• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

Cycling

It's been a while since I last posted something. I've been meaning to do so for some time, but I have to admit: I've been racing and riding a lot. I mean a lot. I last posted on July 1 saying that "racing season is over". However, oddly enough, for me it was just getting started into full swing. I feel this season was the best season of racing yet, even through I have one one win to my name. I have as many kilometers added to my car as added to my bike. Most of my races have been middle or back of the pack finishes, although I did get 8th place (because I can't sprint) in the Tour di Italia crit in Windsor last weekend. Also, two weeks ago I finished first in the Miss and Out at the track at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI. Racing the AA group at Bloomer Park has resulted in a lot of Podium finishes (which felt good).

Attacking the pack in WindsorI've been at almost every single Midweek Tuesday Crit. I've been to race training at the Forest City Velodrome almost every Wednesday this summer. I've been racing either in the Larkenville Challenge in Buffalo, NY or the Real Deal Time Trial on Thursday nights. I've raced the D'Ornellas Club championship stage race. I've been to the International Velodrome at Bloomer Park in Rochester Hills, MI some five times now even though it's 4.5 hrs away. I raced in Windsor at the Tour di Italia crit. I have also followed through on my goal to get out on group rides more and ridden with the D'Ornellas Club a few times, and I have done the Toronto Donut Ride several times the year - more than last year. While everyone was racing the Provincial Road Race, I was in Buffalo for the Niagara Square Crit - a seven corner technical crit that was the most fun crit this year. It has been a busy two months. I have successfully stayed away from road races and only done two this year. I've done this stuff mostly on my own because I'm working towards a goal of racing at the Masters Track World's and on the downtown circuit in the Twilight Crit in Athen, GA for Speedweek. These are my "A" races - the rest is just training.

I think one of the best things I did this year was move up from CAT4 races in the US to CAT3 (I raced CAT1/2/3 in Buffalo) and move up the second race at Midweek. I raced the CAT 3/4 race at the Niagara Square Crit in Buffalo and placed 12th (along with getting my name photo in the Buffalo News). They say one of the best way to train is to train with guys faster than you are and I believe it has worked. I've gone from hanging in, sometimes on the back, at the second race at midweek to attacking on and getting a gab with other riders. I just moved up from the AA group at Bloomer Park to the A group and managed to finish well. I'm looking forward to trying racing against some of the best at the Forest City Velodrome in October in the A group. If nothing else, racing against some of the best races has helped build my confidence.

 

[read to the end through some of the tech stuff to find out how to stream this to your TV in HD]

Unfortunately, the Eurosport Player doesn't work here in Canada. Unless you are lucky enough to be at home and have cable/sat. with a channel that carries the Tour, you are stuck watching it on the computer. If you are lazy, you can go to http://www.cyclingfans.com/ and there are links to watch the Tour in your browser. However, the quality is bad.

 

After watching the Real Deal team race down at Speedweek in April, winning preems, and such, I got kind of hooked on the notion of crit racing. One of the issues with which I struggle is getting enough racing time to work out all the details of how to race a bike. 7-8 OCUP races per season make it hard to learn to race. Further, I also have a hard time "racing" for 2 hours in a road race for one sprint at the finish line. Maybe racing up mountains in France would make it fun, but this is flat Ontario. I'd rather do the Toronto Donut Ride. It's more of a challenge. My "success" on the crit circuit has largely mirrored the efforts I had to make learning to race the track. It took two years to become competitent racing the track (noticed I didn't say good - the 14 year olds on the track know what I mean) and this is the first year taking crit racing seriously. I still have a lot of work to do. I have too many letters like DNF or DFL for results - but I recall that happened a lot on the track as well when I first started.

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