jump to navigation

While Some of You Were Bike Racing… July 4, 2009

Posted by SL in Race Reports, Training.
add a comment

It was great to hear how well Gary Aspnes has been riding. Apparently, he is going strong at the Fitchburg Longsjo Classic. I’m anxious to see how the road race went today. I figured I would post before peeking. While Gary, Wayne, and Craig were riding in Massachusetts, A. Zane and I got out for a little training. I did the Chester 4 on the 4th Road Race before meeting Arlen at Richard Sachs’ place. The Sachs joint is always a good local landmark since it is 200 feet from the finish line of the road race. My full report gives the blow by blow, but the short story is that we had a great ride.


“Einen Kraftstoff Wie…” March 1, 2009

Posted by Gary in Chatter, Training.
add a comment

Ice Cream!*


explosive like gasoline!
1st Buttonwood of the season

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is really what all the riding is all about.  It’s not  training, nor racing, but to allow me to consume what you see pictured above.  That is the fuel that burns so brightly in my motor.  At least that’s the story I am telling myself today.


March 1 should’ve been the start of bike racing for the year, training races that is.  However, Mother Nature conspired against us and delivered up a whimper of snow that sent some of us back indoors to the shelter of basements, garages, and anywhere else one might set up their trainer to daydream for yet one more week about riding elbow to elbow in a fast moving pack. 


Not so for Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT.  They said opening March 1st and you can be sure they meant it.   Neither snow nor near freezing temperatures prevented this southeastern CT destination for gustatorial gratification from serving up frozen creamy goodness to those of us crazy or desperate enough (or both) to show up on opening day.  And believe me, there was a steady stream. 


My choice for the day was a waffle cone with one scoop butter pecan and one scoop maple walnut.  Was there an implicit theme?  Hmmm, perhaps.  I can only hope that the weather will behave and allow for racing in the near future.  Otherwise, hello lucious sweetness, goodbye hard earned weight loss…



*Apologies to Rammstein for messing with the lyrics to “Benzin”, but the wordplay seemed so rich…


Ninigret Training Race #3 – We Won Beans May 15, 2008

Posted by Gary in Race Reports, Training.
add a comment

I’ll avoid my usual flair for bombast and keep things brief (I can just imagine the applause at this point).

Spike and I showed for the Ninigret practice race last night and got started after a nearly non-existent warm-up.  Turn-out was quite good and the pace heated up pretty quickly.  I dumped my original plan (as usual) and was aggressive in trying to get into breaks.  I did manage to take one prime during the race (coffee – Beans #1).  

No breaks stuck until fairly late in the race and we both missed it.  I made a few more of my trademark futile bridging efforts/flying prime lap attempts (since these are why I really go to the practice races).  One of these ended up setting Spike up nicely to get a prime as he was sitting on the chase group that caught me just shy of hte line (an nice NBX water bottle with Jelly Belly sports beans – beans #2). 

Neither of us set up well for the bunch sprint as we went in a bit too far back and got separated on both sides of the pack.  As luck would have it, I chose the side that riders from the NBX train started peeling of towards, so my chances of moving up were nil.   We still got decent sprints out of it, wending our way through traffic.  It looks like we have to work a bit more on coordinating the finale.  One of these days I may just sit in to set up for the sprint, but then I won’t get the same training benefit, so…

Ninigret Training Race #1 May 1, 2008

Posted by Gary in Race Reports, Training.

You know you are in trouble when you are waiting to hand over your cash behind Mark McCormack and he smiles and says it’s going to hurt tonight with this wind.  This was how my evening started out yesterday at the first of the Ninigret “summer” series.  There was a brisk headwind through the start/finish stretch with ca. 50 degree temperatures.

A good sized group turned out and the first laps were nearly as brisk as the conditions.  I had inadequate warm-up and my legs were still smarting a bit from the weekend.  I was actually in fear of losing contact with the lead group for a few laps.  Thankfully things eased up briefly and I could get sheltered and the legs started to open up.

A break including Tobi Schultze and two others that I couldn’t identify headed off fairly early on.  I had planned to make this a sprint work-out, but with the wind and breaks I figured things would blow up eventually, so I opted to try bridging, attacking into the first couple of sharp left hand turns.  Nearly a full lap around I was getting close to the lead group of  3 and realize I had one rider behind me.  I wave him through and saw Bill Yabroudy. 

I continue to experience, but not quite learn from a recurring life lesson: I cannot get a draft off of Bill.  We each took a couple of pulls and got to within a few bike lengths of the break before my legs/lungs quit and Bill gapped me.

So, 15 min into a 45+ minute race I’m thinking do I try and stick out the solo move in no man’s land or sit up.  Seeing that the pack was at least 40 sec back, I decide to stick it out.  I settle into TT mode for what seems like forever.  Finally as I am moving through the back stretch, oblivious to everything I feel someone give me a boost.  Sure enough, Mark has decided it is time to bridge and gave me a bit of a helping hand on the way by.  Nonetheless, I still could not maintain contact with him and now there were 5 leaders in the break.

Time goes by and the break goes farther and farther up the road, but I do manage to keep my distance from the pack.  Eventually a pair of riders start bridging up to me.  I figure my best bet is to keep working and make them come up to me rather than sacrifice any hard fought leads over the main group.  Eventually Adam Sullivan (Kenda Tires) and another Arc-en-ciel rider join and I get into rotation with them. 

After maybe a lap or two of this, suddenly McCormack is taking a U-turn after the S/F to join us on the back stretch (hey it was a training race after all).  The pace immediately picks up and soon the Arc-en-Ciel rider is gone.  As we come back to the back stretch with a tailwind, Mark takes over and really motors up.  This led to a couple of additional life lessons: 1) I also can’t draft behind Adam and 2) riding behind Mark is pretty much like motor pacing.   Once again I was on my own in no man’s land.

I settle back into my solo TT effort to hold off the pack.  Somewhere around 5 or 6 to go the remnants of the group shattered and there were riders all over the road.  At 2 to go, the leaders (i.e. the original break I tried to catch) lapped me.  Oh well, the pack didn’t catch me and at least I now had the chance to get into 1 sprint. 

The pace slowed enough to let me recover somewhat.  I tried to line up in what I thought was a pretty good spot without muscling in on the real sprint for the finish (otherwise I would have stuck myself to Tobi’s wheel).  End result is I overestimated the wind and went in slightly undergeared, but played track sprinter and spun up.  I was happy that I could outsprint the other couple of tailgunners in this group and maintain distance to the lead four (or five?).

In the end, deciding to go solo earned me only a good work-out.  I was too far behind the break to have a chance at those primes, but too far ahead of the pack to be considered part of them and steal theirs.  Oh well, its not like Narragansett Beer is something to get excited about…

Team Horst Australian Training Camp March 5, 2008

Posted by SL in Training.
add a comment

I was disappointed that no one joined me and Deb for the Australian training camp. Unfortunately, we couldn’t pack the bikes. We do have the jog stroller, so it is cross training all the way! Glad to hear that the Bethel Battles have begun.



The other blog has some good updates on the trip.

A Couple of Interesting Training Runs February 18, 2008

Posted by SL in Training.
add a comment

Looking forward to Battenkill Roubaix, though there are a few big running events between now and then that I have to train for.

This week, I got in an eclectic mix of training runs.

Atlanta, Georgia

Rio Rico, Arizona

Bolton, Connecticut

Another Year Begins January 14, 2008

Posted by Wayne in Chatter, Training.

Now that we have spent the last few months irritating each other only by email, I thought maybe I could kick-start posts here with some opening thoughts about the upcoming season. I figure this is about my 27th year of being an “endurance athlete” sitting smack dab in front on me.

Last year was one to remember, for sure. Lots of mayhem and carnage for me, some high points, some low points, and the most painful 10 minutes on a bike I’ve every had in my life (final climb at Union Vale). No one else remembers that one probably, and I never admitted it at the time but I was close to chucking my bike in the woods, and getting a fishing license.

Today starts the first week of “training” for me, i.e. I’m officially in Base 1 and following a plan. As it seems to frequently happen, my first real training week follows a week of lots of riding, and starts with fresh snow. The Zanester and Ed (for awhile) and several others and I had a nice 3 hr. ride this past Saturday which left me unable to walk downstairs comfortably yesterday, due partly to my pledge of solidarity in the last half-hour to keep it in the 39×16 (same as Zane’s single-speed). My first official workout will be snowshoeing later today with the dog. But I’m rested, in good shape for the time of year, and ready to go.

So what do we have to look forward to this year? The best thing about this team is we’re people first and cyclists second (or third or seventh, depending on who you are). In our own minds, we’re all Supermen, but not in reality. So first and foremost this year we have babies: Livingston #1 is the elder of them all, yet probably not ready to lose his diapers quite yet. Roti #1 is still just a tiny little headbanger (and for as long as I know him I will always make those Metallica references). Wirtz #2 will be here in only a handful of hours from now, and Summers #2 is not too far down the road. (By the way, could someone have a girl, already?) I don’t know if there will be more…maybe miracles can happen? After that, what really matters? Other racers take pot-shots at us on their blogs, in their comments before/during/after races, and probably behind our backs. But…well…anyway…never mind…who cares.

This may be known as The Season Without Matt, but I’m sure he won’t stray far. I’m sure Brian and Wade will be out there slugging it out as much as they can. Zane and Gary will overtrain at lunch as usual, but hopefully Gary will join me in keeping rubber on the pavement (and in all vehicles) for the entire season. Scott and Art will be there. Don’t know when but when they are there, it will be full on. Ed is in shape to start racing tomorrow, and may wind up a trackie before the year is out thanks to his newfound fixed-gear love. Speaking of the track, Laura will probably be on it before the fall is over. None of us (girlie) men would be able to pull that one off. Thom will find out that 40 isn’t so bad. Paul will eventually stop skiing, and start getting ready for ‘cross. Ted will…what will Ted do? Hopefully bring back THE SPRINT in full glory. Who am I forgetting? Me I guess. I will be out there as much as I can be. Already, I’m missing Fitchburg for sure, but it’s because I’ll be vacationing in Turkey.  I don’t know; seems like a fair trade for me. I’ll get dropped on a hill I should be able to handle easily, sometime, but I’ll have good legs on a hill exactly like it another time. I’ll attack in a crit with 2 to go and get reeled in easily, and I’ll hang on the back for dear life in another crit. And I wear even more sunscreen than usual, just to retain my ghostly whiteness. So keep at it boys, and remember…it’s only a bike. And after this year is over…there’s always next year. Trust me, I know.

Very Interesting Training Run October 7, 2007

Posted by SL in Training.
add a comment

A very cool training run that looks particularly cool when viewed with Google Earth.


CT-NEMBA Fall Fiesta September 23, 2007

Posted by SL in Chatter, Training.
add a comment

I rode the “Epic Ride” at the CT-NEMBA Fall Fiesta today. I joined Art, who is the President of CT-NEMBA. He, the board, and the volunteers did a fabulous job putting this together. More than 100 riders took part. This was my last bit of prep (only MTB specific prep) for this coming Sunday’s Vermont 50 Mile Ride & Run. I had not ridden my mountain bike on serious trails all summer. Today was my chance. I joined a group of twelve other riders, including Art, for a Gay City State Park/Case Mountain ride. The Case trails are some of the most technical in the state. They are just brutal. Ask Art.


Unfortunately, two hard crashes did some damage. I re-injured my left thumb, the one I hurt at Cross Nats last December. It is quite swollen, so I am icing. Advantage Arlen for the VT50. Factor in his new full suspension steed (traitor) and it is double advantage. I like rooting for–and being the underdog.

Mount Tom, Holyoke. 1000 feet in one mile. September 10, 2007

Posted by air9r in Training.
add a comment


Usually Mondays are a rest day for me but I decided to get this little known paved climb on the GPS.   Although it would be nice to get in some cyclocross specific training during rest/antibiotic/soccer Dad period, I just don’t feel up to it just quite yet.  Therefore, I’m still cutting back the mileage and taking rides for fun.

This is the hardest climb I know next to Mount Washington.  Its a paved access road to some radio towers.  What makes it difficult is that its a constant pitch with no rest.  Today I rode up it in the 39×25 but still managed 175 on the HR even though I was trying to climb as easy as possible.  You either push or fall over.

If you look at the descent on the GPS elevation profile, there is a small ripple where I turned in to the B-17 Flying Fortress WWII Memorial http://www.chronos-historical.org/mtholyoke/1989monument.html.    A flag and some monuments mark the spot where the aircraft slammed into the mountain in poor weather after returning from Europe killing all aboard.  Imagine surviving the horrors or war only to get die when you were almost home