Sunday, March 29, 2009


SWEET, that’s how I can sum it up. In my opinion, it’s a grate venue to hold a crit race. It has great facilities, and a nice closed field. I will be doing any races held there.

Now to the breakdown of the Cat 5 Race. We started out with 47 riders, into a nice crosswind. The field seamed to be relatively calm for the most part. We did have some solo riders try and make a brake in the first few laps, but the field played it smart and let them go up the road a bit so they could die in the wind. With about 4 laps to go, I decided to accelerate into the wind on the back section of the course to see if anyone would come up. I did get 2 of the stronger riders in the field to come up, but I felt like we needed one more to make a legitimate run on the field. I talked to both guys and we agreed to sit up and wait on the field.

In the last lap I was still feeling pretty good, I was sitting mid pack trying to conserve my energy for the sprint. It was a smart Idea at the time, but it didn’t work out. I got pinned in on the back straightaway, and I couldn’t get out in enough time to keep the wheels of the front pack. Now I got stuck in No mans land by myself. I had a gap on the riders behind me, but I was unable to fight them off. One of the riders nipped me at the line taking 10th Pl. I had to settle for 11th. I look at it as just another valuable lesson learned.



The forecast looked grim, they were predicting rain and sleet at noon, the exact time of the 4/5 masters race start. As I was driving to Joe’s, the winds seem to pick up more and more. Knowing the course from last year, I knew this would be a factor. After finally picking up Joe we headed to South Beloit for a cold gear wearing race. When we arrived we immediately noticed the cold wind and neither of us wanted to change into our cycling gear, let alone race. Tony and Bob were huddled together in their heated up SUV. We quickly went to registration to get our numbers and Joe was told he was not registered. I had registered him online and I had a confirmation number but they insisted he was not registered so he was placed on a waiting list for the 4/5 elite race. Thank the cycling gods due to the amount of no shows he was able to get in. Just a reminder make sure you bring your print out to races to avoid these types of situations.

Tony, Bob, Sergio and myself lined up for the 4/5 Masters. This was a 35 minute race in near freezing weather with gusts of 15-20 mph winds. It started off pretty calm but the second to the last turn with the gusty winds to our backs, the peloton would just launch itself every time. We were hitting speeds of 30-35 mph before the final turn. I was really working hard and it was taking its toll on me. Fortunately, I was able to recover quickly enough. Tony and I tried to stay at the front and worked in and out; mixing things up. I was feeling good and kept my sights on the front. We were down to the second to the last lap and Bob takes off. I latched on his wheel feeling that this might go someplace. The final lap around, Bob pulls to the side and leaves me with a lap to go at the front of the pack. I quickly waved in the guy behind me to pull through and just as I thought no one came through. I was stuck here and I had to make the best of it. I held my position in the top 5 coming into that second to last turn. I was maxed out and I could see the attacks coming up for the final turn. I had to dig deep and hold my position. I dropped down to 20th and saw Tony a few spots ahead of me. Thank god the finish line came. In a nutshell: To Much to Soon! Overall we had a blast. Joe hung in around 30th and Sergio brought up the rear. Good job but we need to focus on Tactics 101 to strategize better.
By the way we finished in the nick of time. It started to rain and with little pieces of ice falling. Good luck, cat. 1,2!

I would like to thank the teammates that came out today (Tony, Joe, Bob, and Sergio) and invite all our team to come out and race. Thanks Nikki for your sandwiches and support. I am looking forward to a GREAT season with the team.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Exciting News Coming

Stay tuned for exciting news from BBVP. There is a new game in town, actually it isn't in town yet, but will be shortly. This news is so recent that the rest of the team doesn't even know yet as all of the details are still unfolding. Stay tuned, check back often, and be prepared to get hooked up at the next race.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Define Easy?

Tony: Want to go for an easy ride today?
Me: Sure how long?
Tony: about an hour or so
Me: Yeah cool, an easy ride for an hour sounds good

Tony: okay see you soon
Me: Bye
Tony: Bye

An hour later Tony and I are heading out of my driveway ready for an easy ride when Elvis rolls by in his car. We catch him at the next light and briefly chat, it seems we will be heading in his direction for a bit. So it becomes a bit of a game to see if we can catch him at every light, which we manage with little difficulty as we have the benefit of a ever so slight downhill for the next mile or two. After a few times of catching him at the lights he changes lanes and slows just a bit, at which point Tony and I chase like hell to latch on, and there goes the easy ride, after only two and half miles. We bridge up to his car as he accelerates us to 32 miles an hour, as it turns out this is the first time has been motorpaced, and he likes it. Soft pedalling at 32 miles an hour, and a low heart rate to match just don't seem to make sense, unless that is if your are getting pulled along by a two ton SUV. After about half a mile we pull off and go our separate way from Elvis, where we will undoubtedly keep up this ridiculous pace that was set early.

At the turn around point it begins to rain, and the tail wind we were hoping for turns into a nasty cross wind at times gusting into probably the low thirties, at least it was warm enough. Every time I look down at watch I see hear rates from the low 180's to as high as 191, again so much for an easy ride. Although the legs felt okay, having recovered from the 3 mile run the day before, the cardio just isn't where I would like it to be. I know physiology plays a huge role and my heart rate is always higher than those around me, I still have work to do. Whereas others are ticking away in the 160's or 150's I will consistently be in the 180's. Although even though the BPM's are that high, I am still conversational, and I have no problem holding that for a long duration. During races it isn't unheard of for an average heart rate 185 or higher, and that's the average. I would love to find out someday what my LT is, but for no I will have to settle and just keep up the hard work.

One of these days I would love to take that easy ride with Tony, I just don't think it will happen any day soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Off To A Bad Start

After a not so stellar performance at MSR, Lance had an even worse start to his European campaign. Video here


This weekend Elvis, Bob, and myself(Tony), went up to the north side to ride with Joe and Sergio. After working the whole day before and getting the OK from the wife, off I went. We met up at a park by Joe's house on Kedzie and Irving Park and rode from there to Evanston where we picked up Sergio. The ride up to Evanston was filled with street lights.
The difference between up here and down by us was noticeable now. Back on the south side you rarely see other riders. Waiting at this one intersection we saw 3 riders from different teams riding by themselves. To our suprise, after seeing a couple more riders riding by themselves, and giving the polite wave only two gave us a return nod or wave. What's up with that? We are supposed to be the ones who are rude, not the other way aroud. One thing we have to remember is that we are part of the greater cycling community that comprises all riders. A simple jesture of acknowledgement shouldn't be a difficult task and doesn't make you any less of a competitor.
After Evanston, Joe got his new Garmin GPS system up and running. The only bad thing is, Joe doesn't know his left from his right. It's not a good idea when you are the leader of a train and say "turn left now!" and proceed across 2 lanes of traffic, not giving the othert riders a chance to look backwards. Hence Joe was called Dora the Explorer.
After 20 miles of slow riding we arrived at the Northbrook velodrome. The first thing that all of us noticed about the track was how smooth it was. Elvis had some drills for us which really got the heart rate and speed up. Is this a new form of training for us? Are we actually going to be coming out on Thursdays? We'll soon find out. As for me riding a fixie, I don't know.
The Garmin was ignored on the way back. We took an East West street that took us onto Greenbay Road and there to Sheridan. The ride back started out great, with our speeed getting into the 24 mph range. The whole ride felt like the wind was at our back. When we hit Evanston everything changed. It now felt like I was a bike messenger having to dodge the traffic.
All in all I enjoyed the ride. The whole experience was new and different for me.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Boy oh boy! What a couple of days of good weather can do for a rider! Good bye shoe covers, good bye long gloves (and along with that frozen toes and fingers)! Let the motivation begin! After riding too hard too early I've started to spin just a little more. What I mean by hard is just a little too much effort. From low 90's then to mid to upper 90's now. The left hip pain is gone. As for the heart rate thing, my personal opinion is with the type of riding I do in the streets with stop lights, it's OK to go into the 170's because waiting for a light your heart rate is going to go into the 120's . So you average a HR in the 140's. The power output thing and training regimens dont interest me for now. I don't have the time or money. Also that stuff sounds too much like work to me. My goal is never really to get better, if that happens so be it. It's more about staying physically fit and enjoying my "alone" time. The riding has been good. A little saddle adjustment and a pair of new Serfas sunglasses from Beverly Bike and Ski, our sponsor, is all I've changed for this season. Now all we have to do is avoid the pot holes. The weather is perfect being able to adjust between a long sleeve jersey and a wind proof heavier jersey. Sweating is kept to a minimum right now. Rides have been between 28 to 50 miles. So with all this being said I am looking forward to larger group rides and the season to come! If anybody would like to join us for some safety in numbers, you are more than welcome to drop us a line. Tony

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's Back

The stories have been circulating that the Chicago Time Trial Series would not be held in 2009. The truth of the matter is that the series is alive and kicking, albeit a few races shorter, but planning is now underway for the shortened series. The series was shortened for a few reasons including rider safety, but mostly due to calendar constraints and the difficulty in trying to squeeze 6 races into an already packed calendar.

Nothing is official yet, but it looks like there will be 3 if not 4 races this year hosted by some of the teams from last year. Yes as some of you have read Steve Hansen (North Branch) is stepping down from his role as Director of the series so that he can focus on his duties with the ICA in 2009. However, a strong group of individuals including this blogger as well as others from the team and racing community will be filling his large shoes and pressing on with the series. Check back soon for more info regarding dates and venues.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

5 Minutes of KBK

Whose Idea Was It?

An hour and a half seemed like a good idea a few days ago when we set it up. In reality though 2 hours in 19 degree weather with wind and snow, probably not such a good idea. At least we suffered together, all 7 of us including a few new faces. I just hope we see the new guys after today's miserable ride, then again if they were out there with us then I guess they are just as goofy as we are.

The good news is though that my face is as smooth as a baby's bottom after slathering on Vaseline, now if someone could just tell me how to get it back off! So does this make us hardmen or just retarded? Please don't answer that.