Friday, March 30, 2007


Rutgers Cycling has been chalking up wins all this season. In fact, the team has taken at least one win every weekend of the collegiate season thus far.

Perhaps as a prelude to the Beanpot weekend in Boston, the Rutgers Cycling Karaoke Team (an off shoot of the cyclocross team) took another prestigious win in a hotly contested karaoke competition at Harvest Moon Thursday evening.

Don and Will took home the win (and $100 gift card to Best Buy).

The win was not, however, a solo effort. As on the road, teamwork was key. Don started the aggression off with a rousing song. This move was countered by some karaoke sandbagger singing Christina Aguilera's "I Am Beautiful." Jay covered the move with "The Entertainer."

As the competition came to the bell lap, Mark started the lead out at 1k to go with "The Humpty Dance." HermesMike (honorary Rutgers rider) took over after Mark tired with an amazing "Video Killed the Radio Star." Mike's no slouch and he delivered Will C. and Don to the line for an absolutely stunning "Mr. Roboto" (Styx).

The Mighty Rutgers Cycling Karaoke Team

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bucknell Race Report by Rich

Rich, in his final two D races, had a great weekend at Bucknell. Here is his report:

Saturday: 27mi circuit race
It was a muggy, wet, and cold morning when we reached the circuit race site in Lewisburg, PA. The C, D, and Intro Men's races began at 10:30, and by the time we arrived, registered, and changed, we had minimal time for warming up... in fact, I didn't warm up at all!

The C's went off, and we D's took the line in a very sloppy fashion. As everybody tried to squeeze to the line, we were unexpectedly interrupted by a horse and buggy. Which was weird. The race got underway with the typical missed clip-ins and swerving chaos. Knowing that our race would be 3 laps of 9 miles each, we treated the first lap as a warmup, which was fortunate for me since I hadn't had time to do so before the race.
A Most Unusual Delay

The second lap, while not that fast at all, was certainly eventful. A number of 1- and 2-man attacks went off the front, only to be brought back almost immediately.

During the final lap, the intensity of the race ramped way up. Attack after attack strung the group out through the hilly headwind section. I decided to bridge up to a lone Penn State rider, using the steepest ascent as the springboard for my move.
Ray Riding Comfortably in the D Field

The pack had to work, but they eventully brought us back ... honestly, I mostly just wanted to have a fun time destroying that hill at full throttle. This left me with dead legs, though, and I dropped to the tail end of the pack. It was there that I met the zebra clad motorcycle ref. I asked him if he was enjoying the view, and he said, "yeah, but you guys are insane!" When we reached the wicked 120 degree turn, I was still in last, but within a few hundred yards and a crit-like sprint I was back in 5th wheel.

I led into the last corner, then slowed a bit to find some draft. I was riding behind Dave, again in 5th or so wheel, when the pace picked up drastically. When a spot opened on the side, I yelled at Dave to follow, then decided to go for it. I sprinted like mad and pulled away from the pack! This happened about half a mile from the finish, and I was fighting to hold my ~200 foot gap all the way to the line. With the finish line in sight, I started to feel the effort, and my speed slightly dropped. When the first of the other riders started to appear in my peripheral vision, I shook my head in semi-disappointment. Still, I was happy to end up in 11th place for the day.

Sunday: 20 minute criterium
My plan for this race was no secret, at least not among the Rutgers team. I was going to take advantage of the highly technical course and attack when everyone was tired from the first prime. This was the first race I have warmed up for yet, and I felt good at the starting line. I was somewhere in the middle of the pack, but I sacrificed my spot to move to the back and start with Ray.

When the race started, we were instantly set back. Some rider in front of us decided he didn't like being upright and promptly fell to the asphalt when the whistle sounded. I lost track of Ray when that happened, trying hard to get back in contact with the pack. By the third turn I was settled in behind Dave at the back of the group. At the end of that lap, the officials rang their cow-bell, announcing the prime.

I immediately spewed profanities in my head. I had told everyone my plan to attack, and here I was cruising at the back of the strung-out pack. By the 3rd turn, I was at mid pack. By the cafe at the 5th turn I was in about 10th wheel. By the time we reached the line, I still wasn't in any position to attack. I was disappointed with myself and just stayed in about 4th wheel for the first 3 turns. Then I saw my opportunity: A Penn State rider attacked, giving me the perfect conditions for a successful breakaway. I sprinted up the side of the road and latched onto his wheel. We instantly kicked the pace up a notch. We both knew what we wanted and were not going to get caught.

I wanted to look back and check our gap, but I've seen enough footage from the Tour to know that once a rider starts turning around and seeing the pack, that his attack is over. So I never looked back.
Rich's Winning Breakaway Builds Its Gap

For the next two laps, we both worked our tails off, although with a bit of disorder. We weren't quite working together, but we weren't working against each other either. The final prime bell rang as we passed the line, and I decided that rather than contest a prime, I would save my strength for the last lap. He crossed the line first on that lap, and we kept chugging away.

Riding at that speed was actually pretty scary. During my first lap off the front, I rode the 5th corner so fast that I didn't see the pothole at the inside of the turn... my race almost ended right there! As the race progressed, we both got used to powering through every corner, since we didn't have to worry about any other unstable D riders like the chasers did. Many times my pedal would scrape the ground or my rear wheel would skip over a couple inches, yet we kept the pace and managed to avoid crashing.

After I gifted him the last prime, the PSU kid and I worked as a team. We both took turns pulling, and when one tired, the other would know to get in front. The final lap came, and I think he tried to pull away from me after the 2nd turn, but I shifted up a gear and powered my way back to his wheel. At this point I'm not sure what was on his mind, as I was riding comfortably in his draft up until the last corner.

I went into the finishing straight feeling fresh and confident. He started weaving back and forth, trying to juke me off his wheel, but I wasn't buying it. He swerved to the right and I rocketed off in an all-out sprint. This sprint was different from the other sprints I've contested; Normally the my head wants to keep pushing, but my legs scream at me to please stop. Today, though my legs didn't say a word, and the only thing going through my head was "there is no way I am losing this". The confidence I experienced through the entire sprint felt awesome as I crossed the line. When it finally dawned on me that I had won, I threw my fist in the air and let out a deep breath. It felt really good to win.
Congratulations to Rich, Crit Winner!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bucknell Men's A Crit... Live Updates!

Welcome to our Live Coverage of the Men's A Criterium, held on the campus of Bucknell University. The course is almost completely flat, with 6 corners and a long drag to the finish line. The A's will be racing for 55 minutes. SpikyHairWill fought hard yesterday, but is confident that he's left enough in his legs to stick it to his field.

How is this possible, you ask? After a wildly successful morning (Rich 1st D, Chris 3rd C, Alex 4th B), the Rutgers Crew is basking in our glory in a coffeeshop located at the 5th corner. And there's wireless!

And they're off! Will is sitting in 10th wheel in a field of 50

A group of 4 went off the front and was soon joined by 3 more. Will is sitting comfortably in the field, letting some of the teams with more riders do the work to pull back the break

Yale, UNH, Dartmouth, Army, Bucknell, Columbia, and Penn State are all represented in the break. Lehigh is leading the chase.

The gap is 30sec, with riders from Dartmouth now blocking at the front. Will is in 15th wheel in the chase group.
Will Corners (photo by Don)

With all of the primes being swallowed up by the attack, and with most of the bigger teams represented in the break, there's not much happening in the peleton. The gap is now 55 seconds.

A lone rider from Brown from was attempting to bridge, but he's been caught a lap later.

The break is really moving, with both Dartmouth and Yale represented by 2 riders each. A rider from each school is contributing to the pacemaking at the front, really stringing out the small group.

The chase group is strung out as well, perhaps trying to avoid being caught by the attack, which is now 30 seconds behind them.

Will is sitting in 7th, but as 53x12 has noted, his body is really rocking as he closes gaps up the sprinters' hill between turns 5 and 6.

53x12 was wrong. Will seems to be climbing the hill rather comfortably, and was actually seated the whole time.

The gap between the two groups is only 10 seconds, and the race-moto is no longer between them. The attack doesn't seem to be making up much ground, although the chase group seems to have eased off a bit as well.

With the race entering the endgame, Will is still positioned very well, about 10 from the front and looking hungry. The break has caught the main pack, and the tactics have just gotten a lot more complicated.
Will Corners Again (photo by Kevin)

A rider from Bucknell has attacked! The pack strings out in pursuit. Is this the rider who is up a lap? Or one of his teammates?

The pace is brutal. There are a lot of riders looking pretty miserable, with tongues hanging out of mouths and plenty of yanking on the handlebars.
NinjaDon and 53x12Will in LiveUpdate HQ (photo by Kevin)

BeastMasterChris, our reporter at the Finish Line, has reported that a rider from Bucknell and a rider from UNH put in late attacks to cross the lne first and second, although it's unclear who actually won the race. Will had been shuffled back in the last lap as the pace ramped up to EyeBlood-inducing speeds, finishing a strong 19th after a 55-minute war of attrition.

That about wraps it up. I'm going to go pack the car and drive home... back to the real world! Congratulations again to Rich, Chris, and Alex, as well as all the rest of our racers, for thir exciting performances this weekend. See you in Boston!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Candy Mountain Ride report by Jay

The first ever Candy Mountain Ride took place today. The premise of the CMR is that anyone who beats CaptainCharlie up a climb gets candy. It was Charlie's idea, based on this brilliant animated opus

While everyone knew that this would not be at all like taking candy from a baby, we had to try. The ride was made up of CaptainCharlie, AngryMark, HartailJay, ProfessorAndy, Dave Kim, Ray, Rich, and E-Town (Even though he is an Secret Henry's Riders and DCCOC member, he was so excited about this ride that he decided to move to Edison for 6 months so he could compete in the series). Side Note: Dave, Rich, and Ray need nicknames.

Le Train Rouge headed down River Rd to Mountain Ave for the first climb. When ProfessorAndy took off, Rich grabbed his wheel. I was merely interested in candy, so I sat on Charlie's wheel and everyone else joined in. ProfessorAndy rejoined the pack and Charlie started chasing down Rich (it seems he wanted to keep his candy). At the switchback I let him go, and when E-Town grabbed his wheel the two began to work together to get Rich. The Professor and AngryMark came around me, and I latched on. The dogfight was taking place in front of us, and the excitement caused Mark and me to jump. Rich was within sight and I wanted points (a meager but acceptable substitute for candy), and yet Rich held me off.

Mountain Ave
1. E-town
2. Chaz
3. Rich
4. Jay
5. AngryMark

The ride then went through Martinsville and up Mount Horeb. I must admit that I got dropped at the light on Chimney Rock Road and was not in contention (I was damn thankful for rest). I'm not sure what happened, but it probably looked like a scene from 300.

Mount Horeb
1. E-Town
2. Chaz
3, Mark
4. Andy
5. Rich

Climb 3 was to the end of Ferguson Rd on the Allesandro Loop. I would like to neutralize this climb since I don't think any of us knew it was a contested climb. However, even if this wasn't counted, I still wouldn't win any candy, so:

Mount Allesandro (newly renamed in honor of the legend):
1. Andy
2. Mark
3. Chaz
4. E-Town
5. Rich

Climb 4 took place on King George. Everything started off mellow, but a 2 man breakaway suddenly darted up the road. They'd gone so rapidly, we were working so hard, I couldn't tell who was up in the break. Charlie and Ray? Charlie and Rich? I bridged up, knowing that being on Charlie's wheel would bring me ever closer to candy. It turns out that the two guys in the break were Rich and Ray, so my effort only worked to pull the pack back together. After the slight downhill, Charlie took the lead. I made my move along his right side... I was breaking away! Or so I thought... E-Town came around me like I was standing still. Sitting in second, I could still taste the candy. AngryMark was gunning for me, but I managed to hold him off (I think... The actual top of the hill is a stop sign, so the finish of the climb is a bit before that).

King George
1. E-Town
2. Jay
3. Mark
4. Andy
5. Chaz

Today wasn't just the inaugural Candy Mountain Ride. It was also the first official Bleed From Your Eyes ride of the season. With that in mind, the Rutgers guys were also racing for overall points.

Overall (points)
1. Chaz (14)
2. Mark (12)
Andy (12)
4. Jay (7)
5. Rich (5)

Chaz's consistent, powerful riding have earned him the Bleed From Your Eyes jersey, at least until next week (jersey courtesy of Dave Kim). Still, having dominated in the hills, E-Town clearly won the day... his rides these past two days have been quite the introduction to Central Jersey training.

Next week's BFYE ride will be a sprint ride, in the form of a trackie-style Miss-and-Out with the Hermes crew. Will E-Town defend the (in spirit) jersey? Will Chaz defend the actualy jersey? Will Will will himself to victory and claim the jersey for his own? Find out next week!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sunday, Bloody Sunday by Will C

Today NinjaDon, AngryMark, and I drove the red train to Princeton and back. It was cold.

Don planned to do 6 x 15 min efforts and so led the way into brutal headwinds on river road. Don also sprung a nosebleed during his first effort. Rather than pull off, he continued to work at the front, riding so hard that he covered his self and bike in blood. This was hardcore; we were 20 minutes into a long and hellish ride and Don had already handicapped himself a point or two of the ole’ hematocrit.
Don's Legs: AccelGel(left) and Blood(right)

After the bloodshed on River Rd. I suffered behind Don and Mark all the way to Princeton. Don did his 6 intervals. Mark did his share of the pulling. I sat on and complained about how weak I felt. In Princeton we stopped for delicious coffee at Small World Coffee. We talked, we laughed, we cursed the canceled races.
Blood on the top tube

The way home was uneventful until the moronic, I mean brave, ‘cross racers (Mark and Don) decided to ride though a patch of ice that the smart road rider (me) had decided to ride around. Mark made it through but Don had a little spill. Thankfully, Don and bike were unscathed, although Don was sad that he did not add to his impressive blood collection.
Blood on the Rear Triangle

During the rest of the ride we shook things up a tad. Don attacked on a hill (Don won, I lost, Mark wasn’t trying) and I took a sprint by lying to Don and shamelessly attacking my two teammates when they weren’t ready.
Blood on the Don

Our return to New Brunswick was met with cheers and vivacious applause. We all received honorary medals from the Mayor for bravery in the face of unrelenting cold. Don would go on to receive high honors for his injuries sustained on the battlefield. Mark found a new calling and lived his dream of starting an all-cyclist coffee shop (no spandex, no cleats…no service). I continued my auditions for Saved by the Bell season 18, but was told I do not have what it takes to be the next Zach Morris.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Return of Bleed From Your Eyes

Perhaps a better name would be "Bleed From Your Nose", because that's how hard I rode.

CaptainChaz, SpikyHairWill, and I met up in the park and rode out toward the Watchung hills. We had a tentative plan to "do a little Team Time Trial", but that plan was easy to abandon in favor of a friendly jaunt through the hills. Perhaps to add some enmity to our innately competitive spirits, Will was wearing his old Cornell kit.

We took the infamous Alessandro Loop, shallow enough to be a popular early-season route but hilly enough to make the ride slightly more complicated than most.

Pleasantries were exchanged down River Rd and through Bound Brook, but the Chimney Rock climb marked the onset of our little skirmish. I was on the front, pulling Chaz and Will at increasing speeds in the hopes that this would prevent them from attacking. Will later informed me that my plan was working... until I exploded and watched Chaz beat Will to the peak. Don's Max Heart Rate: 195

My riding companions were kind enough to wait for me in a nearby parking lot as I struggled to catch my breath. We rode over to the next quasi-climb, a false-flat up Ferguson Road that we were happy to "neutralize" by riding at tempo.

After a quick descent, hostilities resumed on the climb up King George Rd. Chaz led the group until he could lead no more, at which point Will upped the pace to lung-busting levels. He was smart, too, dancing around rough-patches so late that I couldn't help but lose momentum riding through them. Needless to say, he beat me to the top. Don's MHR: 196

Chaz took us through a few more rollers, followed by a long descent to the Rt 22 crossing. He and Will fought each other the whole way down, descending at breakneck speeds... which was cool to watch from a distance at a more reasonable velocity.

Riding home on River Rd, we took advantage of our last opportunity to tear each others' legs off. Charlie put in a vicious counterattack after he and Will pulled back my rinky-dink effort, which was neutralized by a combination of Will, myself, and the red light at 287.

Once we'd passed the last of the traffic lights, our skills pretty much went out the window. Nobody was drafting, but we were all riding tempo-ish. Will looked back at me and said something, which I interpreted as "do you want to draft already or what?" It turns out he actually meant "let's attack Charlie now". Which we did. We went fast for a while. When Will's pace started drifting, I considered my options: pull through, or attack? So I attacked, "winning" the sprint to Johnson park. Don's MHR: 195

There were no pictures from this ride. There were barely any tactics. It was brutal, windy, and non-stop. The attacks were fast and furious, perhaps too fast and too furious. Can we recover by Saturday for the Grant's Tomb crits? Can the forecast of "wintry mix" even hope to hold us back? Stay tuned, same Blog time, same Blog channel, for race reports!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Philly Phlyer Report by Dave Kim

Report from Dave Kim, 2nd in the Intro Men's Circuit and 1st in the Crit

Saturday was the road race. It consisted of 2 laps total; the first was coached, and the second was the race. The coaching was cool. They showed us how to paceline and climb. This lap was also good because it was pretty much a preride of the course. We regrouped at the start/finish and started the race. It started off fast, but once we hit the river road things started to calm down. From then on, the pace was kinda slow (18-20ish). Me, Dave A, and Taylor stuck together the entire race in the front, directing traffic.

After the last climb, we could all see the statues of the finish line. People started getting antsy in their pantsy, and a Harvard kid started to take off. I grabbed his wheel and was in 2nd or 3rd wheel going into the last turn. A couple of riders took the turn wide, so I tried to take it inside so I wouldn't lose my position. That put me in the front, and when I looked behind me, the rest of the field was a good 10-15 yards behind me. This is my chance! So I booked and made a run for it.
Unfortunately, an NYU guy got on my wheel half way and sprinted past me. I finished in 2nd. Dave and Taylor finished 7th and 8th. Kevin Miller came in at 20th.
Dave drills the Circuit for a strong 2nd

TTT...Kevin, Dave A, and Taylor laid down an awesome time of 24:46 (which was better than most of the D times!) They were the only Intro team, so they racked up some points.

The Crit followed. We learned how to clip in!!! Hooray. I stayed in the front for the short 5 laps. Before I knew it, there was one lap to go, so I chucked my bottle [this is actually a bad idea, and will no longer be practiced in the interest of safety -editor] and put on my game face. After fighting all race, I was in an awesome position, and just before the last corner the NYU guy decided to go for it. I couldn't just let him win it again, so I pulled out and got all over his wheel. On the last straightway he tried to shake me off his wheel, jumping from the left side of the road to the right, but I wasn't having any of that. I waited til the last possible second and sprinted right around him. Shake and bake. My first ever road win. Kevin and Gerry finished strong in 14 and 16. Looking good out there.

Thanks to everyone for cheering us on. We couldn't do it without you guys.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Rutgers Classic Weekend! Victory!

Victory! Chris sprints for the win in the circuit race!

Wow! What an amazing weekend of racing.

Rutgers University Cycling once again hosted the ECCC season opener at Rutgers this past weekend. The weekend included a prologue no-aero ITT in Johnson Park, a criterium on Livingston campus, and a circuit race on Livingston campus.

Once again, Rutgers shattered attendance records with registration of 450 individual riders!

The weekend was a roaring success for the host team both as promoters and racers.

Saturday morning started off with the ITT in Johnson Park. Our Intro Men had a strong showing with Dave A. and Dave K. finishing 11th and 12th, Taylor 17th, Andy 20th (even after being crashed in the closing meters!), Kevin 31st, and Gerry 35th. In the Ds, Rich finished 24th, Ray 47th, and Kyle 80th. Jen, our lone women in the Intro Women's field put in a strong ride for 8th!!! Our C men may have been the story of the weekend with Chris finishing 3rd, Will P. 14th, Mark 57th, Don 60th, and Noah 75th. In the Bs, new riders Alex and Steven finished 29th and 61st. Will C. held it down in the As to finish 43rd.

Racing action moved over to Livingston for a brand spanking new criterium course. The Men's D kicked off the fun with Rich finishing 25th and Ray 17th. The Intro men saw many Rutgers riders in the field with Andy finishing 7th, Dave K. 17th, Taylor and Dave A. 20th and 21st, Kevin 32nd and Gerry 36th. The Intro women brought the second RU podium of the day with Amy getting 2nd in her first race! Jen rode strong to finish up 6th!
Amy finishing 2nd! (photo: Velocity Results)

Next up was the C men. This was arguably the largest RU field of the day with 6 riders. The crew went to work immediately controlling the race and launching attack after attack. Mark got a jump on the field courtesy of a UVM rider and held off most of the field to finish 2nd (3rd podium of the day)! Noah finished up 6th in the field sprint, Chris 13th, Will P. 27th, Don 30th, Jay 36th.

Mark gets 2nd! (photo:Velocity Results)

Next up for RU was the B men. With new RU riders, Steve and Alex, the team was well-represented. Alex got 23rd and Steve 43rd. In the As Will C. and Jason raced a hella fast race but got caught up behind a crash on the last lap to finish 30th and 31st.

Sunday brought much cooler temperatures and intense wind to the Rutgers Circuit Race on Livingston campus. First up were again the D men. Rich had a fantastic ride to finish 7th. Ray toughed it out in the wind and hung in for 18th. Next up, the intro Men faced even harsher winds. Nonetheless, Andy finished 12th, Dave K. 17th, Kevin 30th, and Gerry 35th. In the Intro Women, Jen was alone on Sunday but still put in a fantastic ride to finish 10th!

Following Saturday's success for the C men in the TT and crit, the team was set to bring the pain in the circuit race. The fun began with Mark charging off the line and opening up a gap through the first two corners. Don and Chris then went to work attacking and counterattacking while Will P., Charlie, and Mark hung out in the field. With one to go, Charlie drove it through corners 3 and 4 with Mark in 3rd wheel. Up the hill the last time, Charlie took Mark through the last corner and delivered him again to 3rd wheel. Behind Mark, gaps opened and Chris got on Mark's wheel for the field sprint. As the first two riders slowed, Mark opened up the sprint into the massive headwind. As Mark faded, Chris came around and drove it to the line for the win! Despite working for the entire last lap, the RU squad filled up most of the points-earning spots with Chris 1st, Will P. 5th, Mark 6th, and Charlie 11th. Don finished up strong after a hard day in the wind for 22nd and Jay 39th.

In the Bs, Alex and Justin put in solid rides for 48th and 55th. In the As, Will C. was alone and rode a blistering fast race full of attacks, bridging and general speediness to finish 28th.

It was an amazing weekend. We have many thanks to give out, but the biggest one goes to this man:

Rob, our race director

Rutgers Cycling wishes to extend HUGE thanks to Rob, Rob's Mom and Dad, and Rob's girlfriend Laura for pretty much making the whole weekend happen. Without them, there could be no Rutgers Collegiate Cycling Classic.

Rutgers Cycling would further like to thank Rutgers Police Department, especially Officer Washington, Rutgers Recreation Sports, The Highland Park Hermes, Efinger Sporting Goods, The Middlesex Parks Department, Pacific Health Labs, Inc., Tom for being our moto-official, Redbull, Ed Post, Maul Electric, Inc., Alicia and Alessandro, The LaChouffe Elf, Dario at Harvest Moon, Cycle-Smart, and our army of volunteers from Rutgers and the Highland Park Hermes.

It's only the start of the season, but boy are we tired!