Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What makes Rutgerscycling great? Teamwork!

That's right, teamwork is what makes this developmental team, well... work! We train together, eat together, (sing together), travel and race together. Along the way, we encourage each other, teach each other what we have learned over years of ups-and-downs, challenge each other to reach new heights, and support each other in our endeavors to meet our goals. It has been amazing to see how the team has grown over the last three years. Ask not what your team can do for you, but ask what you can do for your team and we'll continue to watch the Rutgerscycling dominance grow.

Dennis Smith captured two photos of teamwork in action this last weekend. Mark's perfect hand up in concert with Jay and Don screaming for me to get up that hill got me through that race.

Please support Dennis and order some of his wonderful prints that really capture the atmosphere of the mountain bike and cyclocross races that we attend.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Granogue Photos

Charlie was working hard during the Expert race... the Sport riders (Don, Jay, and Mark) waited for him on the road climb...

...where Mark fed him a fresh bottle

By the finish, Charlie had earned some High Fives

Don, Mark, Jay, and Charlie

Sunday, May 20, 2007

MASS #2: Granogue

At Granogue, the Rutgers University Cycling Team represented again.

In the sport senior I category, AngryMark had a great start... but he was seen as too much of a threat by a disrespectful competitor that decided to run him off the course. Mark pressed on, passed the guy that ran him off course and got back into the mix. Unfortunately, this wasn't the best day for his allergies, and he had to withdraw halfway through the race. Mark hopes to rest up and be at full strength for a big weekend of road criteriums starting on Friday(?).

Jay and Don battled it out in the sport singlespeed open category. Don launched massive missiles of fitness at the race course to fly up the hills and across the fields. Jay used his mastery of singletrack and descents to conserve his energy for the final meters. Their skills propelled then to 6th and 7th place finishes, but which of the diverse strengths won out?... This week, Jay's skills saved him enough energy to best out Don in the last minutes of the race. Jay celebrated with the LZB (Look, Zip, Ballin' - Dave Kim 2007) taunt as he approached the line.

In the expert senior category, I wanted to prove that hanging in 9th or 10th for most of the French Creek race and finishing 14th (after falling apart), was not a fluke. After a painful first lap (really, is starting that fast necessary?), I found my flow and started to eat through the competition. Lap two was nearly flawless and I was feeling great. During the third lap, I could feel the end of my legs coming, but I carefully measured my efforts to continue gaining on the competition without blowing up. In the end... Granogue was my first top ten finish in the expert category! (Barely, I finished 10th) This would not have been possible without my awesome teammates that cheered me on at no less than three places on the course per lap and fed me with a constant supply of energy drink under the hot sun. The high fives exchanged on the finishing straight went two ways: them congratulating me for turning myself inside-out for a great result and me thanking them for motivating and supporting me to continue at that pace. Thanks guys!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

French Creek

After a long, successful season on the Collegiate Road circuit, the Rutgers Cycling team has turned some of its attention to the dirt and the knobby tires. Charlie, Mark, Jay, and I went out to French Creek State Park in Pennsylvania for a jaunt in the woods, MASS style.

Jay's Pre-Race Warmup

Charlie, racing in the Expert class, was first to go. He finished his race looking like he'd left everything out on the course. With a 14th in a very competitive field, Chaz put in a great ride and seems to've actually had fun!

Chaz Rolls to the Start

Mark raced Sport Senior Men, and had a fantastic start. He was riding in 4th place after about 5 miles of racing, including the killer road-climb and the ensuing endless, rocky descent. Unfortunately, the Butyl gods were not smiling on him that day, and his rear tire flatted. Even worse, the innumerable rock gardens had thrown his flat-fix kit from his bike, and his race was over.

Don Wishes For Suspension

Jay and I raced Sport Single Speed... and because we're maniacs, we raced with no suspension. This made the descents interesting, to say the least. We started somewhat conservatively, making up a lot of ground on the road climb. Jay bombed every descent like a man on a mission, and I climbed like a roadie, feeling very much out of place. We were in the hunt for the podium for a while, took a quick accidental detour, and ended up comfortably in the top half of the pack. About as comfortably as two dummies with rigid forks can be.

Jay Cruises as if on a Full Suspension

Next week... Granogue!!!

Charlie, Mark, Don, and Jay

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Team Photo!

Presenting... the super fast 2006-2007 Rutgers University Cycling Team!

To cap off the end of the season we took the (much needed) team photo last night. It's been an amazing season with an ECCC cyclocross championship, more wins and podiums in the road season than I can keep track of, two super successful races promoted, and a super high level of energy and participation throughout the team.

2007-2008 is looking pretty bright for the Scarlet Knights.