Tuesday, February 22, 2011

200k = Base miles & Sunday LBC = Moderate intensity

Saturday I joined Dale and about 40 others for a 200km brevet starting in Shelbyville, KY and traveling south to Harrodsburg, KY via back roads and then back. You can see the route here.

A post midnight bedtime followed by a 5am wake-up didn't really set things up for success, but it all worked out. We started with a group of 10 and by mile 8, I had to pee so bad it hurt. So, I declared my intentions, went off the front and pulled into a volunteer fire station and stepped around the corner. I got back on the bike about 45 seconds down and was confident I could catch back on. WRONG! I think they upped the pace or something because I could only hold the gap steady or gain to 35 seconds. There was still hope though, because there was a store stop at mile 36ish and I decided to just go solo and steady making sure not to blow myself up. Sure enough, I rolled in about 5 minutes back, but before they departed so I quickly refilled my bottles and jumped on the bike just in time to catch the group of 8 at the stop light.

Shew, that solo chasing stuff sucked! Lesson learned, solo chasing a group is tough and from there I was determined not to do it again! As the day progressed the group dwindled to six, then to five, and to four when Dale slipped away on a climb with about 30 miles to go. 10 miles later though, HE BRIDGED UP!!! Solo! So we rolled onward and finished with a group of four and Dale finished just a couple minutes back after battling some cramps in the final couple miles.

7hours and 39 minutes total time - 7h 10m rolling time. Not bad for 130 miles and almost never a tailwind.

Monday I learned that two of the other three members of the front group are members of the La Société Charly Miller. This means that they are each one of 26 Americans to finish Paris-Brest-Paris  in less time than Charly Miller, a Randonneur legend in the early 1900s. The third was Micah Fritzinger, who has also finished multiple 1200km brevets in outstanding times!

Sunday coach wanted me to join the 4 hour hammerfest Lee had posted but I didn't have it in me. Instead I hit the two o'clock LBC ride where a handful of racers showed including most of the TwinSpires team. Chilton said something along the lines of keep it neutral through the park and no red light breaks. Once we were off, David W and I sat at the front holding a steady but neutral pace through the park and most the way to Spring street. One light caught part of the group so we sat up and most everyone interested joined back up before we got to river road. As we made the turn I looked around and asked if anyone wanted to have some fun? David agreed and Nick declined and I jumped. Dug deep for a couple of minutes and gave a flick of the elbow expecting there to be at least four or five guys come through - nope - just one! Even on a light turnout, I've never seen a break of two stay away on one of these rides but I wanted to make it hard so we kept rotating and digging deep but not deep enough to pop. Somewhere along RRCC I noticed a group catching so we eased enough to let them join and then pushed onward.

Each of the three new guys popped off one by one until the last guy in a Louisville Firefighters kit fell off just before turning up Glenview and we kept pushing. Honestly, I was hurting pretty bad about half way up the climb but recovered near the top. Since David had just pulled me up it I figured it courteous not to challenge him in the last 50m. After turning onto Lime Kiln we cranked it up again, and again on Rudy Ln. I spaced on the sprint, partially because I had no idea if it was "proper" to sprint in a break of two or not but when David jumped I tried to respond and it just wasn't there. From there we rolled back to the start nice and steady and waited seven and a half minutes for the next group. Not bad for the day after 7 hours in the saddle!

6, 10, 12, and 20 minute power numbers were within a couple percent or better than anything I've seen so far and there's still much training to do before racing begins!

Next up - Monday's Body Geometry (bg) bike fit by Brian Gootee, Master BG Fit Technician and owner of Gray Goat Sports.

Friday, February 18, 2011

2011 Racing News

And finally...
Prototype kit design
More news on 2011 race plans! This year I'll be racing for Lilly Gray Goat Racing on the road. The team is based in Indianapolis and is a conglomerate of masters racers, collegiate racers, and a few in between. The focus of the team is of course to post solid results, but also to develop young racers through the experience and knowledge base of the masters members. Our title sponsor is Eli Lilly and Company and our shop sponsor is Gray Goat Sports. Other sponsors include Ameriprise Financial and Kalas. We will target some of the Indianapolis area races and mix it up at as many other venues around the MidWest as possible.

My first order of business is upgrading my road category from 4 to 3 so that I can help in the team efforts after the other 20-something year olds are finished with collegiate racing. To accomplish this, I've got about five races tentatively on the schedule prior to a late spring training week, after which I'll hopefully be able to race with the team. If not, I'll take a couple more races and get the needed points to upgrade.

There will of course be some XC mountain bike races thrown in on open weekends, especially for the younger contention of the team and maybe even an endurance race or two.

I'm a Twin Six sponsored athlete this season. What that means - I get a sweet kit to train and occaisionally race in and sweet deals on awesome technical and casual cycling gear! Check out the profiles here: http://www.twinsix.com/team/bios/ray-smith/ 

Until next time... keep the rubber side down.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

200K Brevet, 2011 Furly Kick-Off, and Race Calendar

Nope, I'm not doing the series this year, but Dale is doing the 200k on Saturday and asked if a few of us wanted to join. His other companions had second thoughts and 130 miles potentially solo would suck. It's few more hours than I have on the schedule for the weekend, but it sounds fun and that's the most challenging thing this time of year - keeping base miles fun!

The route is an out and back from Shelbyville to Harrodsburgh and back and is quite hilly with over 7500 feet of climbing and a couple steep spots. Below is the "out" portion from Dale's RideWithGPS route.

200k Brevet - "Out" portion of Out and Back
Furly (f'ing early):
And yes... it's that time of year again! Some mornings qualify as crisp, but not quite cold and we're going to ride our bicycles! And yes... we do start at 4:30 in the morning! So we're a little crazy, got a problem with it? I wasn't there for the naming and have no idea why it's not spelled fearly, but whatever - who really thinks clearly at that hour? Anyway, I believe it started when bikezen was training for the Ironman and had to get in two a days and the tradition continues except for November through January or whenever it's unbearably cold. In the summer they're awesome for beating the heat and the rest of the year they serve as a good foot to start the day on!

Today we had a group of 4 including Bikezen, Segal, and therealtimbrown and it felt awesome to get outside and get the blood pumping before all those other crazy's (drivers) got out on the roads. The ride looked something like this (I bet ya can't find the sprints!):

2/17/2011 Furly Ride (Pink-power, Green-elevation, Blue-speed, Red-HR)
Calendar: And last - I created a calendar that is now being used as a resource for VeloLouisville.com and can be accessed on their site or via google calendar. This includes any and all cycling races I can find information on in the KY, IN, OH area with some in surrounding states and ALL UCI CX races posted as of the first week of February. Race disciplines include but are not limited to: Ultra Endurance (NUE), Road, Criterium, Cross Country (XC), Short Track (STXC), Cyclocross (CX), and Time Trials (TT). If you notice incorrect information or missing events, please leave a comment here or contact me.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy February

January left with a bang, in more ways than one! Last weekend Lee finally posted a ride that most of us could get to (other than doctors and firefighters) and on Sunday (30th) a big group showed at Kyes for 5 hours up and down the knobs of southern Indiana. I spent more time than I should have rotating in the front and got shelled a couple hours in, the group waited at the top of a climb, I sat in a while, and got shelled again on some rollers heading home. Mitch sat up about the same time I did, so it wasn't quite so bad but it sucked none-the-less. From there we rolled back into New Albany just in time to see the group again and finish the ride.

Afterward I was smoked. Though power numbers looked pretty good it hurt a lot more than I wanted. Once again; however, I found that it was the mind setting limits, not the body. On the last little hill back to the house, I pushed it for 10 seconds to see what was left in the tank and was only about 50 watts shy of my max recorded number from last CX season... not too shabby at 5.5 hours in!

And finally to wrap up January - I got new wheels... two sets actually!

2008 Subaru Outback
Revolution Wheelworks 25mm Tubulars
...with Dugast Rhino's
February started with a shuffle in the Emergency Operations Center at work where a severe winter storm put everyone on alert - including a request for someone to work night shift. Yep, that was me. Only at about noon on the day I was supposed to be in at 7:00pm I got a call saying the storm had crapped out and that if possible, could I come on in and get my 8 hours for the day? Yeah, staying at the office until 10pm is fun, let me tell ya! My body was all out of whack so the next day I ended up taking some credit hours and only working a 5 hour day to get a sleep schedule realigned.

And yet again, this weekend, the infamous Lee Hauber posted another ride with the subtle line, "Bring your A-game." And so it happpened, 100km in southern Indiana at what seemed like a slightly more reasonable pre-season pace. The pace may have seemed better for several reasons including the fact that I sat in for about 80% of the 20 minute rotating effort, some gained fitiness from the previous week, slightly greater efficiency in a paceline, fewer riders, more steady riders, or the awesome 45 degree weather!

Store stop - Rob K and Coach
I've got a fitness test in store for this week followed by either more gravel roads or southern IN backroad miles this weekend - maybe I should move across the bridge... nah! As heard in the play A Second City: It Takes a Ville, "Only one good thing comes out of southern Indiana - I65 south!"
Goodies from Winston's Brand - Brookside Blend and Manbrocation Embrocation