Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bobke's Tour De Millersburg

Millersburg is a very cool little town set on the east side of the susquehanna river north of Harrisburg. If you know PA well, then you know that Rt 11 goes north along the west side of the river and so to get to Millersburg, you have to go very far north or south and then backtrack or take a ferry across the river. It's not easy to get to, which is bad for motorists, good for cyclists. Before the race, we were cruising around town and came across a waterfront park off the beaten path on the river just 1 block away from the main street of town. As Terry was soaking in the beauty, he just about ran straight into a blue haired lady driving a 1975 plymouth. The lady was all smiles and waving, little did we know that she was thinking 'if you take one step closer I'm pulling out my baseball bat'. Between races, we ate at the Wooden Nickel for lunch which seemed to be the only option, but a good one at that! The service was excellent and the food was great. I even had a beer between races to 'carb up' and recover from the TT - maybe that's why I was riding a bit sketchy in the crit? The town was VERY supportive. Entire streets where people normally park their cars in front of their homes were cleared for the event.

Bobke was at the race doing pre race recognition and coordinating the stages. Below is a video of Bobke calling up the women's elite riders.

After the call ups, he was pretty much hanging out, so it was a great time to meander over and catch up with my old buddy, Bob Roll. Nusbaum and I stopped by and got to spend about 5 minutes chatting with him. Pretty cool to be able to small talk with Bob Roll in this setting. We talked about his tour experience, frustration about travel and airlines and I thought it would be entertaining to run my race strategy by him for the crit (just try to hold on to the back - what do you think?) Bobke laughed and said, well - you might want to get up to the front at some point. Then he thought about it and said being at the back wouldn't be the worst thing on a course like this one, but you'll want to start working up on the last 2 laps. Anyway, very cool to have Bob Roll at the event and kudos to race coordinator for getting him out. I asked him what brought him to the event and he said, well, the race coordinator just called him up and Bobke accepted.

This was the first TT for Terry and I, so we didn't know what to expect. We did our best to get aero and all...I had an old TT bar that I managed to mount onto my road bike, but that was it. We did OK, but we didn't break any records that's for sure. When I got passed halfway thru the course, I was trying to tell myself that the guy must be in contention for the stage win or something, then 2 other guys passed me, I realized that I suck (relative to the competition). My average speed on the 20k TT was 25 mph (12.43 miles / (29.27 minutes / 60 minutes)) Now I am in a buy a TT bike and aero equipment for thousands of dollars to use it only twice a year...or not! I am thinking that my ego isn't that fragile. But I did enjoy the race against the clock and perhaps I can find something cheap somewhere.

I underperformed in both the crit and the road race. I had the legs, and in the road race, I would have been ready to go but miscounted the laps. I had it in my head that we were doing 4 12 mile loops, not 3 18 mile loops, so I ignored everything else and when the pace picked up on lap 3 it was too late. That was my day for a good finish and I missed it. No matter, it was worth the trip.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

2008 Freedom Center Triathlon

This morning Kellie Sue and Jackson entered their first ever triathlon. As we pulled into the parking lot, Suzi and I were surprised to see Jared's van laden with Haymarket Bicycles logos. So I guess he isn't lying when he says that he volunteers as the local wrench at these events ;). Jackson ended up second in his division, which we were all very proud of and Kellie Sue might have placed top 3 in her group if she hadn't drifted around the transition area for several minutes trying to figure out where to go!

pics and videos of the event -> here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Commuting Cyclist Speeds Past Drivers, Rescues Motorist

Submitted by Suzi Burns, tolerant spouse

[Herndon, VA] - On Monday, August 4th motorists driving home on Rt. 29 in Northern Virginia witnessed an almost superhuman feat of strength and endurance. As their vehicles crept forward toward their homes at turtle speed, a man in white ( aren't all heroes dressed in white? ) and blue dashed by them on their right, pedaling his bike faster than their gas-guzzling yuppie-mobiles were driving.

Who was this crazy person? How can he go so fast? How far is he riding? Where is he storing his laptop? Is that a Blackberry hanging out of the back of his jersey? Does he have Starbucks in those water bottles? Does he wear that silly outfit all day long in meetings?

So many questions, yet no way to have them answered, as this cyclist sped past them...his legs pumping faster than their fists to the beat of the hip hop of 99.5 that was blaring on their car radios.

Suddenly however, the tempo of this elite executive cyclist came to a halt. Blocking his way was a dead car and a distraught, overweight driver. Seeing help on the horizon coming toward him on a bike, this driver requested help moving his car off the road and out of danger.

Never one to shrink from helping those in need, and also having firsthand experience of the dangers of the road ( see blog on Road Rash and Lessons Learned ), our cyclist hero chucked his clips aside and, in the true spirit of helping his fellow man, dug his feet ( literally) into the blacktop and , using the immense upper body strength that all elite cyclist have, pushed the SUV ( ok, it was a small Toyota commuter, but SUV sounds better ) to the side of the road and away from harm.

"Thank you, Spandex man", said the helpless driver. "No problem," our cyclist hero replied, as he rode off toward home with lightning speed.

The AAA tow truck pulled up, as the dust of an orange and black Orbea road bike settled on the SUV/small Toyota commuter. " Who was that guy? " the fat tow truck driver asked?

" I don't know," said the weary and thankful commuter, " but I'll tell you this..... I will never try to scare the shit out of a road biker again."

They looked off into the distance where our skinny hero was disappearing into the sunset and nodded in agreement.


As Avid Cyclist man coasted into his driveway ( 20 minutes faster than if he had driven ), his dogs and children came out to greet him. He walked inside the house,visited with his wife and watched while she cooked the evening meal.

He ate everything in the pantry, fridge and fruit bowl, polished off the orange juice and soymilk (right from the carton) and cracked open a beer. Then, after breathing, he asked what was for dinner.

As she set the table and he partially undressed in the kitchen, carefully laying sweaty socks, jersey and blackberry on the counter ( much to the annoyance of his lovely wife, btw ), he relayed his story of superhuman strength and speed to her.

He also revealed to her, in very dramatic fashion, that he was injured in this act of kindness, for as he was pushing the Monster Truck ( things always get bigger as you tell the story over and over and over ),barefoot, singlehandedly , in the rain.... uphill.......he managed to get blisters the size of Delaware on the bottom of his feet.

After the appropriate oohing, ahhhhing from every angle and a heartfelt "wow that looks bad, hon",from the wife, they ate.

As he wolfed down his food, his wife got to thinking:
Oddly enough, he could ride his bike at lighting speed, push cars out of harm's way, and conduct a conference call on his blackberry all at the same time.... but once home, it was all he could do to walk. And hanging a shelf? Why how could one hang a shelf with a blister on his foot?

It would have to wait until tomorrow.

As she watched him sleep that night, a bottle of advil standing vigil over him on the nightstand, she thought to herself, "yes, I am married to a super hero all right : Incredibly Tired Man."

And as he dreamt of podium wins and fancy bikes, she went downstairs to toss his jersey and bibs into the washer for the next day's cycling adventure.