Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cyclocross Race Report

The Cyclocross racing on Saturday was a lot of fun. I only attended as a spectator but the great course, great riders, and great music really contributed to a fun atmosphere to spend the afternoon. I've really got to hand it to the riders. The course seemed really difficult. We had great weather today so I can only imagine how much tougher it would be if it were wet and/or cold.

East End/Krebs was well represented in the beginner, masters, and B races. The men's and women's elite racers put on an awesome display of power and bike handling as they flew across the course. The elites included former World Champion and current Canadian National Champion Lynn Bessette, former US National Champion Tim Johnson, and former Cyclocross National Champion and Road Racing National Champion Mark McCormack. Other cyclocross stars included Ryan Trebon, Barry Wicks, Ben Jacques-Manes, Troy Wells (U23 Champion), Matt White, Christine Vardaros, and others!

Makes you want to go out and get a cyclocross bike...

B Race and Masters Race Photos

Elite Race Photos
Lynn Bessette leading Elite Women
Elite Women's Podium
Elite Men Start (Wicks, Johnson, Trebon)
Elite Men gathering for the start
Elite Men Start (McCormack, Wells, White, Wicks)
Wicks Leading the Elite Men
Elite Men
Tim Johnson Leading the Elite Men

B Race Start (1st turn)
Lynn Bessette leads the Elite Women through the Barriers
Elite Men zip through the Barriers

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cyclocross Races on LI This Weekend

Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup 2006
September 30-October 1


The 4th annual Whitmore's Landscaping Super Cross Cup is scheduled to take place Saturday September 30th (Uci C1), and Sunday October 1st (Uci c2) in Southampton NY.
Reigning U.S. National Cyclocross Champion Todd Wells will have his hands full, with northeast cyclo-cross stalwarts Mark McCormack, Tim Johnson, Jesse Anthony, and Jeremy Powers all scheduled to attend the two day UCI sanctioned events. Bolstering the lineup for the men's fields are also Team Rock Lobster, Richard Sachs- RGM watches-Rex Chiu, and Independent Fabrications.

"Hampton Velo Club is also working hard to increase awareness in our town, for cycling and our events", said club secretary Sinead Fitzgibbon. "The owners of Wildthyme Restaurant and Bar generously agreed to show cycling films in the week leading up to the event, and donate a portion of their dinner revenue during that week. They have also arranged a world premier of Sam Smith's new cyclocross movie, scheduled for the evening of Saturday the 30th."

Furthering their tradition of equal prize lists for women racers, Saturday's C1 event will have a ladies prize list of over $4000. The action packed field will see 2006 Canadian National Champion Lynne Bessette take on former national team members Christine Vardaros, Maureen Bruno-Roy, and more top northeast competition in the fight for what may be the largest women's prize list in North American cross history. More information can be found at, or

(There is a beginners race on Saturday...Hmmmm......)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Early Birds - South

On Dune Road, waiting for a flat tire (Photo: PyZahl)

Did 50 miles in the wet and rain on Saturday, on the Trek. This morning, despite the threat of rain, I headed out to Manorville for the Early Birds ride. Due to weather, other rides, and schedule conflicts, it was about a month since I last joined this ride.

Despite the clouds there was a good turnout of riders. We had favorable winds going out and some tough headwinds on the return. Still, we managed 22 mph average speed for the 52 mile ride. Also, a nice 30 mph sprint at the end, which is typical for the south route.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Highlander Report

Highlander Elevation profile

Well, the day of The Highlander finally arrived yesterday. This is a century with over 11,000 feet of climbing and several climbs with a grade over 20%. (Checkout the About section on the Highlander website for a great description of the route.) The weather cooperated as it was a cool, overcast day with light winds. It was a bit misty in the morning but no rain developed and the roads were dry.
The ride was challenging, as expected. Although the route was changed slightly this year, it still included the three "killer" climbs up Bopple, Gannet, and Sliter. Two accomplishments this year: new all time maximum speed of 54 mph, and I did not have to walk up Sliter! I did the whole ride solo, which was good in that I was able to keep to my own pace.
Ride organization was excellent. The route was clearly marked and a map was provided. There was no cue sheet listing turns and distances but the map and road markings were great. No wrong turns at all. Rest stops were plentiful and well stocked, another improvement from last year's ride.
The Finger Lakes scenery was great. Overall, a very enjoyable ride.
I did not bring a camera but I did bring a GPS and I will post the route track here when I get a chance to download it at home.

Highlander GPS track on

This morning should have been an easy recovery ride but I felt like I had recoverd well from the century and did my usual Corning-Harris Hill loop. I will post the GPS track for that ride here as well.

Corning-Harris Hill Elevation profile

Corning-Harris Hill GPS track

All in all, a great weekend of hill climbing for a change of pace from the usual LI landscape. I will update this post if I locate any photos at a later time.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Century Gear

I’m starting to gather my gear together for The Highlander on Saturday as I will be leaving straight from work on Friday to drive upstate. Ride start is 7:00am on Saturday and I will have about 1 hour drive to get there from from Corning and register. So, here is a list of what I will bring on the ride. Based on last year’s experience, when I only found two of the expected 5 rest stops, I’m going to bring a bit of extra food and, possibly and extra water bottle. Also, this century is in a rural area so if I get stranded by a mechanical it may be a while before I can get a SAG pickup. When I pull out of the ride start I will be carrying the following:

- 3 Clif Bars
- 2 bottles of Performance energy drink
- 1 extra bottle of water in a jersey pocket (maybe)
- GPS unit
- Plastic bag with cue sheet, clipped to my handlebars
- Seat bag containing 2 spare tubes, tire levers, 3 CO2 catridges, CO2 inflater, patch kit, emergency tire boot
- Cell phone
- Money for food and drink in case I need to refill and there is no rest stop around
- Mini pump

Based on the weather forecast, I expect to be wearing:

- Short sleeve jersey
- Undershirt
- Bib shorts
- Arm warms (if less than 60F at start)
- Cycling socks
- Cycling shoes
- Helmet
- Short finger gloves
- sunglasses

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Long Ride

PyZahl posted on the SBRA Bike Forum that he was looking to do a 100+ mile A pace ride today. I took him up on it! We left Rocky Point at 8:00am, and headed east to Orient Point. We made it there after 52 miles. With a nice tailwind, the two of us average about 21 mph.

We refilled bottles and then headed back to Greenport to catch the ferry from the North fork to Shelter Island. There was a bit of a wait for the ferry but we were kept company by about 50 other cyclists in the middle of a charity ride, also waiting to go to Shelter Island. After some trouble disconnecting the ferry line from the dock, we arrived at Shelter Island and made a quick crossing to the South Ferry terminal. A short wait there and we sailed down to the South Fork.

We headed into Sag Harbor but were turned back by a traffic officer who told us that bikes were not allowed down main street in Sag Harbor. This was a bit of a problem because we were following a route in PyZahl's GPS unit and couldn't modify it. We refilled bottles again and took a detour to East Hampton.

We rode down the South fork to Riverhead to fill bottles one more time. We realized then that we had added about 15 miles to our original route. From Riverhead, we slogged North, back to Rocky Point. Total ride distance, 122.58 miles, my second-longest ride, ever. Here is the GPS track on MotionBased.

It was a fun ride with a bit of adventure, revising the route as we went along. The legs are kind of sore and this turned into an 8-hour ride instead of the 6 hours I had anticipated so I will probably skip the Early Bird ride tomorrow. Actually we travelled many roads used by the EB North and South routes, also Bike-Boat-Bike, Tour of the Hamptons, and North Fork Century. Thanks to PyZahl for organizing a great ride. Here are some other photos from the ride:

Lighthouse at Orient Point
Ferry to Connecticut, at Orient Point
Nick at Orient Point, 9/9/2006, 52 miles into a 123 mile ride
Percy at Orient Point, 9/9/2006
Boats around Shelter Island, while waiting for the ferry
Main Street, Sag Harbor
Percy and I, back at Rocky Point, after 123 miles
Nick outside Tilda's Bake Shop, Rocky Point, our start/end point

Friday, September 08, 2006

Losing Daylight on Morning Rides

Its been getting dark in the mornings and I've started riding with
headlight and taillight on my pre-work morning loop to Jones Beach. I've been using my low power LED headlight Nite Rider Ultra Fazer 3.0) so I'm more visible to cars and to provide some light for the first 15 minutes of my ride until the sun starts to come up.

In another week or two I'm going to have to break out the Nite Hawk halogen and its big batterty pack so I can get enough light on the path to see.

Two problems with the Nite Hawk:
1) I only have one mount so I need to decide which bike to put in on (the Specialized or the Trek)
2) the battery pack distorts the bottle cage so I'm concerned it might break the new lightweight cages I just put on the Specialized

It looks like I will mount it on the Trek and it will become the default "winter/morning" bike.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Harbor Hills

Met up with SBRA group in Stony Brook for the Harbor Hills ride. This a a scenic but hilly ride at an A+ pace. This instance of the ride totaled out to about 40 miles. Had a rather large group to start but it broke up along the way as various smaller groups peeled off to do their own thing. We had a beautiful day for riding.
I will try to hit some hills next weekend as well to try and prepare for The Highlander. One rider had a camera on the ride and snapped a few photos. Here is a photo of the group (thanks PyZahl!).

Sunday, September 03, 2006

First post!

Hello! This is the first post for the new "nlec" blog. Check back for info on what "nlec" have been up to. There will probably be a cycling bias to these entries but we'll see how it goes.