Monday, February 07, 2011

"Fast" Laps Were Sweet!

I am going to start up this super wicked blog as Pitt Cycling prepares for the coming road season.

This past Sunday a group of new studs on the Pitt team made the trek to the Bud Harris Oval. The BHO was in remarkable shape with only a couple patches of ice in the banked turns so I made a Vice-Presidential decision that the clinic would go on.

We covered some basic skills like pack riding and pacelining as we avoided the treacherous ice. I beleive that this heightened awareness will prove to enhance the skills of our fledgling riders. After getting a feel for the oval, Nik "G.N." Reinert and Samson "The Shaman" McHugh (me), went to the front to speed up the group and we began our race simulations in earnest.
With such fabulous prizes as a pair of socks and energy gu, the group was whipped into quite a frenzy during our intermediate and finals sprints.
While the more experienced riders rotated within the group to provide insight into tactics and safety, the wind against all our faces was a welcome change from the stale fan air. This also provided many on the team to try out the warming balm and chamois creams provided by With many attacks by riders from About Time Cycling and our own Jordan Steelman; riding away with both prizes was Kevin Ordons who I promised would be plotted against such that complete dominance would not be repeated.

Some of the team's CAAD10's are trickling in from Pro Bikes and Andrew Vogeler showed up flossin' big time atop his pearly white steed.

We wrapped up our ride with another 25 miles giving this group of ~12 riders a solid 45 and some much needed intensity outdoors.

Friday, March 26, 2010

3 Weekend Update

Two years in a row the weather cooperated with us at Rutgers.  It was an awesome weekend.  I don't believe we had a biggest Pitt showing for the Season Opener but those who came out were ready to race.  Our best result in the TT was Andrew Seitz, bringin' home a 13th place.  Ironically, we (Andy and I) rode almost exactly the same time except I was a fraction of a second slower.  So... I settled with 14th.  The Crit was different than last year but it was definitely exciting.  The Men's A squad put two riders in the top 10 and 3 in the top 20.  Seitz = 6th; Nik = 8th, me = 16th
Steph Stambaugh muscled her way to a 4th place.  Sweet.  Next day was also nice weather but our racing sucked.  Andy and I missed the move.  I don't remember our placing off the top of my head but somewhere far back.  blah.  Overall, a successful weekend for Pitt.  Could there be a Pitt Men's A team at nationals!?

The team at Steph's house.


Columbia/ Stevens.  It was epic.  Probably the second worst weather I have ever rode in behind Yale.  As far as  I know Seitz, our new Men's Intro rider Dave Kugelman, and I were the only riders to participate in Columbia's hurricane race.  Dave pulled out a 3rd place which was definitely a highlight to the weekend as Seitz and I missed another four man move with 2 former Pittsburghers.  (Alex Cox and Aaron Meyers)  Riding back to Stephs house the balm burned bad.  Stevens put on a new race course for us that was a ton of fun and shame on all those who missed it.  Unfortunately, it came to a field sprint and Andy and I finished both somewhere in the top 20.  It was a loooooonnnnggg drive home.

NO pictures because this weekend sucked.

And last weekend was awesome!  We stayed at Cohen's house which was better than any 5 star hotel.Philly Phlyer rocks!  It's sorta close, the weather was beautiful and the courses were awesome.  The men's A team lit it up in the TTT and took a second place.  I am still sorta curious of how we pulled it off but nevertheless we scored some team points.  Steph and Amy represented the Women's A TTT.  Also bringing home some points.  The circuit is great two cool climbs on both sides and I made the move (FINALLY) and ended up finishing 8th.  Seitz, Samson, and Nik all finished in the field.  The crit the next day was crazy, lots of turns, super fast.  Unfortunately, we had two riders go down.  Amy and Andy.  They both seem to be okay, the usual...road rash, some cuts and some bike damage but nothing permanent.  Hopefully, they will be back to full strength in no time.  I think the race of the day goes to Zerby who killed it in the Men's D field.  He missed the 9 man move and drove the chase field all day and still w
on the sprint taking home a top 10.  Sweet.

Andy, Samson and I.  Nik was just behind.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow Sucks

Less than a week till Rutgers and snow still sits on the ground.  I can't help but remember last year at this time, packing up the Pitt vans, the temperature was somewhere in the 60s.  At this point I don't care how warm it is I just want to see grass again.   Hopefully, NJ has a warm sunny week and we won't have frozen toes for the season opener. Anyways, February wasn't totally a bust...

Andy and I got some good riding in.

We went to Georgia.  Sweet.

Andy cheezin it.

We spent some time in Savannah during the blizzard.

I am not sure about everyone on the Pitt Team but I know a few of us have taken up cross country skiing.  To say it simply; If you've never tried it, you should!  It's a great workout and I truly believe that, with all this snow on the ground and how cold it's been, a CC skiing workout > riding.  

I don't have any good pictures.

Final few thoughts and remarks:

The men's CC skiing 30km pursuit was incredible.

Lipka won the Rutgers ITT last year... he won it going just under 30mph for 5 minutes.



Monday, January 25, 2010

Training hard... hardly training

January came and went wicked fast!  The weather (for the most part) was bearable and with every passing day we are approaching the season opener at Rutgers!  Sweet.

My main man Andy has been ripping it up on the mean streets of Pittsburgh.  Coach Brodie has him on some crazy new workout schedule.  Now I know that you are probably thinking "yeah, so what he's riding intervals."  Well, check out this picture captured early morning before class.  

Yeah... be scared, very scared.

So, I've been trying to follow the new collegiate hot topic... 'Varisty Cycling.'  While I have read many good opinions on both sides, I can't seem to figure why so many are opposed.

I would assume that most collegiate cyclists can agree that to be truly competitive there needs to be serious time spent in the saddle.  With the collegiate season starting so early there is already enough pressure of beating the clock(i.e. shorter days) and trying to stay warm(i.e. riding in sun) that school work often gets pushed on the back burner.  While I don't know everyone's academic record and/or their study habits, I am willing bet cycling has taken away from his/her school work and thus grades have suffered. But, even knowing this, many of us still choose the ride.  I can't blame you, it's way better than school. Now, I'm also willing to assume that everyone knows the benefits that 'Varsity athletes' receive.  These range from lower credits per semester, leniency on deadlines, help from tutors and the list goes on and on.  So I question you... Why wouldn't we want varsity cycling?!?  We train just as much if not more than many varsity athletes yet we don't receive any of the benefits!

I recognize that Varsity Cycling has many other pros and cons but the above issue seems to be the most obvious to me.

Bring on February! 

keep your tongue in the spokes,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2009 - Update

Hello Everyone,

As cliche as this may sound; I feel it must be done...

I'd like to apologize for the prolonged inactivity. I cannot offer any good excuses as the Team has been incredibly active over the last six months. All I can say is... I will consciously make an effort to update the blog at least once a month until Road Season; at which point I will try to blog each weekend.

Team Highlights:

Pitt Cycling is consistently growing! Once again I expect Pitt Cycling to hit new highs as there is already a considerable interest in racing. Sweet.

While most of these new faces are just entering the racing scene, we do have some positives. A few of our returning cyclists have put in lots of hard work over the summer and are coming back faster than ever. For the first time since I don't' know when, Pitt Cycling will have an 'A' Team. We definitely are still lacking in depth but it is a step in the right direction. As of right now I expect to have four Men's A riders and one Women's A rider. I'm super pumped. Go Pitt!

Another highlight to Pitt Cycling... This is the first year that I know of that Pitt has sent a rider to Road Nationals, Track Nationals and MTB Nationals. Sweeeett! Congrats to Nik Reinart(track) and Zack Brehm(mtb).

In others news, Pitt should be sporting some new kits this year. Look out ^^

Some thoughts on the recent rule change:

I am super bummed that the Aero equipment rule was reversed! Bogus! I feel that racing as a college student should not come down to 'who has more money to spend on bikes' but rather on 'who has more talent'. While Pitt Cycling is growing, I'm realizing how incredibly hard it is to put together a competitive 'A' team. (props to all the teams out there who have done it) But for those who are trying to come up through the ranks it's incredibly challenging to find everyone a TT bike. Nevertheless, we are on a hunt to find all of our 'A' racers TT bikes so we can compete on a level playing field.

Other things of interest:

While most of people enjoy their Thanksgiving Holiday with friends, family and lots of food, there are a select few who come out each year and choose to suffer in a local race known as The Dirty Dozen. Truth be told I could probably talk about how awesome this race is all day but I will lay it out simple... It's a nonsanctioned race held every year the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It's quite differnent than any normal race being you only race up hills... the 13 steepest hills in Pittsburgh! One of which is recorded as the steepest road in the world. (Don't believe me) Each year people turn out in masses to race up these hills to try and earn the title as the Dirty Dozen Champion. This year Pitt was represented by Andy Seitz, Coach Brodie and myself.

Andy having a good time.

Me on the final climb.

Brodie on Canton.

Deck the halls,

Friday, May 08, 2009

Heartbreak in Fort Collins

Well, first I'd like to thank everyone for all the good lucks!  It's cool to think that many people are pullin for me.  Thanks.

So... here's the story.

Normal pre-race stuff... nervous, lots of bathroom visits, and trying to get nice and warmed up.  The weather today was considerable different than yesterday.  The wind was insane!  It was way worse than Army's circuit race.  I figured it wouldn't make a difference being there was such a large field to hide in.   I heard the Men's D 1 field hit 130 riders!  

Something cool

They called a rider from every school to the front of the field.  For all the teams that had multiple riders they had to pick one guy but I was the only guy from Pitt I got to go up.  Sweet.

The race took off from the gun.  About two miles in the road went from 4 lanes to 2 and the field got sorta squashed and someone went down and ended up crashing out a good chunk of riders.  I was one of them.  I bounced my head of the pavement a couple times and tore up my right shoulder, hip, elbow and ankle (my hip hurts the most).  I immediately jumped up and grabbed my bike but nothing was working.  The Shimano guys tried to fix it but it was all f'ed up and they gave me a full Dura-ace super bike.  This bike was awesome!  Unfortunately it took about five minutes for them to get me set up.  The USA Cycling vehicle let me draft until we caught the popped riders.  I never caught field.  I road the rest of the 60 miles with Chet, a rider from Nebraska who also got tangled up in the crash.  I figured the best way to represent the ECCC, Pitt and all the people that were cheering me on would be to finish it out.  So I road the whole course.  Sucks because I think they are still going to give me a DNF because I didn't get to cross the finish line because they were starting the D2 race.  

Got my bike back -

Broken front wheel, saddle, and screwed up the brake caliper.  Also broke my helmet.  More money, more money.... Ugh.

Outlook for tomorrow

I'm feeling okay now.  Sorta stiff.  I've never hit the pavement before so I'm not sure how I will feel in the morning.  I'm going to try and get the Dura-Ace super bike again.

I'm pretty disappointed.  Hopefully, I will have a better day tomorrow.

bummed out,


Oh, yeah... something sorta cool -  ECCC won 3 out of the 4 races today.  It's cool to know that we race in the best Cycling conference!


2009 Easterns

Finally got some time, I’m going to try and pump out as much of the good stuff as I can.

Riders that left from Pittsburgh:







Riders that met us:



This week was nice for lots of reasons...

  1. School was out (we didn’t need to worry about homework/finals)
  2. The course was only 3 hours away (closest drive all year!)
  3. Steph booked another nice place (not as nice as the Colonial but definitely better than Motel 8)
  4. We had two mini vans for 6 people (gave us some good space)
  5. Only guys left from the Union (why is that nice? I don’t know but the girls should be ashamed!)
  6. The rain held out (for the most part anyways)

The plan was to leave the Union at noon, this would put us at Fairfield Inn right at check in time.  We ended up getting out of Pittsburgh a little late… it took Andy Seitz and I longer than expected to pull the van seats out.  We had one van designated for transporting all bikes and another for passengers.  I think this worked out well because the bikes didn’t need to be taken apart and they weren’t exposed to the elements.  The only problem was the bikes were all sorta banging into each other… we need some heavy duty packing blankets for next year.

The drive was fast….

After arriving the plan was to check in, wait for Jeff (not really), and then pre-ride RR course.  Dilla and I used the lobby computer to print a local map and the course map so we could navigate the way... Now you would think this would be easy. Wrong… somehow we (everyone but Steph) ended up riding on the berm of a 65 mph highway.  I guess it happened so fast no one really figured it was wrong and then BAM we were too far to turn around.  Jeff said it best… “I think I just squirted a little something in my chamois.”  (I’m pretty sure every did.)  We ended up jumpin the guardrail and cleat walked to a nearby safer road.  No worries everyone on the team survived.

To make a long ride story short…

I stopped at a local gas station, got directions to Black Moshanan State Park and we all made it there (to the park).  We got to the course and no one could figure out how to read the map and which way the course was suppose to be road.  We even asked a local and he agreed with us saying “The map is f*%ked up.”  I heard later that Penn State screwed up the race map.  Anyways, the ride was taking much longer than expected so everyone agreed that we needed to start riding our way back to the hotel.  On the way down what was later to be known as 1st descent Samson slammed on his brakes and took out Dilla!  (Not really I guess Dilla just lost his concentration and caught Samson’s wheel and went down…)  I must admit I was surprised when I saw Dilla jump up as fast as he did (he went down pretty hard).  Dilla said he was okay and we continued on our journey back.  The final ride time was 2 hours 15 minutes.

Later that evening…

Everyone showered and went out to eat at Rotellis.  Steph met us there and we followed that up with some ice cream from The Creamery.  I thought both left a little to be desired but it was fun.   Oh yeah… Kyle bailed on us and spent the night at a friend’s house, this enabled Andy Dilla and I to give Steph the test!

Let me set this up…

Dilla and I were ready to call it a night but Steph (the social butterfly) wouldn’t get back to the room.   I think she assumed that being she was a girl she gets a bed all to herself… HA.  Dilla and I decided we were both going to take a bed and pretend like we were sleeping and let Steph make the decision as to whom she wanted to bunk up with.  Who did she pick!?!?  I know that most of the readers are probably going to have a hard time believing this because I still can’t believe it either… she picked Dilla!!! What the heck was she thinking?!? It’s cool I got a bed all to myself.  Sweet.

Race Day 1

Woke up early, got a decent breakfast from the lobby and off to the race.  Grant assured us that he could get us there with the directions on his cell phone… HA!  Somehow we made a 20 min drive into 45 minute stress test.  I must say at the end of this drive I was freakin out.  We made it just in time to hear Joe calling for the Men C TTT.  Kyle, Seitz, Buzin and Samson had zero time for a warm up and just went to the line.

Following the TTT was the EPIC road race!  I can’t remember who went when, and what order was but here’s a quick recap….

Seitz and Kyle went two laps around Black Mo.  Andy pulled out the top finish for our men’s C team.  Samson sat this one out.

Buzin raced men’s D and somehow got tangled up with another guy leaving quite a bit of epidermis out on the road.  Dilla had a strong finish despite his crash on the training ride. I belive something like 9th.  Grant also raced in the men’s D field finishing it out on a tough course.

Steph, as always had a good finish in Women’s B.  I think she was in the first pack off the break.  6th place.

I raced well made the initial break of 11. Third lap it broke and I was on the wrong side.  I ended up getting 6th.  Probably one of my best road races ever.

I believe that about wraps it up for our Road Race.  We went back to the hotel and showered to get ready for the banquet.

So the banquet was one of those you had to be there for it to really enjoy it things.  It was just neat to see all the racers in their street clothes (most of them) and having a good time. 


There was a pretty cool video that the Mount Holyoke girls made.  It pretty much summed up the season.

They had a best dress award that got pretty wild… (nudity was encouraged)

Oh yeah… how could I forget!  Joe proposed to Caitlin!!!!  It was really something.  She started crying and hugged him.  It was really sweet.

That’s basically the good stuff but next year everyone should come I have some ideas!

Day 2 Crit

Rain + tight course = lots of crashes.  I have no idea how many people went down but it was a lot.   A quick recap…

Samson decided he would grace us with his presence in men’s C and had the best finish, 10th place.  Andy pulled up something like 15th and Kyle also finished out the race.  He was quoted later saying “Well, not that bad for a hangover.”

In our Men’s D field both Jeff and Grant got pulled and Dilla made it to about the last lap and ate pavement for the second time in three days.  He is okay but his bike took a beating.  Anyone have any extra nine speed shimano they can hook him up with?

Steph pulled a no show and ended up losing the 3rd overall by 13 points.  On a double points weekend all she would have had to place is 11th (nothing for a girl who has been consistently top 10 all year!)

My race sucked.  It was single file the whole time (I can think of maybe three times when we bunched up).  It hurt really bad, especially after Black Mo had me pretty much destroyed.  I ended up making the lead 10 guys thinking for sure points and BAM I flat with two to go!  Sucks… the racing Gods were against me.

Other notes… My road race points were enough to qualify me for nationals.  Sweet.

The ride home was awesome!  Columbia and the Pitt vans were tossing food at each other.  Good times.

Once again… I’m sorry this is late.  I had a big week trying to get everything together.  I am looking forward to having a week or two off (from traveling not riding).  Anyways,  I believe that about covers everything.  I think I’ll just post pictures in another post.

Oh, yeah this was Kyle’s last race!  He graduated! Congrats and good luck!  You were an asset to the team.




Thursday, May 07, 2009

Quick update...

Okay everyone... So I'm in the midst of writing up the Easterns weekend (it's almost done) but I want to let everyone know I am Colorado!  I love it.  

After the flight yesterday, the plan was to...

1. Check in to the hotel

It is awesome.  I am on the 5th floor with a spectacular view of the mountains.  Also, there is a really cool vibe because everyone is a bike rider... This place really went out of the way for the riders... as soon as I signed in they guy behind the desk handed me 10 rags stapled together saying something like clean your bike with these not our hand towels. I should of just told him the Pitt Team has never used hotel hand towels before ^^.

2.  Get some food

Nothing much to say here... guess what I ate? Pasta.

3.  Get the bike back together

Amazingly, this wasn't as bad as I would of expected.   The bike survived the flight in good form and went back together just as easy as it came apart.

4.  Go on a ride!!!!!

This I must say has been the highlight of my trip.  I did exactly what I think any normal bike racer would have done... I went for the mountains.  I was recommended to stay close to the hotel (it was getting late) but after about 10 minutes looking at the hills I knew that is were I needed to go.  Now riding to the mountains was really no different than riding at home, in the sense that I didn't notice any breathing difficulties.  But once I started climbing I instantly started sucking air.  At first I couldn't figure it out.  After approx 30 seconds of thinking "Why do I feel like this?" I remembered "It's the elevation!"  I was surprised but they weren't lying... it actually makes a difference.  Anyways, I climbed to the top and looked out and realized I'm soo over Pittsburgh.

The weather this morning is awesome not a cloud in the sky.  I might not be coming home.

Also if anyone is interested they will be streaming the race live on at this site...

(if that doesn't work just got to and following the link to live streaming)

The road race is Friday (tomorrow) at 11 (Colorado time)

The goal today is pre-ride the course get my race number.

Well, I'll probably post again so keep checking.

One love,