Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prospect Park -- not my day

Some times you wonder, why are you doing this? To have fun? -- hmm, not really today. To get stronger? -- maybe. To get out with friends and do some thing not every one does? -- why not. To find out your limits? -- for sure at times like today.

The afternoon the day before: bike checkup, putting all items needed in place. Having early dinner, going to bed in time to get 6 hours of sleep. 3am -- the alarm clock takes his attention. Making Cappuccino, cooking an egg (and forgetting it in the microwave as he found later back home...), having a bowl of cereal. Driving to "112" to meet up with Craig at 4:15 for car pooling to the Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Arriving there with plenty of time. Still darn cold and pitch dark. Too early to get any bathroom business done today -- can't be any good, but so it is.

Waiting with the Green Arm Bandits for the start:


And off they go... here a few snap shots from the footage Py took.


Here is a nice shot from "Victor" of the Masters field -- two GABs on very left in the field of view (and Py be leaves to remember two more behind him and Tom):

Py thinks every one was wondering what this dumb car was doing here, good thing to blame for screwing up the field and may be Py's position as well.


More or less everything went like clock work, just running low on horse powers at some point...

Not Py's day, not the teams day either, did not really got awake, dark, cold, no sun, forgot to eat my breakfast egg (did not even thought about it until finding it still sitting there coming back home...), wrong food the day before?, potatoes/salmon (no magic pasta) -- may be, got dropped off not finding the right wheel to sit on at lap 5 as the masters field kept moving fast into the wind, but finished 10 laps, sitting a bit in the 3-4s -- what was kind of comfortable. What made Py not feel too bad today, "the big guys were in the field", he was not alone, several others even bailing very early.

Guess that's part of the game and a new lesson.

And finally:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Return of the RP2IPBP

Done with these Saturday races to collect "experience" points for now and back to more serious training rides in preparation for The Tour of The Battenkill -- "America's Queen of the Classics".

A nice but cold and windy day was waiting. Py was not really thrilled to see frozen puddles here and there this morning. The wind going fast downhill on North Country in his face felt like early February or January again. Nasty cold North Eastern Wind.


He had to do some good work to get out east with his small group. Warmup at a little wind protected spot in the sun was nice and the return rewarding fast with that tail wind. Good ride!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Py's first city race -- Prospect Park

This is going to be a tough day, getting up at 3am (this already is a bit too super early bird). Quick cereal breakfast & Cappuccino -- no way he could start a day with out it. Also an cooked egg, what to Py's dislike part exploded -- will this mean anything, better not think about it?

Meeting with others and driving to Prospect Park, about an hour drive. At least no significant traffic that early hour, but a lot of driving, not really a relaxed way of driving on this route -- in comparison to the easy and scenic cruise up to Plainville. Good thing, there is nice parking in the park. Still pitch dark. Getting ready, signing in, bathroom visit, talking to the team, little warm-up or course exploration attempt, waiting in line for the CAT5 group to start -- just getting little light, start at 6:40am.

Here is the map of the loop:

The raced started out counter clock wise hitting a gentle slope of about 3.2% for 600 m reaching the "top" of the lap at the North turn around. A little narrow section up there, but no big deal as Py always managed with ease to merge in with the front few riders of the line, from there a fast decent all the way to down flying around Prospect Park Lake -- a nice view. Little head wind around the turn. For the CAT5 field there were 7 laps of 5.44km each.

Pretty much the same every lap, two guys took of a bit, Py is not sure if they got caught again.

He felt pretty good -- even he was racing and riding with decent climbing the day before -- worked with the riders in front a bit and was happy been there -- staying out of trouble.

Well, been there in a good spot until the last 200m, some more stronger sprinters just passed by -- so what.

This done, he got his camera, just the baby one... and took a few pics for his buddies in the masters CAT 3/4, they had a few more laps to go.

Here is a few random shots, click to see more.



One the drive home a stop at a Diner with two of his team mates for a second breakfast and heading back home. Time for a nap (after all clean-ups and most important race follow ups were done) -- while some quick video editings were rendering/uploading.

Watch it here presented on the GreenArmBandits web site.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plainville Crit #3 and Post Race Ride to Talcott Mountain in two attempts

This day turned into a kind of epic ride day. Starting with a very smooth ferry trip at 6am in the morning -- still dark that time. About 3/4 of the way Marco & Py were greeted by a magnificent sun rise still over the Sound, sure, that perfect moment, no camera in hand, left behind in the car. Here a view a few minutes later while waiting for landing on the car deck.


Well in time arriving and getting ready at Plainville. Py first time tested out his newly put together EC90SL wheels and the glued on tubulars -- felt great and very responsive!


And waiting for the start. WATCH THE RACE VIDEO HERE.


The race was pretty much steady and fast, possible the fastest Py ever did -- 25mph or 40km/h average. Nothing special, well, one (obviously not too bad) crash at the final sprint, on the video it looked like the guy slid out on a pot hole cover, but not sure. Py wasn't able to stay on the very front at the very last 1/2 lap, so what... came in some where last half or third, not sure. Just not his thing -- but had absolutely no trouble for further 40 miles and 2400ft of climbing -- read on.

Notice: Py captured 100% of the race with his camera in "rear view", footage looking fine -- needs some processing/editing as the raw thing is way to "huge" to share here. Hang in tight, come back soon...

GPS Race Stats.

Here are few views of the following race.


* * *

Post Race Ride -- in two attempts to the top of Talcott Mountain and finally finding the "tower house" (belongs to some former distillery owner as it got to Py's attention).

After talking to one of the riders at the parking lot, Py meet him already at the last wet race, they figured some out and back mostly on Rte 10 and Nod Road plus two attempts to get up to thsi so nice looking tower in top of that hill to their right.

1st attempt via 185 and a small road ended up in a dead end on a Heli pad -- well, proceeding only on a hiking trail -- no good, no good view from there.


Talking to some hikers they got a hint to try it from the other side via Montrevideo Rd. Riding back Nod road -- what is pretty nice and alongside a river at times. They finally found it:




A fast downhill from there. A few miles to the race parking, a stop for a Cappuccino :-)


Here the elevation profile in [meters]:

Post Race Ride GPS data.

End of a great day and driving strait on the ferry with zero waiting -- could hardly be any better :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What is wrong with this day?

This day got totally screw up. Getting up at 7am DST (6am) in a foggy misty wet cloud looking for GAB ride updates, nothing -- OK, nasty outside either way, may be no go. Slept almost two more hours (and missed the last minute update coming just a bit later)... [... got a call/update, they are about to go now -- may join in 45min on the fly, hmm ...] quick breakfast, getting into the kit attempting to hook up with the ride near by, for a not yet known reason this did not worked out -- was the 5min before assumed time (10:25), waited little past 11:00. Got cold waiting. No lights mounted, did not felt safe to go solo and rode back home. Still and still right now foggy and dripping wet.

Made a second Cappuccino, still in this kit for a while -- never know.

No clue what happened since then. [Update: They struggled with flats and other mechanicals and were way way late...]

Well, seams like a good day to do some house keeping, things just piled up last weeks -- riding/working/riding/cooking/racing... Boxes sitting around, piles of papers and other wise looking a bit like a bike shop... what is right now hard to avoid w/o extra space for it. At least a bit better now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Plainville Crit #2

Saturday morning, a North Eastern is blowing rain around. That'll get an interesting day. The night before Py found a bad cut-all-through in his rear tire and as this one was about at it's end either way with >5200km plus all winter trainer hours he put on a new GP4k. Also he serviced/adjusted the headset&play on his old Tarmac. Getting up early to catch the 6am boat from PJeff to BP. This already was getting to the first exiting part as the ferry left the harbor and turning strait into pretty rough sea -- the North Eastern was blowing waves strait into the Long Island Sound. The boat turning from more rolling more into it crashing across the waves, water splashing in big washes over the front and hammering the windows! Alright... fun to watch. At 3/4 of the trip the boat changed direction towards BP harbor and was rolling nicely left and right -- good Py does not have any problems with that :-)
The ferry arrived about 10 minutes late, possibly due to the wind and not strait course.

The 45min drive up to Plainville was less exciting, just wet and windy. Guess that washed the salt spray off the car again.

Signing in and getting ready, a few more riders were around but hiding in their cars...


20 minutes to go, finding the portable bathroom and testing out how the kit feels in the rain, luckily a little less windy up here.

Taking a couple of warm up laps, chatting with some of the other riders, testing out the grip/turns -- felt alright.

Approximately twenty riders lined up at the start and rolled out, few more easy warm up laps counting down from 40. Some slight speed tests up to 42+km/h, but nothing of trouble for Py, staying most the time with the front five or six and working a bit together, they got a little break at about 27 to go and towards the 1st prime. Py was happy to keep his position and went over on 5th position at lap 23 (??? if he remembers right). After that the break away they got a bit too lazy and the field caught up -- except a few riders who were already lapped.
Still hanging in around position 2..4 for several laps, it happened Py got in front for one and half lap, but not too bad -- feels good in front, not so wet... but soon merging into at the front part of the pack -- thanks for being so nice to all!

Sitting there around 2..5 and holding his position made the last laps flying by so fast that soon 3 laps to go was on the lap counter board -- every one was doing fine. Speed was picking up and with the bell Py was happy holding his spot, at the short sprint on the last strait into the wind just a few passed and he came in at 9th. One lap to obligatory lap to finish/cool down.

Every one has happy and no slide outs in this race.

Good getting back to the car and out of all this soaked stuff. Having a brief look at the 2nd race:


Py is puzzled how this poor guy can ride in shorts and short sleeved jersey?!?!?!?

Just about time to get comfortably to the 12 o'clock ferry. The boat was 20 minutes delayed. No wonder. And one even little more exciting sail.


Sunday, March 07, 2010

GAB Team Training Ride #1

Exiting day for the GreenArmBandits Team today. Meeting (almost) all at Complete Rehab, Bellport to get the all new team kit and go for a kit test training ride :-)

First taking preliminary new team photo.


Then heading east on South Country... -- by the way, this road is since long in bad condition but now it's really bad, however, no flats.


Then north and some looping around, stopping at Carl Hart


and back in a little variant. Not yet really satisfied they went out again a while together with Karl on his way home and just looped "around" the LIE. Interesting ride variant today. Py figured (wrongly) a few minutes missing to 10 WPPts and decided with a few to check out the beach. A very nice day. However, but still 9 WPPts -- as his GPS was logging today total time.