Thursday, December 30, 2010


After 8 hours of instruction, I am happy to be certified to ride at Boulder Indoor Cycling! Kudos to our instructors, Nick, Tim and Steve - they had us doing various drills on the track and the two hour sessions went quickly. Last night we did some intervals as well as open riding where we could experiment with various skills. I focused on strength (speed) and grace (smoothness), and once my lungs caught up with my legs I jumped into a paceline for several laps behind two fast guys in the sprinter's lane - that was a blast.

I no longer look at the track with trepidation but rather with excitement. Of course, this means another bike will soon grace our garage (Paul, make room now)! I'd be happy to organize a group instructional session for the Vic's women - Steve and Tim at BIC would be thrilled to see more of us out there. And riding on the track beats riding on the trainer any day (snowy or otherwise).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Last September, while at track nationals with Paul and some of the other BMCT men, I took a keen interest in watching and learning about track riding/racing. By the end of the weekend I decided I needed to get on a track bike. I borrowed one from Dennis (thanks again, Dennis) and Paul and I rode around the parking lot for a while and I practiced slowing down/stopping without brakes. I was really happy to hear that BIC was offering a "crash" course (I prefer the term immersion) - four 2 hour sessions over the holidays. The good news was I only found out about this on Saturday, so I didn't have too much time to be nervous (and I was nervous, so much so that when we walked in last night the guy at the desk said, "Don't be so nervous. I can see it on your face. You're going to have fun!"). I even called Julia yesterday to tell her that I was excited, nervous, and scared yet happy to be stepping out of my comfort zone (always a healthy thing to do, especially on the eve of the winter solstice, full moon, and lunar eclipse).
There were eight of us (6 men, 2 women) and only two of us had never ridden on the track (so much for the beginner part of the beginner/intermediate level). The instructor got us on the track pretty quickly, which sort of felt like being thrown in the pool. I felt pretty comfortable until I had to come down off the track and wasn't quite sure how I was supposed to do that from the blue line, especially since people were passing by me in the sprinter's lane yelling, "Stay!" So I kept going in circles which was a good thing as I became more and more comfortable on the bike. Obviously I learned how to drop down into the sprinter's lane and then on to the apron of the track.

We did various drills (I loved dropping from the rail to the sprinter's lane - felt like a diving bird!) and for the last 15 minutes of class (whew, 2 hours on the track is quite a workout!) we rode a paceline in the sprinter's lane with one lap pulls - after one rotation the speed picked up a lot and we were having a lot of fun (insert "hooting and hollering" sound effect here). I was pretty maxed out by the end.

Riding on the track is like riding a wooden rollercoaster but you get to steer. The sprinter's lane is really fun!

Note: Paul said he only turned away once when he thought I was going a bit slow in a turn toward the end of the night - and I knew exactly which turn he was talking about - but I made it through without incident.

Monday, December 20, 2010

From Road to Track - Karen Fienberg Expands Her Skills

BMCT member, Karen Fienberg, is literally going outside her comfort zone tonight at 7PM when she embarks on 4 - 2 hour indoor cycling sessions at the Boulder Indoor Cycling facility.
Three Cheers for Karen!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

DNS track rider

What do you do if you DNS at track nationals? Of course, ride 100 miles with 10K of climbing in 6:30 hours. Go figure! A retired team and I rode Boulder to Grand Lake via Allens Park and Trail Ridge Road. The last hour was arduous with twice over 12K feet. Would have much rather joined the track boys in the hunt for medals in Fricso - congrats to the real riders. (photo Bob Hughes and sJw in Grand Lake after high altitude journey)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Team Pursuit Gold

On our final day in Texas, the 60+ men contested the 3000 meter team pursuit. The Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire team of Dennis Hastings, Barry Messmer, Jim Kinsinger and Paul Mack were the last team to go in our category and on the day. A mixed team calling themselves Wall-E went first and posted a time of 4:27.435. We were confident we could beat that time but next came the Alto Velo/Webcor men. They were led by Larry Wolff the gold medal winner from both the 2K and the points race with some real horsepower in Mark Rodamaker and two others. They rode well at 4:09.671 nearly 20 seconds better than Wall-E. That was our time to beat.

We lined up resplendent in our matching Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire kits and off we went. Many teams had mixed kits as they we're put together just for the event. We rode our hearts out and were ahead at every check.
Our final time of 4:00.615 took the gold and smashed the national record.

As the racing came to a close, it was a proud moment for all of us on the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire team. Our team had performed well with every one of us going home with a medal.

Note the Specialized "podium shoes" worn by Barry in the photo. They were quite the item with Joe even slipping into them for his Points Race podium appearance.

Perhaps it was the two hour warm-up in the afternoon Texas heat. It's so hard to judge when to start your warm-up at track events.
We're all happy to be back on the Front Range but our thoughts go to all those affected by the tragic Four Mile fire. Now would be a good time for the rain we had in Texas to appear in Boulder County.

Track National 40 – 44 week recap

I left work Monday dreading the long drive to Frisco. In order to get on the track Tuesday, I had to leave Littleton Monday after work. It was a nice drive and only took 11 hours to get there. The longest part of the drive seemed to be from 287 across 380 through Denton to Frisco. Traffic was a nightmare. I arrived safe but tired at the Superdrome and picked up my packet.
I could hardly wait to get on the track. I did a couple blow outs and picked my 200 line, but decided it was time to get to the hotel and get some sleep. When I arrived at my hotel I was glad my wife was not with me. This place was not a family hotel and I was rather worried about getting some rest here. I talked to the manager about needing peace and quiet and he assured me that it would be quiet. He then placed me on the far end of the building near an exit with no one in the wing with me. My time at the hotel turned out to be surprisingly quiet. I did, however, see some things that I had never seen before, but I will save those things for group rides.
I woke Wednesday excited and ready to race. Unfortunately, the weather would not cooperate and the evening races were cancelled. I went back to my hotel and tried to keep mentally prepared for the next day. My alarm went off Thursday morning but it was still dark out. I got up, opened the window and found nothing but darkness and rain. I was really bummed; this killed my motivation. I had planned my events knowing I would have a full day of recovery between the points race and my 3k time trial. This really had me on the fence. There were many times I was going to go and scratch. In the end I was there and already registered, so what the heck.
This was my first year competing in a points race at nationals. Honestly, this is the first year I have actually even tried to race points. There were many people talking about helmets and some being illegal. I knew right away my helmet was illegal. In the ACA it’s not a big deal but USA Cycling has had it on the website since January. I went up to the official and confirmed it. This was not a huge deal since I brought a spare.
I like to start on the rail towards mid track. As I tightened my toe straps I felt someone pat my back. I looked up and saw Jet and Vic Williams. This really helped me to calm down. I held up my hand and it was visibly shaking. Jet told me something that instantly calmed me down. He said to relax and that I deserved to be in the field. He told me to watch riders and that there is some pack fodder in the field. He also recommended that I watch whose wheel I get and if there is a gap, jump to the next wheel. The whistle blew and I rolled off thinking, “I am not pack fodder!”
The race seemed to start slowly and I didn’t like the pace. I jumped a little to let everyone know I was there to play. All I know is that inside I continually told myself, “Keep attacking and stay up front!” I got 5 points then 2 the next round. Over the loud speaker I heard some riders got a lap. I didn’t even see them go. Now I was angry at myself for not seeing this. I felt tired. I wanted to quit. My entire body was screaming at me to stop this madness. My brain told me to attack hard in the corner and I did. I hit it hard and when I looked, I could see a huge gap. I kept on the gas and I could see the group sitting up. This made me go harder. All of a sudden I saw the whole group in single file again. This scared me but I told myself to go hard as I knew that rest would welcome me at the hotel.
Once again I saw the group go up track and then the riders were about 20 meters in front of me. I was in the group listening to the announcer and planning my next move. Then I heard, “Robert Kelly has got a lap!” I knew right then they have scored me. Now I needed just a few more points to climb up.
I moved to the front and tried again for more points. Now, in the beginning, I got 5 points and 2 points + the 20 for the lap. While lapping the field I wasn’t sure if I got points or not. Tallying all this while riding in the red is not easy. In the end I was 5th with only 1 point between me and 4th.
Friday was a nice day for track racing. I got to the track way too early because for some reason I woke up at exactly 3:36 am and could not get back to sleep. During that time I rode probably 2,000 pursuits as I tried to sleep. So I decided that I would just go to the track and wait for my race. The 3k is one of my favorite races. I had a strong warm-up and laid it all out on the track. My legs felt heavy but that was no excuse. I gave it my all and left nothing on the track. With my effort I ended up 7th.
Saturday again I woke up at 3:30 and stared at the ceiling for hours. I had to be at the track early so I headed to the Superdrome. This was my third attempt at sprinting in my life. I was warm, ready and had a good line. During the pre-race warm-up there was a little commotion about a Casco helmet being illegal. I just minded my own business and kept warming up. Finally my heat was up and the rider before me was not there. They called him up and it was the same rider complaining about the helmet. Now this guy was a muscle builder type and was extremely upset. In fact this was probably the biggest display of unsportsmanlike behavior I had ever seen. The official warned him twice and then said, “One more word and you are going home!” The whole flash anger had me shocked. But, this was no time to dwell on that confrontation; I had a race coming up.
I went around the top as close to the rail as I could get and then hammered it down my line. I feel good and fast and then it happened. In the last corner at around 40MPH, my front tubular popped. It sent me down to the blue band and I had to let off the power a bit to regain control. I forced it through the line and actually qualified 16th. When I got back to the tent I was a little upset with the tire situation since I had just had a flat on that same rim two weeks earlier. Again, there was no time to worry about it now. I borrowed a 404 and changed gears for my sprint.
Being 16th, I had to go against the #1 seed. I figured if I drew a 1, I would attack from the gun. A 2 and I would attack with 1 and a half to go. I drew a 1 and attacked from the gun. I caught him totally off guard but still lost and was eliminated. My goal for the sprints was to qualify and I met that goal.
My next race was the Kilo. Now I really love this race but at times it’s a love/hate relationship. I was tired, sore and now the plica in my knee was giving me fits. I warmed up and my legs returned to normal. I don’t have my tri-spoke but Jet loaned me his 808. I was pumped and ready to go. I started out fast but when I got to the first corner I went really high. I got to the next corner and tried to get in the aero bars and went high again. Now you may think I am crazy but the way the 808 handles is far different than the tri-spoke. I finished in 7th but I felt like I did leave some in the tank. I typically get serious track hack after pursuits but didn’t have it after my kilo. I have a full year to practice this.
Finally, the race I had grown to love arrived- the team pursuit. I have been riding this with Vic Williams and really found a good partner for this event. Vic stayed late on Sunday just to ride this with me. His wife had to be to work Monday morning and they all stayed just so I could complete the ride. At the last minute I talked Pat Larabee into doing it with us. So in the end Vic and I rode with two guys with whom we had never done exchanges and one of them was a dedicated sprinter. We talked about this before the race and decided that Vic and I would do full lap pulls and the other riders doing half lap pulls. Pat and David Gray really kicked butt for us and we ended up 4th. Not bad for a toss together team.
Last but not least, the BAR competition. I finished 9th with a goal of top ten.
It was a pleasure to ride with the Vic’s team this year and I can’t wait to get back in the group ride mode again. Last year I was really on the fence about racing. I was talking to Paul about this and wanted to tell everyone here that it is because of you and this team that made me fall back in love with cycling. It is such a great honor to ride with National Champions, National record holders and people who are the best in the world at what they do. The advice I have received by so many of you has been priceless.

Pedal Hard! Rob

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Masters Track National Championships

Here we are on Saturday morning, day four of the Masters Track National Championships in Frisco, Texas!
We have a great contingent of Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire riders contesting the various events. The Frisco track is a beautiful 250 meter with 44 degree banking. The surface is plywood with a sanded paint finish. We're hoping the Erie Track can be something like this!

The morning of day one saw the 2K Pursuit/TT for Barry, Dennis and Paul in the 60-64 group. Barry rode well, missing the gold by .06 seconds! Paul held on to 3rd with Dennis in 4th. The clouds and thick air turned nasty with pouring rain causing the canceling of the evening program where Steve was poised to defend his title in the 55-59 group.

Unfortunately, we awoke to more rain and black clouds in all directions. The Thursday morning session never started and Steve with prior commitments (work really can cut in our enjoyment of this sport!) had to scratch and head for DFW airport.

Finally, late Thursday afternoon, as the clouds thinned, we resumed racing.

Joe and Jerry rode well in their 2K event but were edged out of podium positions.

Rob Kelly rode valiantly in the 40 -44 points race, lapping the field solo to join others having lapped earlier - in fact all podium places had lapped the field. Rob held on for fifth in the hotly contested event.
Rob, care to add a comment?

Thursday was sunny and not too warm or humid.

I'll let Joe and Jerry fill you in on the matched sprints. Comments men?

Jim Kinsinger showed his fast twitch in the 65-69 points race last night by taking enough points to best the other sprinters. One rider had lapped the field securing first leaving Jim with the silver!

More to come - Points races tonight for Paul, Barry, Joe and Jerry!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Home Safe From Nationals

By paying close attention to aerodynamics, Mike and Joe were able to maintain sufficient speed to make the drive back to Boulder in a grueling 15 hour run, with "Iron Mike" handling the vast majority of the piloting. During the long night's drive, the two reflected on their trip to Nationals, and recognized how much of their success was due to the support of their Vic's Espresso/Peerless team. In particular, they are greatful for the continued excellent coaching and guidance from their teammate and friend Neal "Real Deal" Henderson of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine. Their "Neal Plans" made it possible for them to reach their goals of their best rides ever at Nationals, for which they offer their profound thanks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 Masters Road Nationals, Criterium

More Hardware for Vic's!

Sunday, August 8th brought the 2010 Masters Road National Championships to a close with the running of the final criteriums on a fast riverside course on the streets of downtown Jeffersonville, Indiana. Mike Newsome and Joe Paulson had hung around Louisville, Kentucky for an additional three days in order to contest the criteriums, and they were itching to go.

Mike was up first in the 55-59 race with a 1:00 PM start time for 40 laps totaling 25 miles on the .6 mile rectangular course. Mike jumped out quickly from the start, with former national champions Dave Leduc and Gordon Paulson on his wheel. The first half of the race was animated by these three riders fighting to break free of each other. Their standoff was broken when another rider collided with Mike on the front straight, breaking a spoke in Mike's front wheel. Fortunately, the pit was right there, but Leduc seized the opportunity to escape with another rider.

When Mike was inserted back into the field after his free lap, he quickly worked his way back up to the front of the field, and started to chase the break, assisted only by Paulson. After several laps of chasing, Mike launched off the front of the field with two laps remaining in a final effort to chase the leaders down. At that point, Paulson was so spent the he pulled out of the race.

On the last lap, Mike's efforts finally brought the field back to the break as they came down the front straight, and even after all his efforts to chase, Mike was able to hold on for the 5th and final podium spot against all the fresh legs in the pack, and Leduc ended up in 14th.

Combined with Mike's previous 5th place in the time trial, his two podium rides earned him 5th place in the Best All Around Rider competition for 2010!

Next it was Joe's turn in the 2:30 PM 50-54 race, also contested over 40 laps. Joe lined up in the back next to multi-time national and world champion Thurlow Rogers, determined to follow him if he escaped up the road. Several early break attempts went nowhere, so Joe conserved energy in the back until an attack by Rogers strung out the field and shed several riders.

It turned out that Joe was marking the wrong Amgen rider, because Thurlow's teammate Malcolm Hill (also a former national champion) escaped up the road with Gerald Finken of the Saint Paul Bicycle Racing Club. With Rogers blocking effectively, the pack was now racing for 3rd place as the pace picked up for the final several laps.

Three more riders attacked off the front with two laps to go, and the pack watched the final podium spots dangling up the road as riders fought to maintain position at the front while hoping others would chase the three late escapees down. As the bell rang for the final lap, they were still off the front as Joe fought to avoid being swarmed down the front straight. Fighting back to the outside on the back straight, Joe saw Bill Pedler of the Schwab team coming past. Before the race, Bill had suggested trying to work together, and he glanced back, seeming to invite Joe aboard.

Bill closed half the distance to the 3rd-5th place riders before being jumped entering the second to last corner. Joe jumped also, and banged elbows with Rogers in a mad dash for position into the final corner just as they were catching the riders ahead. Joe got pinched on the inside by the riders being caught, and three other riders got clean lines on the outside to emerge onto the front straight ahead of him. Lighting the afterburners, Joe was able to chase two of them back down, but ran out of room before the line and ended up 2nd in the field sprint for 4th place in the race, Joe's first podium at Nationals! His result also earned him enough points to finish 10th in the Best All-Around Rider competition. All told, a very satisfying day for the boys in blue!

After the awards ceremony, Mike and Joe hit the road. After a brief stop for their traditional White Castle refueling, they headed west, and are currently 110 miles from Saint Louis. The plan is to drive through the night, and try to make it home by mid-day tomorrow. It's been a fun and successful trip to Louisville, but the boys are ready to return home.

Pikes Peak Ride

For any mountain goats or those that want to: ride Pikes Peak on a closed road, or
volunteer to help out some Colorado Springs folks see the link in the title.

Organizers sent me this message:
You are getting this email because you contacted me earlier stating your interest in helping with the upcoming Pikes Peak Ride or you have assisted me in the past at the Velodrome. Either way... I am asking for your assistance!!
There are some key areas that we still need help with so if you are interested after reading this GREAT! Send me an email and we will sign you up. Just a quick reminder that I need all volunteers to be 18 years of age. Thanks
Ride Marshals: Need 10
Rest Stop Volunteers: Need 10
Clean Up Crew: Need 3
Support and Sag Drivers: Need 5"

Jump in if you can.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

2010 Masters Road Nationals, TT & RR


For the third consecutive year, Louisville, Kentucky is hosting the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships, and this year the start coincided with the area's hottest weather in over a decade. The time trial was the first event this year, held on Tuesday, August 3rd in Taylorsville, Kentucky on the same challenging 14.4 mile hilly course that was used last year. Adding to the fun this year was the stifling weather, dead calm and peaking in the high 90's as the late morning start times approached for the 50-54 and 55-59 categories.

Representing the Vic's Espresso/Peerless team in the individual time trial were Joe Paulson in the 50-54 event, Mike Newsome and Dean Sandoval in the 55-59 class, and Dennis Hastings in the 60-64 field. The Vic's boys tried to say cool while warming up by riding their trainers with ice packs on their backs, but there was no hiding from the heat as soon as they rolled down the start ramp and faced the first climb.

Joe was off first, and turned in a 33:44 ride to claim 12th place in the 50-54s. Dean was out next, and finished in 33:25, 11th in the 55-59s. Mike rolled out 30 seconds behind time trialist extraordinaire Jim Dickerson, and rode the race of his life to hunt him down, beating Jim by 8 seconds to claim the 5th podium spot in a time of 33:06! Last but not least, Dennis turned in a time of 34:38 to claim 7th in the 60-64s, only 4 seconds off the podium. All told, a successful day for the boys in blue.

No rest for the weary; the road race on the challenging 5 mile Cherokee Park course was held the next day, Wednesday August 4th. Replacing Dennis in the Blue line-up was Barry Messmer in the 60-64 class. Barry lined up first at 10:00 AM for 7 laps of the rolling, twisting circuit, and broke into the top 10 with an 8th place finish.

Joe lined up at 3:15 PM for the 50 mile 50-54 race as the temperature climbed to a record high of 103 degrees. It was a race of attrition, with riders dropping out right and left, but Joe survived to grab the last spot in the top 20. Mike and Dean followed at 5:30 PM with the heat and humidity still unbearable, and his immense efforts of the previous day caught up with Mike on the 4th lap of the 9 lap race. Overcome with chills, it was clear the Mike was risking heat stroke, so he pulled out at Joe's post on the feed hill. Dean persevered, and crossed the line in 17th place. It was with immense relief that the boys in blue bid farewell to Cherokee Park and went in search of replacement fluids and calories.

Mike and Joe are staying until Louisville for the criterium on Sunday, August 8th, and enjoyed an easy recovery day as the weather finally broke, and rainstorms cooled off the area.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Photo's with BMCT participation

Attached is a link to a photo sharing/download website I'm using to let others see and/or download some of the shots I took of BMCT functions. The three albums currently showing are 2010 NBP Criterium, 2010 Longmont Criterium, and 2010 Vic's Prospect Criterium.

Some photo's have received some routine processing, others are raw. I hope to process some them quite a bit more over time. Hopefully they at least conjure up some good memories.

The link to these photo's is - and for some reason it only works if you type the "www." part.

Bill Brant

Friday, July 23, 2010

My First Criterium

Do you recall your first criterium? Mine was last Saturday- The Vic’s Espresso/Peerless Tires State Championship-and the memory is fading compared to the actual event. It was rather intense not to mention my brain was packed with tips from some of the best (I.e. Len Pettyjohn, Randy Gaffney, Paul Mack and Joe Paulson).

On the day of the event what helped control my desire to scream to relieve a little stress was, “The Day has finally arrived. This anxiety will be gone shortly.”

Driving to the event at 6:15a.m., I was pulled over by a cop for speeding. Believing this pace was indicative of how I’d perform on the course, I smiled respectfully and pleaded my case. It worked and he either felt very sorry for me on the day of my first criterium or my squeaky clean driving record yielded the Warning so, I continued on to Prospect to find Coach Gaffney.

Gaffney was patiently waiting my (late) arrival with parking directions and pump in hand. He blew up my tires and sent me off on the course to warm up...

Before proceeding, I’ll take a moment to fill you in on why I decided to partake in such a thrilling event: I have a tendency toward personal athletics that are human-powered and can either take me somewhere scenic or increase my adrenalin in a short period of time. The latter is why I signed up for the 2010 Morgul Bismarck 250 Meter Road Sprint as my first competitive cycling event. I loved it and it loved me. This same adoration didn’t exist for the woman seated next to me who tipped over at the start. Bummer for her. One less competitor for me. I missed a medal by one, placing 4th out of 14 women. I felt confident that I could have easily placed 2nd had I remembered Len’s tip about starting in my 2nd cog. But, I didn’t. I was too focused on the latest tip which was “Don’t forget to pull up on your other leg at the start.” I should have shared this tip with the woman on my right.

The Morgul Road Sprint fed my curiosity about doing a criterium so, I set my rather non-committal-sights on the Vic’s Crit. and solicited the help of – Len Pettyjohn and Randy Gaffney. (Please note, I didn’t know at this point that the Vic’s Crit was also the State Championships.) The first five weeks were guided by Len. You’d have to ask him what we did for training because frankly, I just listened and performed 3 x week for 5 weeks. We did numerous efforts anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes at a variety of wattages, uphill and flats and “race winners”. I almost threw up. Apparently, that’s indicative of the actual event.

The week leading up to the event Gaffney took over. He and Len had hooked me up with some sparkling new wheels from Joe Paulson, as loaners. I didn’t realize the importance of “crit wheels” until Brian Todeschini asked me what I was racing on. What? Wheels?

So, back to race day…

I’m on my first warm-up lap trying to ignore the very large quads gliding by me at a rather rapid pace. I’m thinking” Why are they going so fast?” when I hear and feel a familiar thud at corner two. I have a flat. I jump off my bike and try my best not to panic and run down the sidewalk in my cleats yelling like there’s a fire. I don’t believe I succeeded.

Nonetheless, I locate Randy and in a matter of 120 seconds Paul Mack has ridden a cruiser back to his garage, grabbed a loaner and is putting it on my bike. My pit crew illustrated a calm composure to make up for my crazed expression while patting me on the back saying “It’s okay little girl.”

I get back on my bike and find myself riding next to someone and can’t help but judge my competition…How old is she? Is she wearing a Tough Girls kit? How big are her thighs? Does she look fast? Do I need to go to the bathroom again? Then, she introduces herself and she’s really nice. Whew. We chat for a bit and I do my best to avoid telling her this is my first crit because I don’t want to appear weak. (Right. Like I haven’t appeared needy for the past six weeks. Why stop now?) Darcy tells me what she knows about the other riders “We’re riding with the Pro 1’s and 2’s today. I can tell you who the top five finishers will be.” I respond blankly trying to wrap my head around this new piece of information realizing that the 35+/45+ category consisted of Pros. I’m also thinking ‘WHAT?! Why? How dare they? Don’t they know that’s unfair and this is my first race and I want a medal. My needs are way more important than a silly Championship jacket. And, what if I’m in the top five?’

I complete my warm up and stand at the start all by myself in the third row…if you can even call it a row. Is this where the beginners start? My friends are on the sideline smiling and cheering me on while graciously trying not to show their nervousness on my behalf. I feel small. Very small but tenacious.

The race begins. Thankfully, there’s a car leading this pack of jackrabbits. It feels composed. But, as we enter our second lap the pace intensifies significantly. I’ll just hang here. Wait a second! These riders are slipping in from everywhere. I should draft to preserve energy. I tuck in but I’m not feeling a reprieve. A draft, as I know it, doesn’t exist and I’m getting stuck in this xylophone which is a big no-no. So, I zip past what feels like 50 riders but it’s more like six. I slide in behind a Tough Girls kit. This is where I’m supposed to stay. I figure out how to strategically use the orange metal barricades on my left. I’m hyper-aware of everything around me: tires, brakes, jerseys, elbows, corners, cracks. What lap am I on? Four!? What the $#%^!

Every three seconds one of many pointers is recalled: “they’ll slip in at the corners”, “they’re going to jump after turn four”, “try not to break”, “stay at the front”, “if you’re hurting, they’re hurting”, “pass on the inside”, “use the straight-aways for speed”, “go wide and tight”, “ignore the comments”, “lift your inside leg on the corners”….

Where do these riders come from? They are slick. I’m in 4th and before I know it I’m in 15th. I push hard to stay in the peloton. Okay, this is not similar at all to my training. This is twenty-times more effort. Why do they jump every single lap? When are they going to get tired?

Then the peloton slows down. I quiet my breathing less they take advantage again. Wait. This tip doesn’t apply to me. It’s clear I’m not a threat. Do they even know I’m racing? This pace feels perfect. I can do this but I know it will end very soon. And it does. One lap later it’s over and everyone is hammering again. Should I use up all I have and jump to the front five? I decide not to because I want to preserve my energy for the finish….to finish.

I’d give anything for a big drink of water. My lips are parched. I try to take a swig but a couple of drops barely pass my lips because I can’t inhale and I’m about to hit another corner. Len mentioned this would be a problem: drinking. I spit hoping it doesn’t hit anyone. It winds up on my thigh. Nice.

I’m falling off the back. I hear my friends yelling out things like “Dig”, “Lower cadence”, “Jump at the corners”, “Get up there”. I dig and catch up. I do this about seven thousand times. The lower cadence helps but I no longer have the energy to jump at the corners. This monstrous effort ended for me around lap 12. I look for the clock and it reads 17. Oh my gawd. Seriously? 17 more minutes? Is this a typo? How in the hell can I quit without anyone noticing? I can’t quit. I never quit. I can do this. Where is the front? Am I last? Where is everyone? Why are my legs so tired? Come on! Who’s behind me? Anyone? Am I having fun? Yes. I think. Kind of. Maybe.

I read 7 (laps to go). Twenty seconds later I hear someone yell “Seven minutes to go”. Awesome. I can do seven more minutes. Then I hear Randy yell “four more laps”. I’m wiped out. I do my best to keep my eye on the tail. I can see it and it’s waving Bye Bye.

I held on to the front as advised for as long as I possibly could…but today it’s easy to wonder if I really gave it my all. Isn’t it funny the way the mind works? I thought I became friends with pain, but I think pain whipped my ass with a giggle.

I’m not sure what was happening with the women at the front of my race. I didn’t really see them. I was too busy tracking where I was and whether or not to respond to aggressive comments like “On your left!”, “Move over!”, or “What’s your name?!”

I wasn’t scared. I felt exhilarated and extremely challenged. I felt like I was becoming familiar with a part of myself I hadn’t seen in a while. It was fantastic and harder than hell.

I crossed the finish line and the crowd cheered beautifully…but it isn’t because I crossed first…or last from what I understand. It’s because I had the most supportive cheering section at the event. This was just as thrilling as the event itself…seeing all those beautiful faces.

I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of my team. And I hope Vic’s will still give me free coffee on race day.

Thank you Teammates and Friends.

Monday, July 12, 2010

45+ North Boulder Park Classic

Four Real!

On July 10th, the annual North Boulder Park Criterium was held on the history-filled and tricky course in beautiful but toasty weather. Gary Mulder, Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley suited up in their blue kits to do battle on behalf of the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire team. The Blue Boys had owned this course for the past three years, and it was time to defend their turf. A quick pre-race meeting determined that their strategy would be to cover dangerous riders, look for promising break opportunities, and try to set up a leadout if the race stayed together for a field sprint. Gary declared that the signal that the race was heating up would be the sight of him being ejected from the pack, due to a lingering wrist injury and his recent return to racing.

The race got underway with the usual flurry of test attacks, but nothing really opened up until the prime bell rang, and there was a flash of blue as Gary blasted off the side of the pack in a clean escape. Contrary to his pre-race prediction, it was Gary putting the hurt on the field! With his teammates doing their best to slow pursuit, Gary nabbed the first of two primes he captured to demonstrate that he's back in a big way.

Meanwhile, Joe, Bill, and JT were covering attacks and jumping in moves, but nothing was staying away for long. With the countdown clock approaching ten minutes to go in the race, a rider who had escaped earlier in the race tried again, and dangled off the front. The move was looking dangerous so close to the end, so on the front straight Mike jumped hard after him. The move drew out three other riders, so Joe hitched a ride with them. Mike gave everything he had and closed the gap quickly, blowing past the fading rider before dropping off the front. The result was a promising break, but it seemed to catch the other riders from the other teams by surprise. Instead of keeping the pressure on, they seemed content to wait for the field, so Joe tried to re-energize the move with an acceleration.

There was no reaction from his companions, so Joe put his head down and kept going. Riding alone now up the rise to the start/finish line, Joe looked at the lap counter, pondered the big number 7 being displayed, and checked in with the engine room. The report wasn't good, so Joe decided to try riding with his brain instead. He eased up and reintegrated with the field in the alley, and tried to recover as quickly as he could while his teammates covered other attacks.

The lap counter ticked down to the final two laps, and the pack started to get increasingly twitchy, so Bill went to the front and asserted control, lifting the speed to discourage any more forays off the front. As the bell rang for the final lap, there was a surge up the hill, so Joe jumped around the outside and tucked into third wheel as riders fought for position to enter the alley for the last time. Once in the alley, the field surged again, and Joe jumped on the wheel of a Mix1 rider who took the front in an effort to lead out their sprinter.

Holding second position out of the alley, through the chicane, and approaching the final turn, Joe glanced back and saw Great Divide's sprinter Scott Soden on his wheel. Even though the front straight is long, Joe didn't want to wait for Scott or another sprinter to initiate the kick to the line, so he jumped as hard as he could out of the corner, opening a gap on Scott and the rest of the riders that he was able to hold to the line for the Blue Team's fourth North Boulder Park victory in as many years!

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Bartlett Photography;

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tuesday night at the track

Tuesday, Joe and I went to Colorado Springs to do our first track racing of the year. On the schedule were sprints, tempo races and a 5 mile scratch race, in that order. As a really, really old guy, I signed up as a “C” category racer and Joe was talked into signing up as a “B” racer. The evening was a reasonable temperature, hot, but still comfortable. There was a significant breeze blowing from the south east as always seems to be the case on that track.

Seeding for the sprints was done by a 3 lap scratch race. The C’s went first. I wasn’t sure how I would do and was not expecting much based on last year’s experience. The race turned out easier that I expected and I easily finished 4th. Joe managed to do better and finished 3rd in his B race. The sprints were done in sets of three. The bottom set started first, with the top set of 3 going last in each group. I started in the middle of our threesome. The bottom rider took off hard from the gun and I had to chase to get on her wheel. I sucked that for almost a lap when the third rider in our group came around us. I jumped on his wheel until corner 3 when I started my sprint and managed to come around him before the finish line. As the 3rd placed rider, Joe was paired with the best 2 riders in his category. They did a bit more realistic matched sprint, but when they took off Joe couldn’t come around and ended up a close third.

As the 3 lap race seemed reasonable, I decided to do the 8 lap tempo race. With points available for every lap, I knew it could be hard. I managed to get near the front early and was able to win the 2 points available on the first lap. I stayed near the front and got 1 or 2 more points on the second lap. I then decided to fall back. Not a good choice as I fell too far back and was not in contention for the rest of the race. I didn’t hear where my points placed me in the race, but it was a good experience regardless.

Joe had a 10 lap tempo race. He grabbed the first points and stayed on or near the front all of the race and gathered the most points for his first Tuesday night track win!

I decided I was done for the evening, but Joe did the combined B/C 15 lap scratch race. (I knew I couldn’t come close to keeping up with Joe!) After the neutral lap the start featured one rider getting a gap without anyone chasing. When Joe and others started to chase, they discovered the leader had a partner in the race who was blocking. Initial efforts to chase him done were doomed. After Joe realized that they weren’t going to catch the leader, he made an effort to separate the best from the rest. He took off and brought two others with him off the front. Unfortunately, one of those was the guy who had been doing the blocking, so he didn’t help the group at all. Joe say that he was going to have to settle for second, so he waited until he thought he could attack and hold the lead until the finish. With about 2 laps to go, he took off and had a good lead, but relaxed too much just before the finish and got caught at the very end. I think Joe learned, once again, to not quit until after you have crossed the finish line!

It was a fun evening!


Vic's Espresso/ Peerless 55ers Solidify BAT Lead!

June 26 and 27 brought 3 members of the Vic's Espresso/ Peerless 55 team to Laramie, Wyoming for the Dead Dog Classic Stage Race. Paul Mack, Dean Sandoval, and Bill Simmons all made the trip to take part in Saturday's 55 mile road race and Sunday's criterium and time trial.

The road race consisted of over 3500 feet of climbing up to a 10,000 foot elevation in the Snowy Range. The descent brought the racers back to the start in the mountain town of Albany with an uphill finish. The 55ers were paired with the 45ers, which made for a fast pace once the climbing began. Dean eventually lost contact with the leaders which included rivals Bill Kellagher and Kim Workman, but managed to be the 3rd 55er at the summit turnaround. Paul and Bill S. drifted back as well, but managed to be at the turnaround a couple of minutes after Dean. Aided by a group of 45ers, Bill K. and Kim W. made time on the rest of the 55ers, while Dean worked with fellow-competitor, Steve Matous and another 45er, to limit the damage. At the finish it was Kellagher and Workman, then 3 minutes down , Matous and Sandoval. A couple of minutes later Bill S. and Paul came in for 6th and 7th place.

Sunday morning's criterium saw Paul and Bill S. set a furious pace to set-up a pre-arranged attempt for Bill K. and Dean to get away on the classic, downtown, 6-corner course in Laramie. When this didn't go, our Bill S. pulled away with Bill K., later to joined by Mike Myers. They established a half minute gap with Myers taking the win and our Bill taking 2nd. Dean and Paul were part of the field sprint a few seconds later.

Early afternoon took us to the mountains east of Laramie for the 10 mile time trial at over 8,000 feet. The out and back course is slightly downhill out and windy both ways. Our legs proved worthy as all 3 Vic's guys maintained or improved on GC. Dean won the TT, Paul took 7th, and Bill S. came in 12th.

The final GC had 3 top 10 finishers for Vic's Espresso/ Peerless!: Dean 3rd, Paul 6th, and Bill 7th! Our 1st place BAT lead is a whopping 112 points!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Centurion Preview Ride, Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here's the blue team at the front for the Centurion Preview ride last Saturday.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Christy Orris State TT Silver Medalist

Women's team member, Christy Orris, secured podium placement by capturing the Silver Medal in Sunday's 2010 John Stenner Memorial State Time Trials. With a time of 1:01:49 in the Women's 35+ she could have easily challenged and powered past the 2nd place winner in the Women's Pro 4 Category with a matching time of 1:01:49. Way to go Christy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Vic's 55 Men at City Park

OK, it's a little late but I've been a bit busy cartooning and injuring my knee (the good one) by working in the crawl space in Crested Butte - note to self, ride the bike, stay out of the crawl space. A visit to Dr. Pruitt at BCSM and I'm back in action. Yes, they do magic. Highly-informed, science-based but magic none-the-less.
Oh yes, City Park. Contrary to published reports, we contested the short course with the fun traffic furniture, lots of left turns and a slightly uphill sprint immediately after the final roundabout. 7 AM start. Four Vic's Espresso Peerless Tire 55-ers lined up, Bill Simmons, Mike Newsome, Dean Sandoval and me with most of the usual suspects for opponents plus a fit-looking Glen Winkle. Bill suggested our numbers indicated an attack-often strategy and we all were good with that. True to his word, Bill attacked on the first corner and put a good gap on the field. I had a good start and was able to take the lead and do some effective blocking for a couple of laps. Mike came up to perpetuate this tactic and we both covered Glen's many attacks for numerous circles. Glen found to his disappointment that no one would help him out. Bill rode a magnificent solo to the win with Glen taking the field sprint as Mike and I were a bit smoked by the work. Results: Mike third, Dean ninth and I was fifth. An excellent day indeed - I'm thrilled to be back mixing it up with my mates!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

It was a cold and wet day at Cherry Creek Reservoir

Wednesday May 12th, as I was working away at my computer, one of my coworkers asked me to turn around and look out my window. The snow was coming down mixed with rain and it looked miserable here in Golden. He joked and asked me if I was going to go to the race since the weather looked so terrible. I just said, “Absolutely”.
Now to be honest I wasn’t looking forward to riding in this kind of weather but I remember a few weeks back when Neal, Grant, Curtis, Mike and I did the team TT at haystack. No that was fun on a whole different level.
Now back to the present. I gathered up my stuff and headed to Cherry Creek at about 4:10pm just incase there was a traffic jam due to the weather. I headed down 6th Ave. the snow stopped and then the rain stopped. It actually looked like it was going to be a nice day to race. There was really no traffic, people were being considerate on the road and all seemed right with the world. Sing Kumbaya here and hold up your hands.
I head into the park and find my fellow blues. I park next to Steve and get out and talk to him for a minute then start my pre-race ritual. Dennis was spinning away and looked to be in the middle of an effort so I didn’t want to interrupt him. This time I am a bit more relaxed since I’m about an hour and a half early. As I walk casually towards the restrooms I see Dean’s Red VW bus with Darren B in the passenger seat. When I get back Dean is getting his stuff ready so I decide enough messing around and start to get ready as well. I look through my stuff and notice I forgot my powertap head unit. That made me nervous so I took a quick inventory: race wheels check, shoes check, number and jersey check, helmet check, ok I can at least race. Turns out I only forgot my powertap head unit so I had to do my warm-up by feel. As Dean, Darren and I warm-up the temperature started getting cooler and then Dean said, “I think I saw a snow flake”.
Sure enough the weather was catching me from Golden. The warm-up got my under clothes wet and I got real cold as I put my trainer and items away. I switch my under gear to some dry stuff I had in the car and head to the line with about 10 minutes to spare. I rode a couple times around the boat dock then headed up to the starting line.
Dean started off 40 seconds ahead of me and Darren 20 seconds. The last week I have felt fairly good on the bike and wanted to have that feeling in a race. Well it happened yesterday. I took off and got up to speed quickly and it appeared just in my jump to speed I cut into Darren’s time. As I turned the first corner I settled in to my rhythm and continued to eat up seconds on Darren. I looked ahead and could see Dean about 10 seconds in front of Darren. I didn’t let my eagerness get the best of me and contained my rhythm. I pass Darren in the start of my personal “second quarter” of the race. Here I ratchet it up a bit. I pass Darren and he encourages me on. I see Dean ahead and he looks like the road runner cartoon character. His feet are spinning so fast all you see is a circle. I pass Dean and see another guy ahead of him. I know that if I don’t go a bit faster now I will be blocked in the turn. I crank it up to pass him before the turn and then settle back to my 2nd quarter effort. In the first turn around I encounter 2 more riders. One I pass outside and the other I had to scrub a bit of speed because of the wet road and painted surface and he had the best line in the corner back on to the main road. I stand here and sprint back up to speed and now I start my “3rd quarter” effort. The trip back I pass a few more riders and before I know it I am on the hill heading toward the lollipop. This hill was tough with the wind in my face I stand and fight the entire climb. It was a very tough effort but I knew I had to hold my speed up. In my mind I tell myself, “just suffer really badly for 30 seconds and you can rest on the downhill”. I get to the top and then my mind quickly tells my body, “You like the speed and pain take it to the 4th quarter here and leave it all on the course”. A car pulls out at the bottom of the hill and I am quickly gaining on it. I look for my outs and contemplate what my plan of attack is. As I get about 100 meters from the car and I think to myself, “I am going to catch this car in the lollipop, he has no idea what it is like to be on a bike in a race with a wet surface and a 180 degree corner. This is going to cost me a ton of time.”
I keep my 4th quarter effort going and the car is holding about 100 meters to the corner. Then the car does something I can not believe. He pulls over to the inside completely out of my way and lets me pass without slowing me down one bit. I slowed for the corner and sprinted out to get back up to speed. As hard as I can I pedal towards the finish line. My legs are screaming at me to stop, I have snot and spit all over my face and really don’t care. All am thinking is that there is 30 seconds left. Spin circles, hold the power as long as you can and man I bet that lady standing on the chair radioing in our numbers is cold. Then the finish line and I am done.
I wait for Dean and find out that for the second week he had a mechanical. When I passed him he was spun out because he could not get his rear derailleur to go below the 19 cog. He still smashed the course and I believe he would have taken the win if it weren’t for his bad luck.
The Blues results:
I was excited to finish fourth overall on the day and only 9 seconds behind Nico and 44 seconds behind Greg Krause.

4 Robert Kelly SM Pro-1-2 Vic's Espresso Littleton 0:21:14.14 -0:00:44.13

35+ cat 3
1 Curtis Leschyshyn SM 35+_3 Boulder Masters Cycling Team Littleton 0:21:47.34

2 Dean Sandoval SM 55-59 Boulder Masters Cycling Team Canon City 0:23:12.49
6 Steven Worley SM 55-59 Boulder Masters Cycling Team Boulder 0:25:27.51

1 Dennis Hastings SM 60-64 Boulder Masters Cycling Team Evergreen 0:23:48.86

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Embrace High Speed

The concrete oval is open and six Vics started the training season 5/8, Saturday. It was windy making the home stretch brutal in the big gears, but we all got the work done and are on the way to high speeds again. The team makes an awesome impression on all onlookers, especially when all six are lined out pacing - great look, tight formation, and perfect track technique. I'm glad the first fixed-gear body shock is over - let the training begin!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

45+ Sandstone Ranch Criterium

...But Not Faster Than Bob Dahl...
Representing Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire in the 45+ open race at the inaugural Sandstone Ranch Criterium east of Longmont were Jerry Greenleaf, Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley. With rain/snow forecast for the afternoon,the Vic's racers were pleased to have partly cloudy and chilly but dry weather for their 12:30 start time. Black clouds loomed over the mountains to the west, but they appeared likely to stay away until after the completion of their 45 minute timed event.

Pre-race strategy discussion centered on being watchful for riders from the Skins team, who had driven successful breakaways from the gun in the last two criteriums they had contested. However, as the blue boys took a couple of warm-up laps on the long rectangular course, it was the sight of Excel Sports rider Bob Dahl who had Joe most concerned, due to his dominating sprinting ability and impressive list of criterium wins in the 35+ ranks he had graduated from last year.

The race was animated from the start, with various riders trying excursions off the front. The blues stayed attentive, but patiently let the larger teams pursue breaks in which their jerseys weren't represented. Great Divide rider Jim Dickerson is legendary for his long breakaways, and when he tried one early on, the Jet quickly hopped on for the ride. JT, Bill, and Joe, moved to the front with the Great Divide riders to discourage an immediate pursuit. Contributing just enough to encourage Jim to keep it rolling, the Jet let Jim power the two of them around the course while remaining within striking distance of the field, which eventually pulled them back.

About half way through the race, three strong riders from different big teams got up the road, setting off alarm bells in Joe's head. Picking his moment when the field hesitated on the front straight, Joe launched from mid-pack to try a solo bridge. Half way across, he glanced back to see that Christopher Stout had jumped on board, and made it across with Joe. After a bit of recovery, Joe started to rotate through with the initial three escapees, but the gap to the field started to come down.

As the field got close, other riders were able to jump across, swelling the break to eight riders. To Joe's dismay, he saw that Bob Dahl was one of the late arrivals to the party. JT almost made it across with another rider, but the break got more organized, and pulled away for good. At four laps to go, the cohesion went back out of the group, and only about half of the riders were continuing to work. Anticipating the inevitable attacks, Joe worked his way onto Bob's wheel in the rotation.

Fed up with the limited contributions from other riders, Jimi Gibson set out on his own, but was reeled back in. At two laps to go, Jim Dickerson jumped out of the group, and the other riders looked at each other to see who would blink first. The duty fell to Jimi, who took up the front again. Jim's gap was getting dangerously large, so Joe pulled through hoping to re-establish a rotation to assist Jimi. No one followed though, so Jimi was soon back on the front, taking it as a personal challenge to try to pull Jim back on the last lap.

With half a lap to go, a rider launched up the side, and the end game was on. Joe fought for Bob's wheel as they approached the second to last corner, where being positioned in the top three was going to be key. Bob jumped as Derek Nichol came to the front, and the two riders fought for supremacy into the turn, with Joe right behind. Coming into the final turn with 200 meters to go, Bob and Derek were bouncing off each other, and Joe backed off in case they went down. Everyone stayed up, but Bob now had a little gap, which opened up as he accelerated out of the turn and down the home straight.

Joe left Derek behind as Bob hunted down Jim (remember Jim?) who was giving everything he had left to hold on for 100 more meters. Bob passed Jim, then Joe passed Jim in the last 50 meters, but no one was going to pass Bob, who crossed the line for the win with Joe now a few bike lengths back in 2nd. Jim held on for a richly deserved 3rd and final podium spot, and JT took the field sprint for 9th, followed in by Bill in 15th and the Jet in 21st.

Faster than a speeding bullet

Yesterday I had the studio set up for a shoot in the morning and afterwards got Joe to stop by for a few set ups. here's one of them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

45+ Groove Subaru Spring Criterium

Uphill; Downhill

Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley came out on a moderately chilly and breezy spring morning to fly the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire colors with approximately 50 other racers on the up and down criterium course just outside of Golden. Feeling rather outnumbered by several other teams, the boys planned to ride conservatively for the first half of the 50 minute race, and then try to lead out JT on the final lap if it came down to a field sprint. However, recalling the immediate four man break that stayed away the entire race the previous weekend in Louisville, they knew they needed to stay attentive to threatening breaks.

Like a re-run of a bad movie, once again a break disappeared up the road almost immediately. The good news: it was a solo rider. Who could stay away against those headwinds for 45 more minutes. The bad news: it turned out to be Todd Robertson, a member of the previous week's winning move, and the individual time trial winner at Haystack in the 35+ category (no, that's not a typo). Several riders made stabs off the front to try to chase him down, including Jimi Gibson and Rod Yoder. The boys covered the serious looking moves, until Joe found himself up the road with Jimi and another rider. They were able to close some of the distance to the solo leader, but could not bring the gap down below 25 seconds. The field started to close back in, but a bridge move brought five additional riders up, including Rod Yoder and Bill Kellagher from Vitamin Cottage. With most of the major teams now represented up front, Bill and JT were able to work with the teammates of Joe's companions to shut the pursuit down.

With eight laps to go, JT hit one of the recessed manhole covers littering the course, breaking a wheel and cranking his handlebars over so his brakes locked up, bringing him to a very abrupt halt. With no free laps remaining, JT's race ended early.

Meanwhile, with eight riders now chasing off the front, the leader should have been in jeopardy, but the cooperation in the group disappeared as single riders kept attacking, and Joe kept chasing back to them with the others in tow. Joe refused to respond to yet another Jimi move, and he rolled away from the group. On the last lap, Joe got on Bob Dahl's wheel, but they caught an elite women's group (racing at the same time) in the final corner, and in the confusion Joe got gapped. Another rider who Joe hadn't seen the entire break came by with fresh legs, and Joe settled for 5th. The field sprint for 10th was getting hairy, so Bill backed off to live another day, but still claimed a top 20 finish.

The Vic's boys then pulled off their 45+ numbers, grabbed some quick food and drink, and lined up with their 35+ teammates for another 60 minutes of fun!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

45+ Haystack TTT


With the weather forecast predicting a 30% chance of light rain in the afternoon, the 45+ Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire 5-man time trial team of Bill Brant, Mike Newsome, Joe Paulson, John Talley, and Brian Todeschini had their hopes up that the overcast but dry conditions of the morning would hold until their 2:07:20 afternoon start time. It was not to be. By the time Bill and Joe arrived at their rendezvous spot in north Boulder to begin preparations, a light mist was falling, that turned into light rain during their warm-ups. By the time the boys rolled north on US 36 toward the start line, the rain was coming down in earnest, and body core temperatures were plummeting.

The Blues were shivering uncontrollably as they took their place in the start tent, but tried to focus on the task ahead. The starter counted them down, and they were off. Joe lead them out onto the course, followed by Bill, Mike, JT, and Brian. They were under way smoothly, got up to speed, and started their rotation. It was quickly apparent that on this day, the front was actually the most comfortable place to be, because following a wheel meant catching a torrent of silt-laden spray full in the face, making seeing, hearing, and breathing all a challenge.

JT powered them up the long climb, Brian pulled across the top, and Joe took them into the first corner, already on the heels of the team that started 40 seconds before them. They eased around the corner, then wound it up down Nelson Road, which was full of standing water. The water on the road, coating their glasses, and in their eyes made navigating down Nelson Road at 49 mph a matter of instinct, trust, and hope. They all kept it upright down the descents, across the bottom, and up the climb to the second turn.

Another corner safely behind them, the rolled south, the cold and wet conditions starting to really penetrate. Up and down the final hill all five were still together, and they pushed to the final turn, then sprinted the final few hundred meters to the line. As Joe led them home, the water was so blinding that he never saw a line, so he just kept going until there weren't people around any more.

The revised course due to road construction on Niwot Road meant the boys still had a long ride back to their rendezvous point, so they just kept riding in the rain and cold, holding onto their bars with shaking hands. As they headed south on 63rd, a van suddenly swung into a driveway in front of them. As they were wondering what the crazy driver was up to, out popped Neal Henderson and Jerry Greenleaf who were coming to the rescue. They threw the bikes in the back, the boys piled in, and Neal cranked the heat. They delivered Mike and Joe back to their cars in north Boulder, into which they huddled to warm up before loading up their soaked and filthy gear.

Joe headed to the registration area to check results, and found the disappointing news that Mix1 had taken top honors on the day with a time of 23:37. Cody Racing was second at 23:58, and the Vic's boys rounded out the podium just behind at 24:02. Their Haystack TTT reign ended, the boys could take solace in surviving intact the epic conditions they'll long remember.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

KHMTT Week 1 & 2

The annual time trial series is underway. Weeks 1 and 2
have been held and it is time for a brief update. The players,
in no particular order are:
  1. Curtis
  2. Christy
  3. Rob
  4. Steve
  5. Dennis
  6. Dean
  7. Andy
  8. Scott Tietzel (Andy's stepson and young-blood)
The roads are the same, but the course layout is new. It seems most people like the new arrangement - it puts all the significant hills in the last 5-6 minutes when your already in the hurt locker, so why not toss a little more on the fire?

So who is doing what? Rob had a disappointing first week, but turned things around on week two by dropping about a minute. He posted a nice 5th place in Pro-1-2 @ 21:12 just behind Scott, the youngster @ 20:25. Curtis had held first place for two weeks in the 35+cat3 group a touch slower in the second week, largely because the wind was moderated to strong for the early-goers. He clocks right around 21:30. Dean has been the most travel challenged. On week one he and travel partner Darren had to take the back roads, off I-25, because of traffic mishaps and on week two they had a puncture on the VW. Pre-race stress is no problem for the deanster - in fact he also handled increasing negative slope aero-bars during the week one. Week two was especially a nice shine for Dean. He posted 21:37 a whopping 45 seconds in front of Fox and merely 25 seconds behind the Great Wayno Watson. Dennis is the class of the 60+ group, taking first slot each week. The second week he posted a 22:43 under the same wind conditions that hampered Curtis. Christy, still recovering from illness, put in a great ride to take 2nd place @ 26:04 - she will definitely improve upon that, if we can keep in town to do the races.

Of course all the soldiers put in equally hard rides - not much way around that in an ITT. The one exception was Andy - he is on a monster week work tour in Europe. The TT is actually much easier than the schedule he is holding at the moment.

Over and out. sJw, 227

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Training

While all of you are contesting the early races, I'm working on getting up to speed 6 months after back surgery. I'm flying the Vic's Peerless colors here in Arizona. Congrats to all for your races this weekend! I feel GREAT and the warm weather is helping! I'll be back in action soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

45+ Prairie Center Criterium

It's On!

The 2010 criterium season is officially open: the Prairie Center Criterium was held in Brighton, CO today under nippy but otherwise ideal conditions. Joe Paulson, Bill Simmons, and John Talley came out to represent the Vic's Espresso/Peerless Tire clan, and take a shot at the $260 in cash on offer for the 50 minute 45+ men's race.

The 1 mile loop on good pavement (manhole and valve covers aside) had 6 turns to make things interesting, and every team seemed to have the same thought: get something up the road. Great Divide and Vitamin Cottage had strength in numbers, and Colorado Bike Law and Green Mountain were animating things as well.

JT got up the road early, joined by a Great Divide rider, and Bill and Joe quickly moved to the front to help the GD boys shut the pursuit down. Although there were still 45 minutes to race, it looked like a great move, with the gap steadily increasing. Alas, the GD rider suddenly popped, and JT was all alone up the road. He drove on valiantly for another few laps, but with GD now assisting in the chase, it was inevitable that he would be brought back. Another flurry of attacks (Karl Keister was a madman) were covered by Bill and Joe, and Joe found himself in a small selection triggered by the first prime lap. He hitched a ride on State cyclocross champ Rod Yoder's wheel when he jumped for the prize, and was able to come around to claim it instead.

The pair had gotten a good gap, so they hunkered down and went into serious 2-man TT mode. For awhile, it looked like promising, so Joe went all in, putting what he could into his pulls, and hanging on to Rod's wheel when the tall powerhouse went to work on the front. However, the chasers wouldn't give up, and a small group bridged up at the beginning of the 2nd prime lap. The new arrivals took early stabs off the group, but Rod didn't want to come away empty-handed after all that work, and and launched past them. However, Joe wanted something to show for his efforts as well, and put way too much effort into an 1100 watt surge for the line to snatch that prime as well.

Spent by the efforts, Joe sat up, and latched on to the tail of the peloton as it passed by. The attacks continued, and JT and Bill covered everything, with Bill clinging to Kiester like his shadow. With 5 laps to go, the field got very twitchy, and the corners got very interesting. Another surge brought JT and Joe to the front, and they found themselves in a selection with a few riders representing each of the major teams in the race. JT, realizing the opportunity, said "Let's go!" The group never got organized though, and everything was back together for final 2 laps.

JT drilled it at the front to get the pace high and the pack stable, and Bob Pinkerton charged past with 1 to go trying to set something up for the Vitamin boys. It looked like a great wheel to Joe, so he jumped on it, and followed Bob until the approach to the final corner, 200 meters from the finish. Suddenly, a big rider blew by on the inside, and Joe lit up after him. The rider (later identified by Bill as a former track world champ named Butch), had a good gap into the corner, but his move from the inside carried him wide, and he teetered momentarily in the gutter, helping Joe close in. Joe got behind him, then beside him, then finally inched in front before the line and sewed up the W with a bike throw.

Rod Yoder came across next, with JT right behind him in 4th. After covering countless attacks, Bill still came in 7th. Between the finish prizes and primes, the Blue boys picked up $155 in coffee money, so they were happy campers!

Video highlights now available courtesy of Rod Yoder: You can see Joe's bridge up to Rod's solo attack to start their ill-fated break, and the last-lap launch by Butch off of Rod's wheel prior to the final corner, but Joe is out of view just in front of Rod. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Let KHMTT 2010 Begin

Vic's ITT'ers as you know 2010 marks a new KHMTT course on the same old roads at Cherry Creek Reservoir. For you social beasts, seek out your teammates in the southwest corner of the Smoky Hill parking lot. This appears to one of the better zones (possibly shielded a bit from the wind) for the team trainer warm up camp. See you there with many layers on. It could be in the 30 degrees at race time.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Suss it out, from Kerikeri

For those who have stacked it and are in a spot of bother.


You really dropped in it, eh.

You must be slutted! Throw a wobbly if you want. Did you have a flattie? I reckon ya were ridin' like a hoon, goin' flat tack. Bugger! All that hard yakka and down the gurgler.

Did you prang your bike? Is it at the panel beaters? Well, slip on the jandals. Ditch the lolly water, grab a Steinie and heaps of chippies and go bush for awhile.

Don't pack a sad, Mate.

You'll be tin arse and hangin' with the hard cases in no time.

Bob's your uncle,


Friday, March 26, 2010

New Zealand Northland

265 km north of Auckland, just outside of Kerikeri. Yesterday morning I drove 30k out to the Topshop on Million Dollar View Road. I began with a descent to the beach at Matauri Bay, hairpin on top of hairpin. Ocean views, too much speed, and the wow factor was off the charts. I did the turnaround at the sand's edge and soft pedaled a km back to... the climb out. The 1.1 mile climb took 11 minutes 34 seconds at LT+. Thanks to Andy and Wendi, my knee or hip didn't explode on the 20% pitches.

I rolled along the ridge, then down to Te Ngaere Bay, next a couple of short climbs away from the ocean and through Wainui Valley and up Radar Hill. Had a few 12-15 minute climbs at Tempo and another 9 minute climb at LT. In over 2 hours, maybe a dozen cars, most of them at the speed limit of 35 kph. I think Mario Andretti might have been driving that ute though.

Then I got back to Kerikeri for the 2 hour evening ride with Mike.

Hope y'all feel fast. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

under Crux

Hey Blue Team, It's been 4 weeks. I've been in one of Auckland's many beach towns, Mission Bay, about 10 km east of City Centre along the coast. I'm staying a block from the beach, though I've spent very little time there. The first week I rode in the rain a little or a lot every ride. One day in particular the rain was horizontal for more than a half-hour and it was all I could do just to stay upright. Still, even the rain was warm that first week. It does get kind of dark when the clouds roll in 6 feet off the ground.

Warm days and lots of sun followed the rainy days and I spent a lot of time crawling up hills in my 27T, then "ripping" the twisting descents. Well, you can believe the "crawling" part, but the "ripping" part, maybe not. Suffice to say, it's hilly enough that pedaling downhill is a waste of time, if not impossible.

On the road? Motorists are pretty well-behaved. I've had the usual challenges just getting to the Auckland city edge sometimes. Though I'm familiar with a many of the roads from earlier visits, riding in the Auckland area is more like orienteering. Except no compass. And to make it harder, they gave me a map. I think the roads up and down and around these hills follow 200-year-old sheep paths. And the street names change every couple hundred meters, whether they need to or not. It's all pedaling and it's a real kick.

Road surfaces? Rough. New Zealand is the Daddy of chip seal. U.S. states are studying New Zealand technical data to try to improve chip seal stateside. The roads deliver a beating but my Specialized Armadillo tires are riding great, no flats in months now and still hugging the descents.

Since those first few days, I've had a 3 week block of 47 hours. The 27T cog is not the auto-selection anymore and the 24T and 21T and 19T cogs see a lot more action. I've been on a Neal Plan, with some sub- and supra-LT work. I had my best 5 minute power recorded, even compared to other sea level efforts several years ago. Good enough for this cowboy. After all, I'm not trying to get fast. I'm trying to get Less Slow.

Earlier this week I finally rode out to Clevedon and Kawakawa Bay and got to the big hills, wide open roads and spectacular views. I avoided the hill landslide (see Kawakawa Bay photos of "slip") and had a terrific ride and good climbs. And chip seal.

Then I hit a spot of bother a few of days ago. I got blindsided by a bunch of life's stressors (involving family, doctors, hospitals, pets, work, all within 12 hours). I had been sleeping 8 hours every night like clockwork, which enabled me to handled the huge workload. Just one night of very little sleep and absolutely no recovery has slowed me a bit, and now I'm waiting it out before I get back on the bike. All stressors came out fine.

Autumn is sneaking in. Mornings are chilly, the rain a bit cooler.

Now, so far, so good. The salt air and rain have been rusting my chain and cogset and stem bolts since Day 2, but no worries. Oxygen at sea level is a marvelous thing.