Month: December 2011

Tucson…the great escape!

There are certain times where we all daydream, yearning for a place and time in the schedule that would permit a chance to go to paradise. That paradise for our very own Jim Weinstein, and some fellow Bike Doctor riders, just happens to be Tucson. You would think they would have the common courtesy to not rub it in, but all shame has been thrown out the window. We awoke to this note from Jim…rude smiley faces and all.

Well,

I have a few moments this morning while everyone is sleeping to update you all on how things are going here in Tucson…warning, this may cause insane jealousy and if you are that type you should stop reading now!!

OK….if you are still reading.  Sunny, Me (Jim), and the Giles family machine (that is Scott and Katy) attended the Tri-Service Academy Cycling Training Camp in Tucson, AZ.  I started the camp a few years ago to bring the military academy cycling teams together for some good training and friendly competition.  Over the last few years I’ve expanded to invite mentors who help to keep things safe, organized and fun.  Oh…and the mentors get to impart some wisdom and the occasional “on-the-bike” ass kicking.

Riders are lodged in TLF’s which are military houses with full kitchens, nice bedrooms, and we put about 3-4 in a room so we get some good team bonding going on.  This year we have 46 people here.  31 are cadets/midshipmen from USMA, USAFA, and USNA…the rest of civilians and military mentors.

The riding plan is ambitious and very challenging.  It’s a combo of “good training” and some pinnacle achievement type riding.  Because of the wide ranging abilities we split the groups by ability.  This year we have had 4 groups.  Group1 (row the “A”) group does the longest hardest miles and that’s where our bike doctor folks (myself, Sunny, Scott, and Katy) have been helping and leading.

The first day of camp was a 75 mile ride that followed the famous shootout loop. We started very, very easy to just get folks used to riding together.  The roads here in Tucson have taken a pretty big hit (combo of bad weather and poor financial conditions) and as such, riding slow was also probably safer as we leave town from base.  But, once out on the false flat climbs south of the city, we lit it up with some hard riding …at the end my quads felt like hamburger meat :)

Sunny getting ready


Day 2 was a favorite ride of mine to a place called Madera Canyon.  The Canyon is a 4 mile climb that comes after about a 10 mile solid false flat.  The climb is brutally steep at the end, upping in the 12-14% range and the road is about 12 feet wide as it winds up the hill.  The ride out to the climb is about 40 miles so it turns into a long day.  We have some great riders here from the academies and from the US Military Elite Team and I knew the climb would be a blast.  Sunny decided to ignite things a little early by attacking on the false flats and getting some good distance before the climb…I know he suffered and made for a great carrot for the leading climbers behind.  Scott and a couple other riders destroyed that climb!!  The ride down is where I got to have some fun–56 mph (which wasn’t my fastest of the week) :)

Day 3….rest day.  Most folks had tired legs so I let folks do what they wanted, some road, some rested.  I chose to go out for a ride up Mt Lemmon to the 10  mile point.  Scott, Katy and Sunny went up much higher as sunny is leaving on Friday and won’t be able to make the climb with the group…..  They hit the snow and ice a few miles below the top and posted a great picture!!

Toward the top of Mount Lemmon


Day 4 was the queen stage.  For the A group, it’s a 120 mile ride out and up Kitt Peak.  Kitt is a 13 mile climb up to an awesome telescope observatory.  The ride out is about 50 miles and thus tired legs are a guarantee.  Scott and the BD company helped try to ensure our young folks got their money’s worth!  The ride home was a long trek where we got to demonstrate the powers of a cross wind and how best to work together in such situations.

Enjoying the moment at the top of Kitt Peak


I’ve never seen so many college kids go to bed so early.  It’s true – none of these guy’s will do a 120 mile race so why train them so long….but I’ve found that completing this ride is a “right of passage” for folks and they really like the challenge so I’ve kept that ride in there at that length.

Today is Day 5 and for the brave souls. We’ll do an 88 mile loop with 2 climbs.  One is Gates Pass which is a short 5 minute effort with a 20%+  1/4 mile at the end.  I promised Scott I wouldn’t go easy on him :)

Friday is our big climbing day….we will climb Mt Lemmon with the group.  It’s a 26 mile climb of about 6% all the way to the top.  But…at the top is a place called the “cookie cabin”….I usually begin thinking about it at mile 16….. :)

One Big Happy Family

I think when the week is done I might have close to 30 hours.  I have 22 right now!

Cheers oh…and in case you aren’t jealous yet….I’m getting a sun tan :)  Weather has been in the 50s to 60s ….(except for some rain the first 2 days)….LOVING IT!!

Jim

Thanks Jim. We really needed that rubbed in!

Luray Caverns Cross- “The Town where Caverns meet the Sky”

Pete Warner ventured out to Luray VA this past Sunday to participate in the Luray Caverns Cyclocross race. While some may believe that Luray is a distant destination, in reality, it is one of the most peaceful, scenic drives we’ve had all year, especially along route 211 up and over the Shenandoah National Park.  On arrival, you’re greeted with first class amenities including a monstrous parking lot, heated bathrooms and a sit down café serving hot coffee with a wide ranging menu, all just a hop, skip and jump away from the Luray Caverns entrance.  Oh, they were serving Lost Rhino Belgian beer, too!  The well kept historical buildings nestled on the site with the mountain range in the background are now intertwined with white and red course tape slithering about.  THIS IS CROSS!

The promoter, Chris Gould, and his legion of helpers hit this one out of the ballpark.  It was a gorgeous December day, a little nip in the air, but who can complain? Hopefully, in future editions Mother Nature will step in and add a little snow to the setting…that would be EPIC!

Luray Caverns Cross 123 Start

Now let’s get down to the action.  Warner lined up with a group of 10 to start the 1/2/3 race at 2 pm.  There were a few heavy hitters in the field; Fawley (Trek), Taylor (North-Tek), a few JRVS Virginia riders along with some other cross fanatics.  For Warner, he was focused on surviving the 60 minutes of hell, and if all went well, be slobbering all over himself with that painful smile of joy for having went out and performed the best to his ability.  From the gun, it was a knock down sufferfest.  Taylor and Fawley charged out of the gates and the field spread out in chase behind.

After a few bobbles and one slide-out on the first lap, Warner was able to steady himself and re-attach with Lance Byrd (Adventures for the Cure). The duo, battling for 5th and 6th kept at each other for the remainder of the race.  It’s one of the beautiful dynamics in cross, the race within the race.  Warner got a small gap after Byrd had slight trouble at the downhill gravel u-turn, but he fought hard to re-connect.  Then it was Warner’s turn to bobble that corner the next lap and Byrd commanded a gap that Warner had to bring back.  With two to go, Byrd inched out a small gap, forcing Warner to take a little more risk to close it down before the gravel.  It was a good move as Warner got too aggressive and got tied up in one of the corners.  Warner chased HARD to try and bring him back, but Byrd rode solidly to finish up strong for 5th, Warner 6th.  Fawley took the win, Taylor 2nd, Holland and Runnals (JRVS) 3rd and 4th.

What a course! It threw a little bit of everything at you.  There were great sections where you really had to empty the tank, but it also consisted of flowing technical sections where you could recover. The course design definitely forced you to maintain focus and think about setting up your next move.

A big thank you to the owner’s of the Luray Caverns for allowing us with a cross addiction to come out and play on their land! We are so very thankful!

A little compiled video Warner’s wife shot (there were some rowdy hecklers!)

Elite Endurance Training Systems partners with Team Bike Doctor!

Team Bike Doctor is excited to begin announcing our sponsor partners for 2012, beginning with the introduction of Elite Endurance Training Systems (www.EliteEndurance.com). Several members of the team have been utilizing Elite Endurance services during the past few years with a high level of success. We are incredibly excited and thankful to have the opportunity to expand our relationship with Elite Endurance. Stay tuned, as in the coming months we will be establishing a Coach’s Corner, where we will be sharing many of the informative training articles Elite Endurance shares with us.

And now, a little bit of background into the history, philosophy, and guiding principles in the words of our new sponsor partner:

Coach Lundgren at Monarch Cross

“In 2011 alone, Elite Endurance athletes won over 130 races, 14 State Champions, and 1 National Champion.

“My name is Kenneth Lundgren, the owner of Elite Endurance Training Systems. My singular goal is to coach athletes to success by building specific training programs, offering guidance, diet, and training advice, and helping with racing tactics. What first started as a way to make extra money has grown into my true livelihood. I never thought coaching would have this effect on me. After all, when you do well, I very much feel like part of that victory, and this motivates me to become better at what I do. I started coaching in the fall of 2005 after two athletes asked me to work with them. What started as a small project has morphed into my full-time job.

“My mission has always been to do things differently, to do things better. There are so many overpriced, underworked coaches out there, who just use programs like Training Peaks and other online training services, just pumping out these blueprint programs, never communicating with the athlete. To me, that is not the way to go. That is the easy, lazy way out. That is not going to give the athlete max success. I treat each athlete like I am coaching myself, each program geared specifically to address the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses, building towards a personal peak. Because training programs are not blueprints — you must look at an athlete’s background, at their strengths, their weaknesses, at their goals and objectives, then be able to pump this information into a personalized training program that is geared for maximum efficiency and, hopefully, wide success.

“Every athlete is different. Thus, every athlete should follow a different path. What works for Lance Armstrong, for me, for you, is not the same. Through fitness tests and training blocks, we will discover what works for you the athlete and build on physical gains. By utilizing periodization principles, by tracking progress and changes, by building and tapering fitness to a powerful peak, we are going to achieve maximal improvements and find 100% of our athlete’s potential.

“Coaching is what I do for a living, and I speak from absolute experience when I say, ‘Talk is cheap!’ 130+ wins this year is something I am so very proud of, almost have to pinch myself with how well everyone has ridden, and 2012 is going to be even better. Coaching aside, I still continue to race. I rode for Northeastern Hardware from 2006-2010 and the team won the Garden State Cup five consecutive times. I have become one of the region’s top time trialists. In 2011, I won 7 time trials and set 4 course records, winning the NJBA TT Cup in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, I will be riding with one of my athletes, 4-time NJ State Road Race and Criterium Champion Ryan Pettit, on the Heart House squad, and the team will be taking him to the national level.

“For Team Bike Doctor, I am offering a substantial discount off Level 1 Coaching. In my opinion, Elite Endurance athletes are just better and I honestly feel my service is far superior to those who charge 3-5 times as much. I always said I am not coaching to get rich — rather to help athletes. There is no novelty to coaching athletes. Seeing improvements never gets old, and I look forward to helping Team Bike Doctor discover their full potential, something few athletes ever come close to doing.”

Coach Lundgren - Colorado Cup!

Coach LOVES the drops!

Cross Love!

It takes a lot of love to put on a bike race. The amount of hard work and detail that goes into putting together all of the elements for an event to go well are amazing. For the MABRA Super 8 Series finale at Lake Fairfax in Reston, VA on Sunday, Team Bike Lane put their heart and soul into resurrecting this wonderful classic venue. And what a classic event this truly is. The course was HARD, with a mix of everything. Mud, gravel, pavement, off-camber turns, climbs, and a sweet downhill section had everyone digging deep into their bag of tricks to try and master this course. Thanks to Team Bike Lane for keeping the torch lit with the Capital Cross Classic. We here at Bike Doctor hope they keep it that way!

Tanner Browne ended his season with a win at Capital Cross, and 2nd in the MABRA Super8 sereis standings. The race started, and Tanner was in a great position as they completed 
the first lap, however, Elite women racer Erin Siliman had a terrible crash on the course, and everything was neutralized until she could be taken to 
hospital in an ambulance. The racers waited for about 30 minutes, and in that time Tanner rode around easily keeping his legs in the game.

Tanner Browne

Once the race was restarted they were told it was only going to be 2 
laps. Tanner went hard from the start and came over the barriers in 
2nd.  He created a gap between him and 3rd, while trying to chase down 
Connor Bell in first, about 20 seconds ahead. By the middle of the 2nd 
lap Tanner was 45 seconds ahead of third place Matthew Ammann (the 
series leader), and about 45 second behind the leader.  Tanner has had 
his mechanical issues this year (two broken chains), but this race he 
rode technically well and had no issues.  Unfortunately for Connor 
Bell, this was not the case.  With less than a kilometer left to race, 
Connor suffered a flat rear tire.  He rode the flat the best he could, 
but that wasn’t going so well.  Tanner didn’t realize this until he 
rounded the corner for the finish and saw that Conner was struggling. 
He launched a sprint and managed to pass him before the finish to take 
the win. It has been a season of ups and downs, but Tanner managed to get on 
the podium for every race.

Tanner Browne checking his gap

Tanner Browne-WINNER!

The hotly contested Master’s ¾ series has seen 7 different winners stand on the top step, and Todd Bickling and Steve Fife lined up with the hopes of placing both men on the podium. But, it wasn’t to be. Fife fought hard, and made the lead group, holding 2nd position for the first few laps. Unfortunately a dropped chain over the barriers created a gap that he couldn’t close, and he lost contact with the leaders. Fife tried to hold it together for the second half of the race, but just missed the podium, placing 6th, which secured his 3rd overall placing in the series.

Steve Fife Masters 3/4

Bickling’s race was less successful. His first lap and a half went great, but then the wheels fell off the cart. Somehow, Todd forgot how to handle his bike. With his air pressure way too high, he over-thought the roots and cobbles, got caught in the tape twice, went down twice, and slid out on nearly every 
corner.

Todd Bickling Masters 3/4 run up

Bickling is not the type of rider you want to go towards a finish line with on your wheel, and on the last lap a Coppi rider 
caught him and surfed his wheel for the last few hundred meters. Coming into the finish, Bickling put the pedal to the metal and gapped the Coppi rider across the line. Too bad all these races aren’t only 100 meters long, Todd would be in heaven. In cross, sometimes it’s the little victories that count,  and he rolled in around 15th, securing his 5th place overall in the series. Both racers are excited to move up to the Elite Master’s ranks next year, and hope for more continued success.

Pete Warner and Brian Sjoberg lined up for the Elite Masters race, and here is a race report in Warner’s own words:

Pete Warner Masters Elite barriers

“My main focus was to attempt to really push the start and try to limit inflicting damage to myself in the technical sections.  Strangely, I was able to shoot through some gaps during the initial minute or so and get in the top 20.  I think I got a little complacent with my position and rode hard enough to keep up with the folks I was with, but the top 10-15 riders were stretching the gap.  That downhill chute definitely had a little pucker factor to it for me.  I know I lost time there, but I just didn’t want to go down.  I ended up riding with Chris Mayhew and Neil Schirmer for most of the race.  I was a little timid since I knew I was probably the worst technical rider in the bunch, but it’s nice to finally see the progress I’ve made from when I started as I was able to get through the turns clean and in good shape.  Definitely feeling more comfortable out there.  I will admit that run up had me gasping for air.  I thought I was having an asthma attack a few times up that sucker and I don’t think I have asthma!  On the last lap, Neal let a gap go to Chris prior to crossing the dam.  I knew I had to jump up to him so I made contact right before the run up and then just stayed with him. I thought he was going to attack me on that last little back section but he held it steady, and I didn’t make any mistakes following him.  We had a fun duel to the line, but I just started my sprint too late (aka underestimating Mayhews’ sprint) and he held on by a few inches. A great way to cap off the race. I came away feeling positive about the race.  Hell, 3 months ago I was Mayhews’ pupil at his cross clinic and didn’t know diddly about cross.  Here I am going to the line with the guy…nice to see improvement.  I ended up 18th, but I think I have a good idea where I can make some improvements before next year and hopefully contend for Top 10’s in the masters elite field…maybe even throw in some cross specific training since all I’ve really been doing is base prep for road next  season. Definitely need to get some early season points so I can get in at least the second row.  Luray will be my final hurrah.”

Sjoberg about to get his crossfit on!

Thanks to the Bike Lane for a wonderful event, and to all the promoters that put on races in the MABRA Super 8 Series this year. Us racers couldn’t have had as much fun this cross season without your love and dedication to our sport! We are really looking forward to next season, and eagerly anticipate what’s in store for the 2012 MABRA cross series. Cyclocross is alive and healthy in our region, and we are LOVIN’ IT!

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