Saturday, May 31, 2008

Weather Gamble

I checked the weather forecast this morning...80% change of rain for the day but most likely in the afternoon, only about 20% chance until 9:00am. I took the chance and set out for my usual 50-mile ride. Got the first bit of drizzle after 5 miles. It only lasted a couple of minutes and the sun even came out for a while as I rode east on the LIE srevice road.

Almost as soon as I made the turnaround, the heavy rain started! It was really pouring for about 15 minutes, then gradually let up. I started to think about cutting the ride short but by the time I got back to Round Swamp Rd., the roads were fairly dry, so I went for the West Hills loop as well.

Heading south back down Round Swamp, more drizzle and wet roads. I got the miles I wanted but ended up pretty soaked. I'll need to get the bike cleaned-up for tomorrow's Bike-Boat-Bike century, and figure out some way to get my cycling shoes dried out by then.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Ride and the Blue Angels

The Blue Angels in formation at Jones Beach, May 25, 2008.

Did the 40-mile Brands route, again, with great weather. I was a bit tired from a busy day on Saturday and we also had plans to see the air show at Jones Beach, so I cut the ride a bit shorter to just 40 miles

We joined some friends out on their boat and really enjoyed the airshow and a leisurely cruise back to Freeport when it was over. We all had a fun time and enjoyed the nice weather. Here is a little video snippet of the Blue Angels roaring overhead as we bobbed offshore in the boat.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend - Saturday Ride

Great weather forecast for the weekend. I set out this morning for the usual 50 mile Brands Ride, but it was too nice out! So I did a second loop out on the LIE for a total of 65 miles...a metric century. Should have brought more water! Anyway, I wanted the extra miles for training because next weekend I'm planning on doing SBRA's Bike-Boat-Bike ride. Most likely, I will attempt the 135 mile route, so that will be a DOUBLE metric century. I did it a couple of years ago with John Y. so I hope to hook up with John and maybe some of the Early Birds at the start.

Tomorrow should be a good riding day too! Was thinking of doing the BBB 100-mile pre-ride but I have a few other things planned for this weekend besides the bike, so I'll just save it for next weekend.

Monday, I'm planning for a day OFF the bike, which I haven't done since April 11th! Looking forward to spending the day with the family.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Tour de Parc Race Photos

Photo of me and Larry U. in the peloton, by Skip Straub.

Here is a link to more Cat 4 race photos.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tour de Parc Race Report (updated with results)

My first race of 2008! I signed up for the Cat. 4 race, 20 laps, about 20 miles.

Got up early this morning to find sunshine and spring-like temperatures. A nice surprise since a possibility of showers was forecast right up until last night. Had a leisurely breakfast then suited-up in my EECT kit. The race is only a couple of miles from home so I ride the bike there and picked up my number.

I headed down to Jones' Beach for a 9-mile warmup and was back just in time for the Masters 45+ race, the race before the Cat 4's. Met Dad there and chatted for a couple of minutes until some other EECT guys showed up. We rode a few loops around the park to warm up, made final pit stops, then lined up for the race. I think there were about 6 EECT guys in the race including me.

A good size field, maybe 50 riders. We got our final intructions, then we were off. We had a fast start and one rider overcooked the initial hairpin left-hander but he kept it upright on the grass and rejoined the group without a problem. Exiting the left-hander we were straight into the wind. After the small hill at the other end of the course we had a tailwind so it was a fast-paced drop back down to the finishing straight.

Aside from a handful of short-lived break attempts the group kept together, for the most part. About midway through, one rider was forced into the left-hand curb and did an endo! I think he ended up in the grass and was not seriously injured. As we got closer to the end the group got nervous and there were lots of shouts of "hold your line", or "on your right", and a few other expletives that won't be described here!

One EECT rider was in a final break of three but when his two companions dropped off, he was left alone in the wind and was reabsorbed with 2 laps to go. It ended in a bunch sprint. The EECT rider thinks he may have gotten 5th. I finished mid-pack, happy not to have been dropped and adrenaline pumping from the fast ride in the group.

Glad I did the ride and happy that the family made it out to the race. All-in-all, about 40 miles of riding on the day. Will post photos, and results later if available.

Results added this eveing. Looks like EECT took 5th and 6th in the Cat 4 race!

Cadence Tour de Parc
May 18, 2008
Wantagh, New York

Pro / 1-2-3
54 starters

1. Amaury Perez (GS Mengoni)
2. Rafael Meran (GS Mengoni)
3. Ward Solar (Nerac)
4. Lisban Quintero (CRCA/Foundation)
5. Gavin Robertson (CRCA/Foundation)
6. Tom Dolan (Sommerville Sports)
7. Anthony Lowe (WS United)
8. Edwin Morrel (TOGA)
9. Brent Arthurs (Evolution Cycling)
10. Barry Miller (Mike Fraysee)
11. Martin Lechowitz (CRCA/Foundation)
12. Jermaine Burrowes (WS United)

22 starters

1. Rebecca Wellons (NEBC/Cycle Loft)
2. Ann Marie Miller (CRCA/SanchezMetro)
3. Stacey Jensen (Kissena)
4. Sarah Sauvayre (CRCA/Comedy Central)
5. Brooke O'Connor (Hub Racing)

Category 3
53 starters

1. James Joseph (WS United)
2. Juan Pimental (CRCA/Global Locate)
3. Gary Steinberg (CRCA)
4. Patrick Gellineau (Team Squiggle)
5. Greg Olsen (CRCA/Jr. Dev)
6. Frank Negri (Colavita)
7. Marcus Dahllof (CRCA/Merril Lynch)
8. Douglas Dicks (Bennetts Bikes/FDNY)

Category 4
56 starters

1. Aessandro Matteucci (BVF)
2. Edward Zimmerman (CRCA/Die Hard)
3. Shusaku Sheroyama (Kissena)
4. Eric Robertson (Kissena)
5. Charlie Rey (EECT/Kreb Cycle)
6. Lawrence Uhrlass (EECT/Kreb Cycle)
7. Mark Spottiswoord (GBSC/Babylon Bike)
8. Guy Weinmann (Kissena)

Masters 35+
40 starters

1. Wilson Vasquez (GS Mengoni)
2. Jan Micko (GBSC)
3. Matthew Howard (CRCA/Bandit Racing)
4. Robert Lattanzi (CRCA/Sid's-Cannondale)
5. David Sommerville (Sommerville Sports)
6. John Raheb (Unatt)
7. Kurt Gustafsson (CRCA/Axis)
8. Gregory Lee (CRCA)

Masters 45+
24 starters

1. Scott Willingham (CRCA/SanchezMetro)
2. Jan Micko (GBSC)
3. Ken Plundeke (CRCA/Global Locate)
4. Gregory Lee (CRCA)
5. Jerry Martinez (CRCA/Global Locate)

Category 5

1. Neil Bezdek (Breakaway)
2. Brian Breash (Unatt)
3. Akin Dorsett (Pedaller's Paradise)
4. James Stevens (Unatt)
5. Christopher Clark (CRCA)

Thanks to all the officials, registration volunteers and Robert for pacing all day. A special thanks to Cadence Cycling for supporting the Kissena Cycling Club Races.

Charlie Issendorf
Race Director
Kissena Cycling Club

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tour de Parc Criterium - Tomorrow Morning

I'm doing the Cat 4 race, 10:25am, weather looks good!

Here is more info.

50 mile (almost) Ride

Nice sunny morning but roads were still wet from rain all day yesterday. Perfect conditions for.... a FLAT. Which, fortunately occurred just down the block from home. Made a quick call home and got picked up. Fixed the flat and gave the bike a superficial but much needed wash and lube.

Race tomorrow!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Montauk Century Ride Report

After two days of rain, things cleared up nicely this morning for the SBRA Montauk Century. I decided to ride from home to the start in Babylon this year, so I got another 13 miles as a bonus! Got to the ride start and picked up my cue sheet, then headed out on the official route at 6:55am. Seemed to be fighting a North crosswind most of the way with a little relief when the route briefly swerved south. I guess thats the problem with a point-to-point route, if the wind is against you to don't get the benefit of a tailwind on the return like you do on an out-and-back or loop ride.

The sun came through the clouds on occasion and the wet roads dried for the most part after about 25 miles of riding. I took a few photos on the way (see below) but didn't make any stops longer than about 60 seconds, however long it took to snap a photo or open a Clif bar package.

I tried to keep moving steadily to make it to Montauk by 1:00pm (which I did!) and met Mom and Dad for lunch and a car ride home. The ride had its challenges, like any long ride, but at the end I still felt strong. This despite doing the entire 113 miles solo and dealing with alot of wind. Conditioning must really be coming back. Two centuries in four days, a first for me!

Saw Kevin and John S. and some other regulars on the route heading back west while I was heading east. They were meeting up with a group out of Babylon and invited me to join but I didn't want to add any more miles to my ride and I was feeling comfortable enough on my own, so I continued on to Montauk as planned.

Enjoy the photos, and a big THANKS Mom and Dad for the ride home and the company.

Heading out for 100+ miles on the bike.

Ride start, registration table.

In the Hamptons. There are some huge mansions behind these hedges.

A bucolic scene out East.

Made it!

Now, if we can only get this bike to fit in the trunk...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Spring Century Ride Report

The group at the ride finish in Riverhead.

Took a day off from work today to ride the annual Spring Century with a group of riders from SBRA, mostly the Early Birds group. This was my fourth year doing it and it is a nice ride, mostly following a modified Bike-Boat-Bike route, i.e. heading east on the North fork of Long Island to Greenport, taking the ferry to Shelter Island, across Shelter Island, ferry to the South fork, then west through the Hamptons. In this version, the start/end point is Riverhead (BBB is Mattituck).

Weather was perfect with temps between 60F and 70F most of the way, sunny skies, and light wind. We started with 14 riders (ended with 12 at the finish). It was a fast paced ride (20.1 mph average moving speed) although the total ride time was about 6 1/2 hours, due to 3 flats, waiting for ferries, lunch stop, and a few regroups. The East End scenery was great, as usual.

I felt good on the ride, my first century for 2008. I had a big, carby breakfast, a Clif bar on the ferry and a sandwich and a bag of M&M's for lunch. It was definitely enough fuel. The comfortable temperatures meant that two bottles sports drink and two bottles of water was enough fluid. The group kept a high pace but I didn't take many pulls. It was an effort to stay with the group when they hammered on some of the uphills but there were plenty of regroups to pull things back together. I think we all pulled in to the finish within 1-2 minutes of each other.

All-in-all, a good group ride under excellent conditions. Can't wait until the next one! Speaking of the next one, in three days I'll be doing my next century, the SBRA Montauk Century on Saturday. Much of that will probably be solo, but we'll see.

On another biking note... I read on the MasiGuy blog about artist Taliah Lempert and here bicycle-themed artwork. I checked out some of her work online and really liked it. So, I am now the proud owner of this pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing, which I just received today. Just need to get a frame now. Check it out!

Malcolm's Bike - Color Chart #1 by Taliah Lempert 2008

Sunday, May 04, 2008

50 Wet Miles

Checking out the weather forecast last night for this morning in Manorville, it called for 80% chance of rain and possible thunder. Once I saw that I pretty much wrote-off the Early Birds for today and started thinking about alternatives. Trainer? Rain bike? Road bike with rain wheels? Just ride the road bike anyway? Take a day off?

Looking out the window this morning, it was overcast and misty, but the sky didn't look dark enough for really bad weather. I also read on that it was supposed to clear up in the afternoon. So that clinched it...I settled on taking the Specialized knowing it would get muddy and grimy but I would have a chance to clean it all up in the afternoon (as I write this, the sun is already out and everything is drying up nicely). Actually, I haven't cleaned it well all winter so its the perfect time to do it now before the two big century rides this week.

Did the same route as yesterday without the Jones Beach loop. The ride turned out really well! Legs were a bit worn out from yesterday's ride and I had to be a little more careful to avoid road debris due to the rain. I ditched the vest today but wore wind-proof tights so I wouldn't freeze up from the road spray.

For some reason it seemed as though there was less traffic today. So it was kind of nice to climb steadily through the woods in West Hills hearing only the hiss of the tires on the wet roads, the birds, and the clip-clop of the horses when I passed the riding center.

As was the case yesterday, headwinds going out and tailwinds heading back, which is a good thing! As I passed over the Wantagh Parkway, I saw some of the runners doing the Long Island marathon. Other bike events today: The 5-Boro Bike Tour (30,000 riders!) and the Long Island ESG Qualifier. Looks like they both will have avoided the rain, too. Looking forward the Wednesday's century! It will be a real test!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Base miles

Fueled up with a bowl of oatmeal and a big cup of coffee and headed out the door at 7:05am. Today's riding goal was to accumulate some endurance miles in preparation for two centuries that I'm planning to do this week. The unofficial "Spring Century" on Wednesday and the official SBRA "Montauk Century" next Saturday.

A cloudy, cool, and damp morning today, but what really matters is that the rain held off and I was able to get in a nice long ride on the road bike. Did the usual Brands route and West Hills extension. Felt good after that so I added a loop to Jones' Beach for a total of 60 miles.

The ride was good with only light car traffic. Wind was not bad either until I got to the Jones' Beach path, and it was really whipping across the water. SO the last 10 miles of the ride were really slow. I see they are getting the Wantagh Parkway ready for tomorrow's Long Island Marathon!

Hopefully the rain will hold off tomorrow morning and I will head out to do the Early Birds ride. If its raining, I'll stay closer to home. I think a lot of the EB regulars will be doing the ESG qualifier race tomorrow, so maybe it will be a bit easier ride and I won't get dropped again! ;-)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pro sighting???

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge this morning on my way to the office and spotted a cyclist sitting on a bench, in the middle of the bridge, checking out his Blackberry. Full Bissell pro team kit and beatiful, shiny Pinarello bike! Didn't want to bother him, but made me think back to Richard England's recent stage victory at the Tour de Georgia. Cool!