Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday Cramp Ride

So how many other riders went out today and cramped up?

Man, this was the first ride this summer that I really started cramping up. Not sure if it was the heat, lack of recent high intensity rides, not enough water, or I just rode really hard.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday's Hard Hot Ride

I did the Thrasher ride today with almost all BPVC members; Phil and Kevin Young, Harry Fang, Conor O'Brien. Also in attendance were DC Velo riders: Agent Mulder, back from kicking ass in Europe, and James. We were also joined by a rider that's been coming out lately, but I don't know his name. I'll refer to him as Big Red (he's really big and wears a red jersey).

We rode the typical route: Bradley, Kentsdale, Newbridge, River, Persimmon, Oaklyn, Falls. But today, we went down into the Park. We went hard along the Oaklyn rollers and I went really hard up the last hill before making the left on Falls. I think my lungs were about to burst. Coming out of the park, I sat on Harry's wheel. And for a "I'm only a sprinter", he set a pretty good pace. I was just waiting for him to slow up a bit but he never did.

The rest of the ride was kind of a blur. Not sure if it was the heat, lack of recent high intensity rides, trying to keep up with Kevin, trying to drop Conor, trying to make the sprinter Harry work on the hills, or just plain hard ride today. But, it felt great.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Grocery List of a Fellow Rider

Have you ever wondered what your fellow riders have on their grocery
lists or what they buy when they go grocery shopping?

Well, tonight I had the distinct pleasure of running into my evil-twin,
Scooter (AKA WWM?) at the Bethesda River Rd Whole Foods. Based on his
shopping cart items, I'm not really sure why he was there. As everyone
knows, you buy really nutritional stuff at WFs. Ya know, like all
kinds of really organic sh..t, the stuff you won't find at Giant or

Here's what I observed in his cart: gallon of chocolate swirl ice
cream, big bag of potato chips, chocolate chip cookies and cheese
puffs. I think there might have been some veggies, but I'm not sure
since I was blinded by all the other nutritional items.

Okay, okay, I'm only joking. But the funny thing is we both had a
cooked roasted chicken in our carts. Maybe we are twins?


What was I thinking? Lessons learned

WTF? What was I thinking? I would be shortly be OTB.

I've been riding with some really strong riders this summer, and I've learned a lot from them and gotten stronger in the process. Although, I still need to work on being "patient" and heeding PM's winning strategy of "manipulate whoever I'm with into doing more work".

So, on a recent Wed Hill Ride, I planned to practice this concept of "patience". The ride is usually a suffer-fest since all the riders are really strong climbers and it consists of 5 good climbs; Mnt Gate, Anglers, GFPark, Brickyard and Eggert. Note: I don't count Goldsboro since we usually do this at sub-warp speed.

Should have listened to Jay's advice during yesterday's ride: "sitting on your wheel will require great patience".

For about 85% of the ride, I sat in and didn't go hard on any of the climbs. I felt strong on Mnt Gate, Anglers, and GF Park, but my right hip was bothering me a bit. I've been having problems with it lately, and it's probably related to my back issues. After coming down Anglers, Jay goes screaming past everyone carrying a lot of momentum onto the flat section. Ad says "I'm not chasing him, he's on my team". So the three of us up front looked at each other and let him go. I was really tempted to go after him but kept hearing "be patient" ringing in my head. Then, I think, George goes hard on the left side followed by young Russ and then I jump on Russ's wheel. As we caught Jay about half way to Brickyard, we slowed up and that's when the evil gremlins started yelling in my ear (or maybe it was Paul whispering behind me) "don't slow up, go as hard as you can and you'll get a break away going". So I jumped hard and I felt really good, legs felt strong, HR under control. Not sure what kind of gap I had rounding the left on Brickyard, but about half way to the steep section I couldn't shift into my small ring and lost a bunch of momentum. Just about this time, the gremlins came back in my head yelling "sucker..., you should have listened to Jay". Next thing I know, the train led by Paul went storming past me and all I could do was watch as Paul hammered up the steep section putting everyone in his wake in deep trouble. I was OTB and hurting. I couldn't get any RPMs going and slowly drifted off the back.

So much for "being patient". I guess its not really that smart to attack before the steepest climb on the ride. But, the more I do this, the stronger I'll get and then one day, I'll be strong enough to stay away.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

"You look 20 lbs heavier"

One of my kind team mates thought I looked 20 lbs heavier in my TT suit.

Here are my witty responses .....

"Just trying my best to look like Kemal."
"The horizontal stripes add weight."
"Unlike Clinton, I WAS inhaling (deeply) the moment the pic was taken."
"I was practicing my yoga belly breathing."
"I was blotted from too much salt in my pasta from the previous night's dinner."
"I started upper body weight training again."
"I swear Mike sold me Optygen"
"the lighting was really bad"
"Yeah, but look at those guns"
"do you know how much effort it takes to do a track stand in your aero bars"
"I'm getting an earlier start adding my winter training weight back on."
"Maybe Nutella and FlufferNutter sandwiches aren't the best training

Yours truly,
the ever svelte
"I'm not eating for a week"

Glutony at the T de Christiana

OK, all I can say is one word "glutony" and this one word will set the
tone of the Zimmerman story.

After the RR on Saturday, and after eating subs with Kevin and Phil at
Subway, and then after riding the TT course, we went back to our Best
Western hotel rooms in Intercourse, Pa. I spent the rest of the
afternoon, relaxing in my comfortable closet sized room flipping
between the Busch NASCAR race at Watkins Glen and reruns of the "the
Hills" on MTV. By about 4pm I was getting real hungry and not sure I
could make it to our 7pm dinner reservation without getting something
to eat.

I headed across the street to Zimmerman's, the local grocery store.
Funny sign on the door read "NO photos allowed, please leave your
camera in the car". Not sure what I was getting my self into with a
sign like that.

As I entered the store, I didn't know what I wanted, but I soon
realized that entering a small town grocery store with an empty
stomach was not a good idea. Everything looked good, and I would
shortly have an overflowing basket if I wasn't careful. So, I limited
myself to wholesome foods and became very selective by weighing the
caloric content of my selection. Throwing caution to the wind and
letting my stomach dictate the selection process, my basket was soon
filled with the following: one yogurt, 4 bananas, bag of organic
cheese puff balls, salted almonds, trail mix called Sweet Temptation,
gummi bears, veggie chips and a bag of wheat hamburger rolls (of
course these would be for breakfast) and two gatoraids.

I get to the counter, realizing I don't have enough cash, and ask "do
you take credit card?" Well, yes, of course they do. Just because
we're in Amish country doesn't mean the area doesn't offer the modern
day conveniences like credit card machines. I gladly paid less than $30
for my bounty of food and quickly head back to the closet.

I lay down on the bed and spread my loot around me, quickly opening
each and every container. I eat the yogurt first, have a banana, and
then dive into the veggie chips, Sweet Temptation, Cheese puffs and
salted almonds.

I think at some point Phil calls to remind me about the 7PM dinner
reservation and that we should plan on leaving around 6:30pm. In my
food coma, all I could do was grunt in agreement.

So, this is the story of Zimmermans.

Lesson: never go food shopping when you're hungry, cuz you never know
what you'll come home with.


Recap Tour de Christiana "AKA tour d pain"

Leading up to the TdC, I wasn't sure which race I was going to do: Cat 4 or 40+. In the past couple of 40+ races, I've placed better and felt more comfortable than how I've done in this season's worth of Cat 4 races. I finally decided to do the Cat4 race with my teammate Kevin Young (17 yr super strong rider) and also because the times for the Cat 4 race would me to get home Sunday mid-late afternoon.

Bottom line, this was the hardest weekend of racing I've had all season.

40 mile RR. Four laps on a 10mile loop with a big climb, super fast downhill (50+ mph) each lap. The final 1/2 mile or so was an steep uphill that flattened out just before the finish. With about 90 riders starting the race, I knew the field would quickly thin out in the first climb. Since I didn't know the course or what the climbs would be like I didn't want to waste any energy in the front. So, I did my usual sit in the back, bridge up when any gaps formed and stay in front of the motorcycle guy. In lap two, I had to take a pee and tried going while staying pace with the pack, but just couldn't make it work. After trying about 4 times, I finally gave up and tried not to think about it the rest of the race. Each time I'd drift back about 5-10 sec and have to race back to get back in the pack. What a waste of energy.

The pace was never totally out of control, not on the flats, nor the climbs. But, it amazed me how many riders sounded like they were ready to pop during the climb or during the faster false flat sections where we would be cruising along at 27-30 mph.

Leading into the last turn I was in the back, and the pack slowed up a lot as the climb to the finish started. The motorcycle guy told us we could take the lane, and I took full advantage of this since this opportunity to move quickly up the left side up to the front group of 5-6 riders that had just started to accelerate. I was able to stay with this group but as the road flattened out I realized I was not in my big ring and the time it took to get into it, I was quickly getting passed by a couple riders heading into the finish. I finished 11th. Should have done better but was in the wrong gear heading into the finish line.

Sunday AM
10 mile TT, some rollers and a false flat that was hard and then a real fast flat section to the finish. Kinda bummed cuz 30 seconds separated my 25th place from 5th place. Although, I'm not sure how much faster I could have gone. I averaged just about 25MPH and was doing just about 29-30MPH the last mile or so. I guess I could have tried hammering more through the false flat but didn't want to blow up and have nothing left in the end.

I remember the last couple of miles passing a bunch of Amish families walking on the side of the
road. And I was thinking to myself that the Amish were looking at me and thinking "what is that? Why is that dufous in a zebra suit working so hard riding his bike with his tongue hanging out. He should be spending all that energy doing something constructive like mowing the grass, painting the fences, cutting the corn fields, feeding the animals." I remember going past these families grunting for as much air as I could get, had my mouth wide open. I was in such pain it just didn't hurt anymore.

Sunday afternoon
16 mile crit (13 laps), one steep climb per lap, and some really technical downhill sections with real tight turns through the town. During the warm up laps, I was getting real nervous about the technicality of the course and the # of very tight turns. Tight turns at high speed and Cat 4 races do not mix. Spidy sense was starting to come alive. Awesome course but one of the hardest crits I've done all season. Sitting towards the back made the race really hard not so much of the yo-yo affect, but more so because I had to do a lot of bridging as riders started popping.

And, Steven Black was relentless. I think he attacked the hill on every lap, at least it seemed like the announcer was calling his name everytime we went past the finish line. Man, that 16 yr old is strong.

As usually, I attacked about 2 laps too earlier.
With 4 laps to go, I was able to move up to the front on the climb and since my legs felt really good, I floored it for a lap or so. Man it felt good just rolling through the turns and keeping my speed pretty constant throughout the entire turn. I'm not sure if Eric Davila and I got a gap or not, but as we came up to the climb with 2 laps to go, my legs weren't feeling so good. I was barely able to hang on for the next lap and was able to finish 23.

So the way I looked at it, my effort helped Kevin Young win the race and clinch his top spot for the GC. All in all it was a great weekend of racing. I had a really good time meeting and talking with Sean Ross' parents.