RAIN, Muncie Tri, EC DU & Rainy State RR

22 Jul
Henry Finishes!

Henry Finishes!

After Saturday’s rainy competition day I’ll begin this entry with another RAIN success. Having shed nearly 40 pounds in 2012 and spending the fall training with us at B.I.T., Henry Kim quietly selected a goal of finishing the RAIN ride this summer. Henry reports that he kept up well for the first 60 miles with a pace of 20.6mph. As a doctor, Henry finds training time difficult to come by, especially for those long hour rides required to survive the 162 miles of RAIN. Nonetheless, Henry thought he was well prepared for every possible contingency except for the horrible momentum-robbing cramps he suffered in both thighs and calves about half way through RAIN. If it wasn’t for the kindness of another rider giving him electrolyte pills and a SAG worker providing “pickle juice”, Henry knows he would have been a DNF. Fortunately, Henry summoned the mental toughness so many of you exhibit and gamely completed the ride in a more than respectable 282nd place. Henry said the B.I.T. training helped him immeasurably. Well done, Henry!

Angelia with help from friends

Angelia with help from friends

Angelia Kniesly also competed on Saturday the 13th. A triathlete and adventure lover by nature, but banned from running by her PT due to a strained hip, Angelia could not resist the temptation of several of her friends coaxing her into the Muncie Triathlon. Angelia reports: “Although my PT did not clear me to run for more than 3 minutes at a time… I had registered for this race a year ago and thought that I would just swim and bike and bail out at the run transition. Literally up until the day before the race that is what I was thinking, so uncertain if I could run at all and knowing I really did not want to walk 13.1 miles. But with the help of my friends/teammates we all made it!”

Angelia acknowledged that her running days are behind her such that she did walk a lot to complete the event, but she hopes she can resume running in small doses from time to time. The exciting aspect for Angelia was that she had a great bike split and is really looking forward to focusing solely on the bike in B.I.T. training this winter. Way to find the resolve, Angelia!

Deb DuBois is also making strides in her cycling. On Saturday the 20th Deb competed in the Eagle Creek Duathlon, running 2 miles, cycling 10 miles, and then finishing with a 5K run. Deb finished 2nd overall in the female division and placed 1st in her age group. Deb said the Winter Training helped and that the Monday night rides have given her both a fitness boost and a confidence boost, allowing her to significantly improve her average speed on the bike leg compared to years past. Nice job, Deb!

State Road Race

A handful of B.I.T. athletes competed in the State Road Race on Saturday, including Mark Dewart, Hans Ibold, Jim Creamer, Chris Richter (Owner of Motion Cycles in Fishers) and myself. Mark raced in the Category 4/5 field, which had 87 starters. Jim and I competed in the 45+ group, which was combined with 55+ and the 35+ that included Chris. Hans raced in the Category 3 event, a 68 mile race. Mark filed the following report:

“There were 87 riders in the Cat 4/5 State Road Race. We did 4 laps of the 11.4 mile loop (45.6 miles). I rode my trainer regularly over the winter and in the month preceding the race I got in 1000 miles. However, in between those periods, there was quite a bit of time where I wasn’t riding regularly. Due to the uneven nature of my preparation, I was hoping to just be able to hang with these guys and get a field finish. (It should be noted Mark is in his mid 50s. Many of the 4/5s are young dudes).

The race was fast right from the start. There were surges, you would have to jump out of the corners to close gaps, but the whole race would have been very familiar to many of you. It felt like being in a large Tuesday-Thursday B group in the “Hot Zone” north of 32, but for 2 hours instead of 40 minutes.

Everything went well until we were 5 miles from the finish line and going up the hill on the course for the final time. Several riders fell in front of me and to miss them I had to go off the road to the right. I didn’t fall. By the time I got safely back on the pavement a gap had opened that I couldn’t close. I ended up finishing 60th in a race where the lead group averaged 24.8 mph.

Overall, I was happy to find that I was comfortable in the race and came up short on luck rather than physiology. Next year I will hope for better luck but bring more fitness so that if I ride the 4/5 race, the crashes are happening behind me.”

As Mark noted, the course was an 11.4 mile loop that featured one slight hill at the 6 mile mark, two slight rollers at mile 6.75 and mile 8.2, and a final grade of a gradual 1-2% incline over the final two miles. In the Masters race the pace was fairly tame for the first of 5 laps (57 miles). On lap 2, Court Maple, winner of last week’s Indy Crit., attacked hard. Situated right on his wheel, I went with Court.

Court’s effort opened a nice gap. Upon flicking his arm, I came through for my rotation. A 3rd rider had joined us and when I flicked my arm no one came through. I waited…… and waited…., and waited…., and then Court blew by. Stuck in no man’s land I made the incorrect decision to bridge back up to Court. By the time I got there (with unwilling-to-work-passenger still glued to my wheel), the pack was upon us with fresh legs to counter. Court being on phenomenal form this year was able to reload and go with the counter that included 4 other riders. I was on no such form.

Rainy Lap 4

Rainy Lap 4

A few of us in the main bunch were willing to work at chasing the break. Jim Creamer, Chris Richter, John Schmitz and I took hard digs to keep the pace high enough for one last chance to bridge the gap. At the mile 6 hill Schmitz attacked on one side and I attacked on the other. Richter, Creamer and Joe Fox made the selection and we began a hard chase. Frustratingly close at just 5 seconds behind the break, our chase ran out of steam with the main pack having clawed its way back to us.

No one in the large group made the effort to jump the gap, our pace slowed significantly, and the race was over. Those 5 remained away, claiming the spoils. Bryan Boggs eventually won the race with Court taking 2nd, but first in his age group of 35+.

Hans in the 3s

Hans in the 3s

The race for crumbs was animated by Schmitz and I, trading attacks and often bridging to one another, only to have the pack swallow us up after each attempt. Also in the mix were Chris Richter, Darrin Lay and Joe Fox. Schmitz and Creamer made a last gasp jailbreak attempt on the final straight away, but the sit-in police nabbed them about 1 mile shy of the finish. Richter had a nice sprint to finish 2nd in the 35+ Category.  Well done, Chris. Kudos to Schmitz for maintaining the race as a hard training ride rather than a sun dial stroll; which as Hans described it, was exactly what the Cat. 3 racers did. Apparently, the 3s held social time, chatting and joking over 67 miles and then sprinted for home in the final mile.

Several races loom on the horizon, including the Winfield Criterium Weekend, located just outside Chicago, the Bloomington Gran Prix, and the New Albany Criterium. This coming Saturday also features the Senior Games Cycling Competition in Cleveland. To all competing this weekend, ride well and stay healthy.

July 13

15 Jul

Brooks Integrative Training athletes were everywhere over the past weekend; Adam Perler raced on the velodrome Friday night followed by a slew of riders active on Saturday and Sunday. The Annual Ride Across Indiana (RAIN) left Terre Haute at 6 a.m. Saturday, traversing the central part of the state to Richmond. The gradual uphill grind was made more relentless with a 10 mph head wind. Josh Ginsburg led the B.I.T. athletes with a fine time of 7:46. Josh made it to mile 130 unscathed in the lead group. However, he burned a match or 3 at mile 115 when he took a stab at getting away, but the wind was too much to overcome.

Although Josh missed his mile 130 food and fluid sag support he did not panic and was awarded for his patience when a fellow SAG supporter provided him with a bottle of fluid and a draft back into the main bunch. Once back in the main group, surges came and went. At about 153, the pack made another surge up what was essentially the last incline. With a mixed tempo, they punched the final portion at 21 mph and Josh paid for that mile 115 Match Burning episode by being popped from the lead group. Josh acknowledges it was a lesson learned, having been sent to the spank bank, and one he will remedy next year. Defiant to the end, Josh made sure to sprint home at the front of the 2nd group.

It should be noted Josh travels all over the place and rarely has a full week at home to train. Josh mixes running and riding with his hectic travel to maintain enough fitness to complete something as arduous as the RAIN. Well done, Josh! Phelgar Washington and Ken Green also rode the RAIN, completing the ride in 9:20. I have no summary from either of them, but I can guess that Kenny, known affectionately as Second Half Green, likely came alive and took monster pulls from Greenfield to Richmond, and probably was the leadout man for Sprinting Machine Washington.

Andy Wagoner volunteered his time for the Indy Crit serving as a ride leader for the 38 mile CIBA ride before the racing began Saturday morning. Others volunteering for the Indy Crit included Robin and Anthony Barr, Ashley Koss and Preston Conrad, all serving as course marshalls during the day’s early events. After a hot day in the sun on Saturday, Preston went up to Kokomo for the Colavita Time Trial Sunday Morning. Preston completed the 12.21 mile course in 29:11 for an average speed of over 25 mph and finished 4th in the 60+ age group. Nice work, Preston!

Indy Crit

In its fourth year, Indy Crit is one of two premier downtown races. This year featured live music, BMX free style performances, strider bike racing, yoga instruction, and plenty of vendors, cycling and non-cycling alike, including the all important Beer Garden by Sun King Brewery. In addition to the usual category races, the event also featured celebrity races, kids races, and a tandem race. Yngvar and his wife, Kris, placed 3rd in the Tandem race.

My participation included competing in the Masters 40+ race, along with at least 68 other old men in lycra. I was joined by my teammate and friend, Hans Ibold of Bloomington. Hans has trained with me for two winters now and although he does not race much, he is quite strong. Also among the competitors was Jim Creamer, friend of B.I.T.

Creamer and I

Creamer and I

As is my wont, I think about races in the days leading up to the event. Of the 69 pre-registered racers I made a list of 10 or so guys I thought had a chance to win, with a few riders holding a greater percentage to win than others on my list. Curtis Tolson and Ben Weaver have each won a number of races this year and both featured on my top line. My outsider to crack the top line was Court Maple of MOB Squad. As a young man Court joined a US amateur team and raced in Belgium one summer, placing high enough in several races to provoke at least one pro team to offer him a contract. Court chose to come home, start his career and family and never looked back. His experience however, speaks volumes to his abilities. I saw Court dominate the Ft. Wayne race in May, prompting me to place him on my top line.

Creamer challenging on the outside

Creamer challenging on the outside

The course features 8 turns, although none of them tight enough to cause selection as is the case on more technical criterium courses such as Bloomington Grand Prix. As such, speeds were high from the get go. Rider after rider took flyers off the front. As early as lap 3 I followed a rider’s move and then continued for perhaps half a lap at warped speed at which point I looked under my arm to see a long line of frothing-at-the-mouth riders ready to attack so I wisely eased off the gas.

Unfortunately, the wide course lends itself to swells and reshuffles  when the pace slightly slows and I found myself too far back in the pack. A lap or two after my unwise excursion a group of 10 (most of whom were on my list) or so formed off the front and were rapidly pulling away. Finding room on the outside of turn 3 I moved up into position and by turn 4 I was full gas bridging to the fleeing group. This was the hardest part of the race for me. After half a lap I latched onto the group. But the peloton wasn’t quite finished yet and managed to claw its way back into contention another lap or two later.

On the chase

On the chase

Court Maple and Bryan Boggs launched attacks through the middle portion of the race while Weaver, Tolson and others kept a vigilant eye on the proceedings, making sure nothing escaped without them. And then at the 30 minute mark the pack slowed. Fatigue set in as riders reached for bottles and others slumped over handlebars in a collective sigh of relief.

In that moment of respite, Court Maple attacked and no one responded. Court quickly grabbed a 20 second advantage which he maintained for the final 15 minutes of the race. Digging deep into his vast reservoir (dare I say suitcase?) of talent and experience, Maple fought through the initial leg burn into the zone, where the big gears churned almost effortlessly with each passing lap.

Riders on my second tier of contenders came to the fore, carrying the action over the final 15 minutes, but none truly working together to form a concerted chase effort. With 4 laps to go I found myself in 4th wheel, a safe spot so late in the race. With three laps to go Hans came forward and took a flyer with two other riders, putting the onus on others to chase, keeping the speed high through two laps to go. At 1.5 laps to go there was a crash back in the pack. You never want to hear a crash, but when you do, it gives you a jolt of fear-drenched adrenaline and those up front raise the speed several notches.

Early in the race

Early in the race

Among those near the front at the start of the final lap were Tolson and Weaver. Sweeping through turns at over 30 mph, 8 or 10 of us seperated from the group as we headed into the final stretch of the course. Weaver kicked early with Tolson in tow and those two closed to the line in that order, taking 2nd and 3rd behind Maple’s phenomenal solo effort.

I crossed the line in 7th, happy to place in the top 10 and glad I was not caught up in any crashes. Hans made a fantastic recovery after his late flyer by recovering to finish in 13th place. Jim Creamer finished in the top 20 as well. Jim informed me after the race that we averaged 26.8 mph. I initially doubted him, but he shared his data and it was spot on. My doubts were further alleviated on Sunday when my quads verified the effort.

Post race was enjoyed in the company of Preston, Robin and Anthony, Ashley, Brad Lawson, Susan Mowery, Mike Langon and Chris Richter. Special thanks to Scott Brooks for his excellent photography. You can see more of Scott’s art at http://www.scottbrooksphotografix.smugmug.com

Although the next event scheduled was the Great Egyptian Omnium, circumstances mandate that I stay home, so it’s on to the State RR in Fishers this weekend, followed by more criterium racing the following weekend. If I don’t see you at the races, remember we have Monday Night Recovery Rides. These are SOCIAL and not hammerfests. The ONLY racing is to be first to the cooler of beer after the ride.

B.I.T. Athletes Continue to Inspire

3 Jul

24hrsbooty2B.I.T. riders continue to inspire; with their dedication, their service, and their character. Fred Evans, Tim Wozniak and Adam Perler rode/supported the 24 Hours of Booty fund raiser for IU Simon Cancer Center on Friday June 29. Fred and Tim rode with the Spokes of Hope team (Cindi & Ken Hart). The ride started a little after the posted 7 pm time on Friday evening with the threat of storms in the air.

Held on the campus of Butler University, Mayor Ballard welcomed riders and supporters, joining the ride early on. An Indianapolis Police Department car lead the first lap, followed by an Indy Race Car on lap 2. Survivors carried the lead on lap three, making for nice pageantry.

The course went through a part of the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood with many of the streets blocked off on the 3 mile, slightly hilly course. Fred felt nostalgic, riding through his neighborhood. Lawn parties of cheering neighbors encouraged and inspired the riders.

The evening started out well with warm, but humid weather until about 8:30 pm when gusting winds and a following thunderstorm rolled through the Butler campus. Riders restarted about 10:30 pm with Tim W. continuing until about 2:30 am, at which point he went home for a four hour nap. Tim said grinding through the loop in the wee hours of the morning was a chore, but following Coach Bob’s advice about changing cadences and using the “big gears” for the climbs provided some diversion, but also helped keep the impending fatigue at bay.

Tim said, “It was a fun 24 hours despite four lengthy thunderstorm delays (one on Friday night and three throughout the day on Saturday). The Hart’s “upped the fun” by having different ride themes throughout the event, providing costumes to complete the themes: pirates, Hawaiian and Mardi gras.

By 7:30 a.m. Tim was back at it for the camp-wide breakfast and having fun with the themed rides on the 3 mile circuit – The Hope for Spokes apparel brought cheers from the spectators around the course.

The Harts also held a midnight vigil at the start/finish line to honor those who’ve succumbed to cancer in the past year – including Joey Keller (of Team Joey – kit by Adam Perler who dropped by after his night of racing at the velodrome). Tim rode with a goal of completing 74 laps; 65 for his brother-in-law who died from cancer in early June at age 65 and 9 laps for Joey Keller). Rain prevented Tim from reaching his goal, but he got close – 70 laps for a total of 245 miles and satisfaction of supporting a good cause, riding with great folks and raising monies for a renowned local institution that helps those dealing with cancer. 24hrsbooty

Fred carried on into Sunday, joining and sponsoring the Bike It 4 Prostate Cancer ride. Fred was joined by friend of B.I.T., Chris Richter of Motion Cycles. Motion sponsored the event and Chris led the 50-mile group.

As mentioned above, Adam participated in round II of his track racing adventure. Seeded 5th heading into the round, Adam was slated to race the #8 seed; higher seeds typically defeat the lower seeds. Unfortunately for Adam, because the original # 8 could not participate, track personnel pulled from a pool of wait listed riders and the rider inserted as Adam’s opponent is a former Masters National Champion. This is akin to seeding Duke or North Carolina as a #16 in the NCAA Tournament.

Adam exemplified true B.I.T. character when his opponent blew out his rear tire before their scheduled race. Adam suggested to his opponent that perhaps the opponent could borrow a wheel from Ken Hart. Adam could have remained silent and won by default – but we all know Adam is above that.

With years of track racing experience and one of the most explosive jumps in Indy, Adam’s opponent won handily. Nonetheless, Adam garnered praise and exposure for Team Joey via his chivalry and character. Well done, Adam!

TWO More Wins …And Then The Bottom Fell Out

16 Jun

debhelewinnersDeb DuBois and her daughter, Helen, competed in the duathlon portion of the Eagle Creek Triathlon on Saturday. Both came away victorious with Helen winning first place overall in the female division. Deb took top honors in her age group. Great job Deb and Helen!

Mike Garrison recently competed in the Odyssey Wild Wonderful 24 Hour Adventure Race near the New River Gorge area of West Virginia. Mike and his teammate completed 15 miles of whitewater paddling, 70 miles of mountain biking, and 20 miles of trekking/running in 23.5 hours. (My hands got tired just from typing that!) Complicating matters, Mike’s teammate suffered two flats inside the final 4 miles. The duo overcame the flats however, as his teammate changed into running shoes and hoofed the final miles pushing her mountain bike. Great job to Mike and his teammate!

Remember that ride at King’s Island where the you spin around faster and faster until the floor drops out and you are stuck to the wall? The bottom has definitely fallen out here in the past two weeks. June has never been a particularly good month for me. Like clockwork, every year just after Memorial Day I come down with a mysterious fatigue. I dunno… My best guess is that something I am allergic to blooms and I am adversely affected. Some years, the fatigue has lasted for weeks, well into July.

Knowing that I was in the throes of one of those fatigue deals I raced anyway at the Carmel grand prix on June 1. Had I been coaching any of you and you’d said that you woke feeling shaky and jittery, I’d have strongly encouraged you not to race. (Do as I say, not as I do). Despite the lethargy I managed to remain in the mix most of the race. That is probably due more to the small field than any will power I may have mustered. Local races continue to draw very small numbers to Masters races. Todd Hancock, a decorated and well traveled former pro racer, took the victory.

One of the races I targeted for this year was the O’Fallon Grand Prix in O’Fallon, IL. The event includes a 13.1 mile TT on Friday night, a 54 mile RR on Saturday and an age appropriate crit. on Sunday. This event is well organized and features low traffic, rolling courses suitable for crowning all around champions. Drawing riders from Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee, the fields are very competitive.

I was still feeling the heavy fatigue early in the week and had conceded that I would not race this weekend…, until Tuesday night when I mustered the energy to do the Nebo Training ride. For better or worse (most definitely worse), I had a good ride that night and came away with a false sense of well being for the weekend, thus going ahead and registering for the stage race.

I had planned to simply ride my road bike for the TT as I don’t put enough emphasis on those, anyway. However, friend Brian Murphy suggested I borrow his TT bike for the two stage races I’ve targeted this season. Great in theory, not so good in the details. Brian is taller than me and as such, his bike is too big. I cannot reach the front end without compromising my saddle position. Needless to say, time trials on this thing so far have been labored and compromised.

Furthermore, life even gave me the sign of signs to leave the bike home for this weekend when the rear deraillure shifter broke loose Thursday night on the rough roads in Eagle Creek Park. I jerry rigged the shifter with electrical tape and hoped I’d make it through the TT on Friday. During warm ups the shifter came loose, but not so bad that I could not shift. Naturally, during the actual TT, the shifter came unhinged, preventing further shifting, and I was stuck in the 14 cog in back. Not the best place to be for a light gear spinner on a rolling course with a couple of mild Fishback climbs to boot.

I finished a dismal 12th of 14 in the TT with a time of 33:06. Let me be clear; I had no illusion of winning a TT. I had a modest goal of 31:00. The winner was 29:16 and the 2nd place was 30:09. A handful of others came in under 31:00. I often remind you guys to trust those little signs life gives us. Here again, is another example of paying attention. I did not heed my own advice and I offered up the perfect example of what NOT to do.

The RR was the Illinois State RR championship so a decent sized group showed up for the 45+ field. Summer like heat finally arrived as well. The friendly face of Mark Sills, Scarlet Fire, greeted me at the start line. Mark asked me how I was feeling and I bluffed, saying I felt ok when I really was not. But I had registered and I was here, so I gave what I had to the race. Clearly, it was not enough.

David Stone of Scarlet Fire attacked right at the start of the race, taking two others with him. With the three up the road I figured somebody or some team would take up the chase. Instead, everyone sat there, due in part to the heat and also due to the 4 other Scarlet Fire team members hoping someone would launch them to an attack. Guess who that fool was – or tried to be? Still early in the race I took a hard dig and brought the three to well within reasonable striking distance and then I let up, having set it up for someone to close it down. Nope. The three opened an even larger gap from there.

Meanwhile, being a stubborn cuss, rather than sitting in, I took pulls in hopes of encouraging others to form a pace line that might begin a chase. And everywhere I went, there was Sills right on my wheel. He was doing exactly what a good teammate should do and I commend him for his hard efforts. He was even gracious in saying had there not been one of his teammates up the road, he’d have willingly worked with me to try and escape the vice-like grip of the peloton. But in essence, I wasted what little energy I had all in the first 22 mile loop. On lap two another Scarlet Fire rider attacked 3 times in a row, putting a sting into the legs of the peloton. About a third of the way through lap two I paid for my lap 1 lack of discretion when I felt the bottom fall out. The rotor was spinning, I was exhausted, legs began cramping, and I had to let off the gas, letting the pack go.

Apparently, there was a reshuffling of the front group as two riders who’d remained in the pack, Rob Landes and Gene Tolli, finished 1st and 2nd, respectively. Stone hung on for a hard earned 3rd.

I woke up Sunday morning to rain and the familiar shakiness that attends this fatigue. Rather than dig myself into a deeper hole, I skipped the crit. and headed for home. It is humbling to make so many mistakes by going against the very grain I so often preach to all of you; I often remind all of you guys to take recovery seriously and don’t force yourself into action when your body is telling you not to. That advice comes from a deep, deep well of experience and once again, I am just as fallible as anyone.  In time, the rotor will slow and the floor will rise; other races still loom on the horizon.

Mission Accomplished

11 Jun

andyWTdC, 2013

phelgar

 

Saturday June 8 was Goal Day for many B.I.T. athletes and across the board, goals were achieved. Several athletes participated in the Tour de Cure at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway while others ventured further from home to test their mettle. Leading the charge at the TdC was David Kaplan. Schedule restraints and a love for speed skating prevented David from joining regular classes through last fall and winter, but David did join us on Sundays through the winter. Wanting to improve his cycling performance and still maintain his skating prowess, David hired me last October to oversee his training through the 2013 season with a main goal of finishing the TdC 100 miles in under 4 hours. Like those of you who came to the week night classes, I put David through a winter of hi cadence, hi intensity intervals to improve his efficiency. Furthermore, David worked hard to lose weight, dropping over 10 lbs. by this year’s TdC.

I tailored David’s training to shorter, more intense workouts to improve his speed and to put more emphasis on his cardiovascular system, thus allowing for more improvement over the fall and winter. He had plenty of endurance before we began last October, thanks to so many rides of 50-60 miles in that Z3-Z4 area. What David lacked was that Z5+ extended range. In essence, he had a match or two, but not a book of matches, so we trained him to develop a book of matches.

During Saturday’s 100-miler, David cruised in the big pack through the first 65 miles, but as the miles ticked away what was once a 50+ person group had dwindled to 15 or 20 hardy souls. In the smaller group, David was required to take more pulls at greater effort, yet he never wavered and even had enough left for a 200 M sprint at the end, finishing with a time of 3:54:30 for an avg. speed of 25.4 mph. Well done, David!

Ashley Koss came to class last fall a little wide eyed, but full of determination. Early on, she struggled to attain the higher cadences we often practice in class, but by mid February, Ashley was cranking 150 rpm with the rest of us. Ashley was joined by Anthony Barr on the 75K leg of the TdC, completing the event with a bit of soreness, but also with plenty of steam. Anthony was gracious in riding with Ashley, exhibiting the camaraderie we work to maintain in the B.I.T. community.

Anthony’s wife, Robin participated in the Midwest Women’s MTB Clinic in Brown County. Robin’s participation was a step out of her comfort zone; her previous cycling experience consisted of B.I.T. classes and group rides, many of which have been ridden with Ashley. Robin came away from the clinic with even more enthusiasm for two wheel adventures and this despite taking an over the bars tumble toward the end of the clinic. Robin handled the initiation with aplomb, suffering only a minor bruise to her ego, but no such dent to her determination to add more such adventure to her cycling life.

Andy Waggoner came to the TdC with the goal of averaging 20 mph for the 100 miles and came ever so close, finishing with a final avg. of 19.62 mph. Andy was happy with that outcome and looks forward to going even faster next year. Others who participated in the TdC include Larry Stevens, Preston Conrad, Josh Ginsburg and Terry Iwasko, who this week is on the one week TRIRI with his son. Terry suffered a broken arm last winter after a spill during an outdoor ride, but never wavered and continued attending class while riding with one arm in a cast. He still struggles a bit to overcome the weakness in the formerly broken arm, but gains strength each week and obviously, hasn’t let the limb deter his ambition.

Adam Perler raced in the Festival of Speed in the Match Sprint competition last Friday night. Adam’s first race was a learning experience. Pitted against a much more experienced rider, Adam was caught off guard by his competitor’s early attack. To his credit, Adam closed the gap, but could not pass the other rider before the finish line. On the upside, Adam lowered his flying 200 Meter time from 13.1 to 12.4 seconds. His overall goal is to drop below 12 seconds. Adam also rode in the TdC. Many thanks to Adam for tending to Frank Oboh until Frank was taken to the hospital.

Phelgar Washington traveled to Washington D.C. to ride the Air Force Challenge, a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project. Phelgar’s goal was to earn the gold medal presented to those who ride the Metric Century in less than 3.5 hours. Mission accomplished. See the photo of Phelgar with his Gold.

Let’s all continue keeping Frank Oboh in thought and prayer while he recovers from the concussion he suffered during a spill at the TdC.

Da Faja And Other Racing Tales

28 May

Those of you as sophomoric as I will recall with a chuckle, the seminal Austin Powers movie, ‘Gold Member.’ (I hope you caught the pun in that first sentence). You’ll recall that Powers travels back in time in a souped up  vintage 70s caddy, resplendent in his Pimp Daddy attire, landing in Studio 69, owned by none other than Gold Member, himself. Gold Member, of Sve-e-e-e-dish descent, has a very peculiar accent that sounded like this when Austin was captured and taken to a back room where is father was being held captive (by two or three lovely young kittens): Da Fa-ja….. and now de Pro-di-gal Shon. Later, in the presence of Dr. Evil, Gold Member peels away a shred of skin and leers, ‘Ooooooh, datz a keepah.’

What in the hell does any of this have to do with racing, you might ask? On Saturday the 18th Deb and I participated in the Ft. Harrison Triathlon/Duathlon as a duathlon team. Deb ran 1K, I rode 11 miles, and then Deb ran 5K. The race promoter from American Multi-Sport, is headed up by a very Sve-e-e-e-dish sounding man who bears and eerie resemblance to Gold Member and sounds exactly like the villian. As you can guess, I couldn’t stop saying, ‘Da Fa-ja.’ Nor could I stop laughing at the thought of the old guy pulling his leg up such that his ankle touched his ear while rolling around the parking lot on roller skates. (Datz da vay, uh huh-uh huh, I vlike it). Apparently, the old man must have been aware of my self amusement because he scolded me for warming up in the bike transition area.

The race was delayed by nearly 30 minutes because no volunteers had shown up to marshall the corners at the fairly busy northeast side ot town. A light drizzle and cool temps caused athletes to cool down during the wait period. I grew frustrated with the shivering wait and began softly pedaling through the transition area as there was no one else in it because Deb and I were the only team in the team competition. Thusly scolded, I rode an 11 mile TT on leaden legs. This was definitely: O-o-o-o-h, Datz NOT a keepah.” Nonetheless, Deb and I enjoyed the event, including the free beer from Triton Brewery after the race (at 10:00 a.m.! – hey, it was noon somewhere).

Deb has been competing in a Planet Adventure Triple Crown and has placed 3rd in her age group in the first two events, including last Saturday’s 8K run through the trails at Eagle Creek Park. Like many of the B.I.T. winter training participants, Deb says the intervals over the winter have prepared her well for the diverse challenges of her various races.

In other B.I.T. athlete news, Adam Perler has been racing to qualify for Masters National Track Championships in Indianapolis this summer. So far, Adam has garnered two 3rd places and two second place finishes. He’s also qualified for the Festival of Speed tournament held this summer at the velodrome. Those of you who partook of winter training will recall our flying 200 meter intervals: 10 sec in Z5, 10 sec in Z6 and 10 sec in Z7. We did those for Adam’s benefit – it appears they are paying off.

Preston Conrad raced Masters 60+ in Chicago last Saturday, finishing in 8th place on the day. The Chicago event is a long running event hosted by Athletes By Design (ABD Cycling) of Chicago, called ABD Masters weekend, with the focus being on us old farts. The races are held in an industrial park in Wood Dale, on the western edges of Chicago with Saturday and Sunday being run on a short course that undulates with a downhill sweeping turn 1 that carries through turn 2 where the road grades up at a slight ascent, curves to the right and then levels at the final turn for home with a nice, 200 meter downhill finish. But before I get to my own racing in Chicago, I also raced the Ft. Wayne Criterium on Saturday.

Congrats to Court Maple who won the Masters 40+ event in dominating fashion. Court went off the front early, was reeled in, and went again with 11 laps to go, growing his gap over the final 10 laps to win in fine style. Court hails from Ft. Wayne, so this was a sveet win for him.

The Masters 50+ followed the 40+. 18 riders took the start line, some of whom rode the 40+ race. Four of us animated the race; Todd Anderson of Men of Steel Racing, Mark Swartzendruber of Scarlet Fire, John Schmitz of Indie Bike, and myself. The four of us took turns attacking with the other three reeling the solo rider in. Unfortunately, a bulk of the small field was able to maintain contact with the agressive bridging faction, thus bringing it all together a number of times.

Late in the race Anderson and one other rider slipped away. Swartzendruber took a deep dig, brining us close and I came by to finish the catch. We had 4 of us off the front, but the pesky pack just latched on with 3 laps to go. John Schmitz jumped out of turn two and held his gap to the line for a nice win. Out of position, I battled through traffic to finish 4th.

I arrived to Wood Dale on Sunday with a different mind set. I felt I did not race aggressively enough on Saturday so I planned to ride ultra aggressive on Sunday and Monday. Thankfully, another Scarlet Fire racer, Mark Sills, had the same idea. In the Masters 50+ (combined with 55+ and women’s fields), we had a large field of perhaps, 50 riders total. Sills took off from the gun, opening a nice gap. Myself and three others were quick to respond. After Sills’ explosive start, I took up the pace and then it was Sills again, coming through. He and I drove the pace for the opening 3 laps, by which time our group had grown to 10 with 8 very hesitant riders.

A lot of times racers don’t want to fully commit to the inital break of the race, thinking it might be caught and they will have burned too many matches. But after 3 laps of trading pulls with me, Sills and I both gave a glare to the rest of the bunch that said, ‘Do some work or you’re gonna get shelled.’ It seemed to work as the rest of the group began rotating through in a smooth fashion, although it can be noted some took longer (better) pulls than others. Within 17 minutes of the 50 minute race, our group had lapped the field.

I was chagrined by this b/c I did not want the group to mess up a final sprint for the win. With 10 riders a lap up it can be difficult for officials to sort out the placings. So as we approached the lapped field I floored it and rode right through the bunch, forcing the pace. My break companions were quick to respond, towing the field with them, but the pace remained animated with lapped riders trying to sneak away. In particular, Tom Doughty of Scarlet Fire, made two or three hard break attempts.

I wasn’t letting anyone go, though and at one point, one of my break companions said to me, ‘You know he’s a lap down.’ I did not care. Being from out of town, I did not who was who and did not want to chance letting one of my break companions get away. The official gave a prime with 4 laps to go. Gary Doering, a former olympian who is coming back from a terrible injury suffered in racing last year, jumped for the prime and took it easily. I gave chase, as if to feign going for the prime, but what I was really doing was opening a gap to hopefully, initate another break from the big bunch.

Doering sat up after taking his prime, but I carried on and my strategy worked. Sills was quick to respond, along with 4 others of our break away group, forming a 6 man group for the final 3 laps. Sills was strong and smooth in our final 3 laps. Mark McGeen of Team Mack and Wisconsin, was also very strong those final 3 laps. He won the previous day’s race, so he was a rider to contend with. Sills led to the final ascent when a couple of riders attacked from behind. McGeen covered the moves and landed in front heading into the final turn. I jumped just after the turn and held the lead to the line.

I joined the 40+ race immediately following the 50+ race. The field had 50 or more riders. I was active through the first 18 minutes of the race, even (stupidly) attacking after lap 1. But the old legs were not as willing in the second race on the day and third of the weekend. By 20 minutes into the 50 minute affair, I’d had enough of taking the wind, so I rode back in the draft to finish out this one, placing 20th at the end.

Post racing, Deb and I enjoyed the company of Tom Lobdell, Allen Galloway and Bill Stone at Marino’s Italian restaurant. We enjoyed a fabulous pizza and too many beers to count. It was learned that Stone has become engaged to a lovely lady. We wish Bill all the best in his forthcoming marriage.

Having lots of racing in the legs I knew I’d need a thorough warm up Monday morning. We were up and turning in our key by 8:30 for the short drive over the course and the 10:30 a.m. start. Upon turning in our key we briefly visited with a weary Stone, Galloway, and long time friend, Kent Menzel. All three slumped over the buffet table with coffee cups in hand and wondered how I could be up and ready so soon. The trio made quite a sight and I coined them The Breakfast Club. I explained that being old, I can’t just roll out of bed and race a third day in a row without loosening the legs.

As soon as I began pedaling I knew I had assessed correctly. My legs felt like lead. So I took a long, liesurely approach, just pedaling softly around the extended (1.6 mile) circuit when it was open, and through a nearby parking lot when racing was on-going. The Monday course featured a longer ascent, which was to my liking. Over the course of my warm up I could feel my legs loosening, gaining the sensations needed for racing. By the time the race started, I still felt fatigued, but determined.

Instead of my B.I.T. kit, I wore the Team Treachery & Deceit kit that honors Karl Raynor. Last week was the one year anniversary of his passing. We all miss him and I felt like it was a way to honor his passing by wearing the kit Adam designed as a tribute to Karl. When the race began I took the front at a tempo pace and no one bothered coming by. I led for perhaps a lap and a half when some wise acre remarked, ‘You’re doing great, keep it up!’ (Insert Dikembe Mutombo finger wave here). Someone finally attacked shortly thereafter and the pace remained hot for a lap. Approaching the ascent again, the pace stymied so I attacked and opened a gap. As I came across the line the officials rang the bell to announce a prime for the next lap. I figured I was out there so I’d keep going long enough to secure the prime.

I ended up opening about a 20 second gap that I held for several miles. The cross winds and previous racing prevented the legs from going any faster and after those several miles, the group led by Sills again, reeled me in. At this point, less than 20 minutes remained in the race and cautious riding took over. Two men in the 55+ category rolled off the front on the uphill and no one responded. About half way up the hill I jumped hard to make the bridge. No one got on with me, so when I arrived I told the pair, ‘Let’s go.’

One of the riders eventually fell out. I saw that he was laboring and offered to nurse him along, but he came out anyway. Richard Krueztfelder was my other companion and he was a tough old bird, having already raced the 60+ race on the day and was competing in his 6th race of the weekend! Richard initally was hesitant to work b/c he did not realize we had a gap, but when he saw that we had a gap he dug in and took nice pulls. We eventually opened a gap of over 30 seconds.

On the final lap Richard acknowledged that he was gassed and couldn’t do much more. Seeing that he was in the older category and that no one was in sight behind, I told him just hang on. To his credit, Richard still came through for short pulls on that final lap. As we approached the final turn and seeing no one within striking distance I jumped to secure the win. Richard took 2nd and was awarded first in the 55+ age group.

Once again, I encourage the Indy area racers to go over to Illinois and the Chicago area to race. Fields are typically much larger than our own, with many more racers willing to take the race by the horns, like Mark Sills.

In summary about this weekend, all I can say is, ‘Now datz a keepah.’

 

Tour De C-U

6 May

Before I get to the cycling let me recognize some of our Brooks Integrative Training athletes who competed in Saturday’s Indy Mini Marathon. Julie Renshaw participated in her 30th straight Mini on Saturday, this time walking the course with her sister, who participated for the 1st time. Angelia Kniesly cruised through the event in 1:55; Anthony Barr came home in 1:44 and Josh Ginsburg had this to share about his Mini experience:

After the somewhat dreary forecast all week, coming on the heels of a horrific Boston Marathon tragedy, two things quickly became apparent upon stepping into the “C” corral on Saturday morning, just after 7 a.m.; the weather conditions were arguably ideal with overcast skies and high 50s temperatures AND the presence of security was far more prevalent. Those two attributes set the 2013 edition of the One America Mini Marathon, apart from any other.

Having entered yesterday’s event with less than ideal training over the last few weeks, I was mentally in ‘happy place’ where my focus was simply to enjoy, find my rhythm, and once there, stay there. What unfolded was a freakishly even, and perhaps best ran race- regardless of personal condition – than I ever have completed. My opening mile of 7:27 was followed by another twelve splits that never strayed further than two seconds from that mark, resulting in a 1:37:42, which was a 7:28/ mile average.

More importantly, Jenni completed her first Mini Marathon, in 2:55, and that was far more gratifying, even if I had ran under 1:30. Great day, wonderful experience, and we will certainly be back in 2014. Our sights now turn to Tour de Cure, where I will do the 100 mile event and Jenni the 50K.

I am now looking forward to more dedicated time in the saddle and seeing friendly, familiar faces, more often. … ’nuff of this running stuff! 😉 Well done to all of you!

Mike Garrison participated in the 3 State 3 Mountain Bicycle Tour on Saturday in very soggy and treacherous conditions. Mike shared a sobering summary:

Definitely not one of the more “ideal” days for riding a century this past Saturday.  50’s and solid rain for all 7 hours and 100 miles.  But, those kinds of days make finishing a ride like that all the more satisfying!
 
I can honestly say that there were two things keeping me going.
 
1) Lots of experience racing in lousy conditions during adventure races and learning not to quit, (mind over matter all the way!).
2) Constant reminders to “spin smooth circles” on all those uphills that I really wasn’t prepared for.  Other than the final kicker on Burkhalter, where I was doing everything and anything in my power to keep that bike going and not put a foot down, I was very steady (albeit slow) on all the climbs.
 
I’ll have a ride report done in the next couple days.  If you want to check out the route, I think this link will take you to my ride data.
 
 
You likely already heard from Tim and/or Larry, but there was unfortunately a fatality at the bottom of the final descent off of Lookout Mountain.  I rode by shortly after the accident, before they had removed the body.  Very sobering, and a solemn reminder about how fragile we all are when we’re out on our bikes.
 
Mike

The Tour de C-U is an annual event consisting of two criterium courses on or near the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Although the weather was dismal on Saturday with steady rain and only tolerable with heavy cloud cover on Sunday, the events were well run. The promoters did a great job in securing the courses well ahead of race time and despite the rain, kept the spectators entertained with their non-stop chatter. The promoter’s organization extended to post race activities as well. Immediately following races, podium finishers were called to the podium for pictures and interviews. And finally, results were posted and payouts were awarded in very quick fashion. We’ve all been there where results are taking forever to tabulate, sometimes having to wait 2 or more hours to find out if we finished in the money or not. Not so at Tour de C-U. Druber and Co. were organized, efficient and entertaining both days.

Saturday’s course was a 4-corner loop with wide turns and a slight rise out of turn 2. Wind and rain played the larger role in Saturday’s race. I entered the Masters 35+ category and lined up with maybe 20 other nuts willing to race in a steady rain. Of the 20 riders a handful were active, including myself, in attacking or bridging to breaks. John Schmidt of Indianapolis was one of the main animators of the race.

About half way through the race I was brought back from an attack when a rider from Enzo’s countered the move. The pack let him go, never to be seen again. He stayed away and took a hard earned victory. At 6 laps to go I was brought back again when another rider countered the move, and he, too, stayed away for 2nd place. John Schmidt rolled off the front of the group on the final lap and opened a gap that no one was willing to close, earning himself a nice 3rd place and the final podium spot. I began my sprint before the final turn and opened enough of a gap to hold the spot for a 4th place finish.

Sunday’s course was a pure Crit. specialists course with 8 turns tightly packed into 1 kilometer of racing. I was entered in a combined 35+/45+ category and the field size doubled with nearly 40 riders. Although it did rain early Sunday, by race time the course was mostly dry so the only weather element was wind, which was howling from the east (in our faces) on the back side of the course. With the larger field and fresh legs on those who did not race Saturday, the pace was hot from the start. The attacking never let up until about half way through the 50 minute event when 3 riders slipped away, including Ben Weaver of Columbus, IN, the eventual winner of the race.

The tight course can be tough to negotiate and I normally labor on these courses. Yesterday was no different, but I did manage to get to the front a couple of times. After the 3 man break was established, attacking resumed. An Enzo’s rider launched off the front. With his gap widening, I jumped hard and made the bridge, rolling through him in hopes of working to break away from the peloton. To my chagrin, one of the rider’s teammates was sitting on my wheel the entire bridge. In bike racing, when you have a teammate off the front, your job is to sit on anyone trying to bridge to your teammate and that’s what the Enzos rider did. Once we passed the former off-the-front rider, the pack was breathing down our necks so I let up. The pack saw this and let up; and then the rider who took my wheel for a lap, jumped. Tired from chasing, the pack relented, allowing the rider to stay away for 4th place.

After a lap or two of sedated effort, the fury resumed with 6 or 7 laps to go. Guys were taking all kinds of chances, diving into corners where no space was available, in hopes of gaining front position for the final sprint. It was interval hell over those final laps; I’d move up, fall back, move up, fall back. In the end I finished approximately 14th and was 7th in the 45+ group.

Overall, the weekend was an enjoyable one spent at a very well run race weekend. I highly recommend this weekend for those looking to break out of the normal local racing routine next year.

Cobb Park

29 Apr

Congrats again to Deb on her 2nd place age group finish in the Best Buddies 5K in Downtown Indianapolis yesterday. The Best Buddies Friendship Run and Walk is a fun-filled community fundraiser to support your local Best Buddies programs of inclusion. The friendship, integrated employment and leadership programs educate people with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to be advocates for social inclusion in your community. Great job Deb!

There is an old saying that goes something like, ‘Red in the morning, Sailors warning, red at night, sailor’s delight. I’ve skewed that a bit to read, ‘Rain in the morning to this racer’s delight.’ As an 8th grader I took up cross country running to augment training for basketball. My grandpa used to chuckle at the thought of me running those first races in the fall of 1975. He said I looked like a plow horse when I ran. Fortunately, by the spring of 1976 Grandpa said I’d transformed into race horse; but I digress.

Plow horses will do just that; plow through anything. As such, I still recall the first meet we ran in the rain. All the runners were complaining about having to run in the rain, the mud, and the cold, so I simply told myself I like to run in the rain. After all, why should racing in the rain be any different than running around, playing in the mud and swimming in the over filled ditches when we were kids? (Yeah, that was a healthy thing to do). The strategy seemed to work though, as I had somewhat of a breakthrough race, finishing in the top 10 of a big invitational meet against some of the best teams in the county. Ever since then I’ve told myself I like racing in the rain and it usually pans out well.

Waking up to a steady rain Sunday morning was the perfect motivator. Throughout the entire drive up I-65 the rain never let up. Upon exiting 65 however, the rain ceased. Nonetheless, clouds remained in place, preventing a quick sun drying of any race course in the vicinity.

Cobb Park is located in an Irvington-like neighborhood on the south side of Kankakee and the annual event is hosted by the South Chicago Wheelmen. The course is perhaps a mile long with a sweeping left hand turn, a subtle incline up the back stretch (with a slight head wind during the race), a tight left turn at the top of the incline, a quick chicane, and then a hard left at an off camber out of the final turn, leaving perhaps 400 meters to the finish line.

Approximately 30-35 of us old guys lined up for the combined Masters 35+/45+ field. Scarlet Fire was well represented with 5 or 6 guys in the race. The first lap was somewhat tame as everyone found their line and rhythm on the still-slick course. Druber attacked on lap two. The field was not quite anxious to chase so I jumped up to Druber. After making the bridge, I pulled through, but the pack was quick to pounce on us.

Another break formed quickly after the catch and I found myself in a group of 5 off the front. One of the guys ahead of me was a bit sketchy and turned to look back to see how much of a gap we had. But he turned around just ahead of the chicane, causing him to nearly wipe out and unfortunately, causing the guy directly behind him to go down. Once again, the pack was on it.

Scarlet Fire sent many attacks off the front, but none could ever snap the elastic. Throughout the race I noticed that I could move up the subtle incline much quicker than most of the guys in the race. With three laps to go yet another Scarlet Fire rider went on the attack, taking a reluctant passenger with him. I also made that junction, but the passenger would not take his pull through, so the pack caught on again, setting up a field sprint.

I fell a little too far back at the start of the final lap so I had to get out of the saddle and sprint up the back stretch just to gain position. I was still maybe 10-15 back from the lead of the group coming out of the final turn. Fortunately, I passed several guys in the final stretch and was the first 45+ guy to cross the line. It’s not the same as actually winning a race, but it still counts as a First in age group so I’ll take it as a V. I hope it rains A LOT this spring and summer 😉

 

Weekend (April 20/21) Recap

23 Apr

B.I.T. athletes were busy over the past couple of weekends. Dr. Erik Tyskland finished 2nd in his age group at the Carmel Sprint Tri on April 13. Erik said winter training with B.I.T. definitely helped his cycling, setting him up for his podium finish. Nice job Erik!

Deb DuBois finished 3rd in her age group during the 8K of the Carmel Marathon on Saturday the 20th. Like Erik, Deb said the winter training intervals helped her power through the rollers on the latter half of the course. Well done Deb!

Hans Ibold raced for the first time this season at Sunday’s Mooresville Challenge, entering the 1,2,3 race. Hans rode smooth and steady, saying he felt comfortable riding in the pack all race long. Near the end of the race Hans put in a couple of hard efforts that garnered acknowledgement and respect from his fellow peloton riders. Good start to the season, Hans!

Preston Conrad raced the Masters 50+ event at CERALand Park on Saturday. Like Hans, this was Preston’s first race of the season. Preston said he was very comfortable in the pack and comfortably covered bridge attempts to his teammates up the road. Preston finished 12th. Nice work, Preston!

Many B.I.T. athletes race across the disciplines so I thought you might be interested in the Ft. Harrison Sprint Triathlon on May 18. Deb and I have registered as a team in the duathlon competition. I hope to see several of you at this event.

After supporting Deb on Saturday, I raced the Masters race at Mooresville on Sunday. Two early attacks and counters set up Bryan Boggs to ride away from the field. Court Maple (MOB Squad) and I took up the chase and brought Bryan back to within bridging distance on two occasions. Unfortunately, the combination of hi wind, the pack splitter hill, and the 4 boggs teammates chomping at the bit to cover and counter any bridge attempt, prevented such a move. Bryan eventually lapped the field. The rest of us raced for 2nd with Ben Weaver taking the field sprint and myself finishing in 3rd.

Looking ahead, don’t forget that John Kniesly’s Mtn Bike Ride for the Kids is this coming Sunday, the 28th. And finally, here’s to hoping we get some warm weather! It’s getting old riding and racing in sub-45 degrees.

Charity Mountain Bike Ride for the Kids

15 Apr

I’ll get to the training and racing stuff further down the post, but let me start by announcing the Charity Mountain Bike Ride for the Kids presented by The Moon Dog Tavern. Brooks Integrative Training athlete, John Kniesly (Angelia’s husband) is one of the nicest guys and certainly one of the funniest guys we’ve had the pleausre of training with. John has been instrumental in organizing this charity ride to support families and children of the East Tenth Street United Methodist Child and Youth Center. With John in charge, you are guaranteed to have a great time.

The inaugural Bike for the Kids Charity Ride at Town Run Trail Park is Saturday, April 20th.  Brought to you by The Moon Dog Tavern, come ride in the dirt with family and friends, have fun, win prizes, and help families and kids served by the East Tenth United Methodist Child and Youth Center!

$25 includes T-shirt and optional participation in the inaugural “Pound for Pound Strongest Rider in the County” Mountain Bike Pull!  Registration fee goes up by $5 after March 29.

Register online at:  https://www.regonline.com/townruntrailcharityride  or on site the morning of the event.

Training and Racing: Since the last post about Todd Winget’s Cape Epic Tour, many of us have been training through the extended winter. My own riding has been better than ever, thanks again, to Dr. Rob Schroeder and Keith Caskey of Indy Muscle Therapy. Unfortunately, all good things must end. I felt the pangs of fatigue setting in last week and came into this weekend feeling flat. Furthermore, (do as I say, not as I do ;), I broke one of my own rules; don’t race based on a last minute decision.

With a wedding to attend on Saturday afternoon and a birthday party to attend Saturday evening, I did not think there’d be enough time to race so I did not plan for racing that day. As such, I rose early and rode for 2 hours prior to the wedding. But alas, the wedding ended just early enough that I could hustle over to Eagle Creek Park for the 1,2,3 Fast Crit.

Upon arrival to the park I saw Mark Dewart, who was pleased with his pack finish in the Masters 3/4 race. Well done Mark! The 1,2,3 race was aggressive with numerous attempts to establish a break, but nothing stuck b/c the course is  so flat and non technical that inevitibly, someone would take up the chase, spurring the pack to claw its way back up to the leading group. Wind played a hand in keeping things together as well. Normally, the 1,2,3 field averages in the neighborhood of 29 mph on this course. On Saturday, the avg speed was a pedestrian 27 mph.

My own racing was solid, making or bridging to a number of the selections that formed off the front of the group. I snuck up toward the front with three laps to go, but was quickly swallowed up by teams forming lead out trains and accepted the choice to remain in the back, out of the jostling for position to sprint in a race I don’t really belong in. I was content finishing at the back of the field sprint. Of note, Chris Richter (Owner of Motion Cycles and Fitness in Fishers) and Charlie Crouse of Racing for Riley, rode very strong races.

Saturday night passed into Sunday morning and the hammer dropped. Ugh. I’d worked harder than I realized in the previous day’s race (let alone the hi mileage of the past few weeks), leaving me feeling fatigued and flat for the race I had originally intended for the weekend (Masters 40+ 1,2,3). Like the previous day, strong wind and a strong field prevented any breaks from rolling away from the group. Several attempts were made and a few moves remained off the front for a lap or two, but it all came together in the final 3 laps. The mind was willing, but the body did not have the power to battle for position in the final two laps; I rolled across the line in a modest 12th place. I commend Court Maple of MOB Squad for riding a very strong race. Court initated or chased several of the moves that formed yesterday.

Lots of events coming up this weekend. In addition to John’s Charity Mountain Bike ride for the Kids, there is a running event in Carmel featuring a 1/2 marathon and an 8K run, and more bike racing with the Ceraland Circuit race in Columbus on Saturday and the Mooresville Circuit Race at Pioneer Park on Sunday. And finally, there is also that event down in Bloomington, the Little 500. Women race on Friday and the guys race Saturday. Best wishes to all who compete next weekend.