Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You can't do two jobs . . .

and expect to do either of them well. I just read a post from Adam Myerson and it more or less summed up Sunday's races. In my case, the the only thing at stake was a $20 prize and pride. Thankfully I don't race for a living so making the wrong choice is low risk.

More on that later. It seems like most of my posts start with an apology for the lack of posts. The good news is that I've been riding and racing my bike a lot. I already have 5 races in the legs this season which is an early start for someone that tends to start late and focus on CX. As I mentioned in my last post, I was headed for Battenkill. It went pretty well. 14th place out of 105 starters. Not exactly a stellar performance but considering how seriously some people take that race, I'm pleased with the result. I know there was a lot of debate over whether or not Battenkill was worth the price of admission. I must admit that initially I had no interest in paying for the experience. That said, I had decent early season form and figured I'd might as well check it out. Without going into a lot of detail, they did an outstanding job with the race. The volunteers were awesome, the course was very well marked, they were highly organized and there were port-o-johns as far as the eye could see.

By the end of the race I started to feel like the Grim Reaper. It seemed like every time I passed people and felt like I'd moved to the middle of the pack, I'd turn around and see the wheel van. We'd climb a hill, I'd move up 10 spots and start feeling pretty good about myself for moving up. A minute later I'd turn around and no one would be behind me. Kind of an odd day in that regard. I even finished with the wheel van right behind me in a sprint. Ironically I didn't have any wheels in there . . .

Fast forward to last weekend and it was time for the Binghamton Circuit Race. Typically this is my first or second race of the year. In previous years I've tucked in, held on for dear life with questionable fitness and sprinted to the finish. This year I was unsure how to approach the race. My fitness is at an all time high for April, so I had some options. Option 1 - sit in and save my sprint. Option 2 - get to the front and hope to get in a break. There were two races, so I ended up trying both options. In the first race I covered one break knowing I had some fast teammates in the race, but other than that I sat in and hoped to set myself up for a decent sprint. Coming into the sprint I was in great position, but it had rained the whole race and the guy to my right started sliding into me and I got off the gas on an uphill sprint. I was in the drops and in the wrong gear to wind it back up, so getting it going again wasn't really an option.

Race number two was the opposite race. Right before the race I ran into a local Cat 3 and he excitedly told me we were headed right to the front. We were going to try and get in every break or start one. He said we could sit in and get popped or crash in a sprint, or we could try and get a break going and better our odds. That's exactly what we did. Actually, he was so excited about our plan that we didn't realize that we'd lined up behind the Cat 5 race and we had to chase onto our race. Once we caught on we got right to the plan. We bridged to a handful of breaks and got into a two lap break with 7 to go. Unfortunately no one joined us, so we were doomed for failure, but nothing ventured as they say. By the time I needed to wind up a sprint I was out of matches, but as Adam said . . . you can't do two jobs. Thankfully one of my teammates had gone with option 1 in race number two, after he'd gone for broke in race number one, and he grabbed third place in his second race of the day. Keeping all of this straight?

Next stop Hollenbeck. I haven't decided on option 1 or 2 yet.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Horner Dork

So bite me, Drumroll is a Horner fan.  Some love 'em, some hate 'em.  The dude just pulled off the biggest win of his career a couple weekends ago .. and got a cool hat in the process.  If he ain't on the "Shack's" TdF squad, Lance ought to concede now.

It started at the now defunct San Fran Grand Prix in 2001.  Horner, a member of Team Saturn at the time, won the San Fran Grand Prix  in '01 where Drumroll had scammed some press credentials.  Drumroll thought it was cool that this pro dude was so freakin happy to win a race.  He even paused to have a pic taken with Ms. Drumroll and when the flash didn't work, he even suggested taking another pic. 

Always a good interview, sometimes too honest but tells it like it is and he has dabbled in CX for sheets & giggles on occasion.  Drumroll even recalls seeing him at CX nats in the same year he rode a full Euro campaign.  When Drumroll asked him why he would do CX nats after a Pro Tour campaign he replied, I just love riding and racing my bike.  What's not to like?

Go Chris !

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sore groin and numb hands: related?

I did a doubletake as I perused Velonews at lunch today.  Yup, there under the "Coaches Panel" section,  it did say that ...  Sore groin and numb hands: related?

And before you ask, No,   Drumroll has not experienced this (at least not since he was about 13).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Good Day has Come & Gone

As many have come to realize, Drummroll is a hurtin pup.  Maybe age or just bad luck caught up w/him cause his back has been one MoFo for several weeks now.    Riding/training highlights include about a cumulative total of 2 hours on the bike in the last 3 weeks.  So Drumroll is a bit unstable without his normal training routine and looking for some good in it all ....

So he watched Chris Horner kick some serious arse today in Spain this am.  Biggest win of his career ...Drumroll rather pleased as he's a Horner fan from back in 2001 where Horner won the San Fran Grand Prix where Drumroll fanagled press creds and actually met Horner.  In celebration of Horner's win, Drumroll survives a 30 min EZ spin trainer session with no pain early pm (sweet!).

Mid pm Drumroll gets an update that the Ommegangsters represented well at Battenkill (wish I was there, Ok not really but awesome job guys).

Late pm SU LAX dominates Princeton ... all is good (including the Syrah Drumroll is ummm, obtaining antioxidant benefits from).  Later pm, Sabres win to solidify their playoff spot (all hail grape derived antioxidants).

And even later pm pre-bedtime check of the cyclo-websites shows ... holy crap, the rumors were true, it's finally here ... Joe Parkin's new book.  Thank freaking the powers that be I saved an Amazon gift card from Christmas.    First, if you haven't read "A Dog in a Hat" by Parkin, you're missing out and should be prohibited from riding your bike and drinking a Belgian beer of any sort until you do so.  And I'd be remiss not to give props to Joe's blog at 6 Years in a Raincape.   His new book is called "Come and Gone".    Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to to Amazon to place an order.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Battenkill or Bust

It would figure that after lots of procrastination, you'd get two posts in one day. See Drumroll's post below. Sorry for the lack of posts. The good news is that I've been riding my bike a lot. At least a lot relative to the time of year. I've been riding it so much that racing Battenkill seemed like a good idea. I raced a couple of the Johnny Cake's in Albany and having survived all of the crashes in Race 1 and all of the hills in Race 3, I figured why not take my early season form to Battenkill.

I've never been in racing shape in early April, so this is all new to me. Having spoken to a handful of people that have raced Battenkill, here's what I've learned so far:

If you race CX, you should be all set running standard road tires and the race shouldn't be any worse than the local Hollenbeck race. If you don't race CX, this race is epic, and you should buy a special set of 700x25 or 28 tires with special liners, a one "off" Cervelo frame with special extended fork tabs that will allow for extra tire and mud clearance, double wrap bar tape, box section rims, a second seat post collar, and military issue MRE's in case you get dropped mid race. As a CX racer, I'm going with my S1, 700x23 Conti 4000's and PowerTap so I can remember the fun watt by watt at a later date.

I'll let you know how it works out. I've included a picture of my bike in a pathetic attempt to recreate a "pre classic" bike profile that you'd see in Cycling News or VeloNews. We'll see if I end up stuck in a sand pit or double flatting on a decent after taking the advice of the local CX'ers.

By the way, sorry the picture is so blurry. Bigfoot took the picture with his camera phone.

Making the Best of It

Ommegangsters adhere to the one cup of Ommegang per person rule at the most recent tasting event.