New Albany Crit.

29 Jul

The final weekend of July brought crisp, autumn-like temperatures and clear blue skies to much of the midwest, perfect conditions for outdoor activities. B.I.T. athletes welcomed Mother Nature’s respite by garnering several top placings at various venues throughout the region.

Helen's Podium

Helen’s Podium

Deb DuBois and daughter, Helen, competed in the ‘They Call Me Al’ St. Alphonso’s Church 5K run in Zionsville Saturday morning. The mostly flat course was toughened up by a stiff headwind in the final mile of the race. Helen cruised the event, finishing as 3rd overall female. Deb met her time goal and placed 3rd in her age group. Well done, ladies.

Deb's Podium

Deb’s Podium

Jim with 95 Year Old Paul Miller, of Normal, IL

Jim with 95 Year Old Paul Miller, of Normal, IL












Jim Creamer competed in the National Senior Games in Cleveland over the weekend. Unlike other parts of the midwest, Cleveland featured rain and cool temps as Jim reports, “Although this was a national race, competition was closer to a local Masters 50+ event that was won by a ‘Boggs’ type racer from Mississippi who won both days (he also won both TT events).  I think Indiana is quite strong comparatively.

“Saturday was cold and very wet.  Not knowing anyone, I went with every early break only to be brought back.  The course was on a highway along lake Erie that had a climb of nearly a mile.  1st lap was in the big chain but later laps I spun up the hill in the small.  The field split quickly on the 2nd lap following a series of attacks when the eventual winner broke solo midway up the hill.  No one gave chase and I for one, was beginning to struggle.  The final 2 miles were chaotic in the rain as we were all bunched up; there were crashes in the final 2 turns, luckily I was out near the front and won the exhausting sprint for 2nd – 20 seconds behind the winner.

“Sunday was on the same course, but with a strong headwind to fight.  Again a couple early attempted breaks but I stayed within striking distance waiting for Mississippi to attack.  He went at the perfect time as we were climbing and things were congested at the front.  He got a good lead before I and another guy worked together to chase him down.  It became a 3 man break and again I struggle to do my share.  About 3 miles from the finish the peloton began smelling the barn and seemed to be closing down rapidly on us. The guy behind me hit my rear wheel and went down.  (Later he said it was his fault for drafting too closely.) It was down to 2 of us but we made it.  The sprint came down to a photo finish.  The announcer called us back to the line only to tell us over the PA that judges determined that Mississippi won. In the moment, It hurt so much that I told my son I would have rather finished 20th. But after a few moments reflection, my perspective cleared and I realized it was all worth it though, for having seen that 95 yr old racing.  His name was Paul Miller from Normal Ill.”

Adam Perler continues his improvement toward competition in Track Masters National Championships. Representing Joey Keller, Adam proudly wears his Team Joey kit as a reminder of how fortunate we all are to have health, vitality, and a community of friendship and support. Adam posted 2 season bests during final event tune-ups with a 12.2 sec in the flying 200 (he was a 13.6 early in the year) and a 1:19 (improved from 1:34 early in the season) in the 1k. Adam is striving to break the 12-second barrier in the Flying 200. In order to do so, he’ll need to hit 40 mph.  Hopefully the wind  will cooperate. Adam reports, “I am just hopeful that I will be able to repeat these times when it really counts.  The flying 200 and match sprint rounds will be on Friday.  I believe I need to get in to the top 12 in my age group to advance to the sprint tournament.  I will then do the 1k on Saturday.  As you know, I am not an endurance guy… but that is turning out to be one of the areas I have improved the most in.  Finally, I will be teaming up with two guys from the Speedway Wheelmen for a Team Sprint.  I will be the lead off guy for the  Sunday event.  My goal is to bring the group up to 35mph from a standing start on the first lap and then peel off.  This is harder than it seems. As it turns out, I have a “turbo lag” in my jump which starts out a little weak (probably from a slipped disc in my back) and then I hit my stride… unfortunately I have left my teammates behind a few times which is never a good things as my job is to go fast, but keep us together.  The best part is that they have all agreed to wear Team Joey schwag during our event.  If I have any chance of making the nationals podium, this will likely be the event.  Either way… this season has been great.  I will go out and have fun.  I will be riding for my coach in the sky, Joey Keller, and dedicating my nationals to my cousin who will be having his 4th operation for a rare brain tumor as I pedal and navigate the velodrome… hopefully faster than I have ever gone before.” Best wishes for a fast and safe weekend, Adam!

New Albany Crit.

Southern Indiana and the Louisville area have never been hospitable to me as a bike racer. I’ve jokingly called the racers down there the Huns of Louisville in the past. It’s not that they are mean folks, but rather, they are as competitive a lot as you’ll find anywhere in the midwest. I enjoyed catching up with Eric Fagerburg, Mike McShane and Brad Swope prior to the racing. Yesterday’s event was a new venue, but the competition remained pretty much the same as it’s always been; fierce. As venues go, the promoters put on a great event. The course was secured by an excellent volunteer staff, podiums were ushered quickly after races were completed, and payouts were handled in a very timely manner.

The course was not overly challenging, although it did feature as such: From the Start/Finish line racers tarverse approximately 200 yards to turn 1, a wide, sweeping left turn requring no speed let up. After turn 1, racers were greeted with a nice tail wind on the longest straight of the course that fed into a fairly wide turn 2 left hand bend, followed by a short straight into another left hander for Turn 3. Out of turn 3, racers were met with a stiff headwind, perhaps a fortunate blessing as it slowed us on a few occasions, before narrowing into a tight right hander at turn 4. From 4 we took a short straight to another tight left hander at Turn 5, then a very short straight to a left hander in Turn 6, at which point we opened the jets for the Finish line.

The finish straight was lined with vendors, including the River City Winery, which Deb was quick to cozy up to. It wasn’t long before Sean O’Donnell’s lovely partner, Nita, joined Deb in the sun, enjoying their wine while there men battled The Huns in the Masters 40+ event. 25 of us took the line for this one and the pace was hot from the get go. Texas Roadhouse, McDonald’s, Barbasol, Ft. Wayne Outfitters, and Scheller’s all featured multiple riders in this race. As such, attacks and counters continued throughout the entire 42 minutes of racing, culminating in an average speed of 27 mph. Mike McShane of Texas Roadhouse and Eric Fagerburg of Clarksville Schwinn were instigators of many of the moves off the front. With so many teams represented, though, no small group was going to break free from the pack. Early on it was McShane, countered by Tolson, countered by myself, countered by Fagerburg, countered by McDonald’s, countered by Schellers, and on and on and on, it went…

NewAlbany1The final laps were intense as riders jostled for position. Tolson and Micah Fritzinger of McDonald’s made the right move on the final lap, jumping into the headwind from Turn 3 to turn 4, with the former wrestler, Fritzinger, edging past the wiley veteran to take the win for McDonald’s down the stretch.

The Masters 50+ lined up 10 minutes after the 40+ers finished. Perhaps 17 of us lined up for this one, with a handful having just completed the 40+ race. Being older, this group wasn’t as fast as the prior, but they were no less competitive. Brad Swope of Texas Roadhouse, a multi-time Masters National Champion, took the first attack hoping to soften the group. Upon his capture, I attacked hard for half a lap, but the group wasn’t giving me any leeway. After a couple laps of respite, Swope attacked again and I countered his move. Finally, other riders took short attacks, but no one managed to break free of the group until late in the race. A Team Louisville rider broke clear, later followed by a McDonald’s rider, forming a 10-second gap on the group with 7 laps to go. With 5 laps to go Ft. Wayne Outfitters took up the chase, bringing it together at 3 to go. Swope and a McD’s racer took turns trying to snap the elastic of the field in the final 3 laps and seemed to have an effect as several riders tired over the final 3 laps.

NewAlbany2On the final lap Swope jumped from Turn 2 and held the lead through Turn 3 where the headwind stymied his move. Having witnessed Tolson and Fritzinger in the preceding race I had decided I would jump out of Turn 3 into the wind and take my chances on holding it to the line. My tactic worked and I took the win. John May of Papa John’s had been my nemesis early in the race, brining me back after my attacks. As such, he followed me on the final lap and took 2nd place.

I don't often accept awards, but when I do I prefer wine and ice cream - stay thirsty and hungry, my friends

I don’t often accept awards, but when I do I prefer wine and ice cream – stay thirsty and hungry, my friends

Post race was enjoyed in the company of Deb along with Sean O’Donnell of Columbus and his partner, Nita. Sean had not originally planned to race in New Albany, but upon waking to Nita’s urging to get out and enjoy such a beautiful day, the pair came down to enjoy the race. Sean is a lucky man. Best wishes to Adam at Masters National Track Nationals. Looking forward to the festive and competitive Mass. Ave. Crit. on August 10th.

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