Thursday, April 5, 2012

march's madness

ill just do a quick recap of the month. This spring has been unseasonably warm here in the Pittsburgh area, so like many other the training has been a lot more comfortable than usual.

In the beginning of march JR and some others from the team went to valley falls for some mountain biking. I do have to say that was some of the most climbing I've done straight mountain biking. It was a lot of fun out on some very hard to see trails. As a roadie I have much to learn on the mountain bike.

Well first training race I was feeling so-so. Wasn't looking for much out of it since it was still really early in the season, was hoping to stay with the main group. As we lined up it was a windy day and if you didn't stick with a group you would suffer. 36 of us started after getting going it took about a half a lap for things to start to crank up but once it did people were starting to get drop. I managed to stay with main pack for about the half race but fell off and was in a small group of 5 or so. Eventually fell off from that group and just tried to keep my own pace till the next group and tried to stay on their wheel but could hold on and with the wind it was hard to catch up after getting popped off. So by the end of the race I ended up a lap down but was surprised I was still in the top half of the field with a 15th out of 30 some riders.

Team training camp, was interesting got to know some of the riders i've seen around but didn't actually know to well, both on and off the bike due to the team dinner, and group ride. As well as learning about our sponsors and why they sponsor our team and expect of us in doing so. In so I cant thank the sponsors enough.

Training race #2, this time was feeling a bit more confident this time after a good team ride of the Morgantown road race the day before and would actually have a good size showing of teammates in the field. Well half the challenge was just getting there about 5-7 mile from getting to the race I made a stop and after coming to a stop the brake pedal in my car went to the floor. Well I found out the next time I had to stop that my brakes barley worked lucky I try not to brake hard which left me plenty of time to coast to a stop. After puling into the parking lot of the course my radiator was steaming. Well after I settled in I figured id put off calling for a tow till after the races so that the parking lot work clear out some and I wouldn't have much to think about before the race. Now that I managed to get their in one piece, I took Gina a few loaves of banana bread to be used as primes in the race. I managed to get a couple warm up laps in and was thankful that it wasn't as windy as the week before. After I got back I got my orders from the team, I was the one with out someone to attack with but my job was to cover anyone that was trying to bridge the gap.

Thankfully thats the kind of job I like, since I have the punch to make a quick break or to cover people that are trying to make a break but dont have the power to stay off the front as a few of my teammates do, so I like playing cover-man. Well all in all I felt better than the week before but not quite up to the week before managed to keep with the main pack all but the las half a lap after trying to move up in the wind to try to give a slight leadout to the only rider of our team left on the pack besides me, JR who finished 11th out of 43. I was just outside the top 50% of the field at 22nd of 43.

Now for the part most of yinz will enjoy my baking for the month. Early in the month I had to bake for a bake sale which ended up getting canceled, but I was asked to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I did a batch of them as the directions say but was a little bit short, so I had to make a second batch but this time I thought I would experiment a little bit and instead of using sugar, I used molasses and honey instead. The first bite I took of it I wasn't to sure of the taste but after letting them sit a day and having a few more the flavor was that of a molasses cookie than oatmeal cookie but was yum none the less. Second thing this was my blue ribbon banana bread which I made a double batch to make a total of 8 small loaves so after giving a few loaves to a select couple of people, that left 6 loaves for primes at the 2nd training race. To those that had won some and had eaten it had given me complimented on how good it was. I'm not sure what ill be baking for the next crit but up for suggestions. Last but not least I recently renovated the oatmeal molasses cookies into small bite size pieces and packed it with more potassium to try to make a cheap long ride food, will update to say how they sit while on a ride.