Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Race Report | 2/25/2017-2/26/2017 | UNC/Duke

This weekend Ben and I went down to North Carolina to do two races hosted by UNC and Duke.
Saturday's race hosted by the University of North Carolina was a 44mi race along a 7 mile loop with rolling country roads. It was 80 degrees before we even started racing. 10-15mph winds made nerves nervous.
After a short neutral rollout, I found myself at the back of the field and had to move up. By the time I made it to the front, Ben was already chilling in the first five wheels. Then a Navy rider attacked, no one went with. A minute later he was sucked back into the 40 rider peloton (Men's B was racing with Women's A). Again and again, different Navy riders would try their luck with a solo attack with the same results. The pace was relatively chill until the third lap. A rider from Johns Hopkins University sat on the front and delivered a mean tempo.
About halfway through the third lap a rider from William and Mary rolled up beside me and told me we - a group of around 10 of us at the front - had a 40 second gap from the field! Whaaaaaa. That gap soon grew to 1:20. The Johns Hopkins rider was particularly strong (he won the 4/5 race earlier that morning solo...) and he attacked our break of about 8 riders at the time. We all looked at each other and we decided that we'd probably catch him as long as we worked together since there was 8 of us and only 1 of him. That was not the case. There was definite tension between some riders not doing their fair share of the pacemaking and the riders not strong enough to stay with were popped off like corn kernels on a hot cob.
With 5 of us left in the "break" at this point and 1 lap to go, a moto ref let us know we had a 5 minute gap to the main field which was shattered. Ben was running out of water and cramping up so bad that he couldn't ride out of the saddle (even after I gave him one of my bottles). Our plan was to have him keep the pace high until the final 2 minute long hill that the finish line was on - there I'd give whatever I had left.
Half a lap from the finish a JMU rider jumped the group and tried his luck solo. They say hindsight is 20/20... We should have gone with him. He was always on a tight leash, but not tight enough. On the lead-in to the final hill, Ben sat on the front and powered a mean pace that was perfect to lead me into a soul crushing sprint. I finished 3rd, behind the JHU rider who won solo, and the JMU rider who finished about 50 meters ahead of me.
Ben rolled in 5th, beating the last rider in the group.

Sunday's crit was a little cooler at 45 degrees when we raced at 10am. The 25-rider race was a 45 minute criterium around a 1 mile, 8 corner loop around two city blocks in downtown Durham NC. The finish line was on the last section of the uphill half of the course, followed by a fast descent into a chicane to wrap around a city block and then ascend back up to the finish.
About 10 minutes in, Ben was feeling froggy. He tried his luck a handful of times, but no one joined him. About 25 minutes in, the same JHU rider that won yesterday attacked off the front and Ben was quick to join. I quickly moved to the front in an attempt to control the pace and break up any pacelining. We never saw Ben or the JHU rider again. I stayed near the front of what was now a 10 rider group - I assume the rest were popped because of how hot the cob was - and gave the ACCC a lesson on good, fast, and clean cornering.
One lap to go I found myself second wheel in the group behind the JMU rider that beat me yesterday. I had to beat him. With two turns to go I felt the adrenaline build. Still behind the JMU rider, I launched my sprint right after the final turn and crossed the finish in 3rd place.
Oh, did you forget that Ben and JHU were still up the road? Yeah, apparently the rest of the peloton did too. Ben outsprinted JHU for his first collegiate win! He earned that one. Nearly 25 minutes in a 2-man break with a rider that won two races the day prior. Make sure you give him kudos on Strava for that one.

This weekend, a bigger squad is headed down to Williamsburg, VA for some more ACCC racing hosted by the College of William and Mary.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

7 Days Until Winter...

Winter is coming.

As a Ship student I never really understood what that meant until my Senior year (when I probably was at my peak fitness). All of those hours in the garage on the trainer. It's worth it in the end. Having that feeling of accomplishment when you're twice as fast as any of the other guys in your race as you look back and see them suffer to keep up with you.

I only had a slight taste of that feeling until I overtrained*. We can all use some motivation in the Winter. These type of videos help, this is one of my favorites.There are bunch out there so switch it up for those mornings where you think it's 'too cold' or 'too windy' to get out there and ride your bike.

*Make sure you do some decent stretches after each ride and do not try to ride through a ton of pain if you're having it. I'd suggest a physical therapist.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

smss #4: results!

SMSS #4, Pine Grove - Caledonia - Pine Grove
July 22, 2015
Individual Results
 1 Eric Noreen                 AVC (guest rider)
 2 Christopher Woltemade       AVC  
 3 Nathan Goates               RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop          
 4 Darin A.                    succas          
 5 Wade Turlington             Carlisle Consortium
 6 Joe Kaehler                 SMVC            
 7 Josh Jacoby                 Blue Mountain Velo
 8 Corey Stalker               Blue Mountain Velo       
 9 Tyler Honey                 Blue Mountain Velo
10 Erik Davis                  succas (guest rider)            
11 Jeff Townsley               succas (guest rider)       
12 Steve Luckie                Carlisle Consortium
13 Kutztown Kyle (dnf - flat)  Carlisle Consortium

Club Results
 1 Antietam Velo Club (AVC)                     17 pts
 2 Blue Mountain Velo                           24
 3 succas                                       25
 4 Carlisle Consortium                          30
 5 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                    31
 6 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              34
   everyone else                                42                                

2015 SMSS Series TOTAL (after four rounds)
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              86 pts 
 2 succas                                      120
 3 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                   125
 4 Blue Mountain Velo                          129
 5 Antietam Velo Club                          134
 6 Carlisle Consortium/ARC                     143
 7 Integrated Sports Medicine                  155
 8 Hub City                                    160
 9 everyone else                               180

Sunday, July 12, 2015

iron masters ITT #2: results

Iron Masters Time Trial #2
July 7, 2015
Aero Division
 1 Joe Kaehler             SMVC                        26:04
 2 Gordan Sheetz           Shirk's                     26:08     
 3 Jim Hartnet             SMVC                        27:09
Merckx Division
 1 Kyle Helder                                         26:20
 2 Darin Alleman                                       27:45
 3 Kevin Griffin                                       28:01  
 4 Max Fiorentino                                      29:18
 5 Justin McFadden                                     29:45
 6 Bruce Bedell                                        31:29
 7 Mike McFadden                                       31:37
 8 Jeff Townsley                                       32:23
 9 Vanessa Fiorentino                                  32:53
10 Dalton Miles                                        33:20
11 Lindsey Lucus                                       35:11

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

smss #3: results!

SMSS #3, Merckx-Style Iron Masters Individual Time Trial
June 24, 2015
Individual Results
 1 Josh Beck              24:50  Carlisle Consortium/ARC
 2 Nathan Goates          24:51  Shirk's Bike Shop  
 3 Christopher Woltemade  26:28  Antietam Velo Club           
 4 Fred Yutzy             26:45  Hub City            
 5 Tyler Honey            26:48  Blue Mountain Velo  
 6 Joe K                  26:59  SMVC            
 7 Tim R                  27:03  SMVC
 8 Gordan Sheetz          27:25  Shirk's Bike Shop         
 9 Pat Hankins            28:03  SMVC
10 Jim Hartnett           28:30  SMVC                 
11 Jere Ballard           28:40* SMVC         
12 Pete Doyle             29:58  Antietam Velo Club
13 Cliff Feldman          30:17  SMVC
14 Justin McFadden        30:24  Carlisle Consortium/ARC
15 Daniel Grooms          31:17  Hub City
16 Mike McFadden          31:45  Carlisle Consortium/ARC
17 Kenny Haines           34:xx  Hub City
18 Greg Walter            35:00  Hub Cit

* Jere claims he rode 11 miles. If so, he rode at .39759 miles/minute, which, pro-rated for 10 miles, would have been a time of 25:09, or third place. However, his time was still 28:40 when he crossed the line, so that's his time. (Plus his team is already winning, so...)

Club Results
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              22 pts
 2 Shirk's Bike Shop                            28
 3 Carlisle Consortium/ARC                      29
 4 Antietam Velo Club (AVC)                     33
 5 Hub City                                     34
 6 Blue Mountain Velo                           41
 7 everyone else                                54                                

2015 SMSS Series TOTAL (after three rounds)
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              52 pts
 Shirk's Bike Shop                            94
 3 succas                                       95
 4 Blue Mountain Velo                          105
 5 Integrated Sports Medicine                  113
 5 Carlisle Consortium/ARC                     113
 7 Antietam Velo Club                          117
 8 Hub City                                    118
 9 everyone else                               138

Friday, June 12, 2015

smss #2: results!

SMSS #2, Pine Grove Road Race
June 10, 2015
Individual Results
 1 Alan Royek               succas
 2 Jon Marshal              Integrated Sports Medicine
 3 Kutztown Kyle            unattached
 4 Jerry Ballard            SMVC
 5 Joe Kaehler              SMVC 
 6 Tim Rohrbaugh            SMVC
 7 Gordan Sheetz            Shirk's Bike Shop
 8 Corey Stalker            Blue Mountain Velo
 9 Michal Perdek            succas      
10 Chris Townsley           succas
11 Jim Hartnett             SMVC
12 Tyler                    Blue Mountain Velo
13 Ben Coleman              Blue Mountain Velo
14 Richard Able             succas
15 Jeff Townsley            ?
16 Ken                      ?
17 Dave Gouge               SMVC

Club Results
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              15 pts
 2 succas                                       20
 3 Blue Mountain Velo                           33
 4 Integrated Sports Medicine                   38
 5 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                    43

2015 SMSS Series TOTAL (after two rounds)
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              30 pts
 2 succas                                       41
 3 Integrated Sports Medicine                   59
 4 Blue Mountain Velo                           63
 5 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                    66
 6 everyone else                                84

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

iron masters ITT #1: results

Iron Masters Time Trial #1
May 27, 2015
Aero Division
 1 Nathan Goates           RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop   25:09
 2 Joe Kaehler             SMVC                        26:03
 3 Gordan Sheetz                                       26:34     
 4 Jim Hartnet             SMVC                        26:40
 5 Pat Hankins             SMVC                        28:26*
 6 Erik Davis                                          29:09
Merckx Division
 1 Wade Turlington                                     26:24**
 2 Christopher Woltemade   AVC                         26:25
 3 Chris Brechbiel         Quick Release Bicycles      26:57  
 4 Justin McFadden                                     30:56

There was some confusion about where the turnaround was (our cone was stolen), so Pat and Wade ended up doing a bit of extra credit.

* Pat reported riding 10.7 miles in 30:25. That's about a 2:50 mile the time posted is 2:50 for 10 miles.

** Wade reported riding 11.3 miles in 26:24. That's about a 2:38 mile the time posted is 2:38 for 10 miles. 

They get asterisks by their times this week. We figure by next time they'll have it straight.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

smss #1: results!

Yeah, this happened over a week ago. So I'm a little slow on the writeabout. My apologies.

Anyway, last week, Wednesday, May 13, was Round 1 of the 2015 South Mountain Summer Smackdown. The big story line was the utter team dominance of South Mountain Velo Club. Strength in numbers. The minor story line was me, getting beat by a college freshman. Ugh.

Your results:

SMSS #1, Big Flat Hill Climb, East Side
May 13, 2015
Individual Results
 1 Jon Marshall             Integrated Sports Medicine
 2 SC                       succas
 3 Nathan Goates            RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop
 4 Tim Rohrbaugh            SMVC (scored)
 5 Joe Kaehler              SMVC (scored)
 6 Jim Hartnett             SMVC (scored)
 7 Gordan Sheetz            SMVC (place-holder)
 8 Gary Lehman              SMVC (place-holder)
 9 Dave Gouge               SMVC 
10 Michal Perdek            succas (scored as 9 pts)
11 Pat Hankins              SMVC

Club Results
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              15 pts
 2 succas                                       21
 2 Integrated Sports Medicine                   21
 4 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                    23

2015 SMSS Series TOTAL (after one round)
 1 South Mountain Velo Club (SMVC)              15 pts
 2 succas                                       21
 2 Integrated Sports Medicine                   21
 4 RHR p/b Shirk's Bike Shop                    23
 5 everyone else                                30

Monday, February 16, 2015

so you wanna be a bike racer...

So you live in south-central Pennsylvania and you want to start bike racing...
Amateur cycling in the United States is governed by USA Cycling. They set the rules. Train officials. Police cheaters. Facilitate race promotion. Etc. There is certainly a lot of bike racing that occurs outside of USAC sanctioning (especially for off-road events), but if you're interested in ROAD RACING, you should be familiar with USAC.
They have a website:
Click the "Get Started" link and poke around.
Within the USAC umbrella, there are local associations that help manage things on the ground level. In this area (south-central PA), the local associations of most relevance are the PCA ( and MABRA ( You can find on their websites two really important things: (1) calendars of events and (2) lists of local racing clubs.
To start racing in USAC sanctioned events, you first have to buy a USAC license. You can buy an annual license (good until the end of the year) on their website, or you can pay $15 for a one-day license at each event you attend.
One of the advantages of racing USAC sanctioned events is that they segregate racers not by age (like in running and triathlon, which is, frankly, a moronic way to organize amateur athletics), but by ability. As a beginner, you'll only race against beginners ("Category 5"). After accumulating some experience, you'll race with the novice/intermediates ("Category 4"). When you become something of a decent bike racer, as shown by finishing well in a number of races, you'll move to a semi-elite category ("Category 3"). And it keeps going... Category 1 racers are essentially pro-level athletes who don't have pro contracts because (1) they can't get one or (2) they don't want one.
To give you a sense of how many people populate these categories, imagine a random sample of 100 USAC licensed racers. Of that 100, about 35 would be Cat 5 racers. Slightly more, 40, would be Cat 4s. Less than half as many, 17, would be Cat 3s. Less than half of that, 7 riders of that 100, would be Cat 2 racers. And only about 2 of the 100 would be Cat 1 racers. There wouldn't be any pros. Because pros are more rare than 1 in 100 licensed racers. (And the kind of pros you've heard of, that race in the ProTour in Europe and whatever, are even more rare than that.)
That's all for road racing... Things are slightly different for off-road (MTB, cyclocross, BMX) bicycle disciplines. And then there's also the track...
In this country, road racing is the most popular form of bike racing. Mountain bike racing is probably second. Oddly (to me), relatively few people do both. Cyclocross racing is sort of a hybrid, culturally. Because lots of road racers race CX and lots of mountain bikers race CX too.
In the warmer months, some local riders organize a little grassroots racing series that is all for fun and no money and designed to help get newbies into racing and, for the more experienced among us, to compete for bragging rights on favorite local courses. The current year's calendar is (usually) posted here:
But most people who ride bikes, and even ride bikes seriously, don't race. Don't want to. Never did. The cycling world is also full of folks who once or twice pinned on a number, gave racing a try, decided it wasn't for them, and now just ride bikes because they like riding bikes.
And many local cycling clubs (like the Franklin County Cyclists, or Harrisburg Bike Club) are not full of bike racers, but cycling enthusiasts of various stripes. There are lots of really great, really experienced riders in these groups, but relatively few who have pinned on a race number, and far fewer than that who take racing seriously. (That said, don't make the mistake of assuming a non-racer doesn't know their way around a bicycle or can't make it from point A to point B really quick.)

Monday, October 6, 2014

starlight circles, 9/29


 1 Kyle        10 pts
 2 Kevin        6
 3 Michael      4
 4 Rick         3
 5 Scott        2
 6 Ryan         1 
 7 Jeremy       1
 1 Coretta     10 pts


 1 Kyle        30 pts
 2 Kevin G.    26

 3 Darin       14
   Michael     14
 5 Scott        8
   Jeremy       7
 7 Rick         6
   Ryan         4
 9 Greg         2
   Kevin D.     2
11 Chris T.     1
   Rich         1

 1 Coretta     40 pts
 2 Meg          6

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

starlight circles, 9/22


 1 Darin       10 pts
 2 Kevin G.     6
 3 Kyle         4
 4 Michael      3
 5 Scott        2
 6 Rick         1
 7 Ryan         1

 1 Coretta     10 pts


 1 Kevin G.    20 pts
   Kyle        20
 3 Darin       14
 4 Michael     10
 5 Scott        6
   Jeremy       6
 7 Rick         3
   Ryan         3
 9 Greg         2
   Kevin D.     2
11 Chris T.     1
   Rich         1

 1 Coretta     30 pts
 2 Meg          6