Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wake Forest race weekend

Quick summary by Brandon Crawford:

Everyone did well this weekend. Everyone finished their races. No one
got pulled. Many racers DNFed in each race, but WVU did not have a
single one. None of our guys/gal were harmed irreparably. Lessons in
humility were learned by everyone. It is going to be one fast, fun
year of racing.

The 3.75km ITT was brutal. Much gasping for air occurred. Many muscles
were made sore. It started with a decent hill climb, which at speed
felt like having your legs ripped apart. False flats and a slightly
downhill finish followed. Temperature outside: really COLD.

The road race was a bit warmer, with a 10 mile loop course that seemed
innocent enough during warmup laps but proved to be a substantial
challenge at race/near race pace. Broski brought it home during a
dramatic, reportedly highly frustrating Men's A race with a solid pack
finish. For more details on the frustration of the race, ask broski.The mens C race had the largest field I have ever seen.
Easily 60 riders. Brad Dodson proved that he has major rookie of the
year potential, pulling a solid top group finish in the mens C race.
Emily showed that squats and only squats are an effective way to train
for road racing, as she held solid in the Womens A and brought home a
4th place finish. Everyone else performed their best and finished
strong, while learning a lot.

On sunday, the Crit was a fast loop around a WFU parking lot. The
front side was slightly (1-2%) up hill, while the backside was
slightly (1-2%) downhill. This combination of up and down led to most
of the interesting action being on the uphill, more challenging side
near the spectators, making the races fun to watch. Mens A's were
going so fast it was almost unbelievable. B's and C's were cooking it
between 20-25 mph average. Men's D's reportedly held a few mph below
20 for most of the race. Exact placings are TBD. The course was dirty,
cold in the morning, warm in the afternoon, and great for racing.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heading to NCSU

Three of us left Motown at 3:30 Friday for the opening race weekend at NCSU, 2 were racing, I was officiating. I was a little apprehensive because my weather info was telling me Saturday AM snow in Raleigh, either way I was committed. Brock forced me to believe that his Weather Underground forecast of 48degrees was correct and we'd be racing. I can't see how anyone can tell the weather from underground.

Once we got out of Morgantown, the roads were all plowed, but quite a bit of snow along the roads. This was the case through Virginia as well, but almost as soon as we got into North Carolina the snow disappeared-great omen! Then about 20min later, the bicycle race haters from above began raining on our parade in a solid form. Within 30min there was an inch accumulating on the grass, and starting to stick to the roads.

About 30min from our destination, calls started ringing in with talk about delaying the Saturday start to 10AM. We started seeing evidence of how bad the NC driver's ed program is, with quite a few cars with brand new body work. When we got into Raleigh there was over an inch of snow on the road and 3" everywhere else. No way we're racing tomorrow...

While waiting at a light 2miles from where we were staying, 2 girls in an SUV pulled alongside, gave us a look and rolled down the window. I rolled ours down and the ladies told us to follow them. Brock went nuts, and demanded I follow. We followed them into the parking lot of Fosters, past a Jeep Wrangler that was sliding off the road onto the sidewalk. They asked where we were from, which we replied WV, and they replied "Oh, so you don't know what you're getting into". I don't know if the referred to partying, or driving in the came from a blonde, so I doubt it was very deep either way. We told them we'd be back after we dropped off our gear. The night had begun!

We got to Dylan and Whit's place, some NCSU guys who were putting us up. They were amazed at our game, before we'd even stopped driving. I assured them it was either my face or my moto that got their attention.

After unpacking, Whit suggested some Bowling at an old skool alley a block away, then maybe hitting up the club. It was already midnight, but we headed to the alley for a round of "throwing rocks" as Whit called it. $6 for game and shoe rental, not bad, though we had to score it ourselves.

Brock and Whit put down 2 buckets of beer at the club, and were getting quite antsy to get to the bar, so around 1:30 we headed out. Brock was immediately verbally assaulted outside the bar by some hideous fat chick who was smoking. She may not have been that ugly, but with the cancer stick in hand, we had no interest. Brock ignored her, as she was merely an obstacle between him and his goal, deeper drunkenness.

The bar closed about 30min later; a Yeager bomb, pitcher of Pabst, and can of some beer consumed.

We left the bar with 3 girls, and Dylan attempted to do doughnuts in his rental truck, but only managed to toss everyone in the backseat like a salad. Brian tried to sneak a kiss on one of the girls while flying around, but instead just headbutted her. Got back, one of girl left to walk home, and the other two stayed.

We were all feeling hungry so headed to Jimmy Johns around 2:30. Brock ordered a "Manguantuion" combo, totaled $13. Rest of us were more reasonable, and headed back.

Brock downed the meal, while we were all amazed at how it could be so expensive, while the rest of us chatted about random things. The conversation evolved to the "meaning of life" as Whit had a 5min documentary project and that was his topic. 2 hours later, Whit got tired of being insulted by the girls, Brock was asleep, and the girls left.

While getting ready to tuck the tattoo in, Whit noticed that Brock was still wearing his shoes. We thought for a minute, and then the electric trimmers came out to help tame his 'stache. Mission accomplished.

Finally in bed around 4:30AM. Got a call that the Saturday race was canceled around 6AM.

Sunday at NCSU

Writeup by Brock Denis


Sunday was an interesting day for many reasons. It started by me getting up at 515am and Dylan coming in from partying and making moves all night. I absolutely love this dude. In all his drunkness, he makes myself, Ryan, Brian, and himself carrot/orange juice from the juiceman juicer thingy. It was amazing fresh juice, and to have a drunk person make it was even better. While eating breakfast, we all debated on whether or not to come back to Raleigh and shower after the race, and packed up anyway just incase.

We start driving and it was getting colder as we got closer to the race course. I knew something was up with me because I wasnt getting good zibes from my body. I wasnt disgesting my food, and the water/coffee from breakfast was sitting in my stomach for way longer then usual. So my pre-race routine went out the window, I didnt end up eating after breakfast to give my system time to digest all the food in time before the race. Go with what is given to you I guess you could say.

As we docked in at the parking lot it was an amazingly cold 21 degrees. How the hell do u dress for that??? Seriously couldnt beleive it. Im all bundled up getting out of the truck and there were people walking around in baseball caps with no gloves on. I go register which went really smoothly and started to dress inside the vehicle after which took forever as you could suspect. Fully dressed I get on the bike and headed out for a free lap of the course. It was soo cold out that my brakes took a second to connect with the rims at first!!! I knew the course was sketchy the day before and the cold over night didnt help any. There was still snow and ice on the course during recon. NC State decided to sweep 20 minutes before the start at 8am, better late then never. I got back to the truck and found out they delayed the start by 30 minutes because of the conditions. Im glad they decided to that.

The Race

It was warming up a little bit before the start, and I decided last minute to change my attire. I was pushing out BIG WATTS changing out numbers to my jersey from my wind jacket and putting on another base layer, while changing out my shoe covers. It got a little intense there for a minute and Im glad Brian was there to help. I got everything changed out in time and to the start line when I realized I forgot my sleeveless wind breaker...damnit bub so I went back to get it and made it back to the same start spot I had before with 30 seconds to spare...phew. The organizers combined the Men A and P1/2/3 races because of the delay and shortened it by a lap. The first 3 laps were the regular kind of P1/2/3 road race that Im accustomed to, speed up slow down and so on, nothing special. I guess 5 guys got away early and stayed away to the finish. I had no idea because I was chillin mid to back of the pack for the first few laps. Brian was a champ and was standing out in the cold to feed me at the feed zone. I missed the first two feeds because we were ripping thru the feed zone and couldnt connect with the bottle with my lobster gloves on. So on the 5th lap I made it a point to connect with both hands and slow down a bit. I got the bottle perfectly, in time before I ran out of water. Eating was an issue because of my gloves but there really wasnt another choice due to weather conditions.

Starting the 5th lap the legs were failing me, I know the feeling when things arent going right and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it. This was most likely due to the fact of me not eating after breakfast and lacking calories during the race itself. I held on as long as I could thinking of everyone that was cheering for me back home and at school and how I thought it would be disappointing to them by me not keeping pace. I dug deep and lasted a little bit longer with this thought in my head before I got shot out the back. I ended up coming into the finish with Ryan Bodge. We talked for a few and this was the first ride he had outside in a month. I didnt feel so bad after hearing that.


I got back to the truck and cleaned up El Tarmac for a few not knowing I was bleeding all over myself because I had cut my finger on my chain rings and didnt know because my hands were frozen. After cleaning up the blood on my bike, truck, and cloths I fueled up for another ride. I met up and shot the shit with Dan Swartz for a few minutes, then cowboy'd up and got back on the bike. I headed out and the legs were of stone. I almost turned around, but didnt. I got out to the end of the local road the course was on and turned right on US 501/15 S. It was rather windy and cold out there, but I was still very overdressed. I had to stop and strip down ALOT. I had to stuff cloths inside my pockets and inside my jersey, it looked like I had body armor on I was soo wide, and the fact I wasnt far from Ft. Bragg didnt suit my tastes any. I rode into Sanford from Chapel Hill which was around 25 miles. I stopped at a row of businesses and ate a Clif Shot and drank some water and turned around for the trip back. I thought there would be a tail wind on my return, but of course there wasnt. The winds turned and were at my disadvantage once again. This really wasnt an issue because I was actually riding OUTSIDE and not doing 3 hr roller sessions inside so it really didnt matter to me. The ride had long streches of straight sections with rolling terrain. Good training tho, I had no complaints with anything out there.

I got back to the truck after an additional 52 miles, but I wasnt satisfied and was feeling good since I had been doing hours of tempo base. I met up with Brian who survived his first collegiate D race!!! Congrats to him, hes a trooper. He has got alot to learn, but who doesnt? The learning curve for this sport is never ending. We fueled up and headed out on the course for a few more laps. We talked about nutrition and bike tactics for awhile. Women never came up in conversation once during our ride, which is not normal for me by any means, wtf??? By the middle of the second lap, he was hurting and I was chaffing extremely bad at this point, so we went back to the truck after doing two laps. I ended up with 7 hours of saddle time on the day and Brian ended up with 4 hrs. I clocked almost 7000 ft of climbing in the 121.5 miles I rode. NC has hills people!!! Ryan was a stud and officiated the WHOLE DAY, 9 hours of telling people to speed up or stay on the right side of the yellow line. Time is money people as he was getting paid for his services. After I got into my pj's which was the greatest idea I've ever had, I checked results and ended up 15th out of 30ish. I wasnt happy nor upset, just pleased with my efforts. This winter has been horrible for almost everyone and my goals for the early season arent until April so I' ll take whatever I can get at this point.

Heading Home

Anyway it was a tough day for all of us, but it wasnt over yet. We packed up the bikes and equipment, and started to head home at 6pm, deciding not to head back to Raleigh to shower. We ended up at the Flying Burrito in Chapel Hill where we ate during MTB season for the NC State wkend back in Sept '09. We ordered chips and spicy salsa and for once in my life we were graced with a HAWWWWTTTTT waitress. Oh dayam people she was packin alll A and no T, and I was allllll about it. She had two lip piercings and a face to die for. Her name was Juliana and I fell in love with her at first site, but I was positive the feeling wasnt mutual for many reasons. For one Ryans big mouth and two I looked like a train wreck. Im sure it wouldve been different if I didnt look like death...well I hope it would.

While waiting for the food we all were crushing our Cokes and we all started to feel like death because of the marathon day we all had. I ended up ordering the scallop burrito and started to grub up when I got it when all of a sudden....BAM!!! The spicy factor was through the roof. I was in total physical distress at this moment and didnt want to finish my plate but I knew I had to replenish the calories I had burned and get some protein to start the healing process. I soldiered on and cashed in all of it. At this very moment I had run out of soda and Juliana wasnt around, so I rushed up to the bar and could barely get out the word "soda". The bartender found this amusing for some reason. I drank the glass of soda but it didnt help. I had to get a glass of whole milk which Brian and myself had to partake in. Ryan couldnt stop laughing and taking pics of me, what a prick. An older couple came in before we left and I told them not to order anything off the right side of the menu...they took my advice by my demeanor and beat red face of pain. We paid and left after somewhat recovering from this ordeal.

Brian started driving, or I guess you could say that. He drove like a Formula 1 racer at a blistering speed of nearly 55 mph in a 65 mph zone. Ryan switched out after two hours and we all had a pee break in the middle of east bum cheese NC. The drive was horrible. I couldnt get comfortable the entire 8 hrs in the truck which was extremely frustrating to say the least. I didnt end up driving because I was a zombie the entire time. Ryan and I chatted about our wkend here and there, very randomly. He would say something and I wouldnt respond because I didnt feel like it...interesting convo to say the least.

We got in at 230am this morning. My back entrance was covered in 3 inches of ice and no salt or sand for traction, good job landlords. I almost took a few diggers but kept it together thank goodness. What a wkend we had! THANKS A MILLION TO MATT WHITT AND DYLAN SELINGER FOR PUTTING US UP FOR THE WKEND. THESE GUYS ARE AWESOME PEOPLES AND I CONSIDER THEM MY BROSKIS FOR LIFE, AND CAN THEY PARTY...WOW.

I didnt end up going to bed until 4am after showering, checking my mail I had neglected the entire wkend, and finding some warm pj's because my apt was a freezer. My bed felt oh so comfy after all that. I was out in a matter of 2.2 seconds.

Hopefully all who took the time to read this enjoyed it. I think I'll do a recap after each wkend of racing this year to keep everyone up-to-date on my quest to become a pro cyclist. CHEERS!!!