Crash mars 37th Sunapee Road Race

Many fellow MRC Cat 5'ers were sitting in good position today when the crash occurred in the Cat 4 group ahead of them. Officials stopped the race to clear the injured, which took over an hour and ended things for the 5's. Our own Rob Follansbee evaded the carnage to take 9th in the 4's.


What next?

It's bad enough cyclists have to deal with inattentive drivers and the repercussions of fellow cyclists who ride without regard to safety (also note all the motorists who roll the stop signs), but now the haters are taking it to a new level by actively causing cycling accidents.
One of several crashes caused by tacks repeatedly thrown on racecourse:

Leonardtown Criterium Crash - Pro/1/2 Race from Bryan Vaughan on Vimeo.

Be sure and check out the comments in the Washington Post article, it never seems to take long for the "all cyclists are elitist/scofflaws" crowd to show up.


Video: Team Sky TT training outside Amsterdam

Watch for the water bottle tossed by a passing motorist at the team at 3:20. If you can't stand techno music, mute your sound now.


Race Report: 16th Annual Sterling Classic Road Race Cat 5 35+

Saturday 2010/05/08
Distance: 24 miles
Time: 1:15:50
Average speed: 19 mph
Weather: ungodly
Rolled out from the school in a steady rain. Whatever warmup I had done beforehand was sapped out of me on the way over to the start. As we climbed up Rowley under 190, I dropped my chain -DOH! I was able to get it back on without stopping but lost many places doing so. So I started picking my way forward through the pack, avoiding a considerable number of wobbly cyclists as we wound up and down the rollers on Heywood and North Row. At one point, I managed to pull off my sunglasses and traded the fog and droplets obscuring my vision for dirt and crud going directly into my eyes. Meanwhile, I was gulping down mouthfuls of water thrown at me by the rooster tail peeling off the wheel in front of me.
Managed to work my way the front 1/2 of the pack on the way to where Rte. 12 passes under 190, when I thought I heard Doran say something like "When is somebody going to do something?" (asked him later, it wasn't him). I was talking to John R the other day about possibly being a "rabbit" to tease some riders into expending energy early in the race.
Well, moments later, I was near the front of the pack, so I opened it up a bit on that long descent on Rte 12. I kept it at 28 mph as far up the incline on 12 back towards downtown as I could but started to fade and the pack finally passed me by. Doran later told me no one took the bait, making me the only one to expend energy early in the race.
I spent the first half of lap 2 on my own, trying to determine whether or not I could make it through 3 laps. At the midway point of lap 2, on Rte. 12, I didn't feel as spent as I did earlier so I started the hunt for people I could catch and pass. There were two guys up ahead that I started to reel in until I got to the start/finish when they pulled away and then three more people passed me.
So, me and these 5 other guys bringing up the rear had our own little race for 30th place during the final lap. Every time there was an incline, they would catch and pass me, but over the top, they would sit up and I would pass them again and get a lead on the descents. I got a really good lead the last time down route 12.
When we hit Rte. 12 for the last time, I was able to stay ahead of the others until a slow-moving Cadillac appeared right at the turn onto the finishing climb. The cop there frantically waved him on as I shouted, "GO! GO!" I was right on his bumper when he finally hit the gas and got out of the way. The other cyclists caught up to me at this point and I was sure they would pass me. I lost all sense of self and became only lungs, legs and bicycle for the next 100 yards. Of those 3, only my bike was in good working order.
The cheering section on the way up was a great help and somehow I managed to stay ahead of the others. 30th place!
The rain really came on at that point, cold faucet only, for the ride back to the school. It was a miserable two miles. When I finally made it to my car and tried to dismount, both quads were threatening to lock up forever. I looked down and they were somewhere between blue and purple in color. Took the better part of an hour to stop shivering! Hypothermia? Maybe.
Summary: I wish I'd paid attention to how much energy I was saving while still with the pack, I'm sure I would have finished with them despite the grinding start/finish hill. Two races, in each, I pulled an ill-advised move that ended up putting me well behind. Here's hoping I stay smart in the next race...


Wells Avenue training criterium 5/2/2010

Damn, I hate having to compose a blog post TWICE: after an hour of writing, Ecto (the app I use) only published the first line and lost everything else. This version is a bit briefer than the original, I may pad it with more detail later.


Did the "C" race on Sunday. Short version: I did not podium but did not crash or get dropped.

Longer version:

I got a lot of really good advice, wisdom and lore from Alan H, Michael C, Rich M, Bruce and others beforehand. I didn't sleep well the night before but was surprisingly calm once I got out of bed.

When called to the start, I found myself in the 4th row next to teammate, John R - he was on the inside and I was one row outside of him. At the start, everyone clipped in without incident and the pack slowly came up to speed.

I felt like I did a great job of looking for steady riders to draft in the early laps and stayed in the middle or to the front of the pack the whole time. Only gripe was that I migrated to the outside and kept finding a particular manhole cover on the back stretch that is slightly below the road surface.

I felt like I was working pretty hard but also felt like I had power in reserve, if needed. We were averaging 24 mph as we sped around. I observed that John was in a much better position, ranging from just in front of me (but still on the inside) to the very front of the pack.

A car turning off the course compressed the pack at one point and John, in a moment of inattention, lapped wheels with someone in front of him and nearly went down right in front of me but made a great recovery without affecting anyone.

A few laps in, as we approached turn 1, a rider up ahead of me pulled the left side crank right off his BB! There he was, coasting straight ahead, holding his left leg up with the pedal and crank dangling from his cleat. Lucky for all of us, he was on the outside and caused no trauma to the pack.

Prime lap (lap 7 of 17): on the backstretch another car was on the road, so we went "neutral" and I mistakenly assumed the VERY NEXT lap would be the prime (as that was how the race official described it should happen). Coming round the final turn into the straight, I found myself 2nd wheel and figured, why waste the opportunity. I managed a sprint and got out front but just before the line, the guy I was sprinting against shouted that it was NOT the prime lap... and at that moment, they rang the bell announcing the prime.

I think it was on that lap that somebody went down hard (heard the yelling/crash/helmet-on-pavement). He lay there until the end of the race until an ambulance came and took him away.

Bleh. Matches burned. Spent the rest of the race hanging onto the back of the pack, getting gapped by a few bike lengths occasionally but able to sprint back up and latch on.

On the final sprint, another rider took a dive. It was rumored that he bounced along the granite curb as he went down... OUCH! He was treated and was able to get himself home.

Conclusion: I'm very happy with how I did, I learned much and will definitely it again!

(Hehe, when I went to post a link to this on Facebook, the Captcha system wanted me to type in these words: "involved imperil")