Friday, May 08, 2009

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.





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