Saturday, August 31, 2013

Time Trialing in Charles Town

For this Memorial Day weekend, I went to (and am currently still in) Charles Town, WV.  Riding in Charlestown is very different from riding in Morgantown.  The most notable difference is the condition of the pavement.  In 10 miles of TTing, and 45 miles of road riding today, I encountered just one blemish in the nearly perfect pavement.  The is also much less topography than I'm used to, though that's not necessarily a bad thing...

Out of the relatively small field in the Argyle Time Trial, I managed a 2nd place, most likely attributed the Mountain Dew Slurpee I drank during the race, and the pre race Stinger Waffle I indulged in.

I'm the guy in 2nd.
I raced the TT in Matt's much-too-large-for-me non-aero helmet, after forgetting my legit Cannondale Cypher helmet at home, it only fell over my eyes about a hundred times, not helping my aeroness was the fact that my aero-bars wouldn't clip onto my rather ovalized handlebars, so I raced in my phantom aerobars.  After the race, I stopped at a local shop, 3-Points Cycles, and bought a new helmet for me to use for the weekend.
Selfie in my temporary helmet.
On the way back from the shop, Matt and I walked through a car show that took up the entirety of downtown Charles Town.

Me and a DeLorean
After hanging at the car show, we road to Martinsville.
Mine and Matt's bikes in front of 10 C-5's
And that's it so far.  Bye for now.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  Well here are some pictures to say thank you to my wife and daughter, my Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder teammates family, and to all of our wonderful sponsors.

Thank you Arryn for supporting me in my passion to ride bikes and coming to my races.

Thank you Addie for enjoying the great sport of cycling with me.
Thank you to all of my 2013 teammates who have made this season so much fun. 
Thank you Dynamic Physical Therapy for making this team possible.

Thank you Morgantown Brewing Company for your sponsorship and hosting us during our team events.  Sorry for the times we get a little out of hand.
Thank you Pathfinder of WV for standing behind our team and keeping our bikes running smooth.
Thank you Bruce for providing us with your lineup of ProGold Lubricants.  Your products truly are the best in the business.
And thank you so much to the rest of our sponsors for supporting our team in 2013:

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Race of Truth

Most people either love them or hate them.  I happen to be one of those who love them.  The individual time trial (ITT) is a race against the clock.  In French one would say: “contre la montre” and in Italian: “tappa a cronometro”.  Basically it is all about pushing your body to the point just below your anaerobic threshold until near the end of the race. 

The ITT is the most personal of all cycling events because it is just you, your bike, and the clock.  It is all about how well you optimize your energies to finish in the quickest time possible.  It all comes down to how willing you are to push yourself hard and endure the pain that comes from the effort.  For me personally a time trial is an epic fail if I bonk before arriving at the line or arriving at the line feeling like I could sustain the effort for another few minutes.  The best feeling in the world for me when crossing the line of a time trial is a mixture of feeling like I am going to vomit, which I have actually done on many occasions, my eyes burning from sweat, my legs on fire and feeling like they are about to pop out of my skin, and suffocating from lack of oxygen. 

If I feel this way when crossing the finish line of a TT then I know I gave it my all.  It doesn’t matter if I am standing on the podium or clapping while watching others climb onto the podium.  If I don’t have those particular feelings that I pushed my body as hard as I possibly could then that means I left something out on the course and to me it’s a major disappointment. 


At my last TT in July I was pleased with the effort I gave forth given the conditions.  Although I was a handful of ticks away from my PR I was pleased with the effort I put out.  It is always an honor to represent the Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team powered by Pathfinder and all of the great sponsors that we have.  I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of this team.  And on this particular day it was a great feeling standing next to these two very fast guys. 

However, this was not the highlight of my day.  After crossing the line of my solo run instead of cooling down I rode straight back to the car to switch bikes.  I jumped off my fast aerodynamic TT bike and onto a heavy steel single speed with a tag-along attached.  And that is when the real fun began.


It was time for the stoker / kid category and Addie girl and I was ready to have some fun.  However, with my legs already buried deep in the hurt box I was really relying on her to give a strong effort.  Addie said she was feeling good and ready to rock n roll so we rode up to the start house, said a quick prayer for thanks and safety, and got ready to get our ride on. 


On the way out we were riding strong as Addie was spinning her little legs off and giving me encouragement to do the same.  This helped because my legs were feeling like bricks.  We hit the turnaround keeping a steady pace and then an unfortunate thing happened.  Addie yells in my ear, “Dad, I dropped my chain!”  The one thing a bike racer never wants to happen during a race and especially in a time trial. 


She then asks me, “What are we going to do?”  I think for a quick second about how long it would take to stop and get the chain back on and then blurt back out “Nothing!  Just stop pedaling and enjoy the ride because we’re NOT stopping!”  Then in the next few seconds I realized how much effort Addie truly was putting forth as I had to pedal for both of us. 

Things happen and today was one of those days.  But, hey, that’s bike racing right?  I am just glad it was the chain on the tag-along and not on the single speed because this allowed us to continue on to the finish without the delay of stopping to put a chain back on.  And the most important thing was that God gave us the ability to be out there doing what we love and kept us safe and we had fun.  I know in a short time I will not be able to do this with Addie as she will be wanting to compete on her own so I am going to enjoy it while it last. 

 (With our friend Jack)
In this blog I would like to give a big shout out to one of our main sponsors in particular, Pathfinder of WV bike shop.  Unfortunately I do not get to visit the shop as much as I would like to living in Ohio.  However, for those of you living in and around Morgantown please visit them for all your outdoor needs.  They don’t just sell and repair bikes.  They also carry canoes, kayaks, skis, snowboards and the equipment used for all these outdoor sports.  They are located at 235 High Street, Morgantown, WV.  You can reach them at (304) 296-0076 or stop by and see them from 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday or 10am to 5pm on Saturday.  I can guarantee you that if you stop in you will be greeted by a friendly sales staff and there mechanics are the best around.  And if you are looking for someone to ride with there is a good chance you will find someone at the shop.  So go see them!

Friday, August 2, 2013

My WV List: #5 The HBR

What can be said that hasn't already?

Certainly the hardest cycling event I've ever done.  Certainly in the top 5 hardest events I've ever done.

Probably in the top 3.

Why try to explain what I and others already have?

OK, I'll say a little.

Last year, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into.  I built my bike only days before, and had only ridden the race distance three times.

In my entire life.

The fiasco that ensued (2012) is by far my most popular blog post.  It's also fairly comical now to read.

It wasn't at the time.

I once did a 50k skate ski marathon in Alaska, and I unknowningly had a 101 degree temperature.  Only 5.3k into the race, I broke my ski in half.  I then proceeded to race anyways, broken ski plowing into the snow on every kick.  And then couldn't eat a single thing the whole race, all 5+ hours, because I felt so sick.

My first Hilly Billy was about the same.

What the hell is this about?  Read the 2012 report.
OK.  Just think about it.  72 miles of racing.  That's hard.  Now, no pack racing (not for me anyways, not for most), so it's basically a solo TT effort.  That's harder.  Now, it's 7500ft of elevation gain or whatever the hell it is.  That's harder still.  NOW, it's on TRAILS and MUD and NASTY gravel.  That's WAY harder.  Add in that fact it's high summer in really is that bad.  Really.

If you haven't done it, then you won't know what I'm talking about.  You may think you do.  Sure, you may have done an ultra, or this that or the other thing, but the Hilly Billy is just...something else.  You'll think I'm looking down my nose a little when I say that.

I am a little.

If you like to cycle, and you like to hurt, and you like dirt, then this needs to be on your bucket list.

It DEFINES WV cycling for me.

Mark my words: Hilly Billy will be an event that will span decades and generations.  It will be an event with a capped entry, and will sell out in 24hrs.  The word is getting out.  Get here and do it.


Epic Video

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My WV List: #6 P4P

Pedal for pints (P4P).

The premise is basic.

 Someone sets up a course (at White Park).  Everyone brings a beer.  We ride it as fast as we can on our mountain bikes.  The order of your finish determines your pick of the available brews.

It defines "social ride".

Sometimes there's a lot of riders.  Sometimes there's not.  Sometimes we ride REALLY fast.  Sometimes no one really wants to.

Tonight was my last P4P.

And I finally figured out how to win: cheat. (ok ok I didn't MEAN to cut the course).

The first time I raced pedal for pints I rode my cyclocross bike, because I didn't have a mountain bike.

It's what ignited my need to get back on fat tires, and what spurred me to earn my Cat 1 licence this year.

While I don't get to do it a lot, every time I do, I finish with a big smile.

But the best part isn't the riding, it's the hour after that makes the ride special.

Hanging out, drinking cold brews, talking's what makes this cycling community awesome.