May 10, 2015

As usual I headed up to NJ early this morning for a TT. I had never done the Somerset tt before but it is known as the most technical one around. It is a circuit with about 12 turns, several of them coming on fast descents and onto narrow roads. With some rollers thrown in it is a great course and a lot of fun. Most of the race went well for me and I was keeping a good enough pace that I thought I would easily win. But then my own stupidity, and then another's cost me the race. It was raining and I made the bad decision to use the visor on my helmet. By about half way through it was coated with water and I could barely see. I stupidly tried to rip it off my face while down in aero and the motion of yanking at it while on the aero bars caused my bars to sharply jerk to the right. I almost went down but stayed up, but found myself heading for a curb at about 28 mph. I hopped the curb and wove my way through someone's front yard narrowly avoiding some trees. Went back out onto the course...

May 10, 2015

I have said some negative things in the past about the Smoketown Airport course, and while I'm not going to completely recant them I can definitely say I had a better time there this year than I have had in the past. It's a hotdog course with a slight chicane on the far side and the bottom 180 always seems to be a problem for some riders.  The weather was typical for this time of year - too warm to be chilly but not hot, muggy, overcast, and threatening rain. 

 

Since that bottom corner is crash central, my plan going into the race was to stay up front and do work instead of having to use my brakes, avoid the inevitable undercut or sweep in the 180, and having to sprint out of the corners to make up wasted speed. 

 

The first lap was a neutral roll out and from where I was in the second row everything seemed kosher but I heard shouts from behind me of people who were upset at other riders using the time to gain position. I took up behind Jeff W. from Green Mountain because, well, he's...

April 27, 2015

 

Rock Lititz was a great experience for the team - I think it showed us what our potential is as well as where our weaknesses are. This is a race I would have gotten pulled from last year but this year I was able to move up and back as needed to, um, clear the lungs without sliming the pack.

It's a four corner crit and they cut us down from 25 laps to 22 to make up some time in the schedule. All told it was around 18 miles/45 minutes. Garmin says I averaged around 320W which feels about right. Average speed was 24.5 mph - decently fast course. It's just four corners, so getting away would take a coordinated effort but we had decided beforehand to be reactionary until the last five laps and no one else seemed to want to make a go of it.

The place to attack was definitely the slight rise between the third and fourth corners. You could slip out of the pack for the first half of the lap then overtake everyone on the rise with a little bit of extra effort. I had plans to execute based on...

April 12, 2015

Great race yesterday in Lancaster County… It’s fun to get into that road race atmosphere again, spotting cars with expensive bikes on top along I-76, then following makeshift signs down country lanes to a BIKE RACE.

 

The car park of a rural industrial facility was full of folks on shiny new 2015 model bikes, talking the usual about “not going for a sprint”, “needing a few more miles for Battenkill”, and “Ugh, wind".

 

CS Velo’s Mike Porter was out early on his trainer, and Mark Sweetman came along to cheer on the team and meet some buddies in advance of his race. It was terrific to catch Kurt Dodds on the start line of his race, with Meredith and a new supporter.

 

57 had signed up for the Cat 4/5 40+ field so I was determined to get a good place on the grid, and rolled down early to the line with Mike. The start of our race was slightly delayed as the marshals took their positions on the course, which left a bunch of chilly racers in lycra enough time to chew nervously on energy g...

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