Thursday, May 31, 2012

SMSS #2, May 30 (race report)

Twenty-two riders rolled up to the start of the Pine Grove Furnace Road Race (South Mountain Summer Smackdown Round #2) on a delightful late spring evening.  (Who doesn't think that the Michaux State Forest is simply a treasure, any time of year, but I swear it's at its prettiest in May.)  Twenty-two riders.  That's probably some kind of Summer Smackdown record.  Or, if not, it's pretty close.

To the chagrin of many, things heated up quickly and the group began shedding riders right from the leg-burning get-go.  The flats after the Ironmasters Mansion offered brief respite, but soon the impatient climbers again began to break legs as the pitch steepened.  In fact, an early split in the peloton was cause for some concern, but a quick response by several riders brought things back together prior to the left-hander onto Shippensburg Rd.

Once over Pine Mountain Ridge and onto hilly Wenksville Road, the lead group had thinned to nine riders, Mike Keefer (SMV), Jake Sitler (SU), Jon Marshall (SU), Brian Hopkins (Mtnside), Michael Garrettson (Mtnside), Tom Little (Gettysburg Bicycle), Bob Scheungrab (SMV), Pete LoBianco (SU), and Nathan Goates (SU).

The run-in to the base of Bendersville/Pine Grove Furnace Road saw little more than halfhearted attacks and uncommitted pace-setting, but as the lead nine turned toward the climb the air turned thick with anticipation, a palpable anxiousness.

With the road turned upward, Sitler was the first to go, quickly distancing himself from known strongman Keefer, who led the rest of the strung out group.  Sitler's attack probably came as something of a surprise, as the lithe collegiate track/cross-country star was an unknown on the bike.  But a confident Keefer rode his own pace behind, never losing sight, and quickly distancing the rest of the merry band on the way up the uneven pavement toward the Pine Mountain Ridge summit.  Behind, the slow-starting Goates began his push and quickly moved from the rear to third position, leading a two-man chase, only Marshall managing to stick to his wheel.

By the summit, Keefer had caught Sitler and the two rode over side-by-side.  Fifteen seconds back Goates and Marshall rolled over, but were able to close the gap early on the descent, the lightweight leaders little match for the mass-aided descending speed of Goates.

On the run to the finish, Keefer recognized the statistical difficulty of his position, as the Shippensburg University riders attacked in turn, forcing the mountain biker to do the chasing.  In the end, a well-timed attack from Goates in the final kilometer put the nail in the coffin for Keefer, as his chase offered the speedy Marshall all the spring he needed to easily distance himself on the uphill sprint for a lead of a dozen bike lengths as he coasted across the finish line.

In the team competition, Shippensburg University (8 points) took a brilliant victory, avenging their last-placed finish in the Round 1 hill climb.  South Mountain Velo finished second (21 points) while Gettysburg Bicycle and Mountainside Ski & Sport tied for third (30 points).

In the overall standings, Shippensburg University takes over the Summer Smackdown series lead with 25 points after two rounds.  South Mountain Velo is next with 36 points.  Gettysburg Bicycle and Mountainside Ski & Sport follow with 43 and 78 points.

SMSS #2, May 30

may 30, 2012
south mountain summer smackdown, round 2
pine grove furnace road race

individual results
 1  Jon Marshall            Shippensburg University
 2  Mike Keefer             SMV
 3  Jake Sitler             Shippensburg University 
 4  Nathan Goates           Shippensburg University
 5  Tom Little              Gettysburg Bicycle
 6  Michael Garrettson      Mountainside Ski & Sport
 7  Pete LoBianco           Shippensburg University
 8  Bob Scheungrab          SMV
 9  Eric Noreen             Gettysburg Bicycle
10  Mike Funk               Mountainside Ski & Sport
11  Joe Kaehler             SMV
12  Pat Hankins             SMV
13  Jeremy White            Shippensburg University
14  Brian Hopkins           Mountainside Ski & Sport
15  Jim Hartnett            SMV
16  Rick Ackerman           Gettysburg Bicycle (guest rider)
17  Chris Townsley          Shippensburg University
18  Steve Bussey            Shippensburg University
19  Fred Galarza            Gettysburg Bicycle (guest rider)
20  Eric Jett               Gettysburg Bicycle (guest rider)
21  Rich Able               Shippensburg University
    Earl Brown (dnf, chain) SMV
club results
 1  Shippensburg University                  8 
 2  South Mountain Velo (SMV)               21
 3  Gettysburg Bicycle                      30
 3  Mountainside Ski & Sport                30

2012 overall standings
(after two rounds)
                                            # of 
                                            weeks  pts
club results
 1 Shippensburg University                  2       25
 2 South Mountain Velo                      2       36
 3 Gettysburg Bicycle                       2       43
 4 Mountainside Ski & Sport                 1       78*
* When a team doesn't field a unit on a given day, as Mountainside didn't for the hill climb, they're given a score as if they did have three riders present, but finishing after all other scorable riders.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ship Cycling Movie Stars

Ok, so we might not be heading to the Hollywood Hills anytime but we still had a great time. As some of you know, Goates got an email about a movie needed cycling extras. Chris T., Goates, and myself answered the call. I grabbed some photos while I was down there. We then stopped here for some fantastic BBQ, seriously check it out.

Breakfast bike line up

"starting" line

Chris T. ready to go

Goates pondering something

Can't see it too well but look at the actress's kit, she had arm warmers on...

I was heart broken to find out this was Olivia Wilde's double, i missed her during a nap

Photo bombed!

SU Cycling #1

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ironmasters TT #2, May 16

may 16, 2012
ironmasters tt #2
                                            time   pts
speed division
 1 Brian Hopkins (Mountainside)             23:25   60
 2 Nathan Goates (Mountainside)             23:29   55
 3 Michael Garretson (Mountainside)         24:33   50
 4 Joe Kaehler (SMVC)                       25:40   45
 5 Patrick Hankins (SMVC)                   26:10   40
 6 Jim Hartnett (SMVC)                      27:04   35      

merckx division
 1 Jon Marshall (Round Here Racing)         26:30   60
 2 Christopher Woltemade (Mountainside)     27:40   55
 3 Jeremy White (Shippensburg University)   28:16   50
 4 Steve Bussey (Shippensburg University)   29:30   45
 5 Chris Townsley (Shippensburg University) 30:28   40
 6 Fred Galarza                             30:57   35
 7 Eric Jett                                32:59   30
 8 Rich Able (Shippensburg University)      35:50   25

2012 overall standings
(after two weeks)
                                            # of
                                            weeks  pts
speed division
 1 Jim Hartnett (SMVC)                      2       90
 2 Brian Hopkins (Mountainside)             1       60
 2 Tim Rorhbaugh (SMVC)                     1       60
 4 Nathan Goates (Mountainside)             1       55
 5 Michael Garretson (Mountainside)         1       50
 5 Joe Kaehler (SMVC)                       1       45
 6 Patrick Hankins (SMVC)                   1       40

merckx division
 1 Jeremy White (Shippensburg University)   2      110
 2 Jon Marshall (Round Here Racing)         1       60
 3 Christopher Woltemade (Mountainside)     1       55
 4 Steve Bussey (Shippensburg University)   1       45
 5 Chris Townsley (Shippensburg University) 1       40
 6 Fred Galarza                             1       35
 7 Eric Jett                                1       30
 8 Rich Able (Shippensburg University)      1       25

A super special thanks to Dani Galarza for timing this evening.  Very, very kind.  Thanks again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Collegiate Nationals Trip
My freshmen collegiate nationals trip is one that I will never forget. The roadblocks started from the very beginning of my journey. As I traveled down the PA Turnpike on my way to the Pittsburgh airport there was a lot going through my head. I worried about the plane ride, I worried about my car hoping it would make deliver me safely, I worried about the police that might have been sitting at the side of the road ready to bust me for speeding, and I worried about the races that would come in the next couple days. There was one thing that I didn’t think of that I should have been, the other drivers on the road. As I rounded the corner just past the exit I would take to go home I saw a large black plume of smoke rising. Next thing I know I am at a complete stop and fire trucks and frantically maneuvering along the brim wielding sirens and hoses. Apparently there was a wreck followed by a fire and by the amount of trucks going to the scene it was a big one.
                2 hours later… I had missed my flight, and had two parents at the airport waiting for me. We (my mother and I) were able to reschedule our flight for Friday morning and got everything else changed around. We arrived in Salt Lake City around 1:00 Friday afternoon. Found our Hotel in Ogden and made ourselves at home. I went for a ride that evening and at that time realized that Utah was going to be quite a shock to my body. The higher elevation and time difference really had my body confused. Over all that my legs felt good.
                The crit was Saturday afternoon (3:30) and racing that late was weird. I stayed in my bed at the hotel until 11:30 only leaving to eat, refill water bottles, and pee. Once it was race time I was pumped and ready to go. They did call ups by school and each person rolled onto the course individually, which seemed totally pro. My goal for the race was to not get dropped by the field and to not wreck. The first part of that was not hard, but the second part, the not wrecking part, seemed to be quite a challenge. To sum it up some guys were being very stupid and did very dumb things in the field. There must have been 6-10 crashes in the whole 75 min. race which is way too many for a race of that caliber. I did manage to stay up and to stay with the field. I left the race feeling that I had a lot of fire in my legs for the road race.
                Bed time came early and things really started getting serious that night. I examined the course profile in my head for a while taking mental notes on anything and everything. As I got ready for the race I had my normal pre-race nerves and I had a right to. I knew I would be racing the best collegiate riders around and I wanted to do well. Once again we got the individual call up and then the starting whistle. The race started out with a half mile of a neutral field. Then the cars took off and so did the race. There were riders across the entire road shoulder to shoulder and we were cruzing at 35mph. It was crazy… too crazy, just ahead of me I heard the dreadful sound of carbon wheels and bikes knocking off of one another. Before I knew it I was sliding across the road and down an embankment tangled with another rider of the same fate. I climbed back onto the road to see a pile of bikes and people and hearing the screams of broken bones and stinging road rash. I started looking for my bike but couldn’t find it. I looked back down the bank to see it sitting there even farther down than where I landed. I retrieved it, checked to see if it would still roll, and started chasing the lead group. The only damage to the bike that I could find was a broken shifter, but it was still working so I didn’t care. I was joined by some fellow ECCC riders in the chase and in a matter of 9 miles we had caught back on.  No sooner had we caught back on then my shifter quit working. We were followed by a neutral support car with extra bikes on the roof; unfortunately all of the bikes but one were taken after the crash. The one bike they had left was already crashed once but I figured it was better than not being able to shift. That was the last time I saw the lead group. I rode the rest of the race myself avoiding the temptation to give up and call it a day. I ended about a half hour behind the winner and was cooked. Overall my nationals trip was a success and I learned a lot. Looking forward to going again next year and having some teammates there! J


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Written over a month ago but just getting around to posting.  

Penn State Race Recap
With most of the team bailing for the weekend we didn’t do a team time trial, but the tradeoff was that we got an extra hour of sleep for Black Mo.  On the car ride up I was nervous for the first time before a race because of the weather conditions.  The D’s race started out with a winding fast descent that was made worse with damp roads from rain the night before and dense fog.  Fortunately the group made it down crash free even though there were some very narrowly avoided disasters and a lot of people yelling slowing.  We hit a series of mini climbs where the field started to break up.  After some more rolling, the real climbing started.  I started out relatively easy on myself and stayed in the middle of the now strung out pack.  We were hitting some dense fog so I didn’t know who or what was in front or behind of me.  After some comfortable climbing I ran into a group of 5 riders who were tiring.  I decided to stand up for the first time in the race and attack, which propelled me past the group of 5 and onto my further quest of finding the lead pace car.  However after the 2 minute hammer attack I put out, I need to shift into something low to spin the legs and catch up on my breathing.  When I shifted into my biggest gear on the cassette my front derailleur greeted me with some rubbing noises.  I quickly shifted the big ring up and then back down to the small ring to see if that would solve the problem but the grinding kept going.  The chain then started jumping around from my biggest down to my 3rd biggest on the cassette and then back up again.   I spent the next 5 minutes or so not even thinking about the race but just staring at my cassette and deuraillers.  I gave up and shifted back into the 3rd biggest gear on my 9 speed cassette, and figured I could have lost use of my deuraillers or worse.  I upgraded my pace to a little bit faster than my pre attack easy pace and hoped that some people from the lead group would tire and fall off.  Finally towards the end of Black Mo in the fog I spotted 7 riders but no lead car.  I started getting a sinking feeling because my plan to take it easy in the back of the field and then do a Lance Armstrong Alpe D’Huez style attack to the finish at the end wasn’t going to happen because I let the lead group get too far away.  I did another 2 minute stand up hammer attack and sprinted past the 7 rider pack.  However after we hit the top of Black Mo where it was flat, after a Mile or so the 7 riders caught me.  However, me and a Bucknell rider from the pack were able to do rotating pulls and drop the 6 other riders.  On the final descent to the finish I had no clue where the suicidal 90 degree left turn was.  I braked heavily several times thinking that it was going to appear out of no-where since there was still fog that made visibility low and wet roads.  When I finally saw it the 6 riders I dropped had caught us.  I was in first around the turn but the other riders put in some monster sprinting.  I got boxed in on the sprint only to make a risky maneuver to get myself out and started pounding it out to the finish line.  However I thought I attacked at the right moment only to realize 5 seconds later that the cameras were 150 feet back where I started my final sprint.  I got second on the group sprint but would have so gotten first if I knew where the right finish line was.  I got 12th overall, but I realized I made a huge mistake when I was ready for a second lap and everyone else was huffing and puffing with a maxed out heart rate.  On my first climbers specialist road race I was kind of disappointed I didn’t push myself more and instead treated it like a big flat training ride, or get out of the saddle other than my 2 attacks and the sprint.   

On another note,
Staying at Aaron and Jen’s house really spoiled me.  The last two races we just crashed on our host’s floor in sleeping bags, but I instead slept on a queen sized futon by myself, ate food other than bars all weekend, and got to use a very nice toilet rather than race day porta potties.  Jen played an April fool’s joke which involved Aaron getting wet, but I had to leave for my race before I could witness it.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

SMSS #1, May 2

may 2, 2012
south mountain summer smackdown, round 1
big flat hill climb (east side)

individual results
 1  Mike Keffer             SMV
 2  Rick Klien              Gettysburg Bicycle 
 3  Nathan Goates           Ship Cycling
 4  Tom Little              Gettysburg Bicycle
 5  Jon Marshall            Ship Cycling
 6  Bob Scheungrab          SMV
 7  Eric Noreen             Gettysburg Bicycle
 8  Joe Kaehler             SMV
 9  Eric Diamond            Ship Cycling
10  Pete Sonthetimer        Gettysburg Bicycle
11  Jes Stith               Gettysburg Bicycle
12  Jim Hartnett            SMV
13  Jeremy White            Ship Cycling
14  Kyle Irwin              Ship Cycling
15  Rich Able               Ship Cycling

club results

 1  Gettysburg Bicycle                      13
 2  South Mountain Velo (SMV)               15
 3  Ship Cycling                            17