Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Gapers Block Crit Series

I decided that I would try and ride all of the Gapers Block Crits put on by Half Acre, since I only worked 2 blocks from the Park. I would be a fool not to.

Day 1, well the goal of today was to just hang in the pack and see how the legs were going to react. I should have known that there would be a massive attack as soon as the whistle blew. I was in no way ready for that. All the training I have been doing has been base for the most part. I still managed to stay with the pack and coasted in to the finish for a top 20.

Day 2, I felt better today, and I knew that the first lap attack would be covered immediately. To my surprise, they waited untill the 3rd lap. When it happened, the field split with 15-20 riders making the split. I was not one of them. I did do some work in the front for a lap or so, then just sat in the field being sheltered by the wind. In the last lap, I took an inside line and was sitting around 4th as the field started to ramp up for the finish. I was able to make my way into 2nd position at the turn where I was able to pass that rider and won the field sprint. That was for 16th place. (Note, do not sprint in the 53/11, it looked good but didn’t get any speed)

Day 3, today is a good day. I felt good. The legs are starting to come back and the accelerations were not hurting as much. I received some good advice before the race from someone I respect. Basically, sit in the top 6 to 10 positions until the end and not to do so much work. Well, I stayed in the top 10, but I did way to much work. I reeled in a few brakes and pulled on the front more than I should have. In the 2nd from last lap, we had a solo rider go off the front, but I already burned all but one match so I didn’t chase. I was hoping that the field would drag him back, but they ended up slowing down. On the last lap, I wanted to be on the inside sheltered from the wind, but that didn’t happen. I ended up on the outside and fighting the wind as we all ramped up the speed. As the field strung out, I was able to work my way in to 7th from the front. We were now single file and going into the corner. I made it around one rider, but didn’t have the legs to really open up, so I ended up in 7th place. (Note, the one who does most of the work usually doesn’t take the win.)

Day 4, it was too cold and windy for me. LOL, I sat this one out. Those guys must be crazy. ;-)

Day 5, it’s the last night and there are not as many riders. I guess they are resting for the races this weekend. I already put it in my head that I was going to sit in and do no work on the front unless it was absolutely necessary. That’s when Adam Herndon, from XXX, made a huge acceleration off the line, and I wasn’t going to let him go. As we started into the wind on the back side, I looked back and we had gotten a good gap on the field, but I was in no mood to hold off the pelaton for 30min. I knew that some teams were going to be really working hard for the win on the last night. I told Adam that I wasn’t going to go for it, so he really had no choice but to let the pack get us. As the race went on, I did exactly what I planned, sit in the top 8 riders and cover all the big moves that came. With 2 laps to go, I started to move myself into the spot I wanted on the inside in 4th or 5th. The field was kind of hesitant to do anything, since no one wanted to start the lead out. On the last lap, I was sitting in a good spot. I’m on the inside with plenty of room to make a move. That’s when the field went in to sprint mode. A rider made a move, and I was able to get on his train on the inside next to the curb. I’m now sitting 5th. I have two riders in front of me, with two more riders sitting to my right just in front of me. We had about 75 meter till the turn when Teodoro Ramos from Iron Cycles came flying in on the inside. There was really no room, but he mad a nice shoulder dip away from me but we still bumped pretty good. I saw him take a look back, and I knew this was the move that I was waiting for. He made a huge acceleration to the front and I was right on his wheel. As we entered the last corner, we were sitting 1-2 with me on his wheel. He was still building speed, so I had to launch as soon as the bike came upright out of the corner. I was able to come up to the side of him as we were flying to the finish line. At this point, it was either of us to win or lose. At the last second I threw my bike at the line and took the win by a foot or so. That is my first win in cycling, so I was very happy. I only hope that this is a sign of things to come.

Bob Murray

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I know I haven't been on this thing for a while, but it's hard to post anything when you forget the password.
A lot has happened since last year. Some old faces, some new faces, some faces we will not see again unfortunately. Old bikes (Cannondale), new bikes (Giant). Old friends who we have bonded with and new friends who we are always open to meet and welcome with open arms.
Training in the off season for me was less intense, but with more hours in the saddle. We will see if this pays off. The problem with me in the past was more on the mental side. Seeing that I am mental to begin with, this is somewhat of a challenge for me when it comes to bike racing. I always felt like the legs were there, but applying them was a different race in itself.
The new bikes I can say are better than the old. I don't see myself as a bike snob, but the one noticeable thing I can do on these new Giants is ride without my hands. Bike or skills? I don't know. I would lean to the bike side because my skills have always sucked.
Onto the first race of the season. Gapers Block. Thanks to Half Acre for hosting, especially on the south side! Preriding the course you felt as if the wind was in your face for about 75% of the course. Monday nights wind was even worse from what I was told. The race went off with me in the second row. After a couple of laps and some hard efforts in the front, I was told after the race that the field split with About 15-20 riders in the front pack. Needless to say, I did not look behind myself during the race. The race ran as smooth as a 4-5 race should until I heard in front of me a whole lot of "woa's!" What it turned out to be was a girl all of 12 riding her bike on the course. The best was, as we are passing her telling her to get off the course, she gave us the buisness right back! She didn't even skip a beat, expecting to get hollered at in the first place. Did I mention I love the south side? With the final lap there was some good speed on the front stretch leading in to the wind. On the lake side guys were just shutting down, waiting for the lead out. I saw two guys jump and thank goodness I wasn't pinched on the inside curb like I think a lot of guys were. I didn't grab a wheel, but was able to go to the ouside of the pack by myself. And that's the way we ended with myself coming in third.
Not a bad start for the season. Tony

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beverly Bike & Ski is now on Facebook, you can now follow whats going on at the shop any time. Like Friday when Dereck Woodward, originally from Hull. Yorkshire,England stopped in to check out the shop. Check out his Bob Jackson he just happened to have out in his car. It was one sweet ride. The pic is on the Facebook page if you want to see it.

2 1/2 Hours in the Rain.

It's always a good day if you can smile after putting in a few hours in the rain.