Monday, April 28, 2008

1st MTB Ride of the Season!

So, plan D was to hit Bradbury this week because I had dirt on my mind (not necessarily a dirty mind!). Looking at the week's weather, Tuesday was a washout so today was the day to go.
Freye (fresh off his first win of the season) and I met up for our annual ride and spent just under 2 hours of quality time on some of New England's finest singletrack. The trails are in mid-summer conditions with a handful of mud spots. They could use a raking and removal of sticks, but that will be taken care of this Sunday, I hope to help.

This pic is from last year, a full week later than today, so we're ahead of the game!
This was my view for the day. Luckily Andrew was in recovery mode from the previous day's race so he didn't get too far out of sight!

Upon returning home, I kept the Freye theme alive and completed a long overdue project of staining chairs that he made back in the day as a KHS student. Ever the entrepeneur, we payed Andrew way too much for these planks of wood! At least they look good now!

Racing? Nah. Riding? When I can!

This past weekend wrapped up school vacation for the 2 boys. I spent a very enjoyable week as daddy day-care going skating, playing lax/kitchen hockey/soccer/baseball/whiffleball, watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, and refereeing the battles!

The weekend plans were altered when the boys were signed up for a hockey clinic every Sunday through the spring. I had the Palmer Library road race on the preliminary sked, but didn't want to miss the first skate with Drake in goalie gear. Plan B was to hit the SIP crit, but the weather looked iffy and we hosted a rather impromtu party Saturday night so the crit was out. Plan C was for the whole family to head to Freeport while I rode the freshly opened Bradbury Mt. trails. All was going according to plan, but with the truck loaded and headed south, I realized I would have had less than 1 hour to ride, and that just doesn't cut it at Bradbury!
So it was an unscheduled day off, but it was a quality one with the fam nonetheless.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Scarborough Training Crit 4/20

This weekend I had the choice of doing either the Saturday morning PVC group ride or today's criterium. Due to my lax game being played as scheduled, I wouldn't have had time to make the group ride plus a bonus ride with Freye. Turns out, fate hooked me up as there was a high-speed crash that took out several riders, including trips to the hospital.

The crit series is held in the Scarborough Industrial Park. It is 7/8 mile all right turns with an S turn and a short false flat. Not knowing much about this crit training series, I signed up for both B and A events. I used the 12 lap first event as a warm-up by riding at the back, never playing a role in the outcome of the race. The 20 lap A race had some quality riders from Linscott racing, PVC Elite team, Base 36, Tom Gosselin, etc. Things started out mellow. But quickly, a group of 6 got away and it became a block-fest at the front of the pack by the teams. I stayed up front, eager to get a good workout in. I don't recall a consistent surge of effort by the pack to reel in the breakaway. But suddenly, with 6 to go, they were caught. The remainder of the race turned into futile attempts by riders trying to make a last effort break to avoid a field sprint, but it was not to be. Chris LaFlamme was the last to make an attempt and I stuck on his wheel. The legs felt like they had the power in them for short bursts. Unfortunately, the field was organized and there were several team riders doing leadouts and we were engulfed. I gave it all I had and turned the legs to rubber, coming across in 10th.

The lonely, long straightaway finish.

It was great to ride in a group and face some competition for once. I felt good despite my lack of prep thus far so I'm pleased. I did a nice cool down ride to Prout's Neck and back making the training session complete. Looks like I'll repeat the process next weekend as well.

Here are some shots of a fellerbuncher for my little buddy Fenix:

Nice week of riding

Finally got a full week of road riding in. These shots were taken Thursday, displaying the reluctance the snow and ice have for melting. I had a close encounter of the deer kind Saturday. I was riding along a farm field and noticed something moving to my left. I thought it was a horse at first, then I realized it was a deer bounding along next to me. Suddenly, it takes a left, squeezes through barbed wire fence and cuts right in front of me. Luckily I had slowed because I was in awe of the situation. He crossed the road and took off. If there had been a car coming the other way, it surely would have been hit, creating the possibilty of the deer then hitting me. A truck behind fortunately slowed, no doubt witnessing the whole ridiculous scene. As I passed the farmhouse, the owner was out in the driveway and he shouts "That was so cool! Imagine the story of a deer hitting a bicyclist!" All I could say was "That would be awful!"
You city-folk worry about getting hit by cars, I have to worry about wildlife!

I rocked the Aegis Shaman 'cross bike for fun. It helps smooth out the rough roads a bit.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Racing? Nah.

Finally got some great weather last week for some enjoyable outdoor rides. This pic was from Thursday as I celebrated the chance to need only knee warmers and a LS jersey.

Nonetheless, snow still lingers here on the Hill. Although the air temperature may be mild, road riding alongside snowbanks and past still frozen-over lakes maintains a chill in the air. Here I express my affection for the mid-April white stuff in our yard.

I had on my race sked Turtle Pond in Loudon on Sunday but bagged it. Glad I didn't pre-reg. The weather report was unfavorable, and the thought of spending a whole day away from the fam by driving 7 hours both ways (@ $3.36/gallon mind you) for some abuse just didn't do it for me. Instead, I opted for a hilly ride close to home to replicate the race. I'm glad I did.

The cost factor, my complicated lacrosse sked as well as the fam's sked has me re-doing my spring. Looks like I'll be hitting the PVC ride on Saturdays and the Scarborough crit on Sundays for a few weekends instead.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I got in a 3 hour road ride OUTSIDE yesterday. Of course, you're all saying big scrappin' deal. But between weather and schedule issues, it has been impossible for me to get out there for any length of time. And yesterday was no ride in the park either! It was a pretty dreary day making me feel just on the chilled side the entire ride. The worst was when the route would pass open fields or lakes where the wind would blow the chill on top of the snow and ice right to me.
Next event is the Turtle Pond Circuit race.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Still Got Snow?

In case you were wondering, yeah we got snow. Today's rain should knock it down more, but we still have at least a foot in our yard. This is going to be an epic mud season.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bruins Game 3/29

The fun part of the weekend was hanging out in Boston with the fam. We drove down Friday, I put together a nice loop Saturday morning, we hit the B's game that afternoon, and finished with dinner at our favorite cantina The Border Cafe. Why I had to ruin it with a race on Sunday is beyond me!