Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Salida Omnium: Lucky #13

Report from the trenches of the Salida Omnium (by Eric). My wife Lillian and I drove down to Salida on Friday afternoon. When we arrived in Salida by 4pm, the weather looked dark, gloomy, and of course, wet. My start time for the 35+/4 time trial wasn't until 6:45ish, so we checked into the hotel first, then I went out to scout out where the course was.

Near the starting area, I spotted the BlueSky jersey of Jose. I stopped to talk to Jose and he told him the race was delayed at least 30 minutes due to the rain. He and the other 3's, Barry/Issac, we're supposed to roll out soon, but the weather was not cooperating. I wished him luck and headed back to the hotel to relax a bit and get my bike ready.

My wife and I headed back out to the warmup area a little after 6pm. The weather was still drizzling, but it looked like the TT show must go on, so riders persevered in the rain. By 6:30ish, the rain started to dry up and conditions improved. I warmed up in this new residential subdivision and watched some Chipotle pro riders heading back to their cars. One of them was Mike 'Meatball' Friedman, who's heading to Beijing in the Madison track event in a couple weeks.

In any case, my TT start time arrived and I rolled out as fast as I could. There was a fast downhill for a short section, but the remainder of the outbound part of the TT was a slight uphill false flat that just burnt your legs. I saved enough for the return portion to place 14th out of 20 plus riders. I reckon I could have done better if I got the time to recon the course.

The next day was the infamous road race. The 35/4+ group was lucky in that we only had to do 4 laps (48 miles) of the 12 mile/1300ft per lap course, most of it in a private, hilly residential neighborhood. The 4's had 60 miles/5laps, while the 3's and 35+ had 72 miles/6 laps. The start left from Alpine Park in downtown Salida, and because they could not guarantee road closures, we had a neutral rolling start for 6-7 miles out to the country roads before the mayhem ensued. Another key point to note is the race finished not back at the bottom, but at the top of the hillclimb. Joy!

At the starting area I ran into Dave Kilmoyer, who signed up for the road race too. It was great to see a familiar face, and Dave and I talked shit while we could during the easy pace of the neutral roll out. It started to feel like a group ride as the neutral pace was something like 15mph. After what seemed like 10 miles, we finally stopped at an intersection of the country roads.

After a mass nature break involving half of our 3 dozen rider field, the official read us our rights, and started the race. The pace started off very easy, probably because everyone knew what lurked ahead and no one was in any hurry to start the painfest. In any case, once we turned right off the highway onto the first climbs, the pace stepped up and a group of 10 riders went to the front. I tried hanging with lead group up until the first super-steep section, but decided not to burn a match this early in the race.

I rode my own pace until the top of the first lap, and I was about 1/4 mile behind the lead group. Two other rider's were slightly in front of me and I tried to reel them in on the fast, twisty descents, but I was getting nowhere. I was in no man's land, and I saw a train of half a dozen riders behind me, so I joined their paceline. Before long, we had pulled back the 2 in front to form a chase group of 8-10 riders. I looked around for Dave, but he didn't make the cut.

Our chase group broke apart on each climb and we never saw the lead group again after the second lap. I was feeling pretty good and I rode at the front of this chase group, alternating pace duties thru the next couple laps. At the top of the 2nd lap, I saw my wife Lillian holding out a nice cold water bottle, which I gladly accepted. Thanks!

On the third time up the climb, I saw the BlueSky jersey of Max Arias. All the junior riders got lumped in with the cat 4, 60 mile/5 lap slugfest. By this time Max was on lap 4 of 5 and showing some signs of the effort. We cheered him on and continued up the road. Go Max.

By the start of the climb on the final lap, our not-so-elite group had whittled down to only four of us. When he hit the steep part of the hillclimb, two of the riders bolted, and I just couldn't respond as my legs were about to cramp up, but I was able to drop the 4th rider to gain another place. I rode my own race and finished in 13th place out of 30 plus riders. Dave said he finished in the back of the pack. We rode back downhill to town at a leisurely pace and we were finally able to enjoy the majestic, mountain scenery on the descents. That downhill was fun and almost made all the other pain worth it.

After a fine dinner at Amica's Saturday night, I somehow dragged my tired body out of bed at 5:55am to stuff some carbs and caffeine in my gut. Lillian and I got to the park start area about a half hour before the gawdawful 7:30am start time. With the altitude, it was a bit nipply out, and it was time to add some arm/knee warmers and roll out for some warm-up laps on the downtown figure 8 course.

Some of the riders I chatted with the day before assured me that the crit last year wasn't too bad as everyone gets tired from the road race the day before. Cool, just what I need. When we lined up with about 3 dozen riders for the start of our 45 min race, the official announced that they had a whopping 9 primes to award during the race. What that really meant is each lap was going to be a sprint to the finish line with the pack all strung out.

The race got off to a quick start and by the 2nd lap there was some gift certificate prime and the pace had the group in a single line. We regrouped on the backside of the course only to hear the bell go off for another prime. One of the more memorable primes was a coupon for a hoagie sandwich from some local restaurant. As we hit the back half of the lap, a bunch of us were chanting, 'HOAGIE, HOAGIE, HOAGIE...'. A Mob Cyclery rider bolted into the last corner only to get pipped at the line, all for a hoagie.

The insanity ensued and it took me half the race to find my rhythm. I thought I was riding somewhere in the middle, but when I looked back, I saw myself near alone at the back. A dozen riders were already gone off the back. I dug deep and moved into some place near 10-15 riders from the front for the last few laps. I heard DaveK cheering me on the sidelines which really helped morale. During the final lap, the pace went ballistic, and I did all I could to finish in the bunch sprint, placing in a modest 15th.

After three days of riding, my consistent placings of 14th, 13th, and 15th netted me an overall of 13th. Lucky #13. Lucky that I avoided rain on Friday, lucky to not cramp up during the road race, and lucky to not crash during the criterium. I was really hoping for a top ten overall, but since its my first omnium, I'm happy with the results. Good times.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Winter Park Update

With the Winter Park series just past the half-way point (4 out of 7 races completed), the Blue Sky Velo "A" team is in _1st_ place. The Blue Sky Velo "B" team is also racing strong and is currently in the top-half. Notable results on the "A" team have been posted by Grady Huff and Phil Murray, both of whom have made every race so far (consistency counts!). Woo-ho!

The last three races are on August 2, 16, and 30. Don't forget to mark these on your calendar. Go team(s)!

Below are a few pictures from the Super D on 7/20. Sorry for the mediocre quality - turns out I didn't pick a very good spot to shoot from, and my camera really wasn't up to the task.

Marty Caivano dressed for battle

Phil Murray scouts his line

Michael Baraga shows good form with his "attack" position

Chris Madden rides through a cloud of dust

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Boulder Short Track

Short track has been off the menu for most of the summer for me as I focused on some Crit and TT work, but tonight it was like being reunited with a lost love. A little tentative at first, but once things settled down I got myself into a good rhythm. I spent most of the race in no mans land behind the lead group of riders of ten or so, with the nearest group to me probably close to thirty seconds or so back. I spotted Bryan G. with about three laps to go a tried to pull him back, but wasn't making too much progress. Then, Mr. Mud, who was warming up for the A race, got behind me and started yelling at me. "Get out of the saddle and SPRINT." "OK, recover a little here and get ready to go again." "GO! Get your teammate." It was very motivating and I almost caught him, but ran out of track.

Congrats to all of the Blue Sky folks out representing tonight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Super D:

The most fun you can have with your clothes on.

I have no idea why so many people seem so intimidated by it. One of the expert women rode it (darn fast, I might add) on a fully rigid 29er. So my advice to the rest of the Front Range cross-country riders who didn't compete: I'll hold your purse while you sign up next time.

So anyhow, four of us woke up at the Blue Sky Condo Compound and got our downhill faces on: Michael Baraga, Mike Bernhardt, Rob and myself, with our illustrious sponsor Andrew Maloney opting for a day in the camp chair hollering from a spot in the shade. After crashing in the cross-country, he wisely opted to save his needle-wielding hands for next week's patients.

Rob and I squirmed into our padded downhill shorts, donned various elbow and shin guards (just for show, you know) and got on the lift. It really is a great thing to get to the top under someone else's power after you're totally blown from 19 miles the previous day.

After collecting our bikes at the top, we rode to the start and stared at it, dumbfounded. During our test run the previous day, tour guide John Bevans had waved his hand vaguely at the dirt road below the lift and said casually, "The start is just down there. You don't really need to ride it right now, it's just a little piece of road."

Uh, yeah. I wouldn't call it "just down there." It was a sizeable distance down the road, creating a start that was virtually identical to those damn cross-country race starts. No awesome sprint for the hole shot (the only thing I'm vaguely good at), no duking it out for your place in line. Instead, it was a painfully slow drag race up a ski road hill for interminable minutes. Gee, yet another race set up to reward the climbers. Keystone, where are you now?

Rob and I felt decent, but there was no denying the toll on the legs after the previous day's XC race. That hill was going to smoke us both and toss our butts into the gutter.

I watched Rob start and could tell that his legs were again forwarding calls to voicemail. I feared the same, but was temporarily distracted by the lack of women at the start line. There was myself, the only woman in the old chicks category; one lone pro woman; and three other experts in younger categories. I joked with them, "You may already be a winner!" but Winter Park Start Guy ("three, two, one....GOOOOOO-oooooo!") reminded me that you do have to actually finish the race. And even if we were racing alone in our category, we would be setting an historic time for Winter Park's first-ever Super D.

Feeling appropriately motivated, I got on the start line, eyeing my Maverick lying on its side like a dead horse just up the road. LeMans starts always crack me up - for about two seconds until I actually start running, then it's not funny at all. I almost got dropped on the run, in fact, before my floppy legs could finally start turning. Then I pulled ahead, brought the dead horse to life and leaped on. Three pedal strokes, and I was even ahead of Bobbi Kae Watt, the pro. Then, like a movie run backwards, all four women cruised past me like semi trucks. Sigh.

I flailed away on that hill like a dying swimmer, then finally made it to the singletrack, where I actually managed to get my groove on. Ahhhh. Pump that dip, carve that berm, pedal pedal pedal, there's wind in my teeth from grinning so hard. Launch off that tree root, slide through the turn, it feels just like downhill skiing. Wheee! I rode the ass of the woman in front of me, trying to find the energy to pass, but she dropped me handily on every uphill or pedally section, so it was hopeless. She wasn't even in my category anyway, although I would have liked to have passed her on principle.

Every time I had to pedal, my legs turned to cement, but I survived those sections with thoughts of the little bridge-jumps down below. My tires made satisfying "whoosh" noises as I launched off each one, catching a little bit of blissful air before landing with a crunch back in the dirt. There's the finish line -- pump those rollers and turns, keep hauling ass, watch out for the harsh divot full of mud, pedal pedal pedal -- and roll into the chute gasping for breath.

Anyone who thinks downhillers have no fitness have obviously never tried this. I was easily as anaerobic as any cyclocross race. With just as big a grin on my face at the end.

At the bottom, Blue Sky had made an impressive showing. Mike Bernhardt not only took 2nd place on his 29er hardtail, he let the world admire his rippling chest by wearing my XS jersey on the podium.
Cindy bagged a nice third place on her new Maverick, even after crashing and damaging her shifter pod the day before. Who needs gears, anyway?

Rob finally got some face time with his out-of-office legs and scored a solid 4th place in a category full of aggro dudes and trees trying to take him down.

Michael Baraga pulled down a sweet 3rd place on his hardtail, scorning all the full-suspension weenies behind him.

I, naturally, won AND lost my category simultaneously, making for a rather dubious trip to the podium. It's just me and my imaginary friends.

It was a great weekend, putting Blue Sky Velo Team A in first place for the series. And I have to say that if you haven't tried Super D, you should really add it to your list. It's D-lovely and D-licious.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunrise Century Club Sponsored Event!

We all train in different ways for upcoming events, but I chose the Sunrise Century to see how ready I'd be for the Triple Bypass, and what food works or doesn't for long, hard rides.

Wheels down before 7AM at the sunrise Century for many of us gave plenty of time to meet our goals. The weather on the most part (what is it about the wind in Boulder?) was amazing. The start/finish line was supplied with mechanics, food and lots of tunes to send us off.

The first 20 miles were relatively fast with rollers wandering through the outskirts of Boulder. The aid stations were supplied with a variety of fruit and carbs. The atmosphere was one of excitement with jokes and easy-going rivalry - at least at the first 2. :) The camaraderie was always encouraging, making the ride seem shorter and easier than it was. The climbing on hwy 7 seemed endless and hot with some reprieve on the Peak to Peak highway. People on the road became quieter as they dug deeper to keep their pace or just to survive. Ward was decision time for those going 75 or 100 miles. Thankfully I had a choice. I've heard the road up to Ward from Nederland was challenging, and this day I wasn't up for it, but the rest of the group was. They had reached this point at least 45 minutes ahead of me, and had already started to Nederland.

The ride back to Boulder was fast. yippee...

From the group, Cindy got stuck cleaning dog poo out of her cleats, and John had contact issues, but otherwise it was a good ride. I was disappointed I didn't do the 100, but this was certainly the hardest ride I'd done this year so far, and has encouraged me to do more. Wearing the Blue Sky jersey was great. Having people cheer for us specifically making me feel like part of a team.

Thanks to the BSV friends and sponsors who cheered us along the way. See you on the road!

PS. I did finish the Triple
- Annette Dyer

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Leanin' Tree Crit

Blue Sky Velo lined up 4 strong for the Leanin' Tree Crit. Bryan Grace and Pete Galt were entering their first ever crit, and Ross and I are "veterans" at getting dropped.

I was hoping the blazing heat of the day would hold off until after our race, but it was clear as I warmed up that my wishes wouldn't come true. It was a scorcher. I don't know if the heat contributed, but the group was pretty small (<30?).

We started out hard, but I was suprised at how quickly and frequently the group sat up. I went to the front a number of times to see if I could get things moving. As soon as I would let someone pull through, though, the pace would slow right back down. I wish I had the legs today to try to make a break happen, but it just wasn't happening. I'll be curious to check out the power data later to see if the ride was as easy as I thought it was. (I'm out of town now, but I'm going to try out Isaac's PowerTap downloading tool to grab all my ride data until I can get back to my house and WJO+.)

People were choosing weird lines today. It's like people forgot that the shortest path between 2 points is a straight line. For example. after the start/finish, the road curved to the left. For the first half of the race, people were staying far right instead of taking the straighter line on the left. I think their brains were thinking that they needed to stay in the lane like they were driving, or maybe they thought they'd be better off drafting than taking a faster line. Also, someone came up from behind and banged into me (more than the usual incidental contact). It was weird. There was a little bend in the road, and I'm not sure what line this person was trying to take. Nobody went down, so that's good I suppose.

With a couple to go, someone from Turin put it an attack and had a good gap. I was mid-pack at that point and saw one of his teammates on the front soft pedaling and let the gap grow. It's pretty amazing what one person can do to help a gap grow. It was even more amazing that people were happy to sit on his wheel. I came around him and picked up the pace for a quarter lap and that got things moving a bit.

On the final lap I came through the corner before the climb on Ross's wheel. He made a great attack on the hill and I was following him when somone came in and pinched me agains the curb. I had no choice but to grab some brake and lose all my momentum. That was rough. I reaccelerated and stayed with the group, but there was no way I could get up to the front again. That's too bad, it would have been a sweet leadout from Ross. He led the field up the finishing stretch and took 4th. Bryan rode near the front of the group the whole time and took 6th. An awesome result, especially for his first crit. All those short track races are paying dividends on the pavement too.

Nice work everyone and I'll see you all in Prospect on August 9th. I imagine with a short course and a bunch of corners, it'll be quite a bit different than this race.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cat3 Mt Evans Report

Barry and Isaac go fishing for 3s

Today Barry and I made the 6am rendezvous for the annual July rite of passage, the Mt Evans Hill Climb. The race started mellow in an almost reverse criterium ... it was crazy with race positions being given out like it was Christmas. "Oh you'd like to take this wheel I'm on, go ahead." Needless to say, we enjoyed ourselves.

About 45 minutes in the race hotted up and Barry and I were forced to make the delicate decision regarding whether to bury some matches to stay with the group or settle into a steady tempo. With only ~20 riders ahead and both of us looking solid, it seemed like we were better off settling down and working together. Time to go fishing!

This is where the fun started. We settled in and waited for riders ahead to blow. As we made a pass we would gauge whether the rider was sticking with the pace; we'd either isolate-and-jump or simply take turns tweaking the pace. We didn't want to drag anyone to the finale and discover they've sprouted wings. It was also convenient to get a gap before the flat portions so the two of us could crank and rest while the chasing rider is left to his own devices.

We hit the final portion and Barry started to feel his oats and took off. I eased off a bit to recover and jumped away from a stubborn dude who had stuck with us through the rudded descent. I got a gap and got in my time-to-finish mode. I was passed in the final couple kilometers -- which sucked, but good thing we hadn't towed the dude all day. Then in the last kilometer I caught a rider, but I couldn't drop him, so I power-looped him in the last 500m and sprinted away in the final 100m. In the end, Barry and I nabbed 15th/17th or 16th/18th or something like that.

We caught a ride down -- totally sweet, I recommend it -- then headed home to regroup for the last big road rendezvous of 2008, the Salida Omnium.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Think Outside of the Box

Here's my report for the Rocky Mounts/Izze Louisville criterium on Saturday, July 12th. Last year, I thought about signing up for this crit on race day, but it rained in the morning, so I went back to bed, only to find the weather turn to blue skies a couple hours later. Figures. This Saturday, the weather was perfect, mostly sunny and under 70 degrees for the 8:30 start time of the 35+/4 race.

I was super excited to register for this race as it's about a mile from my home in Louisville. About an hour before the race, I rode my bike over to the registration tent to get my race number. Right after, I had nature break impending, so I had the luxury to ride back to my home and use the home toilette instead of the usual port-a-let. On the way back, I passed Steve Capstick riding in for registration and we exchanged "morning" greetings.

After getting ready to roll, I headed back to the race start to meet up with Steve, Jason Kaminski and Brad Erdner. The start of the 35+/4 field had about 70 or so riders, and us Blooskees were bunched in the middle for the starting gun. The race started off pretty quick and I got stuck in the back of the pack at the get go. So, I spent the first few laps moving up a few places to get near the front.

I saw Jason and Steve battling it out on the upward leg-burning stretch of each lap. All of the riders were suffering a bit on the ascent during this early morning start time. I finally was able to settle in a nice rhythm, and slowly moved into 10-15th place when the first prime lap was announced. Rob 'Lumberjack' Kelly (you know what I mean if you saw him) took the first prime sprint and the race strung out a bit to reel this dangerous guy back in.

After the pace settled down again, we were getting close to the halfway point of this 45 minute race. I was sitting close to 5th place as we came back up the leg-burner stretch when a Mix-1 rider and a couple others accelerated in what looked like a breakaway attempt. Since I was right near the front I marked this move as quickly as I could. As we came by the finish line for another lap, the officials rang the bell and yelled "Prime Lap".

I was huffing and puffing while I recovered from marking the accelerations and the lead riders got some sense in them and settled down as we headed down the frontside of the lap. As we came around the bottom of the hill and started back up the ascent, I found myself in 3rd position going back up to the finish. The two riders in front were holding their tempo with about 1/4 lap to go, so I took the chance and attacked on the steepest part of the climb (okay, maybe 4% grade, but it hurt). I caught them both by surprise and quickly had 25m on both of them. Nobody else bridged across and I kept my tempo up and grabbed the prime all alone. Sweet! My first ever prime sprint award!

I looked back to see if anyone else was going to bridge, but no one came. If I had better fitness, I might have worked to stay off the front and wait for some help in a breakaway, but I decided it was better to wait for the pack and settle back in.

The group rode together for the final prime and a lap later or so they announced 5 laps to go. The pace picked up a bit each lap and everyone got a little more nervous. I kept my top 10 position and decided to move up to the front with 2 laps to go. When we came up the last uphill to the finish line I found myself in 3rd place again. As we rolled around the backside, the riders in front eased off and I decided to soft pedal to conserve energy for the final lap. Bad idea. Before I knew it the pack had swarmed around me and I got boxed in with no room to counter left or right.

As we came around for the final bell lap, I desperately looked for opportunities to move up a notch or too, but the pace was all out. On the final uphill to the finish, everyone was starting to max their pace, except for the guy in front of me, and I got boxed in yet again. I finally came around on the crest of the hill to take 19th at the line. Jason finished in a respectable 26th, considering only 33 riders finished out of a 70 rider field.

I'm a bit disappointed as I let myself get boxed in with a 1-1/2 laps to go. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Oh well, I'll chalk this one up to experience and try not to let it happen again. In any case, I can savor my first prime sprint award as a reminder of my good form on Saturday.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

Crit Monster Bites Again....

In the old man 4's we had a very nice big group. Underneath the DRS/Blue Sky Velo tent we warmed up with very high spirits.

The race looked like a who's who in cycle cross with Teasdale, Farell, Kilmoyer and Graboski, then you toss in a Ho, Eric Scroger, Ed Fostveit, Kaminski and Brad Erdner--The day had a lot of potential. Man, I hope I didn't get any names wrong or miss anybody. I apologize if I did...

I think all in all the group raced well. When I would look around I would see Blue Sky jerseys all over. It felt really nice to have the army around. Even Ed who hasn't raced since 1999 in a crit was hanging in tough. A couple of times I saw Dave K railing some turns. I think Rob would have been proud of him.

With around 25mins into the race, Ho and I were hovering around 15th place and Ho decided this was not a good thing. Ho decided to work us up to the front. We were sitting pretty comfortably in the 2nd and 3rd spot.

Then with about 7 laps to go the "Crit Monster" bit again. I reached down to grab some water at the same time the guy in front of Ho pulled up and a little over. So the pace died pretty quickly and Ho moved over a little bit reacting to the guy in front. Next thing I know my front wheel is on Ho's back tire and I've got a hand on the hoods and a hand on the water bottle and then I'm on the ground with people landing on me and bikes flying everywhere.

Before the race Kevin said ride at the front and then followed up with "Do as I say not as I did". So of course what happens to me when riding at the front?

Good news is that I'm okay--just the standard bruises and road rash. It look liked most of the people in the crash rode off except for a BPN guy and me. I'm hoping he is okay. If I wasn't so frazzled I probably could have jumped back in the race but better to be safe than sorry.

Ruined Skin Suit - $120
New rear d - $80
New Powertap carriage - $80
Ruined Blue Sky Gloves - $27
Giro replacement program - don't know yet...

Racing with Blue Sky team mates - PRICELESS.

It is so much fun racing with like 10 of us out there. Each and every race we are getting better as a team and as individuals. Let's keep up the good work.

I think special props are in order for Brad who bounced back from yesterday's race to a very nice personal win on today's race.

Mike Dancel

Again, hopefully I captured everything correctly.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Successful Day at Niwot

I had both a lucky and succesful day today. I was lucky enough to avoid several major crashes that happened around me.

In the 35+ 4's I felt strong and felt like I was able to continually move up when I needed to. And for the first time this season I was actually mentally in the race. I knew how much time / how many laps were left. I was plotting out a plan of how I can possibly win this thing AND for the first time I was actually in an excellent position.

Right before the 5 lap counter was posted I was sitting in the 2nd spot and was feeling good. Then the swarming started and I did best to hold my position.

On the 1st straight away on the last lap I lost several spots. However, on the 2nd straight away I was able to make them back up. At this point the pace seemed to have slowed so I figured I'd just sit in a bit longer on the straight away and jump after the left turn coming out of the straight away. Unfortuntately I did not have a good left turn so when I jumped it was too late. In hindsight I wish I would have been 1st to the left hand turn.

And then on the next turn (1st greater than 90 degree turn) the guy in front of me did not have such a good turn and I had to smash my breaks to avoid him. It's never good when you are smashing your breaks in a crit. On the last greater than 90 degree turn I came in too hot and ended up riding on the sidewalk, after bunny hopping off I put in a final sprint effort.

I ended up 9th which is really good for me. Each race is a learning experience and I sure learned alot on how not to ride a last lap on this one. But all in all this race was a nice breakthrough for me.

Mike Dancel

Niwot Crit - Down goes Fraser

I must have had some bad karma today. On the way to the race I hit a prairie dog, and walking to registration I stepped in some dog crap. Maybe I should have turned around and gone home. :)

After warming up for a while in the shade, I rolled over to the start line and got a good spot at the front next to Lee. Lee's number one rule of crit racing - get a good start. If all else fails, at least you had a good start.

I didn't start great, but I stuck in the middle of the field. It was hard to pass people with all the corners, but I was able to move up some on the longer straight sections of the course. The effort I had to put in out of each corner at the back of the pack sucked, so it was worth trying to move up.

For most of early parts of the race, it felt like we were taking the corners at a pretty good speed. I got impatient when the laps slowed down and decided to start coming up on the inside. On the second 120 degree corner, I came in deep inside. After all the slow paced cornering, my brain had forgotten that I couldn't pedal through a corner at high speeds. Consequently, I hit a pedal on the ground and went down.

I'm annoyed at myself for making such a dumb mistake, but it's a learning experience. I think I made the right choice to try and move up, but I just executed poorly. I have some good scrapes, but nothing serious. I'll live to fight another day at the Leaning Tree crit in a couple weeks.


SM3s at Niwot Criterium

Right now I'm just holding on to the saying that it is better to look marvelous than to be marvelous. We looked marvelous today!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Triple By Pass Training and Swing Dancing Intervals

Hanging out with fellow Blue Sky team mates is always a blast. This past weekend John and Annette Dyer made the trip down to Colorado Springs to do some biking and swing dancing. As a paying hobby (sometimes a money sucking hobby) John and Annette are heavily involved with teaching and promoting swing dancing in the Boulder area. John is probably the finest DJ Colorado has to offer and was down in Colorado Springs to DJ. It was a win-win for me as I got to ride with the Dyers and got to dance with Annette to John’s music.

The Dyers are training for the Triple Bypass so I took them on one of my favorite climbs in the Springs, Gold Camp Road. After, the Gold Camp Road climb we headed into Garden of the Gods. The entrance into the “Garden” is a steep 4min climb. We attacked that full force for a nice VO2/Anaerobic Threshold interval.

After a quick shower we headed off to the local favorite pizza hangout – Poor Richards where we talked about how great Blue Sky Velo is. We finished off the night with some 3 min dance intervals. That was a good day!

This weekend we’ll switch things up a bit. I’m heading to Boulder and will be doing some of the DJing Saturday night and the Niwot Crit on Sunday.

Fun times!!
Mike Dancel