Tuesday, January 17, 2012

With ice on the roads and more coming its time to embrace the indoor trainer. David at the PI did a nice piece on indoor suffering so i'll play too. I just started using a product called trainerroad.com and really like it. It utilizes power from the powertap in a nice visual way and takes some of the boredom out. That said, it still hurts and they don't call it suffering for nothing. I'll include a couple of pics of the new setup in my house. I bought a new tv to covert the spare bedroom into a kids xbox room and suffer chamber for me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

WINNING! Olympic View Road Race

Here is the tale of winning provided to you by the winner Travis Biechele.

The alarm sounds at 5:00am and I am staring at rain hitting the skylight. I roll out of bed and realize that I am actually a little sore and bruised from a tetherball tournament at Gerardo’s son’s birthday party. Can’t have beers the night before a race, so what else do you do at a one year old’s birthday party. Sounds like a tough start, but look on the bright side; it will most likely be sunny in Sequim. Oh S##T, we are racing in Brady today. Well, grab some cheerios and get your bike on the car since you’re already late to pick up Gerardo. Mission accomplished and we are on our way to Brady. The weather teased us along the way, but we eventually arrived to a rainy Brady, home of the grange which doubles as one of the finest staging areas of the year. Lots of CycleU teammates there and hats off to everyone for the dedication you showed by racing in this foul weather. Looks like there are four of us racing Cat 4 including Brad, Chad, Erik, and myself.

We all threw our layers on, warmed up, and headed for the starting line which was filled with a sea yellow. Bikesale was out in numbers as expected since they organize the race. Looked like the field was between 70-100 riders and everyone was anxious to get the race started and bring the body temperature up. In the first lap we saw several solo or small group break attempts, mostly from Bikesale. With the wind and rain, it was clearly not a good day for break attempts and none of these ever got out of sight. The course is not terribly technical with the exception of a 180 degree corner with about 2K to go on a steep and wet decent (only one crash on this corner the entire race). Our strategy for the first lap was to stay near the front and spread things out on the decent and then hammer it at the bottom to try and split the field. Well, we gave it a good effort, but the main field swallowed us up.

The second lap was not terribly exciting, but I think it was important. Jason Cemanski, the phenom on the Apex team who has won 5 races in Cat5 and won Cat4 at Volunteer park, seemed to be getting bored and decided to initiate and chase several breaks. I was excited to see him continue to burn matches. Every time he did this, the Chad train would run him down. Not too many Chad trains in the Cat5s. We completed the second lap and I really felt like things would start happening at this point. Wrong. Same as the second lap, the Chad threw more coal in the firebox and continued to do the majority of the work out in the front. As a team, we were looking great. All four CycleU riders in the front 15-20 and then pssssssssssss followed by Erik’s hand in the air. Suck!!!!!! Down to three, but still looking strong. At this point, I thought the race would be determined by whoever ended up with good position after the final kicker. It wasn’t easy, but Chad and I were able to pass through a couple guys who were rocking side to side so violently, they took up half the lane. Brad got caught up in this and didn’t get the position for the final hairpin corner decent. Wasn’t sure where Chad was, but I assumed he was nearby. Don’t know how he does it, but Chad is almost never more than 5 wheels from the front. Definitely something I am trying to watch and learn. Anyway, one guy kills it up the hill and has about 150m gap on us, but I am in perfect position at 5th wheel in this chase. We hit the hairpin decent and I took a terrible line almost running into the guy who went wide. I kept it upright and had a lot of speed coming out of this which could have cost me the race. I found myself in the front of the chase group with 2K to go and had flashbacks of Sequim #1 where I led out the sprint with 4K to go and couldn’t ever get off the front and got outsprinted. This was not happening, so I sat up and got the peripheral vision set and started the sit up and swerve going. Finally someone got impatient and gunned it. Fortunately for me he picked the wrong side and I jumped it and he bridged me to the earlier solo break at the 200m sign and then the sprint was on. Crossed the line first and got a quick congrats from Chad who crossed the line in second place. How does a guy who pulls the field for half the race sprint for second place? I am definitely enjoying the win, but Chad pretty much killed this race.

Awesome job Cat4s and everyone else who got out there in terrible racing conditions and threw it down. Let’s keep taking names.

Travis B.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tour de Dungeness # 2

This was the last race for the Tour de Dung(eness) up in Sequim. Once again we were treated with great weather. It did seem a little colder than it was the weekend before but it wasn't raining and the sun was out. Chad, Shawn and myself arrived and got all set up and ready to go with about 20 min to spare on the trainers. My dad came up with the trailer so we had a nice place to change in. Your awesome dad. We lined up 10 min early to make sure we made the start. This week it was a different race official and we didn't actually start until 3 min after our start time of 9:50. Go figure. The plan this week was the same as it was last week. Get Chad to the front of the race at the end for a possible lead out. The race was ok and the slinky effect was in full force. Slow down, speed up, on the brakes, on the gas. Pretty standard operating procedure. It makes it a bit more stressful for sure. We again were doing 4 laps for a total of 48 miles. The last lap is when it started to liven up a bit. We had 4 guys last year move over to a different team. It was nice to see them again and weird to see them in different kits but good to race with them. One of them took off on a flyer about 3 miles into the last lap. I jumped and bridged up to him and we had a group of 4 that rotated through a couple times. We had a little gap but I didn't want to do any more work because I knew it wouldn't stick. So I sat up and we got caught. I was a little nervous because when I bridged up to the break I was pinging on my heart rate montitor 192 bpm. In the past when I get that high it is normally during a sprint finish. Thankfully I was able to recover once back in the group. I sat in for the rest of the lap until we were about 2 miles away from the finish. At that point it was difficult to move to the front. Chad was always near the front so he was in a good position. When I closed the break down and we got caught I went to the back of the pack. It took some time to get up near the front and then when I did everyone was real nervous and you could feel the pack and how tense everyone was. I was up on the left near the yellow line and usually that line will open up as the pack speeds up. However, the pack really wasn't speeding up much. I was beginning to get frustrated and then a opening showed itself and I just stood up and sprinted to the front. Once I got there I realized we had another half mile to go and I was already on the front pulling the pack. So I decided the hell with it and shifted to a higher gear and started to ramp it up. Chad was behind me directing me where to move to in case someone tried going around us. I moved over to the yellow line again to give us the best position for the right hand corner coming up. I wanted to atleast get us to the corner in a good spot then try and sprint out of the corner to spread the field out some more. Just as we approached I stood up to give it some more gas but the legs told me I was out of gas. I sat back down just as we entered the corner and several guys came by. I stood and pedaled in hopes of seeing where Chad was up at the front. It was close and Chad got 2nd place but was literally inches from getting the win. This was a huge turn around for both of us compared to last week. Way to go Chad.

Now on to the Pacific Raceways Series on Tuesday nights in the Cat 1, 2, 3 field. Chad and I decided to move up to this field to gain more experience and much more fitness. We hope to hang with the big guns in order to help us upgrade to 3's. Then down to Independence Valley Road Race on Saturday 3/26/11.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Its almost over and almost here

The days of it getting dark at 5:00 pm are almost over. The long wet and cold training rides are about to pay off. The 2011 race season is almost here.

The road race team changed a little bit over the winter. We lost a couple guys to another team. Which happens I guess but it was a bummer to lose them. The benefit now is that we have some buddies on other teams which will help us in trying to initiate some break aways during races. We have also added a few very strong folks to the team so thats been good. Shawn Harrington and I will be back as Team Captains for the Cat 4 team and hopefully we will be able to get some guys upgraded to Category 3 to help assist our man Joel.

Our Team rides on Saturday's have been filled with alot of rain and a few technical issues. Here is Chad fixing his chain the first time it broke.

Come to find out he had a faulty Ultegra chain that had 13 broken links. Thankfully nobody got hurt when his chain broke and he was ok as well. A good lesson for all of us to make sure our bikes are ready before we head out.

Once again Custom Smoothie is helping the road team this year with all our smoothie needs. The Lean and Mean Lite HOT is probably the best thing EVER! If you haven't tried it you should.

My pants and shoe covers were black. I had to throw the shoe covers away after this ride. Pretty nasty.

The team is heading up to Sequim this Sunday to pre ride the race course in anticipation of the Tour de Dung #1 & #2 in March. Can't wait for the season to start. Its so close but so far away.

Brad Haley
Co-Captain Cat 4

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From the Dean...

Are you on track for a great 2011?

How do you decide what your goals are? How do you decide what to prioritize? How do you get more energy to tackle your goals once you set them? Do you want to get past what has stopped you in the past? Are you tired of getting dropped and not reaching your goals? If you answer yes to any of these, it is time for Advanced Focus and Motivation (AFM).

Turbo charge your focus for 2011 by choosing strong goals here are some fundamental questions everyone must ask:

#1. What worked and what didn't work this past year. What did I learn?
#2. Goals for next season. What is one or two steps higher than last year? Where can I put them where I will see them each day.
#3. What is my plan so I build on my strengths and get to next Spring as strong, focused and charged as possible.

Now as easy as these 3 steps are, how many of you have already answered them for 2011? This is where I can help. I have been developing my mental coaching skills for 20 years and can coach you to do the same and find out for yourself what reserves of focus, courage and discipline you have to make a big improvement in 2011.

I call it Advanced Focus and Motivation, AFM and it is one of my favorite things to coach, in fact I believe it is the most neglected aspect of training and the one that can make the biggest difference for any athlete. I have done it for Teams, Groups and many individuals with great success including Adrian Hegyvary and the Huskies beginning in 2004. I now want to share it with anyone wanting to improve their mental game and ramp up their rate of progress.

I am doing a free session January 8th at 4pm to kick off the new year at our West Seattle training center. Why? Because the more I teach it, the better I ingrain it for myself and I love to see everyone improving as fast as possible, no matter what your pursuit.

If you are willing to commit to making a change, even if only 1%, Email Me and I will hold a spot for you, Date: Saturday January 8th 4pm - 5pm at West Seattle. Open to the first 30 people.

Thanks for listening, now get a great plan together and go after it 2011 now!

Coach Craig

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chad Sullivan of Cycle U claims 2nd overall @ Pacific Raceways

Here is a brief description of the last race of the season at Pacific Raceways told by Chad Sullivan.

Last night was a showdown between Dan Caputo and me (and my CycleU brothers) for 2nd place in the season standings. We went into last night separated by only two points. Rain was guaranteed although it did let up after the race started. With me were Brad, Shawn, Tims 1 and 2, John Wendl, and Gabe. Dale made a guest appearance but did not race. It was a short one, only 25 minutes, compared to an hour during the longest days of summer. They set up the finish on the flats/at the start line, instead of the top of the hill. Gabe blasted up the hill to a sizeable lead, but was caught and passed by Dan in a gutsy and impressive move. I thought Gabe had it, so I didn't chase. Tactical error #1. The team worked to shut down the breaks, but the hill almost always provides separation. Another break took the second prime which set up the finish sprint. Tim 1 helped pace me up the last hill and then surprisingly, Dan came around near the top of the hill to try to bridge to the riders about 20 yards ahead. I stayed on his wheel as we caught the frontrunners with 100 meters to go. I was in the perfect position to see him initiate his sprint. I passed him with about 50 yards to go and willed my legs to keep firing. It seemed the finish line would never come, and we both threw our bikes toward the line. I got him by about a wheel. I think he might have made a tactical mistake by "leading me out" but he may have had no choice. Letting the pack catch us, he might have missed out on the points and he sure didn't want Brad and CU leading me out. So it was a showdown that lived up to the billing. We each earned 5 points and CU finished the season in 2nd place in Cat 4/5. We had some fun after at the "awards ceremony". I got a certificate for my next season half off. I plan to race in the masters category, and/or help a new CU GC guy to the podium. From the first race, I had a blast out at PR and racing with you guys this year, both on and off the road. Thanks a lot for the support and camaraderie. I look forward to more racing with you guys at Cross and next season. See you at the team rides!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My First Race!!

This is from a new road team member Gabriel Holmes who recently joined the road team. Welcome to the team and great job!

My first race at PR last night was a whole lot of fun. I think most of the night I was alternating between holding on for dear life and thinking "this is no problem." Even after everybody's advice about where to be in the field, it seemed like I ended up rubber banding from the front to the back and side to side most of the night. I think there was only one brief point in the whole race where I was actually riding in the middle. Somewhere close to the end, I actually found myself at the very front right after the bleachers. The series of thoughts that went through my head were "Holy Crap, there's nobody in front of me." "Hmmm, the wind up here sucks." "Oh man, I am running out of gas. What do I do? Guess I'll pull off a little."
Then it started to rain. We had been doing flat ccw but they changed us to do the escape route. I slowed down a bit since I was a little sketchy about where we were supposed to go. I figured that I would just follow everybody else. I ended up near the back though. Coming down the hill, there were a lot of guys putting on the brakes and I felt like I was going through an obstacle course of hoses. Then coming up the hill, I tried to pick a wheel to suck but guys were running out of gas left and right. Everybody started to get strung out.
The last lap, I was way in the back and got dropped but sprinted at the end and almost made it to the back of the lead group. All in all, I ended up finishing and not crashing so I was pretty pleased with myself.
Next race, I might try to focus on trying to position myself instead of ending up wherever fate decided. There was one point where I looked over and saw a bunch of CycleU guys a little in front of me all the way over on the right side when I was on the left. I thought, "Ok, how the hell do I get over there?"
I want to say thanks to all the CycleU team members at PR last night. Everybody was really helpful. I'll try to remember everybody's name and face, but there were a lot of people there. I might be asking some of you your names again. If I call you by the wrong name in the future, I apologize. Also, thanks to all the advice on the message board.

Cycle U had 9 teammates at Pacific Raceways Tuesday night 6/08. Way to go!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Find more at Facebook

More team news and good banter on Facebook. Check it out for more up-to-date info, search Cycle University Road Team and become a fan!