens it up. He puts barriers in places that seem odd at first, but turn out to be really fun and challenging. His courses are really tough and challenging and technical and I've loved every one!
Here is one reason why I like being a bike racer

Ribeye with mushrooms and onions, baby carrots, broccoli, Parmesan bread, apple cider. One more week to eat like a pig.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I knew I shouldn't have had that sixth piece of pie!

No joke, six pieces of pie on thanksgiving. The tally: 1 pumpkin and 1 pecan before dinner, 1 pumpkin, 1 pecan after dinner, 1 pumpkin, 1 blackberry later that night. The blackberry was delicious, by the way, my brother and sister-in-laws own berries.
So that's how I felt this morning before the Verge Baystate Cyclocross race in Sterling Ma. Like I had eaten six pieces of pie. I warmed up pretty well, but just felt logy.
I really need to be more aggressive in the start and take advantage of the call-up. I've figured out that I'm fit enough to move up through quite a few places, but I'm wasting that fitness in the start. Rather than let people by and worry about going into the red zone, I need to fight for a better position and than move up. Anyway, I ended up 17th today out of 50. I had a small mechanical. My back skewer came loose again and my wheel was just flopping around in the dropouts. I had to stop and lost the group I was with. I did fight back up to the remains of the group and got two spots back. Today was a pretty technical course, but tomorrow's supposed to be better. We'll see.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cheshire Cross

This is what happens when you bring in the single speeds. Just kidding, just because I don't get it doesn't mean in doesn't make sense. Cheshire turned out to be another fun local race. Not huge, but good atmosphere. It was also the Connecticut State Cyclocross Championship. No, really, what you didn't know that? Well it was. I did the 45+ race along with probably 20 others. We were the first race of the day for a change. John Funk, Paul Nyberg and myself quickly formed a group and put a good gap on the rest after the first lap. John Funk pedaled around with Paul and I for another lap then decided he was ready to race and left us. Nyberg went down in the sand and I got by and he never did catch back up. I didn't get beat by John by all that much this time though, maybe 30 seconds or so. Anyway He is the 45-49 Connecticut Champion, I'm the silver medalist and Paul got bronze.

The course was fun, Fairly technical, pretty mountain bikey. We've had a lot of really fast power courses this season, so some extra technical was fun. The long run-up was tough. I shot a video of the cat 4 race which a bunch of my mountain bike buddies were in. During the 3-4 race I went over to check out the "Hill People" and there was quite a commosion going on. You have to love a bike race where someone brings a drum set. Not just a drum, but a drum set. Major heckling going on. I think I'm happy that nobody was there during our race, I think it would have been annoying.
Two more weekends of cross, then it's break time and hopefully some skiing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mercer Does('nt) Disappoint

It's like adobe, the mud at Mercer. A fine texture, blended with freshly cut grass and earthworms to form a brick like structure that encapsulates your drivetrain. God, that was great, or kinda good, well maybe just OK. It's the stickiest most life-sucking mud ever encountered.
Actually the race was pretty good. We did four laps and it took and hour to do. I got my typical slow start, but rode up to 10th by the end of the second lap. But the life-sucking mud just ground me down and I ended up in 16th out of 60. Of the Connecticut people I knew, I was the highest placed.
It hasn't rained all day, the winds been blowing and it's been pretty warm. Hopefully the course will be dry enough tomorrow to pack into a groove. That would nice. We'll see.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Night in New Jersey

We made it down with no excitement. Stopped by the venue and walked the course. An earlier email from the promoter said they didn't want anyone riding the course due to the weather , but lots of people were. The new location looks like the grass should hold up better. It's in a really flat area with the exception of some berms and swales which they've used to make off-cambers. Hard to say for sure, but it looks like another fast course. We ran in to Troy Wells giving his clinic to the youngsters. He was taking them through all the off-camber corners and showing them the best lines, but also the alternate lines. Maggie got a picture of him bunny hopping the barriers. I don't think the little guys will be doing that. We also ran into Wayne Barlow checking out the course. We'll be racing each other tomorrow.

We checked in to the hotel. We've been staying at the Homewood Suites the last few times we've travelled and really like them. For $99 it's hard to beat. There's so much room and they have a full size fridge, microwave, sink, oven, stove. Makes it very comfortable.
Our daughter Lynn and Her boyfriend are staying with us tonight and possibly tomorrow. Because the wind is blowing so hard, the promoter isn't putting up any tape until morning. We all plan to get to the race early to volunteer to run tape. I might bale once I get the others working so I can ride a little. Shhhh, don't tell them.

Check out this picture of me that the USGP is using. No really it's of me, Tim Johnson was just about to get it the way.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Armageddon Cross (a.k.a. Mercer)

For a year now I've been checking the weather for this coming weekend. It was looking so good. What went wrong? Who angered the gods? If you remember Mercer from last year you know what I mean. If not google it.
The only thing that might make it a better situation than last year is that they moved the course location. Oh well, this will be one of those races where you can say "I was there". More to come...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cycle Smart International November 7 & 8

So Saturday was my birthday, and I can now officially race in the 45+ geezer class. Yep, 45 on Saturday, and a 10th place finish as a present to myself. Those geezers are fast and really know how to ride. They never let up.
It's amazing how much confidence has to do with it. As I've had some good results lately, I start to realize that I deserve to be there, and that all my hard work and "training" is paying off. But confidence is only part of the equation. I've definitley been feeling strong and have been getting a lot better at chasing, attacking and recovering along with just plain riding faster. I'm a little slow to pick up on the strategy part though.
On Saturday I didn't get a great start, but through the first three laps I managed to ride up to a group that was basically the "chase" group to the leaders and had some fast riders in it. The next few laps I noticed that I was faster than them through the sand, which was only a quarter lap to the finish. I knew all I had to do was not blow it this last time through the sand and I had 'em. When I hit the grass they were ahead of me, but the thing with riding vs. running is that you usually have the major advantage of acceleration, which I did and never looked back.
Hey, 10th isn't that good, but I'm getting closer.
Sunday was a real fun race. The course was quite a bit more turny, but still really fast. Again, not a great start, but I worked up through the group. I caught up to Nyberg in about 8th or 9th place but he wasn't having any of it and left me in the dust. just as we settled into a group, I clipped my pedal on a root while trying to take my super secret line and went down. There goes the group. I think that was my first fall of the season. I didn't think I would catch back on but I did and even managed to beat all but two of the guys in the group. I finished 13th and managed to move back up to 20th overall for the series. I'm looking forward to Mercer next weekend, for the racing and the chance to spend some time with our daughter and J-dog (sup).

The youtube clip above was made from the exact same .mp4 clip as you see below. The only difference was Maggie copied the file to her mac and then uploaded it to youtube. It sounds like the problem is with my PC. I'm open to suggestions.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

West Hill Cyclocross

Good race today at the West Hill Shop in Putney, Vt. The fields weren't huge, but there were some good racers there. The weather was beautiful, and with the rain overnight the course was slippery enough to keep it interesting. The 45+ masters race had about 12 guys today, with Eric Marro, Paul Nyberg, Wayne Barlow and other fast guys. The start here is a long drag up the pavement from the bottom part of the course and up into the field, then immediately over the barriers. This is the only time you ride that section of pavement. Next the course winds through some slippery corners and down into a pit with a short run out of it. This is followed by some more grass, around the shop, through the BMX jumps and then down the hill. The hill is pretty tricky with a left hand turn followed by a right onto a steep, bumpy hill with a deep mud hole on the left and a narrow strip of hard ground on the right. A final stretch of muddy trail led out to a lap around the cornfield where the wind made it tough if you were riding alone. A quick trip up the dirt road and you shoot up the first part of the run-up and hit the ground running without loosing your momentum. A quick remount and repeat 6 more times.
A group of 5 of us formed at the start and rode together for the first four laps. On the road section of the 5th lap, Eric Marro put the hammer down and took one other guy with him. Nyberg and I put on the gas and dropped Wayne Barlow. No matter how hard I tried to drop Nyberg, he kept closing my gaps in the slippery corners. I knew I was waisting my effort trying to drop him. It felt like I was slightly faster than him in the run-up, so, on the last lap, I waited for him with the intention of gluing myself to his wheel and coming around just before the run-up. I knew this was a gamble because in the past I've had issues keeping someone elses pace. But the rest I gave myself letting him come up to me made me confident that I could get him. As we came up the road, we caught two lapped riders and when we did Nyberg went, with me glued to him. As soon as we were at speed I hit it as hard as I could, coming around and headed for the run-up first. It was funny, because I was thinking "here comes the puke", but it didn't and I ended up in third.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finally A Podium

Yep, I made it! Second place at Mansfield Hollow 45+. Yeah, it was a small race and some of the fast guys weren't there, but there were a lot of other fast guys there. It felt good! Thanks to all my new team mates and everyone else who was cheering me on. Really fun time with a good showing by the Expo team. Lets see How many team mates I can remember: Me, Dave, Hildebrand, Cliff, TJ, Lance, Keith, Martey, Tall Paul, Paul Novatosky, Brian Specyalski, Steve Yau. There's probably more that I didn't see or didn't know were team mates.
That was a fun race, good atmosphere. There's nothing like a whole big batch of free food after your race, and the generous payouts and prizes.
Hopefully we'll see a good turn out next week at Hartford.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Gloucester Documentary

So here it is the not long awaited premiere of my first ever attempt at video. All I can say is it goes downhill fast!
Check it out anyway. Constructive criticism accepted!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I think drill!

Providence day 2...A better day! I felt SO much better today. I think mainly because I wasn't any where near as nervous. I won't go into a lot of details, but just say I think if you can drop a group or bridge to a group then you have to. I ended up 17th today out of 60 starters. I'll take it. Paul and TJ raced the 3 race and finished ahead of mid field. Paul seemed pretty relaxed and happy with the day. Congrats on your 3rd place finish in the 5k at the Hartford Marathon. Dave raced the 35+ masters and I think his ass hurts. He was riding TJ's bike and it's always tough to ride someone else's bike. Not to mention that that group is only a small step below the elite men's field.
Fun day and weekend. Looks like a lot of people will be going to Mansfield this weekend. Good!

TJ suffering

Chris Jones and Tim Johnson. Johnson ends up winning, Jones 3rd.

Checked out this cool trials demo. Forgot the dudes name

Saturday, October 10, 2009

To Drill...Or Not To Drill...

Providence day 1 is done and I'm a little bummed I shouldn't be! 21st out of 70 starters isn't bad. I'm bummed with the way it went down. I rode good, got a good start, didn't go down, didn't really make any mistakes and I pushed myself cross-eyed (lost a contact, right one this time), so why be bummed? Because I really think I could have made 18th and not 21st. Wtih a lap and a half to go I caught the guy in front of me, with a lap to go we caught the guy in front of us, with 7/8 of a lap to go another guy catches us, so we're now a group of four. I really thought I could ride away from the group and thats what I proceeded to do, try anyway! I drilled it for the last lap and everytime I looked they were all still right there. So with a quarter lap to go, one guy goes and they all follow, except me I'm cooked from trying to drop the group.
So here's the question. Did I do the right thing and continue to drill it or should I have sat up and played tired and let someone else set the pace? Maybe I could have just let off and the group would have followed my pace. I doubt it, cross never seems to be any thing other than full gas, or is it? See why I'm confused.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 1...Can you say rain?

Wow did it pour today! I know I've been saying how I like to race in the rain (and I do), but it can get tedious. All the trying to stay dry while you're warming up and try to get warm after you've raced is kind of like work. The actual racing part is awesome though. You have to stay so focused that it seems like the race flies by. Today went pretty well, I definitely made a few poorly timed blunders, but that's racing. First lap I had ridden up to about 8th place and hit a rut which shot me off course, right off the course and behind the tape. By the time I got off my bike and back over the tape I lost at least 10 places. Then with 2 laps to go, I had just caught and passed a group of 5, as I made my way through the backstop curve... same thing with the rut, only this time I shot right into a stake and the netting. Bye bye 5 guys. I caught that group again but wasn't able to gain any more places back.
So now we're ready for bed. Belly full of Pizza joint food, laundry done, tweets sent, blog posted. Time to get ready for tomorrows nervous stomach and more awesome Gloucester racing.
But there is some bad news. We've told that gorilla man or monkey man as his friends told us has had to move away to pursue a real job in Philly. It's a sad day in cross and he will be missed. Come on young devil, time to step up.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We made it

We're here!! Yee haw. We made it without a hitch thanks to Maggie's navigating skills!? Drove up to Gloucester after we checked in to the hotel to check out the course and get something to eat. The course is quite a bit different from last year and looks quite a bit tougher. Should be really fun in the rain. I heard there's not going to be a sand pit on Day One, which is good (I'm not a fan). Ate at The Gull, one of the local dive joints. The food was actually pretty good, better than I was expecting.
Now we're all sitting here, Maggie, Nikki and I, typing into our computers and chatting, but it's time for me to hit the sack. Looking forward to tomorrow!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heading to Gloucester

An image like can mean only one thing...Some serious cross racing is about to go down. Maggie and I are heading out to G-ster tomorrow for the weekend. We're picking up our friend Nikki at Logan and then heading to our hotel in Peabody. Nikki works with Christian Vandevelde's father, so she and Maggie got to be friends through the VdV fan club.
Paul and I raced up in VT last weekend. Those were two hard races, but I managed to get some points, so I should get a call up to the second row (for day one at least). I've been racing in the masters 45+ races. So far it feels like the group I belong in. I'm by no means the fastest, but I feel like I'm holding my own and because most of these guys are really fit and they have good riding skills it's forcing me to step up my game. I realized in VT that you can't make mistakes if you want to stay anywhere near the front, plus when you're getting beat by guys your own age you can think "if they can do it I can Too". When the 20 year old kids are kicking your ass you just say "I'm old, leave me alone".
I don't know who knows what, but team Delta is being retired as I've joined up with the Exposition Wheelmen Club both as a member and as a sponsor. We don't have our kits yet so in the mean time I'll continue flying the Delta tricolor.
Anyway, I haven't put anything up here in a while so I thought I'd do that. I'm going to bring a computer to Gloucester and try to post a race update. We'll see.
Check out this picture of Paul Railing a corner at the recent Crossin 4 Canines race. Later!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

We Open The Door To The Pain Cave...And Step Inside

Doing double cross races seems like a good idea when you're sitting in front of your computer, looking at Bikereg and feeling tough. But doubles hurt. They leave you feeling wasted, which of course is why they really are a good idea. You pay today for good results tomorrow.

Cliff Kenyon, Paul Novotasky and myself made the trip to Bedford Mass. for Quad Cross. We all decided to do double races, but the only combination that worked, was for us to do back to back 40 minute races. Paul and Cliff lined up for the Masters 35+ with my 45+ group going 30 seconds afer. Paul got a good start and ended up in 12th with Clif apparently taking it a little easy in 21. My race went pretty well and I finished in 12th also. I probably could have made top 10, but the little voice in my head was saying "don't forget, you have another race to do".

So, we finish the first race and quickly get ready for the second. We all had our second race numbers pinned under our first, so a quick tear off and we were ready. As we head to the line I notice Paul lined up on the front row and I'm thinking are you crazy? but that's how he rolls, as you kids say. Cliff lined up behind him with me behind Cliff, and off we went. Paul and Cliff nailed their starts and were gone, my first lap was brutal and I wondered, "what am I doing", but by the third lap it's all one big blur and you just pedal. Paul ended up in 9th, Cliff 19th and me in 24th out of about 50.

The course was good, just the right amount of slipperyness with lots of corners and not too many crazy obstacles. There was a lot of moaning and groaning on the way home, but a good time was had by all. Don't forget, Crossin' 4 Canines this Saturday in Rocky Hill. I hope to see a good number of my new team mates there.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Final TT results

Hey everybody! Thanks a bunch to everyone who participated this year. We had a great time putting the event on and based on the amount of participation, even when the weather didn't cooperate, you people enjoyed it as well. As of now, we plan on doing it all over again next year. Any feed back you have that can make the series better will be appreciated. The final picnic was a success. I hope nobody got a raw burger. Thanks to everyone for coming and especially those who brought food. See you next year. Keep in touch. Here are the results from the last two races. email me if you want the overall series results.

Jon Tarbox

Results from Week 9, 8/27

Place Name Category Time Speed

1 Ben Carbonetti MR2 14:00.7 26.54

2 David Hildebrand MR3 14:26.0 25.77

3 David Marti MR5 14:47.8 25.14

4 Joseph Nucera MR4 14:56.1 24.91

5 Paul Novotasky MR3 14:58.3 24.86

6 David Head MR4 15:00.4 24.80

7 Steve Abbot MR5 15:10.1 24.53

8 Cliff Kenyon MR3 15:15.4 24.39

9 Sebastian Dunn MR4 15:22.8 24.18

10 Paul Armstrong MR4 15:27.0 24.08

11 Jonathon Reid MR5 15:34.7 23.87

12 Jon Tarbox MR4 15:55.1 23.37

13 Sven Malten MR3 15:56.1 23.35

14 Bill Hurley MR4 16:24.8 22.66

15 Jim Dunphy MR6 16:42.4 22.28

16 Steve Dauphinais MR4 16:44.4 22.23

17 Dean Montgomery MR4 16:56.1 21.97

18 Stacy Head FR3 17:06.0 21.75

19 Bob Ludecke MR6 17:06.0 21.75

20 Robert Winter MR5 17:10.2 21.67

21 Al Tisko MR4 17:29.1 21.28

22 Dan Massucci MR4 17:48.3 20.90

23 Steven Yau MR3 17:55.4 20.76

24 Donna Davis FR4 18:12.2 20.44

25 Kelsea Mullaly FR1 18:12.5 20.44

26 Frank Davis MR5 18:13.6 20.40

27 Katie Mullaly FR1 18:16.9 20.35

28 Laura Mullally FR4 18:22.4 20.25

Results from Sunday August 30:

Place Name Category Time Speed
1 David Hildebrand MR3 14:22.3 25.89
2 Aiden Charles MR2 14:42.6 25.28
3 Bob Hannon MR4 14:58.4 24.86
4 David Marti MR5 15:02.8 24.72
5 Stan Lezon MR3 15:09.5 24.53
6 Dave Hoyle MR2 15:42.4 23.69
7 Paul Novotasky MR3 15:43.8 23.64
8 Cliff Kenyon MR3 15:53.9 23.40
9 Dave Dubos MR3 15:56.2 23.35
10 Lance Jones MR4 16:08.8 23.03
11 Barry O'Grady MR4 16:15.6 22.87
12 Juan DeJesus MR4 16:20.2 22.78
13 Trent Sullivan MR3 16:22.5 22.71
14 Robert Winter MR5 17:00.4 21.88
15 Bruce Taylor MR4 17:13.7 21.59
16 Rob Recalde MR2 17:18.6 21.48
17 Donna Davis FR4 18:04.3 20.59
18 Michael Martin MR1 18:11.9 20.44
19 Bill Hurley MR4 18:19.6 20.29
20 Laura Mullally FR4 18:36.0 20.00
21 Katie Mullaly FR1 19:01.4 19.56
22 Taylor Hildebrand MR1 20:37.7 18.03

Blunt Park Cross Race 8-23-09

Let the fun begin. Blunt Park was the first race of the season and the turn out was good (even though everyone says it's too early for cross). Paul came up to race along with Frank Navone and the Brazilians. Frank, the Boys and I raced the cat 4 race. Before the race I said I was just going to ride around and not go too hard since my shoulder and elbow are still on the mend. What do I do at race time? Line up on the front row. I guess I am racing. Anyway, long story short, I felt good and got 6th out of 52. Frank looked like he was having a little trouble, but finished strong and said he felt pretty good. Ed (not his real name) Got third on his mountain bike and Jesse got 12th, even riding with one foot clipped in (he brought one road shoe and one mountain).
So I had registered to do the cat 3/4 race as well and was feeling OK when start time came around. I decided to start farther back and let the fresh guys have at it. Paul was up there. This race was a little faster and I stayed fairly close to the front for about the first 30 minutes. I kept Paul in sight. But then, my mind decided my body was tired and I slowed way down. For some reason I was thinking there was about 5 laps to go. I got passed by about 5 guys just as I heard the bell ring for the last lap. Paul did pretty well and finished 12th of 63. He was pissed because some kid who had no skills totally clogged the course right in front of him. I'm sure he could have got top 10, but that's cross, the start is everything. I ended up 28th.
The course was greatly improved over last year and was a lot more like a typical cross course. Now if they can get rid of the log crossings, it'll be a really good course.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time Trial 8-30-09

I'm heading to Gay City to give it a go. I can't guarantee it won't get canceled later, but we're going to try and race. Come on if you don't mind taking a chance.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

TT July 16, 2008

It looks like the weather will hold (we hope so anyway), so we'll see everyone at Gay City this afternoon.

Here are the results from tonights race with some commentary from Matt:

Dear Participants Last nights race was spectacular. We had very good weather conditions (for a change) and good turnout. All 22 participants rode 20 mph averages (if you round up) or better. We also had 21 year old Alister Ratcliff from Colorado. Alister broke the course record set in 2008 by Jeff Kozlowski by 27 seconds. At 27.45 mph Alister said it was 2.5 mph slower than his TT speed on a course in Canada earlier this year because this course is hillier. Congratulations to Alister and thanks to all participants. The next race is July 30. See you then! Place

Name Category Time Speed

1 Alister Ratcliff MR2 13:33.1 27.45
2 Michael Chaplean MR3 14:28.6 25.68
3 Paul Novotasky MR3 15:08.6 24.55
4 David Marti MR5 15:31.6 23.95
5 Cliff Kenyon MR3 15:33.9 23.90
6 Joeseph Nucera MR4 15:37.2 23.82
7 Steve Abbot MR5 15:46.9 23.57
8 Paul Armstrong MR4 16:22.5 22.73
9 Barry O'Grady MR4 16:36.6 22.39
10 Amanda Lawrence FR3 16:38.1 22.36
11 Neal Popovich MR3 16:42.9 22.25
12 Jim Dunphy MR6 17:23.4 21.40
13 Dean Montgomery MR4 17:37.2 21.12
14 Bob Ludecke MR6 17:43.2 21.00
15 Jeff Buske MR3 17:47.5 20.90
16 Troy Hopkins MR4 17:48.4 20.90
17 Donna Davis FR4 18:23.9 20.22
18 Robert Winter MR5 18:24.6 20.20
19 Laura Mullally FR4 18:24.7 20.20
20 Steve Cabelus MR3 18:30.0 20.11
21 Steven Yau MR3 18:35.6 20.00
22 Katie Mullaly FR1 18:54.2 19.68


Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's not if, but when

So I decided at the last minute to go out to Bethel and do the Wednesday night crit. I asked Paul to come , but he had a premonition, I guess, and declined. I should have known better my self. Of the three times I've done this race, two of the nights there were crashes. Last night it was my turn.
I was accomplishing my goal of geting a hard workout in. I rode solo off the front for a lap and a half and was in a short lived break of about 4 laps, so the workout was good. As we got down to the last few of 30 laps, I was thinking, "OK, good ride this will help with this weekends mounntain bike race". All I have to do is ride in the last two laps and go home. Wrong, winding up for the final sprint, coming around the last corner before the hill, and ther it is, my crash. The only image I remember is the guy leaning at a 45 degree angle right in front of me. I hit him had and go over the bars and slam to the road on my elbow and side. I think the reason I didn't get much road rash is because I just slammed down. I ended up in Danbury Hospital emergency room with a fractured elbow, 13 stiches, a seperated ACjoint in my shoulder and some cracked ribs. Since I'll be off the read for several week while my elbow heals, it's time to revise my race schedule. Thanks to the guys at the race reassuring me it wasn't as bad as it seemed and showing me how quickly there road rash healed. Extra special thanks to my friend Frank Navone, who also went down and had to get checked out. If you need an awesome guy to help you out, Frank's your man. As they say...."that's bike racing"

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tip: Cross the Finish line

Today was the Domnarski Farm race. From every thing I'd been told about the course, I wasn't really looking forward to it. After a pre-ride on Friday, I was less than enthusiastic. Jonathan Sawn and I lined up for the start and had at it. Jonathan went out two groups before mine. With my lack of enthusiasm, I got a pretty crappy start. I pushed fairly hard for the first half of the 10 mile lap and ended up in 2nd with the Snowman (Matt Snow). I drilled it on the pavement, thinking we could get a gap, but when we hit the dirt again, John Allen and Will had caught us. The second half of the lap is a lot more technical, but there are a couple of hard climbs. I thought I had dropped everybody on the climbs, but by the top of the last one I had been caught by two guys, Will (riding flat pedals and sneakers) and Bikebarn guy. Will got by me in one of the extra deep mud bogs when I didn't see the go around route and plunged head long into the slop. I think I swore! Bikebarn Guy got me just at the end of the Jeep trail before the last section of single track. I knew I was done then. Bikebarn guy played that expertly and I totally appreciated being beaten fair and sqaure. This is where the tip comes in. I was in such a hurry to congratulate Bikebarn guy for his skilled tactics and riding that I sort of forgot to ride through the finish line. I took probably 30 seconds for all the people screaming to get my attention and when I turned to see what all the yelling was about, they were all staring at me and screaming in this disgusted tone as if to say "I can't believe they let someone so stupid do these races". That's when I realized what I thought was the finish was actually the start line. Duh!! Anyway three guys crossed the line before I managed to drag myself over the line. I think I would have been in 4th, but probably will get credit for 8th-ish. I talked to the official in a half hearted plea for my spot, but didn't press the issue. Who's the idiot? (that would be me!)
In the end I actually liked the course and the racing was good. So often these races turn in to a time trial, solo ride through the woods, but we had some good action. Good race boys. Matt crashed hard and hit his head, he was pretty banged up. Hope he's OK. Props to John Allen for stopping and checking on him. Good to see my buddy Frank Navone.