Sunday, August 2, 2009

Jacks August

8/2 - Great job to everyone who TT'd today - ! As Bill said its great to have a state champion on the team . . . . !

In other news I placed second today to Joe, who had great form in the 65 mile southbound ride we did. Humidity was a real pain and had us soaked from head to toe. Not sure if I was dehydrated or what, but during the last ten miles of the ride it was all I could do to stay on his wheel. That was our last real game day practice for the road race this weekend . . . . after that its the crit in Chesapeake and then maybe a race in NY if I go to see an old friend. Then wintertime, with all of the E rides, which will be a welcome diversion. Anyway folks, two more races, wish me luck . . . . .

8/3 - Thought I would be more sore and tired today, but I feel pretty good. Only took a short ride home from work in order to rest for tomorrow. Guess I should really get a powertap and all seeing how everyone who follows the program to a T had such improvements.
Looking forward to the off season because I feel like it will be the time to train hard and get in shape so that Bikeworks team will put fear into the hearts of all the other racers and teams. And if we / I can't accomplish that at least we won't be off the back of the pack or anything . . . .

8/4 - Saw Steve coming coming out of the park today. He looked pretty happy so I'm guessing that the had a good workout. The one thing that stuck in my mind from our conversation was that the road race this weekend would be a "war of attrition." Knowing that everyone will be conservative with their energy means I need to be even more reserved, and avoid working at all costs.
Training today was really seeking out hills, and on River Road on the way home doing 10 second sprints. I was counting to myself ( 1 mississippi, 2 mississippi, etc) but found that after 6 seconds my juice is gone. Plus I have a question about sprint form . . . . when you are in the drops and sprinting can you generate more speed with your rear end hovering above the saddle or with it in a more forward position? Didn't know if there was a concrete answer, and was curious . . . .

8/5 - Had to go up to Stafford, and from there planned to go to Quantico to catch a ride back to Fred. In Stafford I had a mechanical that let me with only half the workout done. So, back at the house I fixed everything and headed out to a neighborhood off River Rd which is nothing but hills and rollers to finish. Rode for about an hour more and then came home and put my feet up. Nothing really too interesting today.

8/6 - Did around 3 hours between riding before and after work today. Must have been doing something right because at home later I couldn't stop eating. Turkey sausages, beets, mashed potatoes, frosted mini wheats and later a little ice cream . . . . the hunger wouldn't stop. During the ride the legs felt a little sluggish at first, but when really warmed up they felt quite peppy. I tried as much as possible to improve my position in the drops using my shadow to see how aero I actually was or wasn't. Overall it was pretty satisfying - the workout seemed fruitful and I don't feel too worn out or overextended right now.

Race Day - State RR Cat 4 - I got 21st of of the field. I'm not sure how many actually started, but it was full on Bikereg at 100, so that puts me in the top 5th.
Racing today really opened my eyes, not only to the character of some of my fellow racers, but also to how being with the team is a privilege above everything else.
Woke up early to get to Joes race, and after watching him finish 14th in the field pretty much sat around and rested til three o clock, which was when I raced.
As luck would have it a truck full of NCVC guys pulled up next to us . . . . one guy was clearly clueless - he was having trouble filling his tires with air. So, I went over and tried to help him secure the pump to the tube better, at which point he snapped at me. He said way too loudly "I've got it man!" and snatched everything away almost violently. This put me in a bit of a bad mood, because I was just trying to help. I thought it might have been because he thought I would somehow damage his bike, but Joe later alerted me to the fact that maybe he recognized my kit and that it had something to do with what Jeff went through.
Ok - the race itself was pretty cool - the hills were alot easier to conquer than The Lost River Classic, and the turns and descents were not difficult to negotiate. There was an uphill finish - the hill itself was about the grade of the hill in the park, but maybe 3 times as long. 200 meters before the finish was the feed, in which Joe was waiting, and also where there was neutral water. After this climb there was a steep downhill, and then a hard right which forced everyone to slow down. The rest of the course was rollers, and flats. And a few more flats. The centerline rule was strictly enforced, which made things difficult, but also was a good thing because there was alot of oncoming traffic. The pace was pretty decent, and I was front to mid pack for most of the race. I made a vow beforehand to conserve energy and not to work, and stuck with it. It paid off indefinitely later. I was about 40th man before the last turn which led to the hill/finish, and it was there that everyone sprinted - at the base of the hill. I thought that I would be stuck with 40th, but I soon noticed everyone seemed really tired. So, I threw it into 39x26 and rode like I stole something. Doing so I passed a bunch of people before the finish. Overall, I was pretty satisfied . . . . even though it was a lower place than last RR, it was a bigger and seemingly more motivated field.
Now, to the two things that made an impression on me. The first was that with 5 miles left a strong rider I was friendly with from team TNP started cramping pretty badly. So, I gave him the remainder of both my bottles, with which he recovered and made it to the finish. He came and thanked me profusely later, but hey - the guys I race with now are the guys that I will race with tomorrow . . . . plus overall my small sacrifice probably made the difference between finishing and having to see the medics later on.
The second thing was that during the race people were making small talk about what the preferred recovery drink/method was - one kid said chocolate milk, another said drinking Dr. Pepper and watching TV or something, and finally I chimed in that it would be nice to have a beer afterwards. Then, out of nowhere this guy comes and says he wants to go and do some crystal meth after racing. He was from a pretty prominent team - but I can't help but think that someone like doesn't need to be racing. For me its about becoming a better, stronger person . . . . so I gave him the cold shoulder and continued to race. The older racers need to be role model types, men who the younger racers aspire to be like on and off the bike someday. Thats why I'm proud to wear the BWR kit, because association with all of you guys makes me a better person.

8/11 - Nice ride in the heat today. Rode out on Rt 2 and then took a shortcut over to Rozelle, then back to town. Between the store and town I ran out of water, but re filled from a hose at a church. The heat didn't really seem too bad til I hit River Road on the way home, because once there I felt a little sick to my stomach. But I was close enough to imagine a cold shower and a gatorade or two, so I motored through and have spent the evening reading and recovering.

8/12 - Mid week bonk ride today. Barely scraped along . . . . between the RR and all the other riding E miles were in style today. Made my way through the park and back into town, and then saw Bill at his house. He looked happy enough after what sounded like a long day at the doctors office.
Even though I'm worn out now, I hope to feel rejuvenated enough to not embarrass this weekend. I'm trying to go out with a bang, and as someone said, maybe with a bonk . . . . .!

8/13 - Last race this weekend, so the only thing to figure out is the to and from aspect. Today honestly I wished I felt better, but tomorrow I'm doing next to nothing to have that much more energy for the race.

8/14 - Short ride today, but all in all looking forward to tomorrows race. Not much to post bc I didn't too much . . . . but there should be a god story tomorrow . . . . !

8/15 - Even though my finish was pretty tame I had a good time at todays crit. The course itself at Chesapeake is pretty sweet - no real rough spots or broken payment, and forgiving corners. The course is home to Chesapeakes courthouse and police plaza, so it follows that it is kept tidy. During the race I yo yoed from front to back alot - trying to make sure no one escaped from the field and then trying to recover, then repeat. It was never too hard to gain spots, because it was a small field . . . . but maybe this was also why it was easy to lose them. Bill would notice when I was out in the wind, tell me, which would lead me to gain cover. Of the efforts to get off the front most failed because a team mate failed to block, or simply because they were half hearted. No one had the balls of steel that Bill exhibited today . . . . as windy as it was anyone in the 4 field would have popped like a cheap balloon. The biggest team present was Casey Auto Group. More than once I found myself 2nd wheel behind one of their guys only to be swallowed alive by riders attacking from both sides and burying me in the pack. I had good positioning going into the second lap behind a tall rider for Tripower, but he was overcome with 1 to go, and when it came time to pull the trigger I discovered the top positions weren't even in my cross hairs. Fitness wise I had it, but as far as strategy goes I'm like a newborn baby out there . . . . . you all will have to school me over the winter!

8/16 - Basic three hour E ride - nothing more, nothing less. The season is now over so I'm looking to get a powertap so that I can improve over the fall and winter . . . . wish me luck . . . !

8/17 - Did a longish ride after work to kill time. Yesterday I had a friend come and visit from NYC, so we celebrated til late. Woke up and felt pretty good, but as the day wore on I felt a slight headache which must have been lingering dehydration. It was a quite hot this afternoon/evening, but I swear I could feel all the toxins from the drink and food being sweated out. Placebo effect maybe, but the thought kept me going. The ride seemed to get better as I went on, and as an added surprise I ran into Ken out near Cosners Corner. Our encounter brought a smile to my face, and I used the little bit of euphoria to hustle just a little bit more.

8/18 - Some crazy motorist felt today that I had cut him off. So he pulled over, jumped out, and got into my face, screaming some things that are better left unwritten. I waited for him to take a swing, but nothing came of it. Another considerate driver in a panel van slowed and yelled for him to leave me alone and clear the road. He stalked back to his car, looking like a fool. I know that summertime heat brings out the testosterone in alot of people, but I'm not about to assault anyone for confusion about the laws of the road. If someone wants to beep their horn, fine, do it and keep moving. But don't make something out of a nothing situation. Neither the cyclist nor the driver will likely benefit.
I made it home in one piece, but the confrontation left me pumped up with adrenaline, which was a double edged sword. I rode stronger and faster, but I wasn't out to get in too high intensity of a workout.
Hope to see some guys out Sat . . . I have to fix some things on my trusty MTB, but if I do I'll be out . . . .

8/19th - Rode down Truslow and then out onto Centreport Pkwy, and then back to River Rd today. It is nice and scenic out near the Stafford airport which is a good thing after yesterdays irritation. The rain was just starting as I left work but it soon tapered off. If it doesn't rain again tomorrow, everything from today will just evaporate, making things that much more humid for the next few days.
Not a bad ride, even though I flatted near the Falmouth Bridge. Way too much debris in and around the road there. Oh well. Caught a beautiful sunset just as I was turning into my neighborhood - everything was bathed in golden light, which made the ride seem worthwhile.

8/20 - Taking a day off today. I rode to work, but kept getting calls from my sister who needs my help moving various pieces of furniture so she can get back to VA Tech. She came and picked me up around 5, and we got everything done. I could have tried to squeeze a ride in, but all of the demands of the day, and the fact that there is going to be a fast ride Sun makes me want to get some rest in.

8/21 - Actually ended up riding the trainer today. Had to work til late, and when I got home I didn't want to go back out - it was too dark, and the trainer looked quite inviting. Rode it til I was drenched with sweat, then rode some more.
GNC had a sale today, so I picked up around 15 bottles of Cytomax premixed drink. Trying to lug them home was a bit of a chore. Before riding River Rd I stopped and chugged as many as I could, just to make the backpack seem a little bit lighter. Nothing else really interesting today . . . . tomorrow I'm riding, but with decreased intensity so that I don't get blown out of the water Sunday . . . .! See you all then . . . .

8/22 - If its not raining, I'm not training. Rode in the rain for a long time today. Bike computer somehow got waterlogged, which is disappointing. Tried to stop by Bills to buy a BWR vest from him, but he was out. The rain wasn't too bad, but I stopped by GNC and ended up freezing after being inside for 5 minutes. So I sought out hills to warm up, and carried on.
So now I'm watching the Redskins, and feeling a little bit achey, and trying to jumpstart the recovery process so I don't get punished tomorrow . . . . . Sorry for the run on sentence, I'm a little beat.

8/23 - KOM day with Bill, Gus, and Joe. We went hard for about 35 miles . . . . all in all it was a good time. Bill had the misfortune of running into a pack of hornets, which sadly didn't slow him down any. Looking back it is sort of funny - he was way ahead of us and had stopped to wait, but in reality he was trying to free the insects from his jersey. Steve also commented later that Bill seems to have some strange way of attracting bees and such. On the way back into town I would team up with Joe, lead him out, and then let him duke it out with Bill. Bill won the majority of the KOM points, winning some free Cytomax recovery drinks, courtesy of my friends at GNC.

8/24 - Got to keep it short bc I'm riding tomorrow morning with Joe and Gus. It'll be good to get in some miles early . . . . anyway tomorrows post will be more interesting. Oh, and on the last note the powertap is cheaper that I thought, which means I'll be able to make real improvement over the winter.

8/25 - Up early for the ride w/ Gus and Joe. Did around an hour and a half, then work. Afterwork did around the same. Nothing too spectacular. I'm really looking forward to the cross ride this Sat, and then hopefully everyone can get together Sun to get something in.

*Note* Just noticed I marked every post as being in the 6th month of the year . . . . guess I can't let go of summer or something*

8/26 -
Good day today. At work some girl kept coming in and buying food, leaving me to wonder after the third or fourth time how she was eating so much. Finally we spoke and she ended up asking for my phone number. I was thinking at the time, "ok, it'll be good to get into something besides riding for a while." So, after work, I rode down to Centreport Pkwy and back, at one point running into some cyclists who were on a long tour that goes from New Hampshire down to Florida. One kid was from England and really seemed to be suffering in the heat. I thought about telling him to HTFU, instead offered to take him by GNC for some drinks. He declined, and we went our separate ways. After my ride I ended up going by GNC, and it was there that I had a change of heart. I decided that when the girl called later I would ignore the call. Maybe that sounds strange, but I have too many complications as it is. Plus I'm saving for the powertap which means every cent needs to stay in the piggybank. Oh well, hopefully there will have to be another opportunity sometime in the future . . . . .

8/27 - Today I could feel the wear and tear of the week. The major manifestation was not being able to reach higher speeds and intensities. Thats ok, because tomorrow is going to be a major rest day. What Bill commented really had me laughing . . . if anything does happen with her I'll have to post a report of sorts . . . !
Looking forward to cross practice this Saturday. I've never raced or practiced cross, so it should be fairly interesting.

8/29 - Did the commute thing, then caught a ride over to cross practice. Wasn't sure what to expect, but I had a lot of fun . . . . I tried my best to copy Bills every move, knowing that the guys I race against won't be of that caliber. We did a bunch of laps of the course itself, then some pacelining around one of the soccer fields. I thought the hardest part was lugging the bike across the ditch and then the short hill . . . . I thought to myself " Man, my legs are just too short " at one point. But other than that I'm looking forward to next Saturdays session . . . .

8/30 - E ride day w/ Bill, Andre, Ken and Ed. During the ride Ken and Andre filled me in on the differences between MTB'ing and road racing. Hopefully there will be a day where we can go and practice in person, as I'm sure my technical skills are close to zero. The slower rides are great because you can converse and really get a chance to check out the scenery and all. Great ride, but I started to bonk pretty hard when I was riding afterwards. Stopped at GNC for some calories and hydration and ended up staying for half an hour. By the time I left the sun was high, and home seemed like a long way off. Anyway, I made it eventually, and spent the rest of the day recovering.

8/31 - Paid for the powertap. Hope to train with efficiency and do well next season.

9/1 - Country ride with Gus. I rode to work, and then headed out to Foxpoint to meet him afterwards. Had to TT a little bit in order to get there in time. Once we were riding I tried to re create a ride I had done before, but ended up getting us lost. I wasn't going to admit it at first, but we were way out in the country, so I spilled my guts and asked him to keep an eye out for familiar streets. We ended up hitting familiar streets about an hour an a half in which was good because I was getting into pre bonk mode. Thirty minutes later I was getting the shakey leg. Gus gave me a half powerbar and a gel. The combined sugar and calories brought me back to life quite quickly. Its funny how good food can taste when you are deprived of it for a while . . . . . almost magical in a sense. We split at Harrison Rd. Good ride.


  1. good luck jack and joe I wish I could be there!, it sure will be nice when the team gets back together for some long E rides!

  2. The flatter the sprint, the farther back the rear must be over the saddle in order to keep the rear wheel weighted and generating forward thrust. I'd love to do a sprinting seminar sometime for you. There is a TON you can do to get the jump necessary to gain places in the sprint, rather than loosing places.

  3. Yes you should cool down. That being said, I don't always do it properly myself. Do what I say not what I do!

  4. Race report!!!!! We're dying to hear!

  5. Well said. and congrats on a well-fought race. I'm sure that that Northern Dork did not care anything about the kit, but cycling bring two types of characters to the table and it sounds like he was one-the nervous control freak. Don't take it personally(I'm one to talk) though. Those types don't know who is ACTUALLY trying to help them. His nervousness blocked his better vision. The people who appreciate your help are the ones worth helping. You are a helpful fellow and we appreciate that in you.

  6. Jack you are a constant amazement and I mean that in the best possible way. Proud to have you as a teammate.

  7. Great job Jack, next time we will make the NCVC guy take help even if we have to put air in his ear just kidding.You did a great job and we will be the better team, by letting the little things go and save it for what really matters WINNING!!!

  8. Fine Job there Mate!!!!!!!
    So Meth after racing is not a good idea?
    I like a nice Sam Smith nut brown ale for a carb recover drink.
    Great Job this year so far Jack!!!

  9. Great job Jack! You have a wisdom beyond your years, and as you observe, a favor now could pay dividends down the road. Most of the time the response is positive, but there are clearly numerous Type A folks in bike racing. You can usually pick them out because they barely talk to anyone and are seldom seen smiling. And they tend to head butt reporters and threaten anyone who steps on their dog with serious bodily harm.

  10. Great job, on the Chesapeake crit, if you can swing a Power Tab, that will help you improve your fitness for sure. Self discipline will be the key to your success and the Power tap will guide you

  11. As your coach, I'm telling you to ditch the powertap and do the "power-tap" wink wink! Relationships are way more important than the training!!!! Call her.

  12. As an old guy to a young guy I would recommend multiple "power-tap" intervals.

  13. My "powertap" doesn't seem to work around others, just when I'm on my own.