Sunday, March 12, 2006

Nothing like a good ride to remedy a bad race. 58 mile day on my 925.

Well I woke up and really wanted to go for a good ride. Too bad I woke up to thunderstorms and pouring rain. This is not an exaggeration. I dropped the Amy off at work and there were puddles as deep as the wheel wells on the car. Not stoked.
I was going stir crazy so I finally set up my rollers hoping to at least exercise and I was 10 minutes into riding them when the belt to the killer headwind fan snapped. I also snapped.
I jumped on my new Redline 9.2.5 fixed gear. I put the cyclecomputer on it that I had been delaying putting on it, and headed out into the rain. The only thing not stock on the bike are the pedals, I put shimano 525's, and I used cateye cotton bar tape planning on it being a coffee cruiser, I want the tape to last a long time.

The bike has a few flaws. It initially came with too short of a stem. I bought the 52 and the stem was like 80mm, so I replaced it with a 110. The sloping top tube makes me unable to squeeze my frame pump from the bottom bracket going vertically, which would be nice cause there are no bottle mounts on the seat tube. The track dropouts make it kind of hard to get the wheel out with the rear fender atatched, which could be a pain changing a flat.

I did a rolling to hilly 3 hour 15 minute, 58 mile ride. I must say that the Redline moustache bars are actually more comfortable than my Nitto bars. It might be because I a narrow guy and the Nitto's are wide, but these I found better. The stock 42x15 gearing is what I used to have on my first fixed gear, and I didn't find it too bad. For my other fixed gear I now have a 39x15, which is a good city gear. I am not sure what type of hubs redline is using, but they are really really smooth. Same with the cranks and bottom bracket. I hit a maximum cadence of 167 and never really felt sketchy.

This is my first fixed gear with a front and rear brake. I thought it was overkill and that I would take one off when I first got the bike, but I must say that I love it. I was bombing into some hairpins and didn't have to worry about washing out or a sudden animal or car.

The sun came out and I smiled all the way to my skim mocha on my way home.

Tour de Granville. First race of the year!

Spring has sprung and bike racing fever has hit. We pile 5 people and bikes into Doc Snydes "short bus." What we lacked in leg room, we made up for with humor. Anyway, we left Pittsburgh and drove into a rain storm.

The PRO 1/2/3 field (yes there was a PRO)field only had like 25 guys, 10 of which raced for the new AF Team Inferno. So the course was basically a rectangle with the start finish at a school. The road going through the school was about 1k. Before we got onto the open roads we were going 30+mph and there was like 5 different attacks.
I specifically remember a few thoughts:
- "man I am not going to finish today."
- "I thought I was in shape??"
- "Dude get in this break."
- "Ok I missed it, maybe Jared will get into the break."
- "I imagine if they have 4 guys in that break they aren't going to chase it down."

That group has a gap on us, and I try to attack over a small hill. I give it all I have to get into the hell of no man's land with an AF guy sitting on my wheel. I was out there for like 50 miles or so it seemed when another guy came up to us with an AF guy on his wheel. Me and the Advantage Benefits-Endeavour guy take turns pulling only to have the same gap up to the leaders. I figure we might be able to stay out and the AF guys might start working if we get a big enough gap on the group behind us. I was really impressed when Jeremy Grimm, a 3rd AF guy bridged up to our group. The Endeavour guy stopped working and went with the first counter attack. Then it is just me chasing 2 AF's and the Endeavour with 1 guy on my wheel. The field catches us and 3 more AF's are in a team time trial up the road. The Endeavour guy goes backwards and DNF's. Kirk Albers" of Jelly Belly is then chasing and pissed nobody is helping. I am in the dog house and there are only like 3 other guys that will work. Jared rallied the troops for chase down, and we had the 3 AF guys down to like 15 seconds, but it never worked.
The last lap I just kept everything together as best as I could. I attacked a few times thinking people might just let me go,but no dice. The Inferno guys quit with 1 to go to watch the real finish. Jared wins the field sprint for what we believe is 10th place. Brutal. I think I got 13thish?
Oh yeah did I mention that it was 45 degrees and pouring rain the whole time with massive amounts of horse maneur on the roads?
Things that I did wrong:
- Lined up late toward the back
- Didnt go with the 1 counter attack that stuck (duh)
- Should have given a bit more for the pride sprint at the line

Things that I did right:
- Perfect amount of clothing!
- I would like to think that I did a good job keeping it together in the end.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Weekend / few random things

Saturday: Passed my upgrade test and am now a Cat B USCF official. Kind of neat right? , the whiner Stubna and I set the record from my house to North Park, 34 minutes of hammering against traffic on a sunny afternoon.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg white
pinch of cinnamon
added 1 banana and blueberies
This was the breakfast we crushed while sipping on some French roast. Of course with real maple syrup and fresh peanutbutter on top.
Dan Chew showed up at 915 to lead us to his friends' ride up north. A couple of hours up, a couple of hours back and soon enough you have a 7:30 ride at 117 miles. Danny Chew can put down a fierce attack at mile 105, leaving you to only wonder how gnarly he was before he rode a 28lb bike. OH YEAH!


- If the person who left their dog shit on Hastings street last night reads this, please email me so I can ruin a day of your life like you ruined my night last night.Thanks.

- I am so freaking excited to race bicycles this year.

- I am really excited for fresh fruits and veggies this summer when it is all in season

- I am so proud of the Amy for working 40+ hours as a student teacher and not getting paid and being the cutest barista around for another 18 hours a week on top of that.

- My new redline 9.2.5 is totally sweet and totally cheap!