Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stick A Fork In Me

Did my first cat 1 mountain bike race today at Winding Trails. I didn't know what to expect, all I know is that I've been working hard this spring and have spent a lot of hours with frozen hands and feet. I'm really happy with my result. I ended up 10th out of 27 against some pretty stiff competition. Winding Trails can't really be used as a benchmark though, because it's barely a mountain bike race. What it can tell you though is how your fitness is. I feel good. Next up for mountain bike is the Orchard Assault at UMass. We had a good showing of Expo guys, hopefully we can build on that.
So...After yesterdays ride and todays race, I'm cooked. Luckily tomorrow is a rest day (on the bike anyway, have a ton of work to do).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Hard Ride

Tough ride today.
Next weekend is the Quabbin Road race, a race that I've been looking forward to. All this past week we've been planning to do a recon ride today. Well, as the weather forecast got worse and worse throughout the week, the ride kind of fell apart. TJ, Mikey and myself decided the forecast didn't look too bad and we'd go for it. Of course TJ and Mikey were late, but it actually worked out OK. While I was waiting for them I got a call From Steve Douville who said he and Jeff Buske wanted to ride and were leaving his house.
We all met up at the tower at Quabbin reservoir and got ready to go. Unfortunately the rain was still falling. We got underway and as we turned onto route 9, we discovered that the road had been milled for paving. I sure hope this is paved before next weekend because it wasn't fun to ride on.
To make a short story even shorter the rain never really stopped and there are a lot more climbs than I was expecting. This is going to be another tough race. Expo has about 7 guys registered in the cat 4 race (which rumor has it will have a field of 200! Hey why not, there are no rules, it's a Norton Production) so if we can hang in and get together we might be able to produce a decent result.
I decided that since I basically coerced the guys into riding in the miserable conditions that Delta should buy dinner. We stopped at the first pizza place we saw, Charleys Pizza and Sea Food, and chowed down. Everybody left happy. We got in 63 miles and 3 1/2 hours of riding. I figure riding on a day like this builds character, or is it "kills brain cells", I can never remember.
Time to rest up for my first cat 1 mountain bike race in the morning. Till next time, stay dry.

Here's a little taste of the fun.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I Loved That Race!

There I said it. Ask me after next years race and maybe I'll have a different answer. For those of you not in the know, I just returned from racing my first Tour Of The Battenkill in Cambridge, NY. I didn't win, I didn't even finish with the main group, but I'm pretty sure I finished higher than most of the guys in my race and had a miserably aganizeing blast doing it.
This race is usually referred to as a "Paris-Roubaix" type race, but it's really more of a "Tour of Flanders" type race given the number of climbs. The course winds around looking for the right combination of dirt and hills that whittle the field down until all that's left are a few hard men (and women). Maybe next year I'll be hard enough. Crit's rule the racing season around here, but as far as I'm concern, give me a race like Battenkill anyday.
Nine of us Expo boys rolled up Friday morning to preview the cource and register. We went out for pasta and pizza and spent the night in a clean but somewhat over the hill "motor lodge". After a great breakfast we headed down to the race.
We had Mikey with us who was doing the junior 17-18 race, and Buske, who raced cat 5 along with the rest of us; myself, Paul, Cliff, Lance, TJ(oh yeah) and Dave H who were all doing the 30+ race. Several other guys from the club also raced. Here's who I can remeber: Dave D, Dave J., Marty, Rob, Andrew, Tom and Brian. Really good turnout for the team. Results..........Not so much. Not one of us, that I know of, finished with their field. Tough shit, who cares, this was an awesome experience and an awesome weekend. Next up my first cat 1 mountain bike ass wooping, than another crack at a road race. Great trip guys!!!