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,



Monday, May 04, 2009

Coming Soon...

Hello Everyone,

Another stellar weekend for the Pitt Cycling TEAM(not club) coming from Happy Valley!

Stay tuned for all the juicy details. Some quick highlights to wet the appetite...

-Pitt takes the highway (cause we don't give a f^#K!)

-Samson takes out Dilla on the training ride (is there an inner team rivalary?)

-Steph picks Dilla over Stumpf (What the?!?!?)

-Grant shits the bed on the directions (Was he secretly trying to sabotage our Men's C TT?)

-Buzin breaks the fall with his face..../ hip (his spirit is unscathed)

-Dilla goes CRAZY in the Crit (does he think he can beat the pavement?)

-Kyle races the crit (Not that bad for a hangover.)

-Steph decides she doesn't want the overall third place in Women's B (Does she think she's too good?)

-Stumpf flats with two to go in the Crit (did he secretly just let the air out of his tire?)

-Columbia attacked the Pitt vans (start thinking about revenge NOW)

Okay... So if that doesn't get you excited then I don't know what will. I will try to write this up as soon as I can. I have a busy week. I leave for nationals Wednesday!

Also, everyone should take the ECCC survey. This is the link... even if you don't fill everything out at least vote for Pitt in for the Long Distance Travel Award.

Send me some pictures if you took some... I will try and fix the picture problem.

One love,