Crashzalot's Report on Everything & Everyone at Parkside!!!

Since spring break was this week and I could sleep in to my heart's
desire, I made the resolution to ride my brains out and leave
everything on the roads of Parkside this last Sunday.
Even though the variables of the Women's open race were very
different from those of last week, the outcome was very much the
same. The field grew both in numbers and in strength, and I couldn't
use any masters this time, so achieving my plan of a breakaway would
take a lot more thought and concentration. Oh, yeah, and did I
mention that it was about 281 degrees warmer than last week? Yes, it
would certainly be hard getting used to the feeling of -20 pounds
worth of layers, in fact, I think I was levitating for a good portion
of the race

Several attacks issued right from the gun, but none
prevailed. Compared to last week, this was an attack-a-thon, leaving
everyone with their eyes peeled at all times like a freshly-peeled,
juicy Florida grapefruit. Despite the fact that everyone wanted
their slice of the attack pie, I only focused on the few women I knew
had a chance of staying away. For the first half of the race I sat
near the front, pouncing only on the stronger attackers' wheels,
leaving the rest to eventually be swallowed whole by the pack much
like how a python swallows a tiny, helpless mouse without a second
thought. Only in the latter part of the race did I spend any energy
on attacking, but each time I would glace behind me only to see the
entire pack hungrily sapping at my wheel.

Then, believe it or not, the Masterly Men actually passed us,
making us look like a bunch of little pansies going out for a nice
morning ride. Then, a woman with many brain cells in her head went
for the attack, flying past the Masterly Men at the most opportune
time before they swarmed the road, blocking the women off from the
break. As the pack struggled to find a way around the Masterly Men,
I pushed it into full throttle and slipped through a gap in theirfield and chased in pursuit of the XXX lady who had gotten away.

Catching her, we worked together until she, too, disappeared from my
wheel and I ended up finishing to a solo first place just like last

Four hours later I found myself again racing with the cat. 3
men, who, thankfully, didn't seem to panic at the sight of me (I must
have left a good impression last week). This race occurred quite the
same as the former cat. 3 race except for four small differences: 1)
The race was blistering fast (and hot), which shed men like a python
(mentioned earlier) sheds it's skin, 2) I found myself to be far more
comfortable this time, even daring to move up several times and
actually look fast, 3) I didn't lose a contact, and 4) I got the
chance to practice avoiding a close crash at 3 laps to go, but
unfortunately lost the pack, and was forced to drill it to the finish
in 39th place, beating 10 guys. I came, I saw, I kicked cat. 3
arse. Mission accomplished.

Congrats also to: Sue Semaszczuk with a 5th in the women's 4
and Gina Kenny who made a pack finish in the same category, Bill
Kallas and Jan Wierzbicki who annihilated the men's 60+ with a 3rd
and 5th, Pat Murphy who swept his field for 1st. Some strong pack
finishes were Steve Middaugh in the 40+, Don Jones, Pat Murphy, and
Ken Fry in the 50+, Scott and Alex Boden, Paul Zelewski, and Ben
Demong braving the cat 4s, and also congrats to Ryan Cooper who
crushed the 4s with 4th and Sam Brower who placed well with 16th in
the cat. 3s. Last, but not least, the cat. 1/2s did their usual
awesome job as Ebert took 2rd, Rob Jungles took 7th and Alex Sharren
worked his bum off to help his teammates but ended with a strong pack

I feel like I'm taking Ebert's job…

No Racing in March=Racing Parkside #3 March 25th

There are many things that can cause us to come into the racing season lacking the proper amount of training. Some of these include;

1. Extremely cold temperatures that make you wonder daily if you will have an extremities left on your body come summer racing.

2. Spending too much time at work, working a job that exhausts you before you can ever work out.

3. As well as various other things as well...but I'm sure you all want to hear about the racing.

So after vowing to myself to not race the early season prep races of March so I could put on more base miles, I found myself getting a day off of work so that I could make the 3.5 hour trek to Parkside for a little competition.

I really was not expecting good weather (never at parkside), or good results considering my lack of riding. However, this week saw temperatures reaching 76 degrees and I found myself heating up very quickly. By 1/2 way thru the race I was feeling very warm & flushed but I rode on!

The race itself was a decent speed, although not superfast (it is march), but also not slow (maybe the good weather?). I found myself feeling surprisingly good as kept myself right near the front of the pack for the majority of the race watching what was going on but hiding from the wind.

In the finish the pack did split, most likely due to differences in fitness among all of the different riders. A group of 6 pulled off the front in the last 2 laps to contest the win while the pack strung out and began to splinter like crazy! The next and only main group to come across the line was only 10 riders going for spots 7-16. I crossed the line to find that I was the final rider to latch onto the back of the group for 16th place. After that group of 10 it was completely split up. I'm not really sure how many raced or finished, but I was reasonable happy with my result...I felt great until I hit the last corner & realize I had no kick at all. But since I wasn't going to race all month, and the goal was to finish with the pack I accomplished what I wanted!

So the lesson learned?

1. If you are not going to be putting on a lot of miles in the winter.....8.5 minute crazed rides on a fixed gear, trying not to be late to work and almost puking when you get there as you struggle to breath & live......well these help your fitness out

2. Even if you dont have enough base & say your not going to race for an extra month....well sometimes a little competition is good for you.

Until next time,


Cat. 4 "Demolition" at Parkside

Has any one seen those exhibitionist stock car races called the
demolition derby because I think they should rename them as the Cat 4
race (at least at Parkside). It was interesting and I like
bunny-hopping heads, as much as the next guy but yeah not so fun if
you get caught buy one, luckily I did not. Racing with ABD was a
pleasure today and applying some of the good knowledge of the Cycling
College the day previous made racing very enjoyable i.e. watching wind
to determine bike positioning. I made sure to be blocked out of the
wind as much as possible going from inside to outside of the field at
opposites side of the course. It was great hearing "Coop" going into
turn 2 on the last lap about 4 bikes from the front catching the wheel
of Ben and Alex as they came around and the ABD train was smoking.
Ben really barreled up th hill directly into the head wind through
turn 2 and partly down the hill. Ben peeled off and Alex kicked it
up flying down the hill and we went around turn 3 where I took off
from behind him, too soon, but not wanting others to come around us
because it was just off a downhill. I took off solo and was hoping I
had no one sucking my wheel. I went around turn 4 and up the hill
sprinting for the finish that seemed so far away, unfortunately I was
passed by 3 dudes and finished 4th. So it is my turn to be lead out
man to redeem myself and honor the team. I am looking forward to the
racing coming up and I know we will have a successful season.



Crashzalot from Parkisde #2

I have just realized the one and only reason why anybody ever shows
up to race at Parkside; the ABR officials know all of us cycling die-
hards are absolutely quivering with competitiveness after a long,
docile winter in the trainer. In fact, we are quivering so much
with competitiveness, we have resorted, in a last act of
desperation, to racing in a few layers skimpy spandex in
temperatures unfit even for the Iditarod. That's why we don't bring
our dogs to pull our bikes along (due to frozen legs), because the
dogs would either 1) keel over dead on the spot, or 2) viciously
attack the ABR officials for their warm coats/shelters/coffees, and
then we would be DQ'ed on the spot.

But that's beside the point of this rider report. I am
supposed to be writing about my racing experiences in the blustery
arctic land of Parkside. Hence, "rider report". So after warming
up (ha ha, very funny) and correcting a mistake for the ABR
registration volunteers (which involved including the cat. 3 women
with the cat. 4 women) I rolled up to the start line absolutely
quivering with competitiveness. The whistle blew and off we were
into the deep tundra of Parkside. Now I must pause here for a
moment to apologize for the extreme exaggeration of Parkside's
weather. It was actually quite a lovely day for Parkside; it was
only –50 degrees out. What cold there was didn't deter me, though,
for I made sure to stay in the top five riders, poised and ready to
pounce at the first sight of opportunity. The field of roughly 15-
20 women shattered in just the first few laps of the race, leaving
masters (who also raced at the same time) and women sprinkled across
the course, much like multi-colored sprinkles that are decoratively
scattered on a delicious-looking cupcake.

For about half the race I sat in, lazily sucking wind from
the lady who was working her bum off for most of the race. Then,
just when I was sure I couldn't contain my quiveryness anymore, a
master attacked and I jumped with him, and sat on his wheel for
several hundred feet before coming around and offering help to work
together. He didn't say anything, but obviously refused to draft me
as he persistently kept coming around me again and again. Then,
just as I was about convinced that this guy was a total doochbag,
Bob Lundburg loudly informed me that women weren't supposed to draft
masters. And just when I thought I had made practically made all
the mistakes I could possibly make, I was shown that there are
plenty more mistakes I still have to make before I can actually seem
like I know what I'm doing. So I continued my solo escapade to a
sure first place out of sight of the pack.
Several hours after my women's race I rolled up to the line
yet again, this time amidst riders with super expensive looking
bikes and even nicer looking calves. Yes, folks, I was racing with
the cat. 3 men…and yes, folks, I know that I'm crazy, you don't have
to remind me.

I hung at the back of the group of 30 or so riders because I
didn't want to get in anyone's way or end up sending someone over a
curb or something. Let's put it this way, I wanted to leave with a
good impression on the cat. 3s and not jump in the 3s later in the
year with the reputation of a psycho women bent on seeing how many
3s she can flip in the course of one race. About half the race went
smoothly with me on the inside at the back, somewhat easily cruising
along practically waving to all the people at start finish as I flew
by. That is of course until my contact came out and quickly turned
my joy ride into a freakish experience. I guess if anyone asked me
I could say it got a little blurry at that point. It was that
hellish contact that caused me to slam on my brakes, leap off my
bike, have my mom attempt to stick it back in after dousing it with
sports drink and having it fall on the ground several times, sail
into the restroom, and charge back into the race with only having
lost two laps in the mean time. It was then I finished the race
having the bragging rights that I "placed with the cat. 3s", but
have still yet to find out whether they actually included my name in
the results (I'll take last, thank you very much).
Even though there weren't very many ABDers at Parkside,
there were still some notable results: Mike Redlich (jr) finished
strong in the top rankings with the juniors, Rob Jungles (15th) and
Ron Cook (11th) also ranked well in the 30+ men's category, all
alone with no place to take except a fantastic 3rd, Ryan Cooper
really displayed ABD's colors well in the cat. 4 race, and the other
lonely women (besides me) was Gina Kenny who rode valiantly to a
women's cat. 4 pack finish.

Till next time…

A Cat. 4 Report from Parkside

This last weekend was a little more chilly than the first but after a good warm up of stomps, sprints and tempo the temperature didn't seem so bad. My plan for this race was to sit in and hope it comes down to a field sprint. Because I use these as training and there is no real importance to them, I go about training during the week like I should be. The day before I had a nice 75 mile aerobic ride, thus explaining why I wanted to sit in. So I did what I set out to do but I kept drifting back do accident land and I knew I had to cruise up to the front and adjust fire. Early on in the race there was an ambiguous 2 man break that the field did not bother to catch, so I attempted. Only I attempted half cocked and I pulled the field. I realized what I did and got off the front and took a small breather. As soon as I saw some one go for it I blasted up the gutter and grabbed his wheel along with a Lot guy. So the three of us were attempting to bridge. We got the gap down to 3 sec, but at this time Lot was pooped and the 2 man started to work together. At this point I was set on third place because I was not determined enough to leave my small break away group to catch the other two. We worked together towards the end never catching the 2 guys but staying ahead of the field. Going around turn 4 I sprinted out from the middle slicing up the final straight to capture 3 place. Those bumps make the road quite interesting to sprint up it seemed like half of the I was in the air. I am looking forward to this weekend to race again, but instead of a break with two guys on different teams I want it to be all ABD.


Squiggy & Gearlink Cup: A Report from Jackie Kurth

3/10 & 11
Time trial, Criterium and Road Race
Squiggy and Gearlink Cup

The weekend started Friday after school for our 3 hr drive to Tampa.
My 7 mile time trial started early Saturday morning at Flatwoods
Park, a beautiful course through a nature park east of Tampa. I
warmed up on my trainer for what I thought was an adequate time of 45
min. I proceeded over to staging and when my number was called for
start I was ready to launch. I went pretty hard for the first few
miles, maybe too hard because my legs felt sluggish. I passed the 30
second woman ahead of me within the first mile. I keep my focus
and keep cruising as fast as I could and came in with a time slightly
better than I felt it would have been. I ended up in 4th in the
women's 1-3.
We went for lunch and then traveled an hour to Palm Harbor on
the Gulf Coast for a very technical, crazy criterium course. We
arrived a little after noon and my race didn't start till 6:20 pm so
I had plenty of time to watch a variety of different categories try
out the course. (I knew it would be light outside when my race would
begin then turn dark.) Maybe I shouldn't have done so because there
were many intense crashes and carnage shed in every race. The 1K
course consisted of six tight 90 degree turns, with several right
after another and many surface changes. I admit I was a bit worried
before my race but once I got going the adrenaline took over and I
did not think about it. We started with a field of over 25 women and
in the first thirty minutes I did not move out of the top five. I
created and chased numerous breaks and my legs felt fantastic. The
announcer called some prime laps and I sprinted and took one that
ended being bar tape. For the last 20 minutes it was practically
pitch dark, except for a few portable spot lights placed around the
course. When bell lap was announced Valeria Sanders of Team Kenda
Tire attacked hard. We responded, however she was able to remain
clear and cross the line uncontested for the win. Following her for
second after an attack prior to the final turn was Elizabeth Hill of
Ford. I came through the last turn in fourth position. My legs felt
ready to rip for the sprint and I popped out of my saddle and
sprinted around two people for a 4th place finish overall! After
waiting around for results and the contest period to end we headed
out to find some food before making it back to the hotel at 10:30pm,
which is now 11:30pm. I did remember to change my clock before bed.
The next day was an early 6:00 o'clock wake up for a 49 mile
road race at 8:05 am. I did a short warm up to get my legs moving
and then went to staging. We had a small field of 12 but that
sometimes means it will be more difficult. The weather was cool and
foggy to start but soon warmed up. The course was seven mile laps
with some rolling hills and a long uphill finish. The first lap
Christi-An Hansley on Kenda Tire attacked and was on a solo break for
about 10 miles. Finally the field got their act together and we
started our serious chase and soon caught her. There were numerous
other attacks throughout the race but none would succeed. That set
us up for an uphill field sprint. Riding up the final hill two
ladies attacked early and I was in fourth position. The lady in
front of me sprinted and I stayed on her wheel until I sprinted
around her for the finish line. I was only about two feet from
getting second but I didn't quite jump early enough and came in 3rd
I had my best weekend of racing this year! My next weekend is Spin
City in Orlando in two weeks.

Until then,


First Parkside: A 4/5 Experience

Hello all:
I guess I should start by thanking everyone on ABD that I have
met thus far, you are a great group that has been very welcoming.
Hopefully I meet more of you through upcoming group rides and races.

So I did the Parkside race Sunday. It was my first time on that
course. I was certainly surprised by the "bumps" in the road and it
took me until the last few laps to get fully comfortable with them.
I rode the Cat 4/5 race along with 87 other riders. Thanks to Paul
Z, Alex B(owden) and Ryan Cooper for the encouragement and chatting,
it helped to ease my nerves, it was nice to meet all of you.

The pace was much quicker than any Citizen race I had been in
(duh!), but I was able to adjust and hung in the top 15 for most of
the race. There was a mid-race prime that Alex took, but I was WAY
back at that point. I wisened up and scooted back up, hoping for a
strong finish. I was in the top 10 going into the last 2 laps, but
missed the bell and never actually sprinted for the finish. I heard
others complaining about the laps to go sign not being correct as
well as not hearing the bell. I will simply accept it as a "newbie
mistake." I will wait to see the results, but would guess that I
was probably somewhere in the bottom half of the top 20.

I trust that the more races I do, the better I will get and (for all
of your sakes) will get better at writing about them...



When A Racer's Responsible Resolve Disolves Away

After too many years of doing the 9-5 office cubicle thing, I'm back in school. Contrary to my own preconceived notions, it has been harder than ever to maintain a consistent and high quality level of training throughout the fall, winter and now (almost) spring. I think I've gotten dumber in my old age (and I wasn't particularly smart to start with) because I find combining good training and good studying almost impossible. Consequently my training has suffered and I'm literally months behind in my usual training routine.

All of these things, plus tighter funds, and my usual level of disdain for racing in colder climes in March (while the beautiful months of October and November blow by with few road races scheduled), made it easy for me to proudly proclaim to coach Al, my girlfriend and anyone that would listen, "No way am I racing in March...that would be stooopid!" Al and I agreed and we went about the business of planning a course of action to get me back into shape for summer's hammer-fests.

And then it happened. Sometime during the middle of last week, I started keeping an eye on weather.com and saw that Sunday's weather was going to be dry and in the mid-30s to low 40s. And I started think about lining up for one of New York's famous Central Park training races (somewhere there's a picture of a young George Hincapie racing ithrough blizzard conditions in a park race). Of course, like any proud pre-schooler, I had lots of good excuses for going against our previously agreed-upon resolve.

"I would have to ride that day anyway, and since I had a lot of studying to do, an intense 30 miles, would be a better use of my time than an enduring ride of 50-75 miles."
"The field's at these races are always on the big side (50+ riders), so I can just sit in and 'motorpace.'"
"It will be a good gut-check and motivator to keep training when I get chewed up and spit out the back."

But the real truth is that, I LOVE TO RACE and I couldn't resist the lure of the two-wheel action just a few blocks from my front door.

With just a 3.5 hours of sleep before the morning's race (in large part due to confluence of daylight savings, episodes of The Dog Whisperer, and the baking of chocolate chip cookies), I rolled up to the start line. The 10k outer loop road of Central Park had taken a beating this winter. Cracks and potholes were filled with glassy water that reflected nothing but blackness. It was 6:30am many of the course's street lights were completely out (uhm, did someone forget to pay the ConEd bill?).

All of which is to say that the first lap of my 2007 season was SKETCHY. Fortunately, I quickly found my rhythm and was racing near the front of the field--exactly where I needed to be. I think I always race smarter when my fitness is lacking. [Mental note to self: race smarter when you've got the legs too!] Obviously, my whole "siting in and motorpacing" plan was out the window.

Unfortunately, whether I was in the front, middle or back of the pack, there was no avoiding one unpleasant reality of the park roads that morning. Liquified horse manure.

If you ever seen a movie or TV show set in NYC, chances are there is at least one scene of a googly-eyed couple taking a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park. Well folks, this is not a piece of fiction dreamed up by movie directors. There are in fact many, many, many horse-drawn carriages that wind their way through the park. So in addition to the beautiful memories created by love-dovey couples, something less etheral, and a little more earthy gets left behind on the roads.

Add a night of rain, thundering herds of bicycle racers and let me just tell you that my water didn't taste quite the same and there were specks of things stuck in my teeth that were not from the ovens of the Clif Bar bakeries...if you know what I mean.

In the end, I raced fairly conservatively, kept myself near the front for most of the day, and managed to uncork a pretty well-timed and moderately-strong sprint for 12th place. Just 2 spots out of the money! So close, yet so far...

As I write this I'm pretty wiped out (a clear sign of my lack of fitness and form), but I have to say that, liquified horse manure withstanding, it felt pretty good to be racing again. The next month or so, I resolve to train more regularly and race very little, if at all. I know that today I got by on experience alone, but if I'm to succeed in the much tougher regional New England/Mid-Atlantic races this summer, I've got a LOT of work to do.

Enjoy your next ride,
Marc Bertucco