Friday, November 27, 2009

Don't be "That Guy" Part III

News flash: Drummroll joins Team "That Guy"

2010 Ridley X-Fire
Goodies include SRAM Rival gruppo, TRP EuroX canti's, Thomson Elite seatpost & stem, and Easton EA70X w/Challenge Fango 32 tubbies

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Don't be "That Guy" Part II

If I suck now, there's simply no excuse. This bike combined with the Zipp 404's is about as legit as I can get. My teammate decided to upgrade his SLC-SL (race only with less than 400 miles on it) to an S3, so I had no choice but to wipe out the bike fund and snag the SLC-SL frame. Combined with the SRAM Red and the Zipp's I pretty much have built up a Tour ready bike. Well, if it was 2007 anyway. I built it up yesterday. I decided I'd might as well do it right, and snagged some Zipp bottle cages, a 3T carbon bar, and a titanium railed Specialized seat. I also bought some new sneakers and went with Continental's with the Black Chili compound. I have absolutely no idea what the Black Chili will do for me, but it sounded pretty good. The only thing left is a new 3T stem, but I wanted to get a ride on it before selecting a size.

Took a quick 20 mile shakedown run yesterday and it was clear that this was going to be a fast bike. It is ridiculously stiff and in a good way. The real test was today's Faso Ride. We rode a brisk 55 miles with a handful of town line sprints. I beat my previous watt record by about 90 watts and I haven't done a legit road sprint since before CX season. This bike is gonna be sweet.

I'm not sure if this bike can overcome middling genetics, but I intend to find out next season. There's no doubt that this bike will put the watts to the back wheel, I just need to make sure I'm around when everyone gets near the finish. Hopefully I can pull that off, otherwise I'm going to be "That Guy" on the tour caliber frame, components, and Zipp's dropped with a fat guy on the old Cannondale. Then again, perhaps I'll be dropped with the fat guy riding the Pinarello, with Campy Super Record 11 and Bora Ultra Two wheels. Maybe I should have taken Jeremy B's advice and just raced the old Trek XO-1.

On an unrelated note, congrats to Drumroll on his dominant season. He snagged three CX wins this year. He had a solid year last season, but he's definitely moved to a new level. Good to be "That Guy."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm gonna miss this bike . . .

Actually, maybe I won't miss it that much . . .

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grizzly Sighting in Massachusetts

I saw it with my own two eyes. I even had two credible Syracuse CX brothers (Bryan B and Eric G) who can vouch for me as they saw it too. ….and this doesn’t include the several hundred others who witnessed the same. We were at the Cycle-Smart Invitational (CSI) CX event this past weekend and during the men’s elite race on Saturday, the announcer yelled out something about a grizzly. This announcement was followed by a huge roar. I chuckled and thought, now that’s pretty damn funny, gotta love ‘cross.

Flashback a few years ago and I remember (a clean shaven) Dan Timmerman, totally dominating (perhaps devouring) the open men’s field at the Syracuse CX Grand Prix. He impressed everyone that day as he bunny hopped the barrier and rode up the hill while everyone else dismounted and ran.

Flash forward back to this past weekend and you might say he’s upped his game a bit along with his notoriety. Seems Ithaca’s very own Dan Timmerman, with his prominently bushy facial hair is now affectionately New England cyclocross’ very own “Grizzly”. The roar we had heard after the announcer’s “Grizzly” callout was the crowd responding as they've fallen for the Grizzly. Seems “Grizzly” has become a genuine fan favorite with the bearded look coupled with some stellar results this year in the elite level of the New England CX scene (we’re talking UCI level podium spots and wins here kids). Great to see a CNY guy mixing it up with some of the best. Hats off to the Grizzly!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The healing effects of the Single Speed

After some rest and a couple of "out of plan" rides I'm a new man. Or maybe the man I was. Whatever. Drummroll organized a night ride out at Green Lakes. Good chance to bust out the SS and night light. First time ever using a light on the bike (not including in my back yard). VERY cool. If you don't own one, get one and find some friends to ride with in the dark. It's a whole nother world and a good one at that.

With a couple of miles left, Drumroll ripped his front chainring in half. What a beast. Jeff W was kind enough to push Drumroll back to the cars. Maybe Jeff is the beast.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One pedal stroke ahead of crazy

The car is mostly packed after racing yesterday and it would be easy to hop in the car and race today, but as Willie S. once wrote, "the better part of valor, is discretion."

I'm 9 races into the season, and early season freshness and success have given way to fatigue and more modest results. The power just isn't there right now and enthusiasm is turning to anger as my motivation. With the cancellation of Greene I'm going to take next week off from the races and try and finish the season as strong as I started. That's the goal anyway. Anger will keep you motivated through the week, will get you to the start line, and will probably carry you through the first couple of laps, but ultimately the body needs to participate. I've gotten so wrapped up in chasing NYCross and upgrade points that I've definitely over done it. The motivation, albeit slightly twisted, is still there but the body appears to be an unwilling participant at the moment. Just hurdling the barriers yesterday was an effort of epic proportions. Time to listen to the body.

Hopefully this doesn't come off as too whiny. Ultimately who knows what motivates us to get out there and compete each week. Most of us have jobs and families, and between training, traveling, bike maintenance and surfing the internet for CX results and pictures we're probably tying up 15 hours a week on a hobby. Combine that with the considerable expense of participation in our sport, and most people would think we're nuts.

In my case, cycling is pretty much the only sport I've ever excelled in. I was 5'3" and weighed 89lbs as a freshman in high school. We had one Filipino girl that was smaller than me. Conventional sports weren't really an option. Amateur bike racers can be divided into a number of categories, but two that come to mind are former athletes that have outgrown football, hockey or soccer and are looking for a competitive outlet that won't require routine knee surgeries, and us skinny geeks that have only known cycling or running. You can usually tell by a racers build which category a racer falls into. Clearly I fall into the latter. We all have different motivations, but the 5'3" kid that never got to play football still has a huge chip on his shoulder. Being skinny has more or less paid off in the long run, but I think I'm hyper-motivated to succeed in the sport. Probably to the point of overdoing it at times.

Time to e-mail Bob and see if he wants to go MTBing. There's no reason to ride angry, at the end of the day I simply love cycling and getting caught up in the points isn't really helping. I'm pretty sure placing third place in the 3/4 series will net me a spare tube and no place in history. It's time to get a little rest, get through this block of the season and finish strong.

Man I love CX, even with two race bikes, tubulars, a coach, and all of the other expenses it must be cheaper than the quantity of therapy I would take to keep me on the straight and narrow. One pedal stroke ahead of crazy . . . usually.