Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Accidental Cyclocross Racer


As I write this, my first season of cyclocross has come to an end, and it’s bittersweet. It’s nice to have time to do laundry- and not have so much of it! It’s nice to be home on weekends, to get work done, to not be driving all over creation for races, to be able to take a little break for a change, and to not have mystery cuts and bruises crop up every Monday after a weekend of racing. But I miss it so much already!

I miss the camaraderie, the excitement of racing, the sore throat from cheering everyone on, the teamwork, and heck, even the riding itself. I admit, I started out a skeptic, thinking nothing could replace triathlon as my most fun sport. But now, I’m already looking to next year, thinking of how to make improvements, to move up in my category, and to start really racing, not just trying to ride the course without falling down. In short, there is a decided chance that I have succumbed to the desire to be a legit cyclocross racer.

In one season, I went from a new racer to the #1 Women’s B racer and #2 Women’s A racer, and helped the Rutgers University Cycling Team maintain our dominance in collegiate cyclocross. It felt pretty great to be part of it.

Earlier in the season, I borrowed a cyclocross bike, “just to test out and race a couple times.”

Then, I raced at Granogue, in freezing rain and mud up to my shins. I fell, I slid, I was one of the last people to finish, and I ended up with a myriad of cuts and bruises to show for it. But, I had fun. And it didn’t hurt that just by racing, I had accrued a lot of collegiate points for the team.

My first race finish at Granogue

So, I raced again at Highland Park, and didn’t do too badly- in fact, I was pretty decent. I was 12th in the Women’s 3/4 race, and the first collegiate woman. I admit, I was hooked. I was also doing well, by collegiate standards. By my second week of ECCC ‘cross, I was ranked #1 in Women’s B. Mainly because I was the one of about five on the list. However, I had a marathon in late November, so HPCX looked like it would be my last serious race. I hadn’t learned dismounts, barriers, or how to ride anything technical. My season was pretty much over, barring maybe a race or two after the marathon. My ranking went from #1 to #10 or so as other women raced and I stayed home and did long runs.

Then, a tendon in my foot did something kinda weird, and all of a sudden, I couldn’t run for a few weeks. I took this as a sign- I was meant to race ‘cross.

So, I started practicing dismounts in my backyard, signed up for all of the races for the last 3 weeks, and attempted to become a decent rider. While that may not have happened, I felt fairly decent going into the last three weeks, even managing to jump barriers instead of climb slowly over them.

Actually "getting air" over a barrier at Staten Island CX

More than that, I learned how much fun cyclocross and spending time with the team really was. From the excitement of the USGP at Mercer to the killer course at Whitmore to racing singlespeed (not by choice) at Allentown, the team was there cheering like crazy every time I raced. And it helped a lot.

Climbing the stairs at the Mercer USGP race

About to start a very scary descent at Whitmore.

I’m not going to go into too many details, as to avoid the longest post in the world, but Rhode Island and the NBX race was probably the most fun weekend that I’ve ever had. It was great racing, an awesome course, vegan pizza, and serious team bonding. I may not have done amazing in the race, but I definitely realized how much progress that I’ve made in the past months. I only wish I had figured out that I wasn’t going to be able to run the marathon earlier, so I could have been working on my ‘cross skills much sooner. As it was, it was a pretty piecemeal season and training schedule. Next year will be a lot different, and I’m expecting pretty good things from myself, not just in the collegiate context, but in the broader context of the 3/4 women in general.

When I joined the cycling team, I had no idea what was so great about cyclocross and why everyone on the team was so excited about the season instead of road season. But after this, I can see why, and I think I’ve joined the ranks of the cyclocross devotees.

So, a final round of HUGE thank you’s to everyone who helped make this season so great for me.

Of course, thank you to the Team. Without them, I never would have been able to have the confidence and drive to get on the bike, much less ride. They helped me whenever I needed it, offered tons of great advice, and cheered like crazy for a newbie racer. Especially to Mark, who kept me and everyone else organized and sane though out the season, and Charlie, who did so much by way of bike repair on my borrowed bike. Everyone: it was much appreciated.

Huge thank you to my Dad, who drove to nearly every race, yelled like crazy and pushed me to try as hard as I could and put as much effort possible into every race. He really is the Team Dad, and hopefully next year we’ll get to see him race, since he’s pretty hooked on it too.

My whole family- including Mom, Colleen and Robbie- for not just coming to some races but for being so incredibly supportive and doing so much (mostly laundry) for me as I drove them nuts every weekend with racing.

Thank you to all of the promoters for putting on awesome races, to all of my non-collegiate cyclocross friends (both old and new) for cheering and generally making the season super fun for all of us.

Overall, thank you for a great season, and I can’t wait to kick ass next year!

My first podium for collegiate cycling!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Thanks

Whitmore's Super Cross Cup 2009, 6th both days (wow!)

This Thanksgiving weekend I raced three cyclocross races.

This time last year, that would have seemed an impossibility.

My first race back in over a year - Cat and Kitten Cross, November 1 2009 (Photo: David Wilson)

During the 2007 cyclocross season I sustained a mystery injury to my left leg and hip that turned into a chronic, and often debilitating, problem. After nearly two years of shuffling between specialists, PTs, and chiropractors, my amazing doctor finally identified the problem and developed a course of action to try to help fix it.

In short, I have neurovascular entrapment in my left quadriceps; it's about 2 inches deep in the quad and adjacent to my femoral artery. When I try to pedal hard, it produces incredible pain and weakness in the leg due to reduction in blood flow and nerve function. At times, it felt like my left leg wouldn't work at all. The pain was awful and the frustration of a body that wouldn't work was great.

After a few months of trying to ride and race through it, I ended up with secondary injuries to the other muscles of my leg, hip, and back.

As athletes, it's difficult to deal with injury that prevents us from training and competing. For most of us, it structures and gives meaning to our lives. Losing that, perhaps for forever, is difficult.

I'm steadily on the road to recovery. I've had two procedures to help break up the entrapment in the quad and hope to have a few more. After missing a season of cyclocross, and two seasons of road racing, I'm thrilled to be back racing, even at a lower level, and hope some day to return to where I was before the injury.

And so, following the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to give thanks to everyone who helped and supported me, and continue to support me, as I begin my return to cycling.

First, I need to thank my teammates, without their love, support, and friendship, I couldn't have gotten through the past two years. They pushed me when my leg failed during rides, they motivated me to focus on figuring out the problem, and they accepted me when I couldn't perform as I used to.

I also need to give endless thanks for my incredible doctor at Rutgers, Dr. Cohen. Despite the difficulty of the diagnosis and the myriad of symptoms, his patience and compassion, not to mention his persistence, have made this recovery process possible. When every other doctor became frustrated and gave up, Dr. Cohen was there. I am so lucky to have met him and continue to work with him. Thank you.

I want to thank the friends, fans, supporters, and alumni who cared enough to check in on my progress throughout the long duration of the injury. It's striking how many people noticed my absence from racing and celebrated my return.

A huge thank you to my Active Release Techniques practitioner, Mark Strzeminski, DC. His continued musculoskeletal work has worked miracles on holding me together and promoting healing.

Thank you to Adam Myerson and Wade Hess, both of whom have worked with me throughout the process to dial in my bike fit and accommodate my physical limitations. I'm not an easy guy to fit on a bike, and both these guys have been amazingly generous with their time and expertise.

Thank you so much to my personal and team sponsors who stuck by me and the team even while I could not race. Also, thank you to the sponsors we have brought on because of my injury, like kinesiology tape sponsor, RockTape. If you've seen me compete and wondered about the tape on my left leg, that's what it is. Without it, I can't pedal. It's that good.

And finally, thank you to J. It wasn't easy to live with me through the frustration and disappointment of the injury. I know that, and I'm sorry.

Next weekend, I'll finish out my cyclocross season at the NBX Grand Prix in Warwick, RI. I'm not headed to cyclocross Nationals for the first time in four years. I'll take a week off and then start again to build toward what I hope will be my return to road racing in the spring.

Thank you all,

Mark

Monday, November 09, 2009

Follow Rutgers Cycling on Twitter!

Can't get enough info about Rutgers Cycling? You can now get it in 140 character bits and pieces.

Follow the team as they go for their fourth consecutive ECCC Cyclocross Title and travel around the Northeast racing bikes and giving out high fives.

www.twitter.com/rutgerscycling

British Cyclocross National Champion Helen Wyman follows us, you should too!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pre-E-Triple-C MAC warmup experience



Nittany Lion cross was fast fast fast with some nicely set up corners - some had some nice flow from one to another, while others provided more room for creativity in finding the best line, and my favorites had some quick little elevation changes in them. I found the Jamis Dragon CX to work pretty well and I rode my way to an 11th/67 placing in the Killer B's. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to sufficiently shake Mike Festa in the corners of the last lap, and he overpowered me for the last spot in the top ten. Regardless, MAC points were earned, and a place on the starting grid will be had for the rest of the season.



With 125 riders pre-regged for Granogue, that starting position would prove useful. At 40F and raining, the mud was flying, and our VERGE gear kept us at just the right temp - one tight base later, one loose base layer, jersey, shorts, arm and leg warmers - ooh, I love their gear. With my typical not-so-fast start, I dropped into the mud soup in the top 20-25 riders and picked my way through them whenever the terrain pointed downhill. My position varied from 6th to 15th in the following laps, trading positions with some of the same riders again and again as different sections suited our strengths. In the beginning of the last lap, I was just out of reach of a 5-person group until the R-L-R-L section of downhill turns. I bridged up on the off-camber section leading into the turns and rocketed my way through their scaping brake pads while pedaling. I made just enough time in this section and turned myself inside-out for the rest of the lap to secure my best-ever MAC finish: 7th/104.



Wissahickon didn't go so well. The soupy-slick mud of Saturday became much thicker as the rain slowed and wind picked up. The small (3-4 mm) clearance between the 700x34c tires and the brake bridge on my 26" mountain bike was not enough to deal with the thick mud and long grass at the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show Grounds. The start was a mess, as the race director was not enforcing the staging protocol: rather than 8 across, the first row was 10 and the second was 13! Half way through the first lap, my bike started packing up with mud. I stopped, checked out the bike and considered packing it in for the day, but I remembered that I feel that way during the first lap of every cross race. I trudged on, learned new ways to minimize mud build-up on my bike, and ended up moving up a number of spots, still without a clue where I was in the bunch. On the finishing straight, I looked behind me and found that I had to sprint for the finish. The steel tubes began humming as the speed came on and I found that I finished in 25th/94 by half a wheel. Just enough for a single MAC point - a worthwhile sprint.

Much thanks to everyone that was cheering for me and all the other Rutgers riders. The cheers on the big off-camber turn at Granogue fueled my drive to get to that section each lap. Thanks to all my awesome teammates that were out on course throughout the day; seeing you working hard motivated me to work hard. Thank you Jay for letting me borrow gloves for Sunday after leaving mine in a dryer in South Jersey. And a pre-emptive thanks to Efinger Sporting Goods for fixing the derailleur that I tweaked in lap 3 on Saturday and fixed just enough to race on Sunday - they'll definitely have it ready for the first ECCC battle this Saturday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Clothing Pre-Order Extended to the 18th!

Due to overwhelming demand, we've extended the Rutgers Cycling clothing pre-order until Friday, September 18. Pre-order now to ensure you get the jerseys, jackets, and shorts you want.

Clothing is scheduled to arrive in mid-to-late October.

Rutgers Cycling Clothing Pre-Order Site (on Bikereg)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rutgers Cycling 2009-2010 Clothing Pre-Order

Dear Friends and Supporters of Rutgers Cycling,

We are very pleased to announce that the pre-order for Rutgers University Cycling 2009-10 clothing is now open. For the first time, we are making our entire range of clothing available to alumni and supporters. You may choose from jerseys, bib shorts, winter jackets, wind vests, thermal vests and more! We're also offering women's cut jerseys and bib shorts.

The clothing design will remain the same for 09-10. However, sponsor logos may vary.

If you are interested in learning how to get your business' logo on Rutgers Cycling clothing, please contact Mark at: sponsorship(at)rutgerscycling.com

Our pre-order will be open from today through September 1. Clothing will be ordered in early September for delivery in late October/early November.

Rutgers Cycling Pre-order site: http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=9078

Friday, June 05, 2009

Rutgers Cycling in Rutgers Magazine!

If you haven't already seen it, pick up a copy of the Spring 2009 Rutgers Magazine for a wonderful story on Rutgers Cycling.

The story features club president and (as of May 2009) Rutgers alumnus Chris and newcomers to the team Karina and Molly.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rutgers Cycling Caps Now Available!

At long last, Rutgers Cycling is pleased to make available official, team-issue Rutgers Cycling caps.

Made for us by Pace Sportswear, these are the classic four-panel cotton cycling caps. These caps are perfect for wearing under your helmet for a classics-style ride or just spectating.

The cap features the Rutgers Block R on the front, "Rutgers" on the back. On the bill, the underside says "Rutgers" and the topside features the classic Scarlet Knight head.


Purchase Rutgers Cycling Caps

Buy one now, you are certain to look cooler than AngryMark...




Friday, April 24, 2009

Rutgers Takes 1st Off-Road Win of 2009!

Riding to victory aboard a Specialized Stumpjumper 29er!

While my skinny-tired teammates tackled The Cherry Blossom RR, The Rahway River Criterium, and even the Dartmouth Collegiate Weekend, I headed to Coatesville, PA to compete in the Hibernia Mountain Bike Duathlon.

I'd never done a duathlon, and I'm not much of a runner, so I enlisted some help. It turns out my girlfriend and fellow endurance athlete, Jenna, is a bit of a runner, so I recruited her to be the runner for our relay duathlon team. Hibernia would serve as a warm-up to the half-marathon she is doing in Central Park this weekend.

We arrived bright and early and set up shop. Neither of us had any idea what was going on. I puzzled over what to do with the single number they gave to us at registration.

Fortunately, a kind soul explained that the number goes on the runner in the relay. More importantly, he explained that the number goes on the front.

That's just weird.

The race consisted of a 2.38 mile trail run, a 10.5 mile mountain bike, and a 2.38 mile trail run.

We didn't really know how the transition was going to work or even how long it would take either of of us complete each given leg, but we figured we would figure it out.

Indeed, we did.

Jenna came in 20th off the run. We made an incredibly fast transition and I rode through seven riders within the first 1/2 mile to settle into 13th overall. It had been since my victory at Bear Creek in September that I'd last felt good enough to race, and I rode conservatively and steady. I could see three riders ahead of me, but I elected to keep them in my sight, but not push too hard to catch them.

On the first lap, I rode a 25 minute split. My goal was to knock the bike out in less than an hour. So far so good. Three quarters of the way through the second lap, I caught two of the guys in front of me on a single track climb. I saw the third guy, now sitting in 10th, but we could only match each other's pace.

I came screaming into the transition area yelling "gooooooo!" I rode another 25 minute lap. Excellent. Jenna took off, now in 11th place. She put in one of the most amazing runs ever to finish the second run in 18:49. She got passed by two of the guys whom I had passed on the bike.

Our total time was 1:28 for the race. We handily won both the co-ed relay competition and the relay competition by over five minutes.

Me, post-race, victory cheer. Also, the new Rutgers Cycling Caps (soon to be available)

The Rutgers Off-Road Team is back in action on two wheels only at its first mountain bike race on Sunday, May 3. The team will be dividing between the first H2H Series race in Waywayanda State Park in NJ and Mid-Atlantic Super Series Race #2 in New Castle, DE.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Philly Phlyer Phinishes

My trusty camcorder and I were in Philadelphia this weekend, at the finish line of both Men's A races.

Pat B solo'ed in on Saturday, holding off the charging chase group by scant meters to take a heroic 2nd place. Then on Sunday, Will C led him out, resulting in 4th for Pat and 6th for Will.

video

C-Money was very excited.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Eric's Philly Phyler Men's D Report

The team assembled in Fairmount park for another stellar race in the city of brotherly love. A mild but rainy TTT was ahead of us. Nick A and I were readying ourselves for the TTT and then Christian also wanted to partake. Awesome! Our team was 3 again. We embarked on the journey into the fog and gingerly made our way down the hills to the racing tarmac. Filed in TTT position we take our scheduled pulls and begin to work like a team. After the first turn around the pace got blistering and we tugged on without the support of Nick. He had a couple great pulls in him but TTT are intimidating to say the least. Christian put in some awesome efforts and worked to carry the rest of the pace. We managed to have some fun along the way by celebrating with fellow racers the joys of cycling and giving advice to a flock of geese that wandered into the road. Our last efforts up the hill were epic to say the least. We coached each other up the hill and crossed the line in perfect fashion. I wish there was a picture it was teamwork at its finest. Next time we can work on our speed but it was clearly a fun time. 18th place we took with an average just nipping 21mph. Great effort. I look forward to more TTT's with the team.

The stage was set to have a fun crit. Unlike the previous couple weeks, the crit was a real crit. 3/4 turns, flat, fast and fun. Mine and Nick's third row start wasn't the best but there was plenty of moving to be done throughout the pack and the course was very accepting of this. The pack stayed together for a while as separations were made. I continued to relax through the race and basically gap any breaks in the pack just so I didn't have to bridge up later on. This proved to work out really well as I made my way to the front (yes first wheel) with 3 to go. I know the winner of field sprint crits rarely come off the front so I took my pull and retreated to 4th/5th wheel and waited for my move. Last lap came and so did an attack after turn 1, I was reluctant to attack which proved to be my demise. I let them go and I sprinted the final straight to catch some more victims to finish off with 7th place. My first placing in the points but disappointing because of my poor late race tactics. Nick finished up his D race with a 50th place finish, I have no doubts he will be contesting the front of the pack in no time. Great weekend had by all, yea Philly!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blue Hens RR - Men's Intro - The Importance of Communication

If there is to be a first race report for the Men's Intro RR, this past weekend at UDel deserves the honor. 

The past two weekends, the Rutger's Intro Men riders have taken to the field and left their mark. After learning how to properly corner, ride in a pack, and the dynamics of racing, the UDel road race was the time for us to shine and put our handy skills to work. We previously learned at Columbia the importance of starting in the lead pack and getting a good start early on. As I quickly jumped to the front, I found myself leading into a long hill, and doing most of the work, which was probably not the best tactic at the start of a race. As I realized I wouldn't be able to conquer the hill alone, I quickly fell behind my teammate Doug, and working together we got past the hill. For the rest of the race, Doug and I worked together like brothers, staying in the lead pack for the rest of the race. 

As we rounded the last corner, and the  anxiety of the last sprint started taking grip, I took to the lead starting the sprint, knowing that Doug was behind me. Two weeks ago Doug and I had practiced doing lead-outs with the team, and now was the time to bring it to the next level. Racing to the front, Doug caught on and the final field sprint began. The only problem now was  sustaining the sprint for over 600m! Starting too early, I quickly pulled off letting Doug take the lead. As he flew by me, I saw that right behind him, feeding off our lead-out, was BU rider. As I yelled "Go Doug, Go Doug, Go Doug!", he though that I had caught behind again for the last 100m, and pulled off for me to take the lead, but instead gave BU the last push to victory. Although the Rutger's men didn't pull off the big win, 2nd and 3rd would have to suffice for this week, and a very valuable lesson of using clear communication was learned. 
On our 3 1/2 hour ride home, Doug and I spoke nonstop about our dream bikes, racing tactics, and the next weekend. We decided that it was time to leave the intro men behind and move up to a new world. So long intros, and D Men, here we come!

Wear Rudy Project

Our go-fast guy in the Men's B races, the venerable DK, was in perfect position with 300m to go. CaptainChaz was leading him out, and they were rocketing towards success. Charlie already wrote about the ensuing crash, and I can only echo his disappointment and frustration.

Having started the lead out, I was behind the melee, which gave me a front-row seat to the horrific tumble. I was sure that DK would be carted off in an ambulance... imagine my delight when he turned out to have suffered nothing worse than some road rash!

His head had hit the ground with a violent impact. Here, in his own words, is DK's description of the butcher's bill:

video

Blue Hens RR - Mens B - so close, yet so far from cycling glory

At Columbia, we learned that one needs to start fighting for position quite early in the B field, especially with UVM's huge team. This week, we were prepared for the challenge. Each of us knew our role: Don would patrol the front and try to get into any promising breaks, when the efforts got harder, I'd join Don near the front to make any selections, and DK would be our man for the sprint.

After 47 miles of scenic, rolling, not-too-difficult spring riding, it was clear that there would be a sprint finish. Don did an amazing job working hard in the last 4 miles so that we'd have good position going into the last two right hand corners, and he got me and Dave up to speed as the sprint wound up. UVM was going up the right side, and space was opening to the left. I jumped to a Millersville wheel there, and the pace kept creeping up. Part of the UVM lead out was decelerating into our lane, Millersville slowed. Feeling the raging pack behind me, I knew I had to keep accelerating around the right of Millersville. The yellow line and disqualification awaited to the left and slowing promised a giant pile up. Dave's wheel grazed mine and - CRAP - CRAP - CRAP!!! I kept it going to the line as the only hope for RU and got to the line in 3rd.


(Photo: Velocity Results)

It should have felt sweet to get such a result in this field, but my job was to launch DK to the finish, not fight for the line from 400m out. His explosiveness could possibly have carried him the 4 bike lengths ahead of me to the win. So, we were left with frustration, shame, yet thanksgiving. The frustration of being denied the chance of challenging UVM with our three man team, the shame of being involved in the nucleation of a crash, yet being thankful that DK was alright and we'll be able to fight for the finish line another day.

I couldn't stop replaying that finish in my head on Saturday. I don't want to pass blame (you clearly see my involvement above), but to help keep us safer in the finishing straights, can we have our lead-out men pull off towards the gutter, keeping as much power on as possible 'till the line, and can we please have two lanes for the sprint?

Friday, March 20, 2009

The New Kid Races...

So for the past two weekends, my life has belonged to Rutgers Cycling. Actually, just weekends isn’t really accurate. It’s sort of a lifestyle change as race season starts. By mid-week I’m anticipating the weekend not because I’ll get to relax, but because whenever I think about it, adrenaline starts pumping. I'm spending more time riding than anything else, stretching, doing recovery swims, practicing handling skills and reading everything I can find about cycling.

I’d love to be able to say that the past two weeks- four races in total- have gone smoothly, but that would be inaccurate blogging. The first race- the Rutgers Time Trial- was bad going in- my muscles started cramping before the race, and by the end, I had to lean on my bike just to walk. Still, I was in the top half of Intro Women, so I wasn’t totally upset. I couldn’t do the Princeton Crit that afternoon, though I did have an amazing time screaming my head off cheering for my teammates.

The next day, my legs were feeling better for the Circuit Race at Rutgers. However, the cycling gods were not smiling on me, and when a girl from the University of Delaware crashed, I went down with her in a massive pileup. I recovered from it and, bleeding profusely and road-rash covered, made my way to the finish, ending in a sprint that made me (and my parents and sister, who came to cheer) very proud. I’m still healing from that, since for some reason, my body isn’t healing bruises or cuts very well lately. I have bruises from two months ago on my legs!

Midweek, we did a 50 mile base mile ride, and I realized, as I was riding with 15 or so people I now consider to be my friends, that for the first time, I feel like I’m in college and I love it.

I had high hopes for the Grant’s Tomb crit the next weekend and started out strong, riding alongside or directly behind Karina, who is turning out to be an amazing racer. The last half of the last lap, I got a cramp, so the sprint ending wasn’t exactly my strong point, but I finished mid-pack. Still, I had a great time and I realized just how amazing it is to have a whole team cheering for you!

Sunday was a crit at Stevens Institute of Technology, and I knew right away that it was going to be a terrible race for me. There was a sharp downhill that curved at the top, followed by a sharp right at the bottom. The saving grace was the hill to the finish. I spent the few laps that Intro Women raced braking too much on the downhill and catching back up on the uphill. Had the race been longer, I may have gotten more comfortable with the downhill, but with only four laps, that never happened. The sprint finish was pretty great though- in the last hundred or so yards, I passed at least five other racers on the uphill, thanks to my Dad and half the team cheering me on.

I’m learning a lot and getting more comfortable on the bike, and most of all, I’m having an amazing time with amazing people. I’m missing this weekend so I can run a marathon, but next weekend I’ll be back on the saddle for racing in Philly!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Grant's Tomb B report

note: This report was generated using a template, which may not be the best idea but it sure made the tone snarky.

Yesterday I drove with Molly, Charlie, and Mark, to Columbia to race the Grant's Tomb Criterium. Based on the way my rides have gone this week, and where I am in my training cycle, I was not expecting much. Looking at the list of registered competitors, I saw that UVM and MIT, both of them very fast and big teams, were signed up, but I tried not to worry about it.

I got on the trainer and warmed up. My legs felt surprisingly snappy. Before I knew it, it was time to line up at the start.

The official gave the command, and we were off. It goes without saying that it was a crazy start. Why can't people clip in without swerving?

Colgate warmed up with a riser made of library books.
I think that's awesome.


Needless to say, somebody tried to attack right away. I sat patiently in the pack because I knew the break would be caught, and I just wanted to wake the legs up.

The other racers were so sketchy. How hard is it to hold a line through a corner? Anyway, it was that other dude's fault that he almost crashed. Not mine. I did nothing wrong.
This isn't a photo of the race. Instead, it is a photo of Matt and Eric, and of their sweet facial hair. Isn't that even better?

It was finally time to sprint. Some guy from some other team totally changed lines through the last corner, so I couldn't unleash my massive wattage. I was pretty disappointed to finish mid-pack, because I know I could've done better if not for that guy.

I drank too much last night, and I couldn't get to sleep afterwards. Also, I didn't get enough warmup, and then I had to spend too much energy closing gaps that other people were opening. Other people almost crashed me a lot, which was frustrating. Finally, I have been training too hard, so I'm burned out, but also I didn't train enough this week, so the legs weren't open.

When all is said and done, I can look back on this race and honestly say I gave it everything I had, but also I had more to give. The result I got is satisfactory, but I still want more. On the other hand, it's just bike racing, and there are so many more important things in life! Even though I'll be reliving every moment of that race obsessively for weeks to come, I assure you: I'm not letting bike racing stress me out.

I can definitely say that my mediocre finish was in spite of the totally sweet bike I ride. It's a stiff and light Speicalized frame, with superlight Ritchey components. The guys at the Efinger Sporting Goods shop did a great job wrenching it, and of course all the fuel in my belly was provided by Gu energy supplements, which are as delicious as they are viscous.

As always, it was a ton of fun to race with my teammates, Captain Chaz and DKizzle, who are as awesome as they are strong.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spirit of 1869 RU-Princeton Report - Men's C

The Rutgers Mens C team rolls deep. Part of the problem is that at least two of us would like to be in the B's, but have been denied a Cat4 upgrade.

Princeton Crit
On a previous training ride, FroJoe and I decided to attack the crit from the gun. I took the helm for the first few laps and the field was successfully split. Two UPenn riders must have had a similar idea, countered FroJoe, a Temple Rider, and me, and got away. The three of us worked together for a bit, but we were not able to bridge up. Temple went back to the chase group, and Joe kept at it, keeping the hope to bridge up alive. I tried to stay away from the chase, but with about three to go, the chase seemed so close that my desire for their draft overcame my sense of heroics. In hindsight, I should have gone for it, because the chase wasn't moving too fast, and the two laps with them weren't long enough to recover for a sprint. Poor choice, but still a great race for Rutgers. FroJoe stayed away with a truly amazing display of fitness, securing third place, and the majority of the rest of our team was in that chase group. The Rutgers C mens squad took four of the top ten spots, with the performances of C$ and Matt B in 7th and 8th, while I came home in 9th.

Rutgers Circuit
On Sunday, my legs were a bit worked, but they warmed up as the race went on. McGill and a number of other schools were making sure that no breaks were getting away, so I sat in 'till the last two laps. Me and a UPenn guy from Saturday's break had a bit of a gap with 1 1/2 to go. I asked him if he wanted to go for it or wait for the sprint finish. He wanted to wait - my legs were glad to hear that response. FroJoe took a big dig at the begining of the last lap. He inspired a series of other riders to keep it lined out for the majority of the last lap. Going into the last corner, it was the UPenn winner from Saturday, the Temple Rider from Saturday, Matt B, and then me. A gap opened behind the Temple rider. I surged to try to cover it. My surge fell short of bridging the gap, but opened a big gap to the rest of the field. A bit of terror overcame me as I realized I'd have to fight into the headwind the entire length of that long finishing straight in no-man's-land. Stand up, sit down, spin, stand up, sit down, spin, stand up for the finishing sprint... held off the field by about 4 inches!!! The second third place for RU this weekend, not bad.


(photo: Velocity Results' finish camera)

Smilin'Kyle came out of the bunch, propelling himself to a 6th place finish. We've seen his explosiveness on the training rides, and it was great to see it in a race today. Of special note, I'd like to thank FroJoe for getting the pace of the last lap up so that it wasn't crowded at the front, thank Matt B for delivering me safe to the finishing straight, and congratulate Ray for excellent work in the field and a great 17th/48 finish.

Rutgers C mens team... rollin' deep, and getting some results. Hopefully, we'll be able to spread some of us into the Mens B squad by next weekend, relying on the rest of the C team to keep the results coming, while supplying some more teammates towards the B mens effort.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

RU Cycling on RUTV

Rutgers Cycling was featured in the latest episode of Sports Knight on RUTV. Featuring interviews with Chris, Nick and Vlad, this segment has the dual effect of raising the team's visibility on campus and making us look pretty freakin' awesome. Enjoy!

video

Monday, March 02, 2009

Prospect Park Race | 2/28/09, Brooklyn NY

Who does a bike race at 6:30 AM in Brooklyn in February?

Lots of people, apparently.

At Rutgers, we're eager to sear our lungs and cause widespread cellular oxidative damage to our legs as soon as possible. Our usual March race just isn't early enough or cold enough anymore. We've grown callous over the years. Ergo, Prospect Park in February. The revolution will be categorized:

Unless otherwise stated, images courtesy of DAVID PEREZ SHADI

Cat 5.
Eric R. flew the Rutgers flag in his road racing debut. If I may quoteth a wise sage: "Eric had alluded to pre-race jitters, as is customary before one's first-ever road race. He would be using this race to gauge his fitness and skills, but he had no ambitions. Well, Eric got 7th in his race. How's that for a gauge?"

Eric in his debut.

Cat 4.
Don, FormerBucknell Jason, and Dave took to the line in an 84 man cat 4 field. I didn't see the race firsthand, but rumor has it Jason pulled for the first half of the affair, before having to stop for a mechanical. Dave and Don made bank in the field sprint, placing 5th and 6th, respectively. When asked about the source of their strength, both riders cited DOING A CENTURY EVERY WEEK ALL WINTER as a large contributor to success.

Don stalks his prey. Image courtesy of Andrew Kozak, from http://nyvelocity.com/

Jason lives in pain land.


Cat 1/2/3
Chris and your author, whom I shall refer to as Will, battled 110 eager beavers in the 40 mile 1/2/3 race. The pack rode the small hill of the race quite easily and bombed the downhill at anaerobic speed. 8-man-breaks rolled off the front and were pulled back for the whole race. Predictably, an 8 man group escaped at with a few laps to go and stayed away. With 60+ people left for the sprint, Chris and Will saw their collegiate seasons flash before their eyes in an whirlwind of sketch and bonk. They both thought it best to sit up, call it a day, and save the sprint theatrics for the ECCC.

Chris sits in the wind, "because racing isn't hard enough for me otherwise"

Will crests the hill. You know the climbing is slow when I make it over with the pack.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Race Season Approacheth

As it gets closer to race season, I get more and more nervous, but more excited! It's been a crazy month and a half, completely changing the way I train and how I look at cycling. The past couple of weeks have been marked with huge improvements but also serious problems for me.

Thanks to Don, I learned (finally) how to corner and bump elbows. I'm not braking through turns as much anymore, and I'm taking them much faster. A lot of it was a lack of confidence, but there was definitely a lack of technical "know how" as well.

Problem areas included nearly a week recovering from my crash (see my last post for gory details.) It didn't really seem too bad at first, but my legs were super sore for a few days afterwards. Then, to make matters worse, my legs started spontaneously cramping again during a run and haven't been the same since.

A trip to the doctor resulted in a knee brace, a physical therapy routine for me to do at home and a battery of blood tests, which showed a significant increase in my muscle enzymes that may be causing the cramping. The brace helped a lot, and I've spent hours hooked up to the stationary trainer in the basement watching Frasier reruns and pedaling furiously to get back in the game. Swimming has also helped in soothing my muscles, and I think a lot more cyclists could benefit from this cross-training (or maybe I just want to get more of the team into swimming!)

With racing only a week away, it's all starting to feel more real to me. Triathlon is a totally different animal- there, if I do badly, it just is about me. Here, I'm terrified of screwing up or doing badly and making the team look bad. I'm just not used to being part of a team yet!

In the meantime, tomorrow will be the first time in two weeks (yikes!) that I'm riding outside (barring cornering drills and biking to all of the different campuses on my mountain bike), so I'm really happy about that. Hopefully the doctor can figure out why my legs are acting up and how to fix them. For now, I'm going to ride as hard and as well as I can, get to work on a race day press release, and stick to the physical therapy!

I've been reading a book by Johan Bruyneel about how he masterminded 8 Tour de France victories, and I love this one quote from him: "If you’re going to expend that first big block of effort and energy to participate, you might as well go ahead and give whatever it takes to win."

Rutgers Cycling has already expended the effort and energy training for this season, so I hope that this Spring has a lot of victories in store for us!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gu: Keeping Rutgers Cycling Energized and Hydrated in 2009!


Gu Energy Products has come aboard complement Rutgers Cycling's ever-growing family of sponsors.

Rutgers Cycling will be using Gu energy gels during training and competition and hydrating with Gu2O, Gu's electrolyte drink. For longer endurance events, riders will be reaching for Gu's newest gel, Roctane.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rutgers Cycling at the Pool

Captain Chaz, Molly, and I got some cross training at the pool yesterday. We jumped in the open lanes on the far side of the pool, each of us taking a whole lane, because we had the room. We swam for an hour, and yet nobody came to our side of the pool... every other lane was empty when we left, even though the other side was full of swimmers.

It turns out, Rutgers Cycling makes a big splash.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Medium Rutgers Cycling Jerseys Now in Stock!

Thanks to our friends at Verge Sport, we have a limited supply of Rutgers Cycling jerseys in size medium in stock once again.

Jerseys are available to order in sizes Medium-XXXL through Bikereg here:

Order Rutgers Cycling Jerseys

Questions regarding clothing may be directed to clothing(at)rutgerscycling.com

Your purchase of Rutgers Cycling jerseys from Rutgers Cycling directly supports cycling at Rutgers University.

Friday, February 13, 2009

A Productive, but Painful Week

Another week, another set of bruises.

I'm getting better at riding hills, riding long, riding intervals, and everything else. It's happening gradually, but I can feel things changing.

I'm also feeling tired. But it's been an exhausting week.

Sunday saw me riding part of the century with the team again, though this time I didn't need prompting to keep up and only tapped the brakes once or twice by accident. I also went an extra few miles! The only bad part of the ride was when a truck with a trailer attached decided to pass us on a narrow strip of road, sandwiching a few of us between it and the guardrail. A lot of the team managed to pass it, but it closed too close to the guardrail for me to squeak by, and Ken and I got stuck behind it, waiting for an opening. It came (meaning a whole 2 feet of space between the flatbed and the rail) and Ken gave me the push I needed (literally a push and yelling "go!") and I pushed as hard as I could to get past it before it swung back towards me.

Terrifying.

Monday was a swimming day, but 65 degree weather meant running too. As usual, we had our mini-team recovery swim, and I learned the joys of aquajogging (very boring.)

Tuesday morning, I rode with the team on the A-loop. Hills and I have a love-hate relationship, but I appreciate the need to ride them as much as possible. We got to the top of the steepest one and somehow- I'm not sure how- I ran over a block of Styrofoam. Crash!

My shoulder ended up under Charlie's wheel (I owe him big time, since it almost was my head instead). But what hurt the most was my jersey, gloves, and new booties getting ripped. I managed to make it home, very very sore and very bruised. My arms, legs, and hands are host to bruises, scrapes, and cuts.

But that night, I was back to yoga, and Wednesday and Thursday were training as normal. It takes more than a few cuts and bruises to keep me off the bike!

I'm getting more and more excited about race season as it gets closer, but also a lot more nervous. Triathlon is totally different than cycling, and the rules I learned from that don't apply at all. I just hope I'm ok at technical stuff like drafting and cornering. We'll see, but I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, February 06, 2009

It's all about Teamwork!

Well, I’ve survived long enough to write another update. But then again, this is just the Base past of training!

I feel the need to expound a bit on just how much I’ve found myself loving being part of this team. I never though I would say that, but as my awkwardness begins to decimate, I realize more and more just how important it is to have such a great support system surrounding you if you want to really succeed.

While I can’t claim to have biked the Century with the team this past Sunday, I rode a small portion of it with them, and an additional 20-25 miles before and after for a total ride of 75 miles. I met up with everyone in Frenchtown at the coffeeshop and got to meet a lot of people I hadn't before- I was also amazed at how many town locals and people on bikes stopped to chat with all of us. After coffee and bagels, we rode along the Delaware River to Titusville, before I turned around to meet my Dad for another 25 miles of riding.

However low my mileage with the team was, I learned quite a bit in that 25 miles. Don spent a hefty portion of time teaching me how to properly draft and how to avoid tapping the brakes so much, and Rich chimed in as well. (“It’s just a lack of confidence!” “No, it’s a lack of me wanting to kill any of you!”)

Their advice paid off, or so I’d like to think. This Sunday I’ll be ready to attempt proper drafting technique again. Corners are still nerve-wracking for me, always have been. But with a combination of Rich yelling, “stop braking!” and my Dad yelling, “cut that out!” over the course of the day, I think I’ve improved.

Just when I thought I was out of the draft and would never catch up, I had Rich behind me yelling, “Go, Molly!” and somehow my legs managed to pedal faster. Amazing what a little motivation can do for you!

Monday was a “rest day,” but those of you who know us triathletes know that bike rest days mean swimming and running. And who can avoid running when it’s warm enough to wear shorts and get muddy? Don and I did our Monday night swim, and he got to draft behind me for a change. Finally, something where I’m faster than him!

Tuesday night was spent in Chris’s attic on a trainer copying his interval riding, Wednesday was the gym with the team lifting weights, and Thursday I realized I was thoroughly disappointed when I couldn’t ride because I had class and plans with my Dad to hit the gym together, though my stationary trainer got an early morning workout.

I’m biking more than I ever have in my life, and I couldn’t be happier!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ride Report: Super Bowl Century

Sunday the Rutgers crew came out in force, this time for a hundred plus miles of pre Super Bowl masochism. Spirits were high from the prospects of the temperature breaking freezing for the day. College Ave. was deserted when we met to leave. The whole campus is ours at this hour. There was agreement to keep the stopping to a minimum. We needed to get back in time to join the rest of the Heartland in the gluttony and general excess necessary for football watching. Like a skinny, silent motorcycle gang, we rolled onto College Ave. proper taking up both lanes. There were no cars, but we looked fearsome enough that it didn't matter. So many people in matching Rutgers kits earns more than the usual respect from the cars.

A few miles down River Road Ricardo flats, changes the tube, and flats again. So much for luck with the stopping! He decides his tire is not wont for this journey, so we leave him behind and press on. In the time spent changing the flat, Joe, Jay and I managed to ride 1.3 miles in circles on a side street. Take that, century.

The action begins when we climb the hill before Frenchtown. The long hill gives everyone a chance to overheat within the windproof confines of many layers. Chris takes a decisive sprint at the top of the climb, while the rest of us roll in throughout the ensuing 5 minutes. Don goes up the road to film some overly grainy footage for his documentary. We make it to Frenchtown and try to have hasty coffee, pastries, and bathrooms. This is impossible with so many clowns crammed into such a small clown car.

Leaving Frenchtown the sun shines and the layers begin to come off. We keep good time as we cover the flat miles along the river and enter the second climb of the day with big rings a roaring. We pass a recreational rider on the climb at a furious pace, no doubt looking like a bunch of showoffs. Sorry, dear rider friend, this fury has been brewing for miles before we saw you. I lead the stampede. with Chris, Coach Ken and Don clinging to me. Chris manages a second win, paying me back for nicking him on the line last week. The hills never forget.

After a quick water fill at the gas station, we get to the mile of dirt road in the century route. With ice melting under the afternoon sun, the road is ugly. Real ugly. Unable to decide the proportion of ice, mud and gravel beneath my tiny tires, I fall to the back and tripod the winding swamp decent. The rest of the team takes the ice with impressive (some might say foolhardy) speed. It is quickly clear to your roadie author why Rutgers is the three-time ECCC cyclocross champs. Something about the icy slush on their backsides makes the these guys right at home (or so I imagine, as the team is now far out of my sight).

We enter the "dark hours" of the century with plenty of time to spare. By this time each rider is battling personal demons. Chamoix are out of place, butts are sore, legs are fading. We still manage to assault the Landing Lane hill with prideful stupidity. If anybody has life in their legs, this does the job of emptying it out. The utter lack of any desire to pedal means we are finally home.

...just in time to watch the real athletes on TV.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Kid on the Block (Bike)

I've never been a team kind of person. In fact, the last team I was on was when I was six, and they had to have my mom come get me because I wouldn't stop crying. So my experience with group sports has been pretty limited. My experience on a bike, however, has been going on since I was just an infant, dating back to the days when the only way to put me to sleep was for my dad to take me out for a ride in the baby seat affixed firmly to his old Cannondale road bike.

I eschewed training wheels for my first mountain bike, since I was in hot competition with my boy neighbor to see who could ride first. We tied in that, and spent the next ten or so years racing around our small town together on our bikes. My dad says that I was born to ride, since my legs never seemed to get tired.

So, when I got to Rutgers, I came with my dad's old Cannondale, just a hair too big for me. Building a fixed gear soon followed, and after that, a few attempted alleycats. Then, a new bike, bought solely to compete in… Triathlon. What followed was the transformation of a nonathletic and noncompetitive girl into someone who trains three or four hours a day and races as hard as humanly possible. I learned to push myself harder than I thought I ever could, and I saw results.

I blame a bike team alumnus for my foray into the multisport world (he knows who he is!) I started racing in tri's last summer, and managed to do reasonably well, getting third in my age group in my second race. The swim was scary, the run was painful, but the bike was just fun. I decided that while triathlon is my first love, I wanted to concentrate on my biggest strength- the bike.

So, for the first time in my life, I'm doing the "team" thing, and it's scary! While I may have the legs and the stamina for the riding, triathlon has in no way prepared me for racing strictly on two wheels.

I thought that joining the team would be hard in and of itself, but with people like Chris and Mark helping me navigate through the various paperwork and membership rules, it was actually surprisingly easy.

My first ride with team members was a bit of a disaster, I admit. Going out in 2 layers on top, 1 on bottom and just my triathlon shoes on my feet was my first mistake. I survived the ride, but the 20 degree weather took its toll on my system, and when we stopped at a park mid-ride, I got off the bike and started seeing in Technicolor before things started to fade out completely. Thanks to Chris and his bottle of Accelerade, I managed to recover and finish the ride, only to discover later that night that what I thought had been a tiny spill on the ice had actually caused a gigantic bruise on my leg that two weeks later is still healing.

The next ride saw me outfitted with neoprene booties, Assos legwarmers, tights, underarmour, and my new Rutgers long-sleeved jersey- 2 layers on bottom, 3 and a half on top. Much warmer, and the ride went much smoother, though I still have a lot to learn about riding in a pack. It's hard to get a knack for drafting when you're used to a time penalty for drafting in triathlon!

In the meantime, I also learned that the team does just about everything together- I've been to a team meeting, I've weightlifted, rode on trainers in an attic, and swam with members. It's a whole new world of training for me, one where I finally have a group to talk to, finally have friends that actually know exactly what my body is going through because theirs are too. I can't believe I missed out on such a dedicated group of people for three years! It seems like such a waste.

So I have a couple years to make up for, and with races starting in a little over a month, I'm incredibly psyched to get started.

Oh yeah- my name is Molly, and I'm really happy to be on this team!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Third Annual "Accidental" Century

Well folks, it's January, and that can only mean one thing - seriously, one thing and one thing only, and we'd better not find out it means something else! - it's time for the traditional Rutgers Cycling "Accidental" Century!

In its first edition, alumnus Jay #1 promised us an easy 60 mile cruise, only to be shocked when we hit the halfway point at 50 miles. Back then, it really was an accident, and we were exhausted. The more recent editions have had safer routes and bigger groups, but we continue to be exhausted. It's great!
25Jan09 - Rutgers Century at EveryTrail

Map created by EveryTrail:GPS Geotagging

Even with sunny skies, temperatures were never higher than 32 degrees, and the cold was a constant challenge. Good company, warm coffee, and a little something we like to call "drafting behind Chris and the Wills" kept us strong. Our water bottles froze, but our spirits were high.

Twenty-five miles into our journey, we passed a Road Closed sign. Bridge Out. Blah, blah, blah. Detours are for wimps and Rutgers Cycling are not wimps. What we found was that the bridge really was closed. Did not exist.

The descent to the river - okay, creek - was simple enough, but the far bank was steep and frozen. Like a hokey "cooperation" exercise from middle school or perhaps part of Navy Seal training, our teamwork was put to the test. With a little ingenuity and a lot of laughter, we all made it safely across.

Two miles later, a sign announced that the next bridge was closed. Not eager to ford another river, we opted to follow the detour signs, only to find that we could've crossed this "closed" bridge blindfolded. Still, the detour afforded us some beautiful views of central NJ, plus some extra base miles.

I can't tell if the owners of the coffee shop love us or hate us. We took up every single seat in the place, trash-talked and joked and were generally loud, and were sweaty. We walked around barefoot to get blood back in the toes. We ordered small coffees, then took as many free refills as our stomachs would hold. Still, I'm pretty sure the proprietors love us... we do eat a LOT of pastries.

The ride back saw its share of adversity, with flat tires and mechanical difficulties and uncooperative joints. To keep our spirits high, we sang a stirring rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody", in its entirety. I'd like to think that somewhere, Freddy Mercury was smiling.

The cold weather - or, more directly, the multiple gloves each of us was wearing - prevented much photography. Eric R (aka Asphalt Eric, aka Big Papa) took pictures at every opportunity, and he synced them with his GPS map (see above).

Having finished the traditional, official, first Rutgers Century of the new year, we'll be doing regular centuries every Sunday. Fitness or Bust! If you see us out on the roads, wave hello... or roll down your window and join us in song!

Rutgers Winter Road Training Begins !!! (1/17 - 1/18)

The cold weather couldn't keep the RU squad down. After over a week of straight roller rides, and beating almost every NFL team on N64 while on rollers. I decided that regardless of the temperature on Saturday I was going outside. I posted the challenge to the group and put on every piece of cold weather gear I could find. I checked the weather online and a little piece of my soul died when I saw 4 degrees with a feels like of 0. Regardless I had already posted to the group and could not take back the e-mail. So I decided I would ride. Here is a list of what I wore for the ride:

- Polypropylene Long Johns upper and lower
- 2 under armor upper base layers
- arm warmers
- 1 under armor lower base layer
- leg warmers
- booties
- 2 pairs of winter cycling gloves
- cycling mask
- wool knit cap
- glasses
- s/s cycling jersey
- bib shorts
- Verge Warsaw jacket
- NO water bottles (no point, there were just going to freeze anyway)

It took me so long to put on all of the cloths that I was 15 minutes late for the ride. However, one brave soul, Matt Bathe, was man enough to wait. Wearing less cloths than me (proving his dominance as a male), Matt I and started out on our ride. What you don't realize that it is not the cold that makes it hard to ride, but the lack of movement from all of the cloths. So feeling like giant marshmallow men in all our layers we belabored our way the six mile. Pulling into the rest stop we saw a group on mountain bikers enjoying the snow covered trails. I have to admit, it felt good to hear all the mtbers conversations stop and watch them all stare at the "crazy roadies" out on the roads. At the rest stop, Matt looked down at his bottles almost completely frozen. Attempting to get the little remaining liquid H2O, Matt reached for his bottle only to find that it was frozen to his cage! We got going again and finished a first bridge just before we froze in place like the tin man. Near the end of the ride I look over to Matt, who has a relatively tame read bearded (compared to his beard in the past) and see that he has an ice goatee about a quarter of an inch thick. After I get home it takes me an hour to get off all of the layers and regain feeling in my toes. So the moral of the story is IT'S COLD OUTSIDE.

Sunday the cycling apartment hosted a 2 hour trainer ride in out attic, which is not much warmer than it is outside. The crew was Nick, George, Matt, Charlie T, and myself. This was a ride of first. It was the first trainer ride of the New Year, the first trainer ride ever for Nick and George, and the first time Nick and George had ever seen "Breaking Away". So in a reverse flying V, Matt, Charlie T, and myself up front with Nick and George in back, we set out for our Cycle-Smart dictated 140+ minutes of easy. I was quite impressed by the two new comers. I did not hear one complaint and they never asked how much time we had left, I guess they figured I did enough complaining for everyone. It was a good ride. With the exception of one stretch break and one pee break, we did a consistent 144 minutes, and by the time we had finished the attic was a sauna, in part from the rubber we burned, but also because we just looked that hot on our bikes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Collegiate Cycling Article on Velonews!

Rick Crawford, director of the Fort Lewis College Cycling Team, has written a wonderful article about collegiate cycling for Velonews.com.

College Days (velonews.com)

The article captures very well the feeling and spirit of collegiate cycling and certainly the vibe here at Rutgers Cycling.

Crawford concludes with an appeal for volunteer or financial support of collegiate cycling. We'd like to echo Coach Crawford's appeal. In an era when only a few NCCA sports receive adequate funding from colleges and universities, cycling, a non-NCCA sport, is often left to fend for itself, despite the enormous costs associated with competitive cycling.

If you'd like to learn more about how you can help support cycling at Rutgers, please contact our Sponsorship Coordinator at sponsorship(at)rutgerscycling.com

Friday, January 16, 2009

Rutgers Cycling fueled by 53x11 Coffee!

It's been a busy start for the new year and Rutgers Cycling is proud to announce a fresh new sponsorship arrangement with 53x11 Coffee for the 2009 season.

53x11 Coffee is fair-trade, organic coffee made for cyclists, by cyclists. It is so good, though, you needn't be a cyclist to enjoy it.

Rutgers Cycling is a 53x11 Coffee affiliate, so when you order coffee through our web site and blog, you aren't just getting some of the finest coffee beans around, you are also helping to support one of the finest collegiate cycling programs around.

AngryMark likes the Chainbreaker blend, while the Kassassin and Beastmaster have been enjoying the Big Ring blend.

Click here to check it out:


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Rutgers Cycling, now Powered by SRAM


Rutgers Cycling is very pleased to announce a grassroots sponsorship agreement with SRAM, makers of the outstanding Red road group and X.O mountain group. SRAM drivetrain components will grace the road, cyclocross, and mountain bikes of Rutgers Cycling members throughout the 2009 road, cross, and mountain bike seasons.

Rutgers Cycling is also be proud to be part of SRAM's work with World Bicycle Relief.

World Bicycle Relief is committed to providing access to independence and livelihood through The Power of Bicycles.

We hope that you will join us in supporting the efforts of World Bicycle Relief.