Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just one of us

This post goes out to the men and women behind the best colligate cycling conference in the world. I have credibility in knowing how great the ECCC is because I raced road last spring in the NCCCC. I don't enjoy coming down hard on that conference because I know the racers of that conference are really trying hard to make it work.
But, to make others realize how great a conference is, you need to look at the top.

I was fortunate enough to offer 5 square feet of my hotel floor to Joe last Saturday night. Knowing Joe was going to be mere inches away from me while I slept gave me hope that he would share amazing bed time stories. That was as far from the truth as saying he was well rested for the opening mountain bike weekend. But who needs sleep when you have hundreds of top of the line number plates to prepare, finish your PhD CS Lab, kiss Caitlin Kopena goodbye, and drive 7 hours.

These new number plates take the ECCC from a kids race to World Championship wanabees.
There is no reason for this except that Joe is a master mind at making me feel pro even when I come in last in a B race.

Little did I know Joe was actually doing what everyone else should be doing that is racing in the ECCC. Little did I know he could be racing in the ECCC rather then pushing papers and making mix tapes out of Sully's loud speaker recordings to listen to on his long drives.

See you at UNH...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All good things come to an end.

Today was a sad and exciting day for the cycling world. I'm sure you all know that I am referring to the revealed identity of Bike Snob. One of the greatest things about Bike Snob was his anonymity. Even though it isn't the end, Bike Snob will never be the same.

So I leave you all with a picture of Bike Snob at Whitmore's CX (an ECCC CX event):

Photo: Anthony Skorochod;

Bike Snob "palping" an ironic mustache at Whitmore's CX

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rippin' it up at Ray's

For the second year in a row RIT cycling headed to Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Ohio. Leaving on Friday just after 5 a dinner stop was a must. Pulling off the highway in Erie, PA we saw off to the left “Steak and Lube” From the outside the establishment had promise, with a very unique race car theme going on. Restrooms were cleaverly renamed “Pit-Stops.” After ordering Jake alerted our so happy to be there waitress that it was in fact Brandon’s 19th birthday. For those of you who don’t know he is 24. Sadly the birthday boys order couldn’t be cooked as they had run out…This was a common theme. About 30 minutes after give his request Chris was alerted that his soup was gone was offered some “delicious” chili. For both Lowell and I our burgers turned into salads as the bottom bun broke into piece as we took our first bites. To no surprise the cause of Brian spending a fair amount of time in the bathroom on Saturday could have been the Famous Atomic sauce. And all who tasted the sauce agree it was no where near Atomic. Walking out Brandon and I posed for some pictures with a snowball fight brewed. Without going into to much detail the snow ball fight didn’t end in the parking lot.
Soon enough we made our way to Evan’s parent’s house and entering with amazement of the uniqueness of their house. After enjoying some home made cookies and touring the house we set in for the night with dreams of flying with the bird hitting some booters, as Cam McCaul would say, (Watch Seasons from The Collective). Even without Pete we manage to “Get in the van” on time and be at Ray’s under 15 minutes after they opened. As the adrenaline from just being there wore off all of us new to this style of riding soon discovered that it is in fact a workout. I want thank this chance to thank Evan’s Parent’s for letting us crash at their place Friday night and cooking a 5-star breakfast in the morning. Thank You.
On the ride home we were fortunate enough to enjoy another home cooked meal at Chris’s Parent’s house. Pulling up we soon discovered Chris’s family had horses and we couldn’t leave without seeing them in the barn. I’m not much of an animal person but the four horses were beautiful. I also want to thank Chris’s parents for cooking an amazing meal for the group on such short notice. Thank You. It was delicious!
As for the riding at Rays. It was simple amazing. Anyone pondering taking the trip it is totally worth it. Even if you have never had a wheel off the ground will still get thrills out riding at rays. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you ride dirt jumps/BMX/street etc. you will not be bored. There are jumps of all sizes and other technical riding for any skill level. So make the trip it worth it. I personally am planning on going back and I feel like other are too!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Conclusions from Cross

With Pete’s nomination to type up a blog I am taking this opportunity to do so. And as Pete I am no better speller than he.
After the Cornell race no other track proved to be as kind to mountain bikes, although the race in North Hampton Mass offered a railroad track crossing which I (James P.) turned into a jump as I followed up the rear. Nonetheless we all raced hard and admired the pros. Conclusions were drawn that these flat barred, wide tired, disc brake mountain bikes were not going to get RIT cycling the points. We turned to Ebay, and by the end of the season RIT cycling had two more racers ready to go on real cross bikes! I personally want to thank Zack for his mobile internet that allowed me to “snipe” a bike at the last minute while driving to a race in Pete’s’ famous van. This trip also lead to our first stay at an Econo Lodge. This hotel/motel deal was well very sketchy at least. Customer service was minimal. And the so called included breakfast…well a rat may have turned down what they offered. The dining did turn around that night when we went out and enjoyed some broasted chicken. I cannot mention this dinner and oversee our waitress’s “chest piercing.” Yes she had a stud of some sort embedded into her sternum, [Google it for more information]
Over the break RIT cycling didn’t stop and binge out on the turkey. With races the weekend before and after races spent their minimal break that should have spent with family off racing bike. Eric drove 2 hours to the Lowell race his first morning home from break! Personally left a note on the counter with a note that said “Couldn’t sleep so I put together my new bike and went to race.” I want to toss out congratulations to Dan Ipp for his first, first place finish at Staten Island Cyclo-cross race the Sunday before we came back from thanksgiving break. The dedication of racing this weekend played a key role in RIT cycling taking 3rd place in division II.
Cross season came to a close this past weekend with a frozen last race in Warwick RI, Three Members of RIT cycling to on the 7 hour venture to the race. Again the team choose to stay at Econo Lodge, making Econo Lodge the home away from home for RIT cycling, well cross riders. This lodge was surprising well kept compared to what we had experience in North Hampton. As always I must mention we did our duty to try some fine dining in Middletown RI, There we found nothing more special than what could be considered a individual restaurant much like a Friendly’s. While we didn’t encounter snow as last year’s race, the temperatures were just as frigid. After the race the lovely student government van provided warmth as we awaited our feet to defrost and results to be posted. When it was possible to wiggle our toes we went to check the results. RIT cycling finished the 2009 cross season taking one and two with another finish gaining points for the team. The one missing piece from the cross season this year was a female racer. But for now we look to train through the “wonderful” winter months of Rochester and be ready for road season.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Mud Bath

With our old, witty blogger gone new members of RIT need to step up. Some people that I, Peter Hagerty, would like to nominate are Adam Rosenberg, James Parascondolvoldas, Amanda Berg, Pat Streeter, and Chris Mondike. I will extend the offer to all of you to at least try one blog for the ECCC. For now, you will have to deal with me, the horrible speller/poor grammerist.

The fall mt bike season went a lot better than I expected. I was planning on using the season as a warm up for cyclocross with mixed results and broken bones. I ended up getting really good results for the effort I put into it. Further more, I encourage everyone to make the most of every chance they get in the ECCC. A win may not be expected to give it your all when ever you can. We are all here to have fun and advance in the sport of cycling so try as hard as you can always.

Making it out of the MTB season without stiches or a cast/sling was beyond words for me. Having 5 stiches in my face the previous season was not the best way to prepare for another season.

Cornell knows how to make it rain. If there was ever a course that didn't need rain it was Cornell's motocross track. After completing the race I realized there wasn't a road section of the course to clear our tires and use your gears. The whole race was in a pit of mud checking to see if there was still air in our tires. The mud was scary because I knew there were rocks down there but I couldn't see through the 1 foot layer of slime. Eventaully getting a flat sucked because wheels are hard to come by for RIT. We scrapped around so much just to get a few working bikes out there. It sucked even more when we had to run to the van to get the needed wheels. Corey realized how bad it sucked by falling more running to and from the van than in his race. Maybe he will invest in a new pair of crocs which have more tracktion or better yet, actual shooooeeeessss!

RIT definitely has to do some new types of recruiting to get a bigger cross contingency. We will not be able to put together a conference winning season with 2 guys. None the less it was great to have 4 guys come that had never raced cross before. It may not have been the best course or conditions to send them out for their inaguarl ride but it was still great to see them give it their all.

I hope this wasn't murder trying to read, but I hope we will have some more pleasent thoughts about ECCC racing to come.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


To commemorate our final days as students either for the year or for a long, long time to come, the RIT EPO Test Mule Squad held a midnight cRIT. Going through the winding, bricked (the poor man's cobblestone) and weather beaten Rochester campus, the midnight cRIT lacked all the sophistication, classiness and safety of just about any other race one could possibly do. We had a nice mix of rider skill levels and bike types with primes and handicaps being of the fermented variety. I ended up flatting on the third lap and put a new tube in unbelievable record time, but failed to be anywhere the lead pack and just ended up huffing and puffing around. We all know who won (and he was awarded a very stylish Chiang Mai cycling club jersey with THAILAND emblazoned on the back), with Anthony taking second and who cares taking third. I ended up throwing up on the library.

The next day, some of us took an easy ride in the beautiful weather to visit one of our sponsors. Rohrbach's makes prizes of the fermented variety, and it turned out being a fantastic way to spend some time and finish up a season, a collegiate career and a day ending in y. Good times, kids.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Cavalcade of Disappointment

Allow me to register my disappointment first with my teammates, who, when offered the option to ride the Tour De Syracuse, said, "yes, let's do this thing," and then when the moment of truth came near, said, "no, this thing, let's actually not do it." So, since I was the only one to show up (and because I write this thing anyway), it gets to be a personal blog. Second, allow me to register my disappointment with myself, for getting intolerably drunk and riding my bike, at very high speed, directly into a railing. In true Pyrrhic victory fashion, the railing came home with me to be stuffed and mounted, at the cost of my ability to walk and maybe a minor (ok, major) concussion. Third, I am disappointed that I did not heal faster. I am not, contrary to the way I act, made of steel, though if there were any justice in the world, I would be.

Anyway, I spent the last week limping around, not seeing a doctor, not training OR resting my leg, and eating lots and lots of candy. Luckily, I had only signed up for the crit and not the full omnium at Syracuse, which meant I could run my plan of blowing my knee out in the race and then limping home, where my youth power would fix everything up like those old people in 'Cocoon.' Knowing this, I didn't expect much out of the race, but its really kind of disheartening when your worst predictions come true. I felt good at the start, even breaking at one point, though I was immediately swallowed up by the pack (or, finger quotes, "peloton"). I did my patriotic duty as pack fodder until a gap opened up between the fast guys (us) and the faster guys (them). Then I took a long pull down the windy stretch and then another gap opened up between the fast guy (me) and the faster guys (everybody else). See what I'm doing here? Anyway, the fast guy got pulled with two laps to go, at which point he immediately sat down and wished he hadn't been so dumb as to come out. Disappointment.

The course itself was really fun, the wind less fun, and it was good to see some familiar faces kickin' around ('sup Army?). Everybody always wants better weather, but really, it was nice enough. The fields were split, mercifully, because those old dudes are fast. Also, the younger crowd has an entirely different tenor than that noted last week, which works well for me because I can't take anything seriously. I'll just have to change my race strategy from "go slower than everybody else" to "go faster than everybody else. Beyond that, anybody know any good knee surgeons?

Before racing, I'd fallen off any bike in any serious fashion maybe two or three times, and that was when I was six. Now, I've managed five chance encounters with the ground since March, with the scars to prove it. A recap: Stevens, my second race ever, I'm unaware that braking in a turn is bad. Result: can barely wear pants for a couple days. Delaware: I run into my teammate at very low speed with a very large audience. Yale: I fall off my bike after trackstanding like a jackass, dropping my chain directly before the start of the crit. Penn State: I run over someone's rear wheel, resulting in a purple and bilious-yellow-green mass on my hip, which has now turned into a sort of carapace to protect me from similar accidents. And now, last weekend, running my leg into railing so hard that the hurt comes out the other end. If I had any sense at all I'd take up canoeing.

Here, enjoy the dubious honor of seeing my inexpertly shaved and tanned legs: