Monday, December 22, 2008



Velodromito = small velodrome in Spanish.

Boulder's velodromito is open and alive.  By chance I met Neal there on day one for "Certification".  It is a kick in the pants to ride: fast, the straights flick by, and the turns demand full attention (plenty of G force available to keep you focused).  One thing you won't be doing is rolling around chatting - unless it is just you and your buddy solo on the velodromito.  Much excellent training will be possible and exactly how the races may play out we'll just have to see.  Think - the tightest section of the tightest criterium you've ever ridden and then decide where you are going to move up!!  It might be best to launch your attack from the gun.  We'll have to see about that.

You need to be "certified" to ride in the open track periods.  So, check the schedules,, and show up
with your equipment.  Certification requires a $25 membership fee - good for a year.  Missy Thompson handled our 6 person session.  They just lay down the rules for the velodromito, then set you out to ride a pace line.  Upon success in that department you are then certified in the computer system and can show up for open training session.

Evidently, Open Session I is category 3 and below, and Open Session II is category 3 and above.  That all seems a bit unclear, but, hey - they are still working on the program.

The people there are very energized, madly building up the rental bike fleet, and continue to work on the velodromito.  The blue band is painted and other lines will happen soon.

I'm going to enjoy this!!

Neal - please add or comment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BMCT Blog Discussion @ January Meeting, 2nd try

All, this is a second try - my short cut did not work (sjw)

You are receiving this as a direct mailing from the BMCT blog via the whole team email reflector at  Below are a few issues we will hammer on at the meeting - please review them and come prepared with opinions.

Why this blog?  If we want to carry-on with this whole blog thing then we need to make some changes and get to it.  

Issues to be discussed at the meeting:
  • Do we have responsibilities or expectations from our sponsors to run this blog?
  • Does a blog demonstrate the character and lifestyle of the Vic's team, is that important?
  • Even though the current blog is public can we effectively use it as the Vic's communication central?
  • Can we use the blog for team ride announcements?
  • Is the team committed, on some level, to summarize every race we enter?  This means many more guys have to enter blog writing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Testing, Testing, and Testing - In the Lab and in the Field

Hi Fellas,

As a follow-up to last week's file from Saturday, here are my results from an Lactate Profile and VO2 Max test that I did on Monday, a 10K time trial (on the computrainer) that I did on Monday, and then an outdoor field testing session consisting of 5 second, 5 minute, 20 minute, and 1 minute maximum power. Keep in mind, that now is the ideal time for early season testing - we test now to ensure that your training is being done at the right range - not too hard, and not too easy. Ideally, you should re-test again in 3-6 months. Field tests should be done every 3-6 weeks.

First, here are my results from the lab test on Monday (yes, I took the day off on Sunday before the test):

Basically, my threshold power is at 285 watts, and heart rate of 158 beats/minute. Later on Monday, I did a max effort for the 10K TT that we do at BCSM as part of the PowerMax training sessions. For the TT, I did a 15:27 and averaged 308 watts (108% of threshold - typically folks average 5-15% above LT for a 15-20 minute maximum effort) with an average heart rate of 167 (9 beats above LT). A photo of the file is below, and the actual file can be viewed and downloaded here:

Next, on Wednesday (after another rest day on Tuesday) I did power profile testing with several other elite athletes that I coach, and also with Sarah Hammer (Olympic pursuiter, and former world champion) who was in town for lab testing, bike fit with Andy, and for this testing and consultation with me (including her coach). The results are: peak 5-second = 1515 watts, peak 5-minute 361 watts, peak 20-minute 290 watts, and peak 1-minute 526 watts. The order of testing was 5-seconds first, 5-minutes next, 20-minutes next, and 1-minute last. Overall, the 5-minute power is lower than the lab test would predict (I need to be tougher...), and the 20-minute power was almost exactly what the lab test would predict. The 5-second and 1-minute are more anaerobic in nature, so the typical LT and VO2 max test wouldn't predict those values well - but the Wingate test in the lab would be spot on for those values. Below is a screenshot again, and the actual file can be viewed and downloaded here:

Again, feel free to email at if you have any questions! Happy riding, Neal

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday Team Ride Stats

Neal's PowerTap graph from Saturday's Team Ride:

My heart rate distribtion from the ride:

My power distribution from the ride:

It was great catching up with everyone on Saturday! As you know, now is the time to be building up a good foundation for next season. Summer wins come from fall and winter work. In general, it's a good idea for everyone to think about trying to keep 60-70% of their riding in base (OD) range...which is about 50-75% of threshold (maximum hour) power. It should feel easy. You should also do about 15-20% of your time in the endurance range (75-90% of threshold power) and UP TO 10% of your training near threshold (sub-threshold tempo would at 95-100% of LT power is best for now)...and a touch (about 1-2%) doing sprinting or VO2 max efforts. The effort up Rabbit Mtn was 2 minutes of VO2max effort...out of 3 hours total, that's only 1% of the ride that was really hard. Throwing in a weekly workout with some high cadence or very short sprints (5-10 seconds long...with 5-10 minutes between sprints) is also a idea throughout the winter. For quality work (tempo and threshold), I recommend a weekly trainer it's very specific and you don't need to worry about bundling up and then overheating or freezing coming down a climb.

Above are some screenshots from my PowerTap file from Saturday. You can also view and download it here:

Below are some graphs for my 2008 season (since January). First off, no - it is not optimal training...but something to check out. One thing you'll note is that heart Rate underestimates the amount of effort that you are doing compared to the power output. As you know, I'm a firm believer in using both power and heart rate, as well as perceived effort to guide your training. Doing base work doesn't mean ONLY steady aerobic miles, but it SHOULD be the majority of the focus at this time of year. Most master's riders should also be doing some strength training a couple of days per week as well...which is good since daylight hours are limited. Oh year - this time of year is good for testing...we're not testing to see how good you are (that's what racing is for), but to determine your training ranges to make sure you're not overdoing it...and also to be able to track your progress again in the Spring! Happy riding, Neal

Power distribution for 2008 Season (since January):

Heart rate distribution for 2008 season (since January)

Training manager graph (from CyclingPeaks Software) for 2008:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

55+ at Track National, San Jose, CA, September ‘08

We (Paul, Dennis, and Steve) arrived in San Jose a few days before racing was to begin.  Dennis was on a scouting mission and ended up working 12+ hours most days.  He volunteered for whatever was needed; it included controlling track crossing traffic, hauling ice and liquid refreshments, holding riders at the start and generally giving a hand to any rider he know that look like they needed help.  Much like his time trialing, he has a deep well of endurance.

We were seriously under whelmed by the track facility.  It is 335 meters long (if you want to hear why there is such an odd dimension ask me), which makes it a strange beast for measured events in kilometers, or parts there of.  From the measurement line to the wall it is relatively narrow with very shallow banking (less than 20 degrees), neither give aid and comfort for surprise, fast, attacks.  The lights are retrofitted street lamps making the night events feel like alley racing.  Lastly, the facility had no bridge or access tunnel.  All traffic crossed the racing surface.  I thought certainly there would be major crashes, but much thanks to the traffic cop (Dennis) I heard of none.  Enough of the negative spin!

The great thing about track racing is everyone hangs out in the same place.  If you are not warming up, racing, or warming  down you can circulate around and visit various team encampments, BS with fellow fanatics, and cheer on others.  There is always racing to watch.  The CA teams showed up with big numbers and were always pretty jazzed about racing, so that was fun.  They hosted a great event.

Paul was the first to take the start line for Subway/Peerless.  He had a great start, but fell a little short of his expectation at the end.  He was dealing with a lingering head cold and without doubt that held him back when reaching for the high 30's mph at the end of the 500 meter TT.  To get into the hunt for this event you must go under 38 seconds - definitely  a sprint all the way.  Want to see how you would size up?  Toss your road machine in a 94-98 gear in combination, come to a dead stop, then go full gas for about 40 seconds - all kinds of wonderful feelings will rise up and grab you at the end.

The 2K TT pursuit came next as a night session event.  Paul had the first heat for Subway and rode well even with the bumpy track, and odd starting point, and an uninspiring dimly lit track.  With two heats (four riders) left no one had posted a sub 2:33 time.  In the second to the last heat Kent Bostick informed everyone who was boss and posted a 2:26.  Your truly, knew 1st was not possible, but felt 2nd was - with a good ride.  The good ride did not happen and I faded after a good start and was edged into 3rd by about 1 second by Chip Brezny.  Time, 2:32.

The next event was the Points Race.  With only 10km and sprints every six laps it was obvious that every sprint counted.  I pretty much botched it, I wasn't quick or fast enough to out gun Kent, Wood Cox, and Chip.  Summing up 4th place points isn't going to get you there.  Paul, however, pulled off a very nice move.  After a slow start he got the mo-jo workin' just at the right time.  The top points holders eased up a bit for some watch and see, PM timed an attack perfectly.  Gone - free to ride hard out front and capture first place points with about 75% of the race completed.  I bided the time leading the group around at a sub-PM pace that was acceptable for awhile - long enough.  In the end that was sufficient to put PM in four overall and he did it with his relatives - mom's side of the family - in the stands.  Obviously, this was a great time to make it happen.

Above are a few photos.  the podium shots don't need explanation,  the other one does.  Men note, your Specialized Transition too can be rigged for track pursuiting - this guy was a local Specialized employee and a crowd favorite (name Swanson I think).  Think about it, you too could ride the clean cycling sport in a white skin suit.  I take it back, some of you guys are just too boney to look good in white, we could find a different color.

Next year track nationals will probably be in Indiana.  In the spirit of Major Taylor it is time to mont the fixie and start preparation.


Monday, August 25, 2008

45+ Colorado State Criterium Championship: The Streak Continues!

The Boulder Masters Cycling Team has owned the 45+ state criterium championships for a number of years now, and Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, and Bill Simmons ("fresh" from his bronze medal performance in the 55+ championship) lined up in a field of 51 racers on Sunday, August 24th, hoping to keep the streak alive. The 55+ Subway squad had already successfully defended their criterium title with a total team effort, so the pressure was on.

As one of the smaller teams with only 3 riders entered, it would be impossible to cover everything, so it was decided that only moves by the biggest danger men would be followed, with Mike on Jim Dickerson, Joe on Karl Keister, and Bill tracking other strong guys like Bill Kellagher and Jimi Gibson. The action started on the first lap of the rolling 1.4 mile business park loop, and Mike was soon at his familiar place at the sharp end of the pack, shutting down moves. Bill joined him at the front, and they had their hands full as numerous riders tried threatening moves.

In the meantime, Joe was in the back watching Jim and Karl, and finding that rest days had left his legs flat and unwilling to respond to his attempts to urge them into action. Trying to find easy lines to move up proved difficult; riders in the back were mixing around like socks in a dryer, and Joe lost track of the Great Divide strong men.

In the front, Mike covered yet another attack on the start/finish hill, then yelled for help as another was launched. Joe saw a Mob rider off with a Great Divide rider, with a Mob teammate bridging up, but was pinned against the inside curb and unable to get out. Looking around desperately, Joe wondered where Karl had gone........perfect: Karl was up the road with Derrick Nickel and his teammate. Talk about blown coverage. With his legs still protesting, Joe watched in horror as the three podium spots slipped up the road. Mike and Bill led the pursuit, but with little assistance from the other teams. The next trip up the start/finish hill offered an opportunity for a desperate bridge, but Joe got boxed in again....perfect.

The laps counted down, the break still had a large gap, and the pack seemed to be accepting their fate. The prime bell rang at 5 laps to go; perhaps that would light a fire under some racers. But no, the pack was still lumbering along half a lap later, so at the top corner Joe sprang out of the group and charged down the hill, hoping for something, anything to get going. Great Divide was all over that, and Joe found himself towing the field across the finish line and up the hill. At the top, Dickerson counterattacked, and Joe latched on, with only Bob Pinkerton coming across with him. Maybe this was the chance- Joe put his head down and pulled through, flicked his elbow, and....nothing. Jim and Bob didn't want to play. With 3 and a half laps remaining, Joe was on the front, totally blown. Really perfect.

Bill and Mike took up the chase again, but suddenly some other teams were willing to play (Mike's pointed vocal encouragement may have had something to do with it). A rider dropped from the break, giving further hope. The speed ramped up, the field strung out, and Joe hung on, still cross-eyed from his ill-conceived attack. One by one, the leaders were reeled in, but just as it looked like the field was going to be back together, a couple more riders flew off the front. After some hesitation, they too were chased down, and the group came together through the start/finish with 2 to go.

Riding up the hill, Joe noticed Bruce Whitesel moving quickly up the inside with an opportunist tucked in his wake. Remembering Bruce's bold bid for victory at last year's championships, Joe jumped on the train. As they approached the front, Bruce squeezed through a gap in the gutter with the other rider still on his wheel, the door slammed shut, and they were gone. Perfect. Just perfect.

Bill and Mike took up the chase again, but Bruce had gotten a good jump, and was still away when he shed his companion and charged across the line on the bell lap. Now the pack came to life, and throttled up. Boxed again, Joe was way too far back at the top of the hill. After doing everything wrong for most of the 50 minute race, however, everything suddenly started to go right for Joe, giving him a last chance to reward his teammates for all their work. Bill K came dieseling by, so Joe boarded the Bill K railway, and rode it down the hill and into the top 10. Bill Simmons was nicely positioned on the outside, so Joe jumped behind him for safe passage through the next corner, then jumped to Dickerson's wheel as he churned to the front, with Bill covering Joe's left flank so he couldn't get boxed again.

Jimmy D started to run out of steam, and the pack surged around on both sides, but Bill's cover gave Joe the opportunity to squeeze through a closing gap and toward the rear wheel of Keister (Joe finally found his man!). Only problem was, Christopher Stout knew a good wheel when he saw one, and didn't want to share, so Joe tucked in behind the speedy sprinter as Keister hit the front and rounded the top corner. Charging down the hill in 3rd, Joe recalled his pre-race vow to be first through the final corner. Fearing another wave, Joe went early and surged to the front just before the left hand sweeper, and ramped up his speed to hold position into the final right hand corner.

Jumping out of the saddle, Joe sprinted up the hill on the shortest line he could find, and crossed the line for the gold just before Stout and Pinkerton overtook him on either side for silver and bronze. Perfect!

The big teams of Great Divide, Vitamin Cottage, and ColoBikeLaw each fielded 8 or so riders, and each rode well to place 2 riders in the top 10, but even after neutralizing attacks all day, all 3 Boulder Masters finished in the top 8 to cap off a great road season.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Federal Center Classic Race Report: 45+


It was already approaching 90 degrees at 9:45 AM as one of the largest 45+ fields of the season lined up to contest the Denver Federal Center circuit race on the serpentine course through the Denver Federal Center campus. Bill joined his "youthful" teammates Mike and Joe to fly the Subway/Peerless colors in the Peloton.

Great Divide and Vitamin Cottage brought numbers to the game, fielding close to ten riders each. The stage appeared to be set for a slugfest, but Great Divide has demonstrated superior horsepower lately, so the Blue team strategy focused on shadowing their danger men, Karl Kiester and Jim Dickerson.

The first lap and a half were surprisingly quiet, and then Kiester launched the fireworks with an attack after the start/finish line, and a small group got off the front, with Mike and Bill in attendance. Joe sat on the riders at the front of the field, and when the pace started to slow he started riding tempo at the front, hoping to lull the field into thinking the pursuit was on. However, one rider was far to experienced to fall for that, and she quickly launched across the gap, dragging the field up with her. Yes, she: Jeannie Longo was racing with the 45+ boys (heck, she's old enough!), her world champion stripes prominent on her sleeves.

Kiester tried again on the biggest climb of the course, marked again by Mike and yes, Jeannie. When Jim Dickerson made his bridge move, Joe dug his hooks in for the ride, and by the top of the hill the break was rolling away. Kiester and Dickerson poured on the coals, Mike and Joe contributed as well, and then Jeannie started to take pulls that were very impressive (unless you happened to be the one in her negligible draft, then they were demoralizing).

Soon it was the final lap, and the blue boys were waiting for the inevitable hammer to drop. Sure enough, Kiester launched a full-tilt attack that Joe was just able to chase on to, and then one more up the climb that left he and Joe spent, and the five leaders were back together. Mike took over the pacemaking to save Joe's legs for the finish. Dickerson started his patented 1 K to go locomotive move, and then Kiester launched from behind with a final dig into the sharp right turn before the downhill run to the finish.

A crashing sound from behind turned out to be Dickerson going down due to an unfortunate combination of his speed in the corner and Jeannie's line, leaving Kiester and Joe alone at the front. Unable to shake Joe, Kiester sat up and motioned Joe to come by, but Joe was "disinclined to acquiesce to his request" as Captain Barbosa would say. Joe waited until 100 meters to go, then surged past with what little "sprint" his tired legs could muster for the win. Mike followed Jeannie in for 4th, and Bill won the field sprint by a couple of bike lengths for 5th! That's showing the big teams how it's done!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Salida Omnium, July 25 - 27, 2008

Masters 55+ blue boys at the Salida Omnium:

We got to Salida on Friday afternoon in time for their first heavy rains in a month. The time trial started late at 7:35 PM for us but happily late enough that the rains subsided. Randy poured it on and won handily, with Rio Grande’s Steve Workman and Mike Myers in second and fourth. Barry took third. Steve held 5th Paul 7th and Bill 8th.

Into the hard “queen” stage of the omnium on Saturday, the hilly and technical road race west of town. We rode three and ½ laps of the 12 mile circuit: The skies had somewhat cleared and it was cool (compared to the blistering heat back in Boulder) as we rolled out at noon. We planned on Barry going up the road with Rick Montgomery who climbs well and we knew would take off. Barry would do no work and drop him on the final climb for the win. It happened as planned although Barry demonstrating his trademark patience went with a full lap to go for the win. The rest of us stuck close to protect Randy. Paul rolled away with two other riders with a lap and a half to go. One was in front of him on GC so he had to go. He dropped them on the final climb to take 3rd and our boys came in with Bill in 5th , Steve in 7th, Jonathon in 8th and Randy in 11th having struggled on the final approach just before the final climb. Barry moved into Omnium yellow with Paul in 2nd on GC and Bill and Randy tied for 4th, Steve in 7th and Jim holding his own a couple of places back.

Now for the Sunday Criterium: We recognized that we would need to get Bill or Randy the win to lock the top three in the Omnium. We planed our usual two-up attacks and agreed that no red riders would be with the attackers or we would go back and try again. Workman went from the gun actually pulling Paul and red team Mike Myers off the front. A half lap later, Steve and Bill exploded out of the chasing pack, came by and were gone. The two red boys chased hard putting in huge efforts for several laps. As they tired with Barry and Paul covering their every pull, Randy surged up the right side, solo. This lit a fire under the reds and they re-doubled their efforts to keep Randy close and were succeeding until Randy pulled out with what we thought was a mechanical so I attacked up the side and bridged to Steve and Bill. They pulled hard and we lapped the field with Bill taking the win. Barry had attacked the bunch and soloed to fourth. Omnium results: Barry 1st, Paul 2nd, Bill 3rd, and a podium sweep plus gold in all three stages.

An awesome weekend for blue!!!! Is this fun or what?

Salida is such a great little town. There are good rides all over the valley and the Arkansas River, a playground for the kayakers, rafters and Labrador retrievers is right in their front yard. We had a couple of great dinners at the Boathouse, a place on the river and walked around downtown on Saturday night. There are big 14-ers all around and the valley is lush and cool in the summer.

Paul Mack

Mt Evans Hill Climb July 19, 2008

Mt. Evans Masters 55+ Report or Alpe D’Huez Aint Got Nothin’

Race day last Saturday was one of the hottest in Denver, about 99 degrees, and we couldn’t have hoped for better. The translation is perfect conditions for racing up to 14,000 feet. Our 55+ Masters group lit up with a bang at about mile ½, after two out-of-state riders pulled away. Hmmmm, for an important race the only allowed stragglers should be off the back, yes?. Our two leaders rudely never came back. The early break dictated the rest of the race, as the higher-paced peleton thinned and broke up over the ensuing 5K.

It’s amazing what altitude can do, over 28 miles and 7,000 feet of raced climbing. At about 13,000 feet before the final switchbacks, I felt as if all it would take would be a spectator blowing on me, and I would have fallen over. By 13,500 after those brief downhill respites I strangely felt much stronger, all the way to the top. At the 14,000 foot finish, the sun was so warm and strong it would have been easy to lay out until lobster red was the color of the day. Through an energy-drained haze I remembered though, that last time I rode down in similar weather it felt like my bike frame was broken…. My two layers of jackets left me shivering. Paul Mack and I both put on clothes to match a 35 degree Winter ride including Paul Mack signature Lobster gloves, kindly ferried up by volunteer drivers, and that was just enough. The ride down finally allowed enough time and energy to take in views from the most gorgeous road in North America.

- Bill (lessons {re}learned) Simmons 3rd, first for the Colorado Masters Hill Climbing Championship.
- Jonathan (I’m back) Montag, excellent ride, 9th.
- Paul (valiantly chasing early) Mack, 10th.

Beth Wren-Estes put together a fantastic race, with challenges most promoters never face. Additionally this year financially strapped sponsors pulled out. Beth and her cadre of volunteers truly deserve our gratitude for a race that puts Alpe D’Huez to shame.

Bill Simmons

Sunday, July 6, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 9

50+, 45+ Criteriums

It was an early start for Team Blue on the final day of Masters Nationals. The fog hung heavy in Louisville on the drive to Churchhill Downs, but the rising sun burned it off, leaving nice but humid conditions for the racing at hand.

Mike's 50+ criterium opened the day of racing at 8 AM, with 50 laps of the 1/2 mile loop in the infield of the 133 year old horse race track. Mike was feeling great, and covered or initiated countless moves. However, the field was not inclined to let anything up the road today, and the stage was set for a pack sprint.

Mike saw Gordon Aubrey moving up on the last lap, and knew that was the fast wheel to be on. Coming into the final turn, Aubrey was 3rd and Mikey was perfectly positioned in 5th, but the rider in 4th hit the deck, forcing Mike to swing wide to miss him. Mike stayed upright, but lost several spots, and crossed the line in 10th, a solid result under the circumstances.

Joe was up next at 9:30, also racing 50 laps in the 45+ field. Thurlow and his two teammates came to play, and swapped attacks back and forth. His legs still suspect, Joe hid in the field except for one brief trip up the road with Thurlow and a couple other riders. Thurlow doesn't play well with others, though, and the move didn't stick.

At last, Thurlow found the move he was looking for: up the road with only his teammate Richard Meeker for company. They pounded out 1:05 laps of the half mile course, a pace the field was not inclined to exceed. With 8 laps to go, they caught the field, and blew right through to the front. At the start of the bell lap, Thurlow had Meeker tucked in behind him, and the lead-out train left the station. Joe tried to climb on board, but some fading riders drifted across the road, blocking Joe just long to get him uncoupled. On the back straight, Joe chased them down, and was able to regain contact coming into the last corner, but didn't have anything left to advance his position on the finishing straight. He was able to hold off the pursuing field though, and snagged 8th place.

With Thurlow's perfect set-up Meeker had a gift-wrapped stars & bars jersey waiting for him. Joe took some small satisfaction from passing Thurlow before the line. (Hey, even if Thurlow was a lap up, and started coasting, it still counts, right?)

The boys in blue headed back to the hotel, grabbed showers, and packed up for the trip home. Mike and Joe bid farewell to Bill, who's flying out tonight, and climbed aboard the Caravan. After obligatory stops at Starbuck's and White Castle for some long-anticipated (un)health food, they hit the road for the 1133 mile drive.

The current plan is to pause briefly in St. Louis to take in the sights at the Gateway Arch, and then drive as far as possible tonight. The boys should be back in the 'hood by sometime Monday afternoon. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 8

55+ Criterium: The Usual Suspects

Bill here, after a great crit race day mixed with great adventure, awe/respect, and always the lingering bit of remorse. 10th place is respectable, although the podium is the objective of all. A medal in this 55+ field requires no hiding, plus willingness to attack with the likes of Wayne Stetina, Kent Bostick and Dave LuDuc. It was so encouraging to stretch the string multiple times with world champions, as the first seven laps averaged 30 mph. But, when the string broke, Subway/Peerless was not on the leading end, as Stetina and LeDuc rode away with a happy passenger. Task two, hang with Bostick. Three attacks later, I dropped back for a breather, again to watch Kent pull 4 others away. By the end we almost caught him, but almost meant a few meters gap at the line and a sprint finish with the hopeful sat-in crowd . 2nd up resulted in 10th , and the neverending drive to come back for another go. Cheers.

Friday, July 4, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 7

Rest Day

4th of July: A day off for millions of Americans, and for some tired bike racers. The boys in blue hit the town last night for some well-deserved relaxation. The nightlife was getting underway on 4th Street in downtown Louisville when they settled into some patio seats to sip a glass of Kentucky's finest at the Maker's Mark Bourbon Bar. They toasted their survival of the road race, and recounted their adventures to date. After stopping by a dueling piano bar to enjoy a little music, they headed back to their hotel to rest.

After sleeping in a little this morning, the boys took it easy today. A good breakfast and espresso, an easy recovery ride, a few errands, and then they kicked back at a movie theater to catch "The Hulk".

This afternoon, the skies opened up big time time, and the boys took pity on the women's fields racing the criterium at Churchill Downs this afternoon. The forecast for tomorrow isn't predicting rain, but then it wasn't calling for a "quick, build an ark!" rainstorm today, either.

Now, the blue crew is sipping a little merlot and watching "Jaws" on TV while washing their kits and their rides. Happy Independence Day to all!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 6

45+ Road Race: Good News, Bad News

Today it was Joe's turn to play on the Cherokee Park road race course, and it was a good news/bad news kind of day.

Good news- the predicted rain didn't materialize before the start; bad news- it started to rain at the start. Good news- Joe managed to stay upright through some of the slickest corners he's ever ridden on a road bike; bad news- many other riders didn't, including a guy laid it down in the middle of the road on the tight downhill turn after the start/finish line, blocking the official's vehicle which had come up into the middle of the field for reasons unknown. The driver came to a complete stop, blocking (Joe's) half of the field.

Good news- Joe soloed the last half of the 48 mile race; bad news- he wasn't off the front. After repeated attacks by Thurlow Rogers and his Amgen teammates over the opening few laps, the pack was starting to stretch and splinter, and then Thurlow got serious. He charged up the hills like he was on Paul's Ducati, single-handedly decimating the field into groups of 5 or less. When Joe detonated (you could probably hear the "BOOM" in Colorado, the only riders in his vicinity either pulled the plug or crashed in a corner, leaving Joe on a solo quest to avoid the dreaded "DNF".

Lap after lap, Thurlow and Joe each rode in solitude, one cheered on by the adoring crowd, the other by the hardy Bill and Mike support team. Realizing that he had the wrong tool for the job at hand, Joe considered asking them to run to the rental van for his TT bike, but figured the officials would frown on that move.

When the mist settled, Thurlow won by something like 3 minutes, Joe limped home in 21st place, and 31 of the starters never saw the finish line. Good news- it was a day of racing to remember; bad news- it was a race Joe won't be able to forget.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 5

Road Race: 55+, 50+

Several masters men road races were contested in sunny, hot, and breezy conditions today, including Bill's 40 mile 55+ race at high Noon, and Mike's 50+ race following at 2 PM, also 40 miles (8 laps of the roller coaster course).

Bill was looking cool and collected at the start, which was a good thing because the attacks went from the gun. After covering several early moves by Kent Bostick, Dave LeDuc and Wayne Stetina (calculate the collective horsepower represented there!), Bill made it into 2 moves that went up the road, but the field was still fresh enough to pull them back. After those major efforts, Bill was somewhat tenderized, and the 3 kingpins were eventually able to slip away, accompanied by 3 others. By the end of lap 3 the starting field of 60 was reduced to 20 riders.

Bill hung tough as the laps rolled by the the temperature climbed. In their wisdom, the race officials have prohibited feeds for races under 50 miles, but there didn't seem to be any rule against spraying. Joe dumped a bottle of water on Bill each lap to try to keep him cool. The break stayed away to capture the podium places, but Bill hung tough with the chase group to finish 15th.

Mike was up next, and lined up early for a front row view of the action. He kept himself safely positioned near the front in the early laps, looking comfortable up the climbs. Then, a Specialized rider threw down an attack up the climb that only one Amgen rider was able to follow. Mike was next up the hill, but no one was ready to assist.

The Specialized rider eventually shed his companion, and appeared ready to claim a stars and stripes jersey. However, Mike wasn't ready to concede, and led the chase up the climbs. On the last lap, a lone rider slipped away on a downhill, and gave all to the chase. Still a few seconds behind at the crest of the last major climb, the chaser closed the final gap in the last flat run-in to the line, and claimed victory.

Mike crested the feed hill climb in fourth, but the fresh legs hiding in the back of the chase group emerged for the final kilometer, relegating Mike to 15th place.

After a day of hard-fought battles, the blue trio showered off and headed out to re-fuel.

Barry's Power File from State Road Race

Hi cycling fans! Here is the file from Barry Messmer's winning ride in the 55+ category at the 2008 State Road Race: Victory!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 4


After two days days of non-stop activity, there was finally time to relax and recover a little bit. After picking Bill up at the airport, the blue boys swung by the Liquor Barn and picked up a Merlot Cabernet blend to toast Mike's excellent TT adventure, and then sipped a glass while while Bill assembled his bike. Then it was off to bed for some hard-earned rest.

The next morning was clear and unseasonably cool, perfect for a easy recovery spin through the neighborhood. After the ride, it was time for the boys to go to work with Bill's super duper scale, dialing in the bike weights to comply with the UCI minimum weight of 14.99 pounds. After applying engineering and black magic, the rides weighed in at 15.01 to 15.03 pounds. The boys decided that was close enough.

With everything locked and loaded for tomorrow's road races (Bill at Noon, Mike at 2 PM), it's time to go find a nice place downtown to eat dinner, then swing by race headquarters to get Bill checked in. Another big day awaits tomorrow....

Monday, June 30, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 3

Showtime: Time Trial!

After all the preparation, all the credit card debt for equipment, and way too much driving, it was finally time to race, beginning with the 38 K time trial. Mike and Joe had brought their bikes in to the race headquarters hotel upon arrival yesterday to verify the legality of the last-minute modifications, and all was good (thanks again, Pro Peloton!). Tales were told by racers who were cutting bars off in their hotel rooms last night, and Mike and Joe were glad to have missed that drama.

Before checking into the hotel yesterday, Mike and Joe pre-rode the course, and (Burt: stop reading here) loved it. Rolling power hills, gentle turns through shady woods, and mostly good to great pavement made the blue boys eager to throw it down on the undulating riverside course.

The day broke overcast and cool, and it looked like ideal race weather. Then, as we began our warm-ups on the trainers, a light rain started to fall. Fortunately, it lightened, then stopped during the racing, and wasn't really a factor. Joe was down the ramp first, at 9:13. 10 pedal strokes into his race, his legs were already aching, and he realized that, for the second year in a row, his fast legs had gone AWOL somewhere in the Midwest during the trip out. When his 30 second man came blowing by, Joe tried to ramp it up, and ended up in a duel over the rest of the course, passing and being re-passed several times. When the misery was finally over, Joe crossed the line at 54:51, in 17th place. Joe's secret dreams of a top 10 ride crushed, he tried to console himself with the improvement on last year's 26th spot. He wanted to blame the bike, but Mike quickly (hey, that's a pun!) disproved that notion.

Mike went off at 9:47 at the end of the rain shower, and felt comfortable the whole ride. Starting 3rd from last, he had fast boys behind him, and was caught by his 30 second man. He was able to stay with him, though, and settled in at a rapid pace. Riding mostly side by side to avoid drafting, they caught rider after rider, some of whom hopped on the back of the train, risking disqualification. Mike was able to take back a couple of seconds at the end, and stopped the clock at 53:55, good for 6th place, one notch higher than last year!

After re-fueling with sandwiches and frozen coffee drinks, the boys climbed on their road bikes (boy, did those feel strange at first) to check out the road race course, since it will be closed for racing the rest of the week. Littered with power climbs, and constantly twisting and turning, the course is anything but boring. It appears to be a good course for Bill and Joe, but time will tell.

In the meantime, Bill Simmons flies in tonight at 7:30, so Mike and Joe will be heading to the airport to pick him up. After a day of preparation, Bill races the road race at noon on Wednesday, with Mike following at 2 PM. Joe races Thursday, and in the meantime has search and rescue teams scouting I-70 across 3 states, hoping to spot any sign of his legs along the roadside.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 2

Back on the road again...

By avoiding the temptation to visit the scenic wonders of Kansas, including the world's largest prairie dog, a 5-legged steer, and a petting zoo with baby pigs, we made good time on the road yesterday. Mike the driving machine was ready to call it a night after about 700 miles behind the wheel, so as the clock approached 11 PM, we pulled off I-70 in Columbia, Missouri at a Motel 6 that time and care forgot. Walking into the room, we were hit by a strong and indescrible odor eminating from the air conditioner. Mike sprayed some deodorant to mask the stench, and we crashed for a few hours of much-needed z's.

The GPS informed us that we still had 384 miles to go to reach registration, so we were up before dawn, and at Starbucks when they opened the doors at 6 AM. As soon as we got back on the interstate, we passed a much nicer Motel 6, and a couple of exits later there was one that was so new it still had the "Now Open" banners up. Figures.

We've now passed into Illinois, and are looking at another state (Indiana) and 207 more miles before we reach our destination. Our plan is to hit race registration this afternoon to check in and verify that our TT bikes comply with all the arcane rules, check into the hotel, and have time to pre-ride the TT course so we know what we're facing tomorrow morning. We're ready to stop driving and start riding.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

2008 Masters Nationals, Day 1

Mike, Bill, and Joe's Excellent Adventure Begins....

Well, we're on our way. After some frantic preperation and a few last-minute disasters, Mike and Joe headed out in a rented Dodge Caravan bound for Louisville, Kentucky, the site of the 2008 Masters National Road Championships. Mike and Joe will be racing the TT on Monday, and Bill is flying out that day in advance of his road race on Tuesday. Bill will also be racing the criterium, and Mike and Joe are signed up for all 3 events.

So far, so good. We've got the iPod cranking some jazz, the GPS leading the way, and the radar detector making random noises. We've also got 4 bikes, 12 wheels, and lot's of snacks to munch on, including 2 kinds of Safeway trail mix (highly recommended), and some wasabi-flavored peanuts (NOT recommended).

We had some excitement yesterday, when we reviewed the UCI bike rules that are being enforced this year. In addition to the seat set-back rule, the end of the bar extensions can be no longer than 75 cm forward of the center of the bottom bracket. You'd think that only really tall riders would struggle with that one, but it turned out Joe's setup was 3 cm out of compliance! Chris at Pro Peloton leapt into action, swapped out to a shorter stem, moved some spacers, and got out the hacksaw to trim Joe's Vuka TT bars, with the shifter cables in place! It was like watching a brain surgeon operating. When the carbon dust settled, Joe was good to go with a just-legal setup. Once again, the crew at Pro Peloton goes above and beyond to get it done.

Our plan to to drive until around 9 PM tonight, or until Mike the road warrior has had enough. We want to arrive in Louisville early enough on Sunday to check out the TT course before Monday's race. More later as it unfolds.......

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Junior State Road Race Championships, June 22 08

The state road course was held on the Horsetooth loop which began with 2 very tough short climbs. Along the res there was a lesser climb (and a 55mph descent), with one more climb before the last 5 miles which were mostly flat. The finish was a slight uphill with a crosswind which made it very easy to go too soon.

15-16: Alden Lowney, Ben Raderstorf

In the 15-16 group, the first climb was taken conservatively, then Alden drilled the second climb to shake out the top 3 which included Skyler Trujillo and a Real Aussie Kid. (The REK team is an elite junior team from Australia who race and train here in the summer. They weren't eligible for the championships). The 15-16 group started 60 seconds behind the 17-18 group, and they caught and dropped several of the 17-18 kids. The 3 stayed together until inside the last kilometer, the Aussie kid attacked, but there was no incintive to chase him.

Alden played the sprint perfectly. There was a right to left crosswind blowing and he let Skyler lead it out. He timed it perfectly sneaking around him on the left side and winning by 6"! A minute and a half later, Ben came in with the next group, finishing in the middle of the small group for 7th. This is Ben's first year racing and he is showing alot of promise. He didn't quite have the juice to make the break with Alden, but he wasn't far off.

17-18, Brandon Henry

The favorites here were last years winner, Amar Mannina, and Jamie Sullivan who has been almost unbeatable in the juniors dating back to late last year. This one went from the gun with riders dropping off even before the first climb as Amar and then Jamie drilled it. By the top of the second climb, Brandon, Jamie, a RAK, and Kit Recca were away. Amar was dropped, but would be picked up by Alden's lead 15-16 group later. Kit was dropped before the last climb and also picked up by Alden's group.

On the flats they were all pulling, but Jamie kept attacking to get away. The Aussie then attacked with a killer move after Brandon came off a pull (After the race, Jamie told Brandon that he made a road deal with the Aussie while the 3 of them were away, that if the Aussie would attack and they got away, he wouldn't contest the finish). They got away and Brandon couldn't follow.

Brandon then soft pedaled till the Alden group, which contained Kit and Amar, caught him. They tried to rally the group, but it make no sense for the 15-16's to help chase. Ahead Jamie eased up in the last mile and the Aussie rolled across followed by Jamie with the state championship. In the sprint, Amar led it out. Brandon was patiently sitting in the crossdraft while Kit was dropped off behind. Brandon timed the acceleration and bike throw to get Amar by 6" for the silver!

How bout that, 2 sprints done with the legs and the brain to perfection. Sweet!

13-14 Zack Gould

Man, this one hurt. The 3 5280 kids have been dominating everything in this field this year. Zacks mission was to stick to those kids like glue and he did....until at the top of the 3rd climb he got a flat. It took many many minutes to get a change and his race was over. I will say that Zack showed a great attitude by ripping a ferocious sprint to the line. He was obviously disappointed after the race. That has happened to all of us Zack, so we know how you feel. Let's just hope you have that bad luck out of your system and the cycling gods will shine on you next time.

Burt Henry

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rist Canyon Hill Climb, 22 June 08

Thought I'd report on the hill climb.

Fewer riders than yesterday's State RR Championship as expected. We started off much easier up the first two climbs, I kept it going at the same power level over the second climb, that reduced us down to just 6 riders. We maintained a steady tempo all the way to through the beginning of the Rist Canyon climbing. About 4 guys had chased back on by then. Steady tempo, much easier than Sat until the first set of the two short, steep hills. Bob Jones got on the front and set a fairly hard tempo, less that Sat, and half way up the first 0.4 miles section, I attacked and dropped him by about 20 yards. Steve Workman motor back up to me by the false flat, I kept the power steady and increased it at the second steep section. Dropped Steve, but Bob had gained a little ground. With both of them there together, I figured it was stupid to try and continue with the flat section next and the long climbs to come. Now we were only 3. Kept a steady pace going up to the road surface change. Bob tried getting one of us to go to the front, but neither of us would do so. Just as it got steep, I hit it fairly hard, dropped Steve, and Bob once again took the lead. I sat on his wheel for 0.6 miles of the 0.8 mile steep part, and attacked him really hard (average 462 watts for 35 seconds, 39/27 standing). I figured I'd see if I could get a decent gap. If I could, then I'd go for it from there, if not, sit-up and wait until the very top. He either couldn't or didn't react. By the time I crested the hill and started down that short downhill, I couldn't see him. I just kept it going until the section that's fairly straight where Bob started going hard Sat and we all got strung out. I had 100 yrds on him by the time I started the right had turn going to the first set of switchbacks. I figured all I had to do was hold LT and he wouldn't catch me. That's what I did and beat him by 43 (?) seconds. Steve came in about a 1:19 or so later. PowerTap File

Barry Messmer

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Team Romps at 2008 State Road Championships

The Subway/Peerless team had participants in the 35+, 35+ cat. 4, 45+, and 55+ Colorado State Road Championships (21 June) and turned in impressive performances across the board. The Rist Canyon course out of Fort Collins both a beautiful and ugly 60+ mile circuit. True Colorado beauty is everywhere; big vistas along the Horsetooth Reservoir, rock formation and cliffs, native grass-lands, green hayfields, aspen and pine forest lined alpine climbs, and streams rushing full with spring runoff. Ugly for all but Colorado's best climbers and rolleurs; a 12 mile 3000' assent up Rist Canyon is punctuated with hard grades, switch backs, and several 12% segments to test ones resolve, descending Stove Prairie Road is fast and technical with a few cattle guards to keep everyones attention, minimal flats and continuous hills keep coming until 4 leg breaker hills are encountered along the Reservoir. The race then mellows for a bit. Climbers are not to fear because the final challenge of Bingham Hill will once again put all but their closest competitors deep in the red zone. From there to the finish all who are left with a hope need something left in the tank for a late surprise attack or sprint finish among very few.

This course is top-notch and only the strongest rider can win.

35+ summary (Brian, JT, - including comment about Bill Brant in 35+ category 4)

45+ summary The Rist Canyon course offered plenty of challenges for the 2008 Colorado Masters Road Championship, but the Subway 45+ squad of Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, Glenn Sanders, and Dean Sandoval was up to the task at hand. Out of the gate, the initial short, steep hills over the dam put many riders into early discomfort. Once on the main canyon climb, Mike went to the front to set a steady pace, keeping any attackers at bay. Glenn rode comfortably near the front, waiting for the real fireworks to start, as Joe and Dean tried to maintain contact with the leaders as long as possible. When the steep pitches at the top of Rist Canyon separated the contenders from the pretenders, Glenn made the elite selection. Returning to the dam hills, Glenn attacked, drawing out only Karl Kiester. The two worked together over the remaining miles to keep the chasers at bay, then Glenn's experience and tactical sense served him well at the finish, where he maneuvered Karl into jumping first, and came around him to get the state championship victory.

55+ summary (Paul, Barry, Bill) Good size field, but with a few of the notable RR guys missing, but still a tough field. Rio Grande was there in force, so our work was cut out for us.
Nothing much happened in the first 9-10 miles. Once we hit the Rist Canyon climbing, Bob Jones went to the front and kept a hard tempo. We slowly shed most fo the field and by the last few miles, were down to just 5 riders; Bob Jones, Steve Workman, Paul, Bill, and myself. We dropped Steve an the middle 0.8 mile steep section. Bob really went hard at the beginning of the last steep part and gradually dropped all three of us. Over the top and the beginning of the flat/downhill/rolling section towards Masonville, the three of us regrouped and rode tempo slightly behind Bob. He eventually slowed so that we had to catch him. We then began to attack him, with two of us going at a time. On the second or third attempt, Paul and I got away, with Bill sitting on Bob. We kept it rolling, looking for Bill to bridge. Steve Workman shows up instead. We talked with him and agreed to keep it rolling. The turn south at Masonville caught us all of guard, we eased up too much while we ate. Once back through Masonville, we saw that Bill was bridging up to us so we eased off to wait for him. He said he'd been chasing with Bob for over 10 miles so needed some rest. As well rounded one of the reservoir inlets, Mike Meyers shows up. Where'd he come from? I thought we could drop him on the dams since he'd been chasing for so long. wrong, he hung tough. Going over Bingham hill, Steve and Bill had a nice cap, then Paul, then Mike and me. We all are back together as we turn for the 4-5 mile run on Overland trail to the finish. Chris Orton shows up! What is going on, are we that slow/old that we keep getting caught from behind? Now it's 3 on 3. They have two really good diesels and an excellent sprinter. You could see every one's mind working overtime (with a fatigued brain). Chris gets on the front and pulls keeping the pace steady so that we don't attack. About a half mile from the finish, I attack hard on the last little rise on Overland as Chris looks around and slows. I see 500 watts and try to hold as much as I can. Then the watts start dropping by the hundreds. Steve is pulling everyone back! As we approach the turn to the finish, I see Paul, Bill, and Steve only. Great, we're back to 3 on 1. Bill begins leading it out to keep it fast, Steve decides it's time for him to go, which energizes both Paul and I. I go right at the last little turn, Paul goes left. I win, Paul second, and Bill comes in third. A nice sweep over a very good team. We learn later that Mike Meyers had picked up something in a tire about a mile from the finish and was slow leaking. really unfortunate for Mike and Rio Grande. It would have been a much different run in to the finish with him on board.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blog Tutorial


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Deer Trail RR

I see a few of us have already signed up for this race. I will wait until early next week and check the weather, then I too will sign up (assuming the waether is at least marginal.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

2008 Rabbit Mountain Time Trial

Sunday May 4, 2008
Individual and Team Time Trial
Hygiene, Colorado