Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Greenbrier Report

What's the best way to approach a mtb race report? The problem with writing a report for a mtb race is that it quickly becomes a rather narcissistic account of the trials, tribulations, and sometimes victories of the narrator. These things are best saved for a personal journal I think. …who really wants to read that stuff?

On the other hand, a race report may include the results for an entire team…highlighting individual trials, tribulations and victories. This kind of reporting can become rather labor intensive. So, what’s the point? Why write a race report when folks can easily get on line and see the results. What is it that we hope to derive from a race report?


Photo on left provided by JD Galleries. Lots of great photos on their site!

In ten years, what will we want to remember about this day? I think the long and short of it is….it’s a bike race…. Greenbrier always attracts stellar athletes as it is a convenient opportunity to qualify for nationals.... local and national heroes line up and race the same course.... technical riders get their chance to shine… old racing friends are reunited….ad infinitum

So, all that being said, I’ll do my best to give a brief highlight of how the day panned out for the DCMTB Team and its extended family. Oh, and I wasn’t in the picture taking mood. Sometimes I feel a bit awkward taking pictures at these events because it somehow removes you from the actual event itself. Speaking of taking pictures, let’s start this race report with Joel:

Joel: Despite the fact that he had a flat and had to wrestle with those pesky Specialized skewers, Gwadz was able to hold onto a first place finish for the Clydesdale class!!! (Gwadzilla's account of Greenbrier)

Jenn: After winning the female solo class at Baker’s Dozen last weekend, Jenn’s problem knee was a bit fatigued. Sadly she was not able to finish the women’s marathon event. Rest up lady! You gotta win more races!

Javaun: Even though he wasn’t sporting a DCMTB jersey…I’ll still give him props for his 11th place finish in the marathon event.

Joe: Joe cranked out some good lap times in the marathon and finished in 13th place. Guess he’s getting in as much racing as possible before the baby arrives!

MattyD: Matt is really coming into form. He had a good race with a 6th place finish in the men’s expert field (just behind McGill). Must be all that sandbagging at the Tuesday night hill reps?

RickyD: (we’ll still include him even if part of the SS Outlaw Clan) RickyD flatted, but like always…he did it with style and finished with spunk.

Steve: Finished with an impressive 6th place in the men’s single speed division…. Apparently he fell down the rabbit hole or something… I need to read that e-mail again

Tris & Mike: After racing in the early morning, Tris and Mike did a fabulous job of cheering and supporting the rest of the team.

Chris (McGill): Racing single speed in the men’s expert field, Chris had a fabulous day on the bike which landed him in 5th place in the expert field ….quite impressive considering the other folks had some gears to choose from.

Me: Hmmm….I put in a good effort. I still think I’m holding back on the climbs for some reason. Wasn’t so impressed with my 5th place finish, but at least the time gaps weren’t too big.

Lord…who am I missing…..Darren? Chris Clark? Jonathan? Loren? Sorry!
(See, this is what I mean….it gets tricky)

The Nannies: Would you believe that the nannies (Kimberley and Raquel) I met last weekend on the airplane came out to watch the race?! They were a little confused… and a little cold, hungry, and tired…. but I was really touched that they made it out to watch the race!!! I’ll have to join them at the karaoke bar some time! I do a great Janice Joplin impression!

Pro Results:
Men:
1) Jeff Schalk
2) Chris Eatough
3) Harlan Price

Women:
1) Theresa Richardson
2) Cheryl Sornson (prospective life coach)
3) Johanna Kraus

THE END

So…next weekend is Poolesville and Michaux…I’ll be sure to take pictures.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tenacity

The tenacious scooter thief...

Passed this on my way to work last week near the corner of 16th and Lamont....

There is something to be said for tenacity....








Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sea Otter: Part II

Ok, so I’ve kind of been putting off this race report because:

a) I am not altogether pleased with the results
b) I’m feeling a little disappointed in my performance
c) I’m still processing how I feel about the event as a whole

In my defense, I will say I think the course could have used a lot more rocks and a lot less gravel road. So, here’s how it happened:

Women's Expert XC Race

The race began with about half a lap on the race track before it made an exit onto the gravel road. I was in great position from the start, riding up in the top five. I felt good. My head was in the race. We hit the single track and stayed together…the pace actually got quite slow. I stayed with these ladies for….about half the race? Then the climbs came and I let a gap form…and then I lost sight of them…and then I lost my mental edge.

I’m not sure what happened in my brain, but I just wasn’t in the race mentally. The course lacked the technicality I crave…and I just didn’t have that edge I needed to push myself to the wall. I wasn’t out for a leisurely Sunday ride, but I definitely feel that I had more to give that race…and I didn’t…for some reason…I’m still not sure why. It’s so much easier to keep your focus in a road race when you’re shoulder to shoulder with ladies who are just as close to puking their brains out. It’s rather convenient that way. (random filler photo)

I was especially irked with myself when I saw how close I could have come to making up a few places if I had just stayed focused. So the results are as follows:


Yeah, nothing to write home about.

Jacquie and I talked about the race at some length… it meant a lot to me that she took the time to offer her insight. I think I’d like to adopt her as my surrogate mother.

In other news:

Wandering around the venue I ran into a few old friends (Nate from Athen's pictured to the right) I haven’t seen in a while. It was good to have some time to catch up with Mike… as always, we shared a few good laughs (btw - it was Mike who talked me into this crazy trip in the first place). Oh, and I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to Mike’s dad for providing the hotel. We really couldn’t have asked for a nicer place to stay! By they way, if you’re looking to add some more of the visual arts to your life, please check out Mike’s ebay store…he’s cranking out some good stuff these days. (photo of mike at starting line)

After the race on Sunday I made a quick jaunt to the beach, soaked in a good ten minutes of oceanic serenity, hopped in my Pimpin’ Pontiac, and drove back up to San Francisco where I stayed with my cousin Amanda and her fiancĂ©, Cameron. It’s too bad she lives so far away… she’s an awesome lady… and she makes me proud to be a Kelso.

On the plane trip back I was reunited with my new nanny friends I made on the flight out. Sounds like they might come out to watch Greenbrier next weekend???
From the get go I thought it was a funny idea to haul my ass out to Califorania for an expert race. Lackluster results aside, I still think I got my money's worth. It's all about the friends you make along the way.
Click here for full photo coverage
oh, and it turns out that Joel was just up the road attending a wedding, funny small world

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sea Otter: Part I

Part One:
I arrived in Oakland, CA yesterday around 4pm and made my way to Fairfax where I stayed with Jacquie Phelan and Charlie Cunningham. When I arrived, Jacquie was in the kitchen preparing a beautiful dinner gleaned entirely from local Fairfax dumpsters. It has been an impressive four years since Jacquie last purchased goods from a grocery store.

We dined in their garden and talked late into the evening... she is an endless wealth of knowledge, energy and creativity and I listened eagerly to the endless stories and quirky bits of knowledge she so graciously heaped onto my plate.

Last night I slumbered in the Airstream while they slept perched up in the trees in their treehouse bedroom... Swiss Family Robinson Style.

This morning Charlie worked in the garden while I built up my bike. Charlie looked over my bike approvingly. He seemed pleasantly surprised with the frame design of my Kona Kula Supreme. It was a rather surreal morning.... french toast and tea with Jacquie, some banjo playing, talking shop with Charlie, talking life with both of them, a little friendly arm wrestling. I loaded up my pimp-ass rental Pontiac G8, they bid me fair well, and I headed south for Monterey. Truly an experience that will forever be in my scrapbook of memories.


































So...anyway, I pre-rode the course today. I wouldn't call it technical, but the sand certainly does make for some sketchy cornering. I ate some shit today trying to take the descents a bit too fast. Ok, it's bed time...more later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WABA Gala

WABA Gala: I'll just let the pictures tell the story
Christian escorted us to the car....

















Jenn and Javan are a new addition to the City Bikes Team:

















The Donahues are now proud owners of a Cabot cheese wheel












Jenn won the bid on a messenger bag:
















The Foleys...soon to be 3!












Sheba and Delilah made a grand entrance:











Matt, Joe, Bega and Hillary:












Forgot to get a photo of Joel and his wife! Damn it!!!
Anybody wanna insert a thought bubble for Hillary?











Monday, April 14, 2008

Fleeting Thoughts

Sprinting alone and singing alone are quite similar in that it is easy to impress yourself. However, when in the company of others I find that I am not nearly as amazing as I originally thought.

A humbling experience.

Mt. Joy Race Report

Last week was just one of those weeks when nothing seemed to go as planned. I started off the week trying to sort out brake issues on my mtb only to find I need some crazy adapter thing, Tuesday I had a cavity filled that turned out to need further attention, Wed I went for a long mtb ride and created new mechanical issues, driving back a paint can opened in the back of my truck (luckily avoiding all things bike related), Thursday I had a root canal (which is awesome), Friday I got bit by a an insect while riding to work which left a nice red welt under my eye…very attractive for the WABA Gala.


It is for this reason that I was not surprised when I found I could not shift into my big chainring just 30 min. before the start of the Mt. Joy Road Race on Saturday morning. Bega, kind soul that he is, offered his mechanical support and in exchange I supplied his team with gels they forgot to pack. With not much of a warm-up I made my way to the start/finish conveniently located a little over a mile from the parking area…ah, there’s my warm-up. This weekend’s HPC/List squad was comprised of Lorena, Kate, Michelle, Chris, and yours truly.

At 24 miles…it was a rather short race. I kinda felt a little gypped (someone told me this word is un-PC...is that true?). With a $37 dollar entry fee (late fee included) that comes to about $1.55 per mile, not to mention that it’s too short for upgrade points to count. Well, all of that aside, I will say it was so good to be racing on Pennsylvania soil. It was a beautiful course and we were quite lucky not to be racing in the rain.

Kate, Chris, and Michelle were doing their best to mix things up. Lorena and Michelle did manage to make a couple breaks, but nothing really seemed to stick as there were a number of strong riders in the field. I was rather pleased with my own efforts in making sure nothing got away. I’d also like to go ahead and say that I felt pretty strong on the climbs…which is something I’ve been working on. At one lap to go Lorena was getting ready to lay the hammer down on one of the hills…but sadly fell upon her own mechanical issues which set her back a good bit. (photo: Michelle after she got all cleaned up)

It was a squirrelly little field. Lots of close calls. Lots of sketchy wheels. I stayed close to the ladies I know and trust.


With about 2 miles left Heidi was driving the pace at the front of the field. I was on her wheel…we came to a fork in the road…the course went right…she went left. We took the pace down a notch to allow her to regain contact. Things started getting messy coming into the last mile. I seem to remember Chris putting in a nice attack? I was sitting in good position about 3 wheels back…then I heard that nauseating metal scraping on asphalt sound. There was a pretty good pile up behind us that unfortunately took down Michelle just as she was about to wind it up. (click image for full results)

At the 200m mark I was in great position, shoulder to shoulder with my former Penn State teammate Erica Allar (Aaron’s). We came in for the final sprint and I just didn’t have that snap, but I did manage to make it into the top ten. Kate had an impressive sprint (despite the fact that she didn't have a lead-out...sorry about that Kate!!!!) that landed her securely in 6th place.

So, not exactly a rock star race for us this weekend, but we held our own. Michelle had some good scrapes and was a bit dazed, but seems to be on the mend. I guess the next big road race on the schedule is Poolesville. See you then!!!

Congrats to Arly of Hub Racing for her third place finish. Best result of the season!
(photo: recovery drink and coffee...a perfect combination)
ps - Lorena totally would have won that shit.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Paris-Roubaix II

Looks like Boonen won and Slipstream's Martijn Maaskant took fourth! Not sure how things went for Friedman, but he did get a nice pre-race interview in Velo News!

I'm sure a race report will be posted on his blog in the coming days:

Missing Saddle


Oh, and the Mt. Joy Race Report and WABA Gala review are soon to follow


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Paris-Roubaix

Fellow Penn Stater, Mike Friedman (aka Meatball) of Slipstream/Chipotle, recently posted this to the Penn State cycling team (photo from Velo News):

Well, its been some time since I wrote to the list serve. I thought I'd drop a line not to tell stories, or give advice, but rather to ask for your thoughts and prayers.

While this is another bike race, it's not "just" another bike race. This is one of blood, mud, and tears. Its not a question of if I will crash, its a question of how many times I go down and how many times I can get back up and keep moving forward.

We are all in the bus, on the way to the teams presentation.
The skys are sunny, but the forcast is gray. Rain, wind, and cold. I actually prefer it to be as miserable as possible. The more epic the better.

We have all the staff in the world here. 5 soigneurs, 4 directors, 4 mechanics, and I can't even guess at the amount of equipment. Felt made us special bikes that are absolutely bad ass. A bit longer, and cut out in areas to allow the use of 27 c tires and still have room for mud clearance. The brake arms have been elongated to make up for the gap in frame size from the normal bikes to roubaix bikes and padding added to the bars.

Anyways, seriously, this is war. There is nothing nice about what I will encounter tomorrow so please say a prayer or cross your fingers or whatever because its going to be totally insane, and completely awesome.

All the best to you guys,

Mike

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Juicy Gripe


So….I thought I was doing the responsible thing by replacing my old, beat-up, "well worn" Hayes Hydraulic Disc Brakes with the Avid Juicy Seven counterpart. Turns out that the caliper housing has a tendency to hit the spokes of certain wheels…such as mine. Not really sure why mine are so unique. I don't pretend to be an official on the subject. Is there something I don't understand? What is it? My WTB hubs? Velocity rims (normal rims, nothing crazy)? WTF?

So, with less than a week before I leave for Sea Otter I am now waiting for SRAM to overnight some kind of adapter thing. I liked Bega’s original idea of shaving off the measly fraction of a millimeter from the caliper body. I guess SRAM has a more orthodox remedy to my predicament. I have half a mind to put my old brakes back on. Ughhhh…just had to vent.

I will say, it is a kind gesture for SRAM to expedite the delivery of said adapter. However, I am wondering what kind of adapter this might be? How reliable is it?


This reminds me of the ongoing issue of nonexistent industry standards...some folks have their conspiracy theories. If there is no standard, it's easy to dodge responsibility in the event of product failure (re: conversation with JP). Maybe we should organize an industry standard summit? Voiceless consumers unite! Or maybe I'll just figure out how to get my bike in working order by next weekend...yeah, that sounds like a better use of time.


Looks like other folks have had this problem as well.

Ira Glass

Ira Glass of "This American Life" to speak at the Lisner Auditorium Saturday night.

On this week's This American Life:
"Leaving the Fold Stories of people leaving the situation they're used to and striking off for something less familiar. Including the secret history of Jerry Springer: before he was the king of trash TV, he was an inspiring and talented politician. Plus, a group of nuns leaves the Catholic Church...only to find themselves essentially remaining nuns" (http://www.thislife.org/)

So Close!

The Weekend is Almost Here!!!!



Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oh well...

So, the sock sales didn’t go so great. I guess I could have seen that one coming. Well, now we know. It was a fun experiment anyway and I did get a few funny questions from some folks. All in all, not a profitable venture. So, today’s take home message is as follows:

Selling used socks is not as easy as it looks.

(flickr photo credit)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Walkersville & Tyson's

I. Tour of Walkersville

With a start time of 8am in a town roughly 1.5 hours away from DC, Lorena and I decided to spend the night at Hillary’s place conveniently located just 7 miles from the course. This made for a more leisurely morning complete with Lorena’s special pre-race breakfast of Fruity Pebbles. I believe this was actually my very first bowl of Fruity Pebbles I’ve ever consumed. Definitely a feast for the eyes; however, I think my favorite trashy cereal is still Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

It was a rolling course with a few little steep sections that felt to me more like whoop-de-doos the first couple laps but added up around laps 5, 6, and 7. It was a great day for HPC/List as 7 of us rolled to the line. From early in the race we started sending off attacks. Several of our girls got away within the first few laps. Most notable was Chris's solo breakaway that lasted almost a complete lap (if my memory serves me correctly). Once Chris was brought back, Lorena, Jenette, Kristi, Kate, and Michelle set to work attacking the field. CycleLife put some work into the chase as well as other ladies such as Sonja Evers of Team VanderKitten and Arley Kemmerer of Hub Racing. Oh, and let me just say, that Arley has the best smelling fabric softener in the women's 1/2/3 field. I really must find out what she uses.

Where was I…oh yes, so HPC was “woman-handling” the field for much of the race. With one lap to go, Chris again attacked the field and successfully held her solo breakaway for an entire lap!!!! This is her home turf! K-Country!!! With maybe a quarter of a lap left a chase group comprised of Susanna (Kelley Benefits), Melanie (CycleLife), and Lorena (HPC/List) was organized and eventually caught Chris within….maybe a mile of the finish? After having been away for almost an entire lap, Chris was quick to recover. In the end Lorena took first followed by Chris who still had a sprint in her after her heroic solo breakaway. It must be the Fruity Pebbles and Circus Peanuts (I’ll have to put that on my grocery list)

As for me, I came into the final straightaway in great position (5 wheels back). I just kept staring at Kate’s hub and let its hypnotic powers pull me along. The sprint started a bit early. I got out of the saddle in effort to “light it up”; however, I think I needed a little more ignition. My sprint could use some work…so I ended up finishing somewhere in the teens…14th? 15th? Something like that. So…I have room to grow, not a bad place to be.
ps - Ladies, please let me know if I've messed up any details, so much to keep track of!

II. Sonoma

Saturday night our team had a meet-n-greet gathering at Sonoma in Capitol Hill. It was a classy little gathering complete with fancy cheese, pastrami, and other delectable hors d'oeuvres.



III. Tyson’s Corner
(Jeff Anderson photos...thanks Jeff!)
I would like to begin by saying that I absolutely love my teammates. It is such a privilege and honor to race with so many amazing women. We rode a smart race yesterday and worked together with the style and grace of synchronized swimmers. While I didn’t have much to offer in the way of massive attacks, I was happy to play my part and represent our team as best I could.


It was a busy race with few dull moments. Attacks came and went, but in the end it came down to a field sprint. Our very own Jenette Williams wound it up and shot herself to the front of the field securing another HPC/List victory at Tyson’s Corner (Kate Flore won last year). This was a particularly impressive win as Jenette has been battling some kind of flu thing all weekend. Somehow she managed to put that aside long enough to catapult her into the arms of victory. Quite the Rock Star! Second and third place went to Lorena and Heidi respectively.

Again, I was in great position coming out of the last corner, but came up empty handed when I reached for my sprint. It was a good race for me though. There was a moment when I came very close to my total meltdown threshold and was able to stick it out long enough to see the other side. So, this weekend’s take home message is….

“Incorporate more sprint workouts in training regime.”

Oh! and congratulations to other HPC folks:

Tania Steinschneider for her 2nd place finish in the Cat 4 race Jeff Brando for his victory in the men's Cat 3/4 race
Nice job!

IV. Post Race Mtb Ride….
…or not. I blasted out of Tyson’s Corner hot on a mission to squeeze in a mtb ride before the sun kissed the horizon. I was dressed and on the trail by 6pm. But it was not to be. The body of my new Avid Juicy front brake was rubbing the spokes….game over! I had no idea how to fix this problem. I’d never seen such a thing. According to expert sources (Ben Blitch of B4 Consulting and Construction) this issue can easily be remedied with a few spacers. I am eager to bring my bike back into working order.


V. Weekend Results :


Tour of Walkersville (full results not yet posted)*

1) Lorena Candrian (HPC/List powered by Altarum)
2) Chris Kelley (HPC/List powered by Altarum)
3) Susanna Matson (Kelley Benefits)


Tyson's Corner (click here for full results)*

1) Jenette Williams (HPC/List powered by Altarum)
2) Lorena Candrian (HPC/List powered by Altarum)
3) Heidi Goldberg (Team Kenda Tire)

Another great weekend for HPC/LIST! Woohoo!!!

Other Race Reports to Checkout:

*note: cat3 results have been separated from cat1/2