Monthly Archives: April 2007

Nice weekend/first test videos

We had a nice weekend around here, even though it started on a damp note. Busted my bike’s chain on the way out to the Saturday morning Tripower ride. Luckily I got it fixed up and hooked up with both the Conte’s Norfolk and the East Coast Bikes rides, rolling up more than 50 miles. It was cool, damp and foggy. I did play with the cheap new camera – a tiny Sony – that fits in my jersey pocket. Here’s the pace line coming back around the airport:

That afternoon, we went out to Virginia Beach for Ellie’s last regular season soccer game. She played well and nearly scored an early goal on a booming shot that went just over the top bar. A defender slammed her moments later and Ellie went down, twisting her knee. She had to come out for most of the rest of the half. I was really worried about her, but she walked it off on the sideline, then played a strong second half. She scored a goal on an excellent cross from a teammate. Ellie wrote up the game and her first place in the school fun run on her blog.

After an evening of beer and pizza, I managed to drag myself out of bed this AM and go out to the Beach to ride the Fort Story hills with some team members. At first I was a little fuzzy, but once I started doing the intervals I felt pretty good. Dr. Dan bought all of us some coffee even though it was his 60th birthday. Don’t know how we got you to treat, but thanks. I just hope I’m riding as strong as he is 20 years from now.

After some downtime and yard work, Michele and I took the girls over to a new playground in the neighborhood. I had a ball chasing them around the new apparatus. Here’s Audrey on the swing, shot with my new pocket cam:

We rode bikes home and I shot this (I’m loving this thing):


The girl can rock (and run)

The tifosi were out early this morning chalking up the finishing straight for their favorite runners at the elementary school fun run.

Ellie got off to a good, measured start thanks to her friend Annemarie. Several other 4th-grade girls bolted way out ahead, but she and Annemarie paced themselves.

Ellie made her move a little past this turn, just keeping up her pace as many of the girls started to fade after a quarter mile. She still had one girl to catch, who was clearly starting to wilt, but would sprint ahead whenever Ellie got near.

Meanwhile, she was passing boys left and right (they started a minute earlier), and she finally passed the last girl for good around the back of the school. Then she was flying to the finish. I had to sprint all out to keep up with her in the finishing straight. She can run.

Yes, that’s first place! Way to go girl!

Hard ride, good ride

Somehow managed to get out to the Great Bridge ride of death again last night. Once again the pace was screaming. I was sitting two wheels behind GeneR on Head of River when he pushed the pace to 30. The guy in front of me disconnected, I reconnected, but couldn’t hold it. I was anaerobic and just couldn’t sustain that. Gene’s first interval shattered the group and about 6 riders rode away with him.

I waited for a couple other dropped riders and we made it to Blackwater. Heading south, I saw a couple of SRRacing guys, including young Tyler, about 100 meters back, so I dropped back and pulled them up. I felt great and was pulling 24-25 into the headwind and later 28-29 with the tailwind. We shed a few riders and picked up two others dropped by the faster group.

In the end, I rolled up 33.4 miles in 1:24, averaging 23.7mph. That’s a fast ride for me. Unlike many recent rides, I walked away from this one feeling great. The legs weren’t a stiff, achy mess like they have been after hard rides the past few weeks. Hopes that bodes well.

Hard week

Spent a long hard week on the bike, but it ended well despite the agony in my legs and in my head (pine pollen is in the air and wreaking havoc on my sinuses).

It all started Tuesday, after a nor’easter blew through Sunday and Monday. I did a short run Tuesday morning with Ellie. That evening, I got out of work early, fought the traffic and made the Tuesday night death ride in Great Bridge. It was deadly. GeneR whipped the pace up to 27-28 about 5 miles in, I pulled through and kept that pace, but as I dropped back we turned into a headwind and I just couldn’t stay on the tail. I almost reconnected, but the pace popped up again and I was gone. Sat up and waited for a slower group so I wouldn’t get lost and still managed to average almost 23mph for the ride.

I rested Wednesday, then went out Thursday for about 25 miles in the morning. My legs still hurt.

On Saturday, I went to the Tripower ride at the Beach. I was feeling good again finally. I contested a couple of the sprints, made several hard efforts and rolled up about 42 miles, doing two of the loops. But I worked too hard.

I raced the Casey Crit at Todd Stadium in Newport News late in the day with fellow Cat 5s JB and John. First time I flew Tripower colors. (I’m behind JB in the photo – thanks D-Bo for the photo and the jersey) The temps jumped to near 80, the pine pollen count soared and my lungs and legs hurt. The race started fast and started breaking up quickly. I saw Stephen go, I knew I should go with him, but it just wasn’t in my legs. That ended up being the winning move too. He took out the sprint from some guy in this Cippolini-esqe zebra skinsuit. There’s just no organization in the Cat 5 field. I kept trying to pull through and encourage a chase, but it seemed like only a handful of guys were working, including John. JB was dropped. We were all hurting. I had cotton mouth the whole race what with the heat we had yet to experience this year. Still John and I stayed near the front of the field.

On the bell lap, I was in third wheel going into the second to last turn. A group started to move on the outside and I thought I was about to get boxed out, but suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of bikes and bodies colliding with asphalt behind me. With the crash I jumped. I passed one and got passed by another in the sprint, despite not feeling all that strong and wound up with 7th overall, 3rd in the field sprint. I softpedaled back around to check on the downed riders. Two were down, one badly. Somebody took him to the hospital for X-rays. I hope he’s OK.

Overall, Tripower raced very well. After the race, Danbo took K-Dog, Crazy, JB and I on a tour of the mountain bike trails at Riverside Park around Lake Maury. It was a great cool down, spin-out for the legs. The trails rolled nicely with some tough, rooty sections. No better way to end the day.

New grill, thanks Dad!


Dad & Sal bought us a new grill while they were in town last week – a Weber Q. It’s a very cool, portable little grill that’s perfect for what we need. Haven’t fired it up yet (the Nor’easter made grilling out hard the past few days), but will soon. Maybe I’ll even have to invite a few of you bike hoodlums over. Thanks Dad & Sal.

Great visit

My Dad and stepmother came down for spring break from New Hampshire last week. It was exhausting and fun. We had a great visit.

They arrived Tuesday after visiting my brother in northern Virginia. On Wednesday, we went over to Newport News to visit The Virginia Living Musuem. Ellie wrote that visit up on her blog. One cool thing happened while we were walking the outdoor trail: As the fire trucks wailed out of the nearby station, the red wolves and coyotes took up howling. Very cool.

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Thursday we went to Waterside Marina to see the sailboats of the Velux 5 Oceans race around the world. Above we’re checking out the boat of the leader Bernard Stamm. Beside that is Dad checking out another boat.

We then went to walk the decks of the battleship Wisconsin beside Nauticus. Once we were aboard Stamm took his boat – Cheminees Poujoulat – out for a shakedown sail in the Elizabeth River. Here it is passing the American Rover.
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A few minutes later he played with his guests on board, including a Pilot writer and photographer, and the day’s westerly, heeling the boat way over.

The girls had fun scrambling around on the Wisconsin. Here’s Amelia in front of the big 16-inch guns and between the anchor chains. The next one is the the girls and I on an upper deck.
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And on Friday we went to Jamestown, which is putting the final touches on for the 400th anniversary of the settlers arrival in May. The Native American village was a big hit with its many furs and little houses to run in and out of. Ellie liked the beds. Audrey found a bed she liked – and that was her size – on the Susan Constant.
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Ellie naturally got the most out of it even though she visited the settlement back in October on a class field trip. Her curiousity is insatiable.

Friday evening, we all went to dinner at Orapax and enjoyed a Greek feast. Dad and Sal left early Saturday to beat the Nor’easter home. They made it. We had a great visit and already miss them.

We’re all Hokies today

From a UVA grad: What a horrible thing that happened. The school and the victims are in my thoughts. header_bg.jpg