Monday, May 24, 2010

new job

So its been a little bit since my last post but i have a new job at New England Bicycle Consulting. Its a shop that specializes in custom bike fitting by the professional fitter Carl Ditkoff. Its a really cool process and really helps out a lot of people who have no idea that a good bike fit and increase power and overall fitness on the bike

Bike racing has been going pretty well the past couple weeks. I did Bear Mountain 2 weeks ago and there was a really strong field with a team of jamis pro riders and kelly benefit riders. We did 4 laps of a 20 something mile loop. with one giant climb each lap that really shows who was the strongest. the first 3 laps were not to shabby. the field was dwindling down from around 120 riders to a group of about 50. There was still no break up the road yet so the last time up the climb was gunna be brutal. The attacks started coming early in the climb and i made right about to the top of the climb when cramping set in HARD.. ouchies. my teamate gave me a little push, but by then if i had even made the group it wouldnt have mattered because my legs were shot. so i fell off the back and ended up riding with a group of 15 riders that fell off before me. The race was over, but a small group of us decided to sprint anyways for like 30th place. I believe by looking at the results i was one of the first cat 2's if not the first to cross the line. So thats cool.

This past weekend was Sunapee. I was racing with a full team of 10 riders. And my coach really wanted me to get in the break during this race because he thought i could do well.. He told me when the break would go before the race, and roughly what riders would be in it. And he was right! it must be nice to know when the break is gunna go, because he is the one who starts it every year at the race. so i saw him go and he got clear and i knew it was about to all go down!! and it did. I got into the break with 7 other riders, one of them would end up falling off. the pace wasnt bad in the break and i was feeling really good. I was the new guy in the break so i skipped a lot of pulls and they didnt seem to really care until the final section when Robbie king went clear and Thom Coupe looked at me and said i had to start working... but then my coach and teamate attacked and i got to continue sitting on a group of really strong riders. It was a perfect situation because i knew Gavin Mannion from Trek Livestrong was most likely going to come in the top 2. so as Alec kept attacking to keep me from doing any work i was just sitting on waiting for the final move. And then we had to stop racing because of an accident. at this point we were about a mile from the finish and i was well recovered and feeling strong. So much for that. we sat for about 45 mins while people got put on backboards and rushed to the hospital. i hope they are ok. Then they had the break start and sprint it out. which of course was bad for me. and i took 6'th out of 7. it was my best result ever. so thats pretty cool.

and yesterday i did about a 6 hour ride with some strong guys in the hilltowns... i wont be racing this weekend as i will be training, and killington is too expensive.

Going to see a house today that i will be renting out with 6 other guys this summer. its gunna be good.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Post Nationals

So Nationals was probably the most weekend of bike racing i have ever had. The road race was epic. Meeting people from all over the country was really fun. The crit was crazy fast, the course was easy but fun. And staying with Pavel Gonda was so much fun. The dark lord really knows how to have fun.

To start, a little crit re-cap. It was cold again for the crit, but not bad. Surprisingly i got a third row call up. not sure how but it was awesome. You can see how big the field was in this photo.

The race basically started in a flat out sprint for the first 3 laps. i was lucky enough to get into about the 10'th position so i didnt have to work to much with the accordion effect around the corners. The race slowed for maybe 5 seconds, but attacks would fly the whole race keeping us above 30 mph the whole race. So i knew that nothing would be able to get away. I felt really good during the crit, wasnt to hard to sit in and i knew i wasnt gunna get off the front. All though i did go with 2 or three attacks because it was easier to be right near the front than 20'th wheel. Surfing the front of a super fast crit is something i definetly need to get good at.
I think about half way through the crit i kinda learned how to race them better. something clicked in my head and i realized i was riding the corners like an idiot and was tapping my breaks to much. and from then on in the race i litterally didnt touch my breaks unless i was going to run into the back of someone. This realization was awesome cuz i was taking the corners so much faster.
I yelled at Max Korus once because he was racing like he was at an ECCC crit and chasing things down. I knew that he had a good chance cuz he was surfing the front like a pro, so i told him to get the hell off the front because other stronger teams would pull things back.
When the last 10 minutes of race came, they still hadnt put up lap cards which i thought was weird. we came through with 9mins and 30 seconds and they finally put up 9 laps to go. WE WERE DOING a little about 1 MINUTE LAPS.. fast as hell... i was around 15'th wheel going into 2 laps to go and feeling good about it, then one straight away a flurry of movement happened and i found myself in about 30'th position!! WTF. that sucked. i knew i was going to need to use some energy to get up front, so i got back up to around 15'th wheel again and was OK with that, then the dude in front of me got a flat and litterally couldnt turn so he went straight bumping me waaaaay of my line and causing me to slow really bad going into the final 2 turns.. that was the race! Pavel Gonda races like a champ coming in 5'th place and max korus right in front for 4'th. It was great seeing the ECCC represented on the podium at nationals.
Also Arielle Filiberit absolutely dominated the DII field with wins on both RR and Crit. WAY TO GO DARTMOUTH!!

The banquet was fun, i made a pit stop up at UVM's room to see if they were going and immediately found my water bottle being filled with Alcoholic beverages. So i took my water bottle down stairs and had a few celebratory beers with Pavel, and some chocolate cake!! Pavel was pissed at this point because he didnt win, but after a few beers and a lot of recognition at the banquet he was happy as can be.
Men DI Crit Podium
Max and Pavel on the Podium for the crit
Mens DI Omnium
Pavel in 4'th for the individual omnium. and he didnt even know he made the podium before they called his name!!! a very pleasant surprise. Some of the best cyclist in the nation are on the podium. Including Rotem Ishay who wont MTB nats xc and stxc. Pavel was very happy to have beaten him.

The after party was really fun. There were some huge parties going on, Northwester college threw the best one with having different rooms connected to make one big party room. although the party got broken up by some cop. (funny story on how we got invited to this party, Pavel met this girl and needless to say, after he won 2 medals she wanted his number! haha so then we got invited to this sweet party)

Then we went to the bars with some cool people and cute girls. I lost my shoes, so i was lucky enough to have Panpan let me borrow her size 7 girl sandles. haha. We hung out with the 3'rd place finisher from the road race that was from Cal Poly, really nice guy. And the rest of the night was history. I didnt sleep much, maybe a half hour because i had to leave for the airport at 430.. that was rough. and i flew the whole way home without shoes!! that was a good night. Some stories will not ever be told over the interweb because of the content that is involved!

sorry for the long post, Nationals was great and everyone should experience the sheer awesomeness of it some day. but only collegiate nats are probably this fun, i cant imagine the professionals raging as hard as we do!

good bye

-Jeremy Durrin
UMass Bike Racing

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pain in the Rain

This was no easy race by any means. To start, i thought that since i was from New England that i would have a huge advantage because of such shitty conditions. It was low forties and pouring rain the whole time. I felt good the whole race, just had some slight problems on the last lap. The race was very hilly with the first half of the lap pretty flat and rolling and the second half, hill after hill after hill... no easy hills either. The grades were somwhere around 13% on the short climbs and ranged from 6%-10% on the last long climb. After the long climb there was a long descent, and it was very cold. After the first lap with the pack i was at the front sitting very comfortable heading into the down hill section, the precious lap everyone was on there breaks so i decided to get to the front so i could descend as i pleased.
Well that went well, as i had practiced this descent twice the day before. I got into my tuck and bolted away from the field without even pedaling my bike. I think i had like 15 seconds at the bottom of the climb, and i wasnt looking to get into a break. So i was soft pedaling waiting to the pack to catch me when a rider attacked out of the pack and said "lets go", so i followed him. He was probably very excited to be off the front cuz he was pulling his brains out. We were off the front by ourselves for like 10 miles when another guy from california bridged up to us. he must of been a time Trialist cuz we was pulling for long periods of time in a TT position. So i felt like i was in a good situation when i was barely doing any work at about 2 mins ahead of the field... So he continued to pull for long periods of time and then when he signalled me to pull through i would lightly pull through for about a minute trying to preserve as much energy as possible because i knew we would get caught by the good guys at some point. After being of the front for a full lap, the second lap on the big long climb there was a chase group of 5 guys and they had about a minute 20 on the field. And i thought to myself that this is the perfect situation for me to be in. Right before the climb i dropped my chain, had to get off and fix it and then caught back up to my guy that i was with and the 5 guys still chasing. As you can see in the pic below. Now we had a strong pack of 6 or 7 guys including a friendly face of Tristan baldwin from UVM so that was nice.

Sitting comfortable up the climb knowing that we would soon be caught by a strong chase group. We would eventually be caught on the 4th lap after being out front for the whole day.... i was expecting a small group of the strong riders... nope, there was like 25 or 30 guys still together. So my plan went wrong, cuz i thought i would be caught by the winning breakaway.
When Pavel is suffering, you know that everyone else is. and he does not look comfortable in this picture.
This is the finishing climb, im all by myself as i had pulled away from the small group that i was with and was chasing down some riders that fell off the peloton.

So the last lap i had some mechanical problems with my rear deraillur. the chain was not sitting on the gears when i was in my little ring. It kept skipping and i couldnt get a smooth pedal stroke when climbing the steep hills. I knew this was a huge problem and didnt know what to do. I was desperate, so i kicked the deraillure once and it helped a little, but not for long. Up the lap 4 long climb i was comfortable and well rested when heading into the climb. But i couldnt get a smooth pedal stroke and i was falling through the field as i started on the second wheel to be in good position.
I said to myself that i was gunna fall off if i didnt do something, so i shifted into the big ring and put it in my 25 on the back and tried grinding out the climb with the pack. I couldnt stick with them and they had about 15 seconds as they took the turn for the descent... not good. needless to say i couldnt catch back on cuz they were screaming down the descent into the final lap and things got really hot. so i was left chasing with 3 others who were fading fast. I was pissed. we made it to the final climb together and then knew that we just had to try and pick up stragglers but it didnt really matter at that point. i rode away from the small group i was with, picked up a couple riders ( while riding in my big ring) and i was left to finish almost ten minutes back of the leader. Very frustrating when my legs were feeling so good.

So, as it was my first nationals i am glad that i had a strong performance and theres nothing could have done about my bike. and i made it into a USAcycling article about the race.

I was mainly pissed because i let the ECCC down. Joe Kopena was chearing for me, and it really motivated me to put my all into the race because i know how much he puts into the ECCC and it must make him feel proud when all the hard work pays off with strong representation at nationals like previous years.

i will update about the crit later. but probably not till monday because there will probably lots of post race brewskies being drank, which means i will not be coherent enough to post on my blog

goodbye, time for me and Pavel to head to the hot tub!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Americas Dairlyland

So im am now in Madison Wisconsin for Collegiate nationals. Madison is really cool, awesome biking city. Ive seen some cool stuff, but for the most part madison is pretty normal. i guess i expected to see cow-tipping hilbillies or something. Its a big college town so there are lots of young people out and about.

My plane ride here was interesting. I took a plane from Boston to chicago which was perfect. no problems. But from Chicago to Madison was another story. The plane i was on was the size of a peanut. It was tiny. So therefore lots of turbulence. It was supposed to be a 45-55 min flight depending on wind. Well it was really windy and when we came in for landing we were about 100 ft off the ground when the plane got blown about 50 feet to the side... it was crazy, so they pulled up and had to loop around for about another 35 mins before we could take another sketchy approach. We made it the second time, but not without the fear for my life! it was nuts.

So im here now, i got my bike together at a local shop. I couldnt get into the hotel cuz i was waiting for Pavel, the dark lord, to arrive because im staying with him.

Pavel is an interesting character. He definetly has some dark powers that gets him to the finish line in front of everbody. I wonder what it will be like staying with the superstar!? hes hilarious to say the least. I went out to eat with Pan Pan and the dark lord himself. here are some clips from my time here in madison.

I guess this is how he prepares for races. Drinks wine and eats the nastiest piece of pizza. And this man does have a great taste for wine. he impressed the waitress.
pavel and Pan Pan with there fancy wine
I think this picture was taken during one of our converstations on how lesbians and gay peoples minds work
Bike assembly
Me with the capital building behind me. It was a beautiful day. just really windy
And right now we are doing our homework on whos good in the race. Theres a lot of people that could win this race.. which means it gunna be hard.

More to come from me after the races, Friday is the road race and saturday is the crit. Tomorrow we pre-ride the road course a few times and also get up early to go to I-HOP because Pavel has never gone. and we will eat copious amounts of pancakes.

Im going to bed. goodnight lamp


Sunday, May 2, 2010

How do i win a bike race??

Im very frustrated right now with my cycling. I have not won a bike race yet this year. I won a field sprint at the Army road race, but a victory still has not been had and im starting to get frustrated!!

So yesterday i went out to a race in Merrimac MA. This was a really good opportunity for me to win a bike race since it didnt have the ussual cat 1's and only 2's and some 3's. The race was going well, i felt perfectly comfortable during the race, even during a few failed breaks i was in. I definetly felt like i was the strongest guy in the race because i didnt have any trouble in the race. So with 2.5 laps to go, i get in a move with another rider and we look at each other and shrug our shoulders, as a weird non verbal agreement that we will work together and give it a shot. We knew it would be tough to stay away with just us 2 and we were soon joined by a couple other people.

Still not that far away from the field we have one more guy from team CCB bridge up to us and then we hit it pretty hard to get away from the pack, and it worked really well because we had a pretty huge gap after a short amount of time. I was still feeling really comfortable.

After one lap away in the break there were a couple of deadweights that werent doing anything, so i hit it hard on a hill hoping to beak the group a little bit and get away with the only 2 guys i knew were real strong..... that failed and it looked like it would come down to a sprint, which i didnt give a lot of thought into... so thats my first problem, cuz i didnt have a plan on how i would win the race.

So the sprint comes, and im in OK position. We start sprinting and one guy goes to the left and another too the right, i head to the right forgetting that there is a significant bend in the road that favors the left side.... needless to say, that was the dumbest thing i could have done and made up some space but it was too late and i lost by about a half a wheel, and one other guy threw his wheel in front of mine so i took third.... annoying.

Last year this would have been a great result, but this year im a lot stronger and expect more from myself. if i cant win a cat 2 race, how am i ever gunna win a pro 1/2 race.... i got lots to learn

enough complaining tho. Next weekend is nationals in Madison Wisconsin. It should be an amazing experience. I hope i do well there, it will be my first national event that i have gone too, so it will be cool. My legs are feeling good. but i cant win bike races!!

so after i get lots of school work done this week, i will be heading out wed morning. Updates of nationals to come as soon as i get back