January Century

Among my goals for 2014, I decided that I should do one century ride each month. Somehow, most of January slipped by when, this past Sunday, I realized there was only 5 days left in the month.

So, I rushed into it a bit. Sure, I had a few 2 hour-plus trainer rides under my belt but not much time out in the chilly air.

Mile Zero. I looked confident then.

Insert 2013 Cyclocross Season Here

Quad: felt good, raced hard, paced myself well.

Midnight Ride: Fell hard on 1st lap, knocked the wind out, battled the rest of the way.

Gloucester: Flatted 2.5 laps in while just in the top 20, DNF'd. Should have run to pit.

Providence: 2nd or 3rd to last row start and all the fun that that entails.




Might Be A While Before This Happens Again

2013 Barn Burner Cat 3 50+ Podium
Submitted my upgrade to Cat 2 for XC MTB yesterday and will be racing Sport from now on in non-USAC races.


Race Report: 2013 Barn Burner

Two weeks ago, I had my first bike race win at Gnar Weasels Cometh. This also happened to be my first MTB race in over 20 years.

Fluke? Luck? I needed to find out.

Despite appearances, I have no idea what the hell I am doing. 'Murica.
The next race on the local calendar was the "Barn Burner" in at Adams Farm in Walpole, MA. The race was generating very good buzz on the twittosphere and elsewhere, much of it by way of major NECX bike racing cheerleader, Chip Baker.


Race Report: Gnar Weasels Shredeth

The last time I entered a mountain bike race, it was the late 80's and I wasn't quite 30 years old yet. My bike was a lime green Diamondback Ascent EX with only one modification: the Schrader valve caps were matching lime green dice. Judging by this photo, I'm pretty sure it was also too small for me.

Can I stop yet? Please?
Although I wore bike shorts, gloves and a (bulbous) helmet, the rest of my kit consisted of a t-shirt and a pair of worn out Chuck Taylors.

I had absolutely no concept of what "training" really was and the two laps I did around the woods in Simsbury, CT that day on the not-very-technical two-track fire road were pure agony. I probably last rode that, or any, MTB somewhere around 1993.

Flash forward about 20 years...


The Final Moment - 2013 Sterling Classic

Minuteman Road Club team mate Todd Prekaski produced this terrific shot he took from the other side of the Sterling Classic race course of me staying just ahead of Aaron Hovel (left) and Jerry Babcock (right) for the finish.

Note who is in the drops and who is not.


19th Annual Sterling Classic Cat 5 Men 35+ - May 11, 2013

What can I say? It was a dreamlike and amazing day for me on Sunday. Especially when compared to last week's disappointing performance at the Blue Hills Classic (finished 19th of 43, off the back of the 18 man finishing break on the final climb).

Too pooped to pop at Blue Hills.

Got a really good night's rest Friday (unlike last week's sleepover party debacle). Arrive on site and after checking in did 10 min spin on the trainer before lining up.

Line up: With Jeremy's words "stay off the front" echoing in my mind (and knowing he would have his eye on me from the lead car), I looked down at my computer and saw my HR was below 100 BPM. Astounding: usually it goes WAY above that in the moments before a race.

Leadout to course: This part is a good add-on to the warm up and helps dispel lingering pre-race jitters. I think I reminded Marc C that we didn't HAVE to ride as fast as the lead car (Jeremy driving, lead foot  ;) )

Lap 1: That first time up Meetinghouse and beyond always jolts one fully awake even if you take it nice and slow. That home team placement at the front makes it imperative to do SOMETHING to get someone else doing the work ASAP. So, I punched it on the first descent down Heywood then eased up on the incline - this worked perfectly as the anxious field partially swarmed around me and I found a wheel to follow for a while.
First time up Meetinghouse - Pete Banach photo (more of his photos here)


Spring Cycling Adventures

Here's a compilation of some of the high points of the last three weeks of cycling adventures. Waited too long to get this all up here so I'm going minimal on the descriptions of the rides and letting the photos tell the stories. (Skip to a gallery of all of the photos)

First, I got around to migrating the winter service course back out of the basement and into the garage.
A winter's worth of neglect.
From 2013 Spring Cycling Adventures

Now we're looking shipshape!
From 2013 Spring Cycling Adventures

In preparation for the upcoming road/CX combo rides I was planning to do, I got in a decent training ride that included a run down this railway line from Wayland to Weston.
From 2013 Spring Cycling Adventures

Next up, a 40 mile loop, the Ride Studio Café: Diverged ride, which took us on many roads and trails in Lexington, Belmont, Arlington, and Wincester. We got lost A LOT but had a ton of fun.