Saturday, May 31, 2008
It was fun, although I don't think I can do 100 again tomorrow.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
I need to remember that when someone says "How are you?" I should say "good",
but if someone says "How are you doing?" I should say "well", because "well" is an adverb, and "good" is an adjective.
"are" is a linking verb, but "doing" is an action verb, so I modify "are" with "good", and "doing" with "well".
Sorry if I confused you guys.
The next race was a miss'n out. In a miss'n out, every time the pack finishes a lap, the last three people to finish are out. The last man standing wins. Alexey and I had a brilliant tactic; breakaway! That way, we'd be getting 1st and 2nd every lap. We survived two laps, and then we were caught, but I attacked again! I almost survived to the finish, but I faded. Alexey and I were out, but we were still racing. Alexey attacked on the next lap, and he almost made it!
We raced really aggressively last night, and were rewarded. After watching races in Iowa and Illinois, Alexey is a little discouraged by the fact that racing-wise, Michigan is one of the slowest states in the USA. According to Alexey, the guys who dominate Cat 3s in Michigan couldn't compete with the Cat 3s in the rest of the country.
Check out Gattoracing.us for Doug's pictures of us.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
2. It has a fun atmosphere
3. It has interesting prizes
4. It has a lot of primes
5. It has no hills
6. It has a kids race, so your little sibling can do it
7. It starts at 8:30 A.M., not at 7 A.M. like a lot of races.
8. It has a great announcer, Mr. Lekovish
9. It has a 10-14 race and a 15-18 race, so if you're 10, you don't
have to race with someone who's 18 (a lot of races just put ALL the
10. If you don't, you'll break my heart, and I'll probably give up
So come to the Allen Park Criterium. It'll be a ball.
There goes Birmann.
Mr. Lekovish chases.
Rudy and I ride side-by-side.
Stephen Barnes suffers
Brennan and Barnes after they attacked me.
Neal Sheppard takes the win over Brennan.
Jordan finishes strong, with me chasing him in the background.
I'll post a video soon.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Jordan, Caleb and I lined up against some tough competition today, most notably Mac Brennan.
I also saw another interesting competitor; Rudy Peterson!!! For those of you who don't know who Rudy Peterson, here's a little background on him. He's thirteen (racing age thirteen), and he used to race for Flying Rhinos, but now he races for Kalamazoo Bike Club/Little Caeser's Racing. He and I raced each other a lot in 2006; He beat me at Ada, I beat him at Rock City, and he whupped me at BTR (the bonk). We are evenly matched, so our races are exiting to watch.
The race started at a medium pace. On the second or third lap, Mac Brennan attacked, and his teammate went to the front to block for him. I shouted to the group to not let that guy go to the front, because he would only cause an attack. Stephen Barnes attacked. I was content to stay out of the wind. The group was eventually shredded from 13 riders to 6 riders. I was the only representative of AAVC in the group. Rudy had faded off the back. With under ten minutes remaining, a prime was announced. A prime is a one lap race within a race; the announcer will announce a prime as riders begin a lap, and the winner of that lap wins a prize. Well, this prime interested me. Guess what it was. You guessed it, a pizza. How could I not win it? It would be so poetic if Bike Boy won a pizza, wouldn't it? Thus, I attacked. I held my gap for a little while, but faded at the line. Mac Brennan and Stephen Barnes both sprinted by me. The people who tried to win the prime (Brennan, Barnes, and I) got gapped by the people who didn't try to win the prime (Mark Bailey, Paul Jacobson, and Neal Sheppard). I tried to recover while riding Brennan's and Barnes's wheels. They were trying to close the gap to the leaders. Brennan pulled off, and he and Barnes both looked back at me, as if to say, "Come one, you can't just ride our wheels." Seeing that I wasn't able to pull, they both attacked me. Fortunately, I didn't bonk. I was able to keep up a fast pace of 20-24 MPH. With about 5 minutes left, I realized that Rudy was gaining ground on me.He was slowly gaining, I was able to hammer the gap back up, and by with two laps left, I was almost safe to slow down...but I didn't. I kept going hard, and was about to lap the main field. On the last lap, Jordan was in my sight. He was being a human carrot. I was close to catching him by the time I had reached the finishing stretch, but Jordan laid down a good finish. He had a nice first race. He did a good job of riding near the front, and lasted quite a while before being dropped. Caleb also did well, riding with Rudy for most of the race.
I was pleased to have taken 6th place, considered that everyone in the top 5 was fifteen or older. The race winner came up from Florida. He got a sixth place finish at Nationals last year!
I was the best placed 10-14 aged rider, out of five, so I'm content.
The Vermuelens went Illinois for races yesterday and today. Alexey got third in a huge junior race on Sunday, and got second in the junior race today. He also did the Cat 4 race, and was crashed out in the last 100 meters. How ironic.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Saturday, May 24, 2008
My dad and I arrived in Frankenmuth late last night. We managed to get to bed by 10:30. We woke up at 5:16 A.M., in order to get to the race course on time for our 7:33 and 7:42 starts.
My race was reminiscent of a rubber band; the pack would speed up, then slow down, then speed up, then slow fown. The only juniors in the Cat 4 race were Alexey, Noah, Mac Brennan, and I. We did a good job of representing Michigan juniors, though. We all did a good job of moving up, and keeping a good position. After mile 15, everyone starting getting more serious, and more attacks came. The pace was still rubber band-ish. On mile 20, Alexey and I got gapped, but Alexey put his head down and hammered his way back, with me in tow. At that point I was pretty tired. A few miles later, Noah and I got gapped, but Noah put his down and hammered his way back, with me in tow. I was on the absolute back of the peleton. The pace had slowed, so I figured I could take a swig of water. As I grabbed my water bottle with my right hand, the pace slowed extremely. I was headed straight into Noah's wheel while riding one-handed! I went crashing over my handlebar, doing another faceplant into the ground. When I woke up, I was lying on a hospital bed, in a bodycast. JUST KIDDING!!! I somehow managed to keep my balance and avoided flipping over my handlebars. I can't belief that I was able to do all that while riding one-handed. If that had happened to me last year, I really would have been in a body cast.
Anyway, I got a swig of my water.
On mile 29, Alexey and I got gapped for good. Alexey was unbelievably strong, and he somehow managed to crawl his way back to the group. He managed to stay with the pack until about mile 37. Noah also stayed on until mile 47(the last mile).
I was alone. I paced my self for the next 15 miles. Coming into the last mile, the lead Pro 1/2 group past me, and Brendan Benson yelled "Go Bike Boy!". That got me excited. I hammered into the finishing straight at 29 MPH.I felt strong.
In the Cat 3 race, Jimi (James) Menema (a newly upgraded rider for Team Bisell) soloed away for the win. Dad got fifth, and Zack and Dmo finished top 15.
It's kind of weird that my dad is racing against these guys who used to be racing with me. It's very weird.
The junior race was STACKED with 10-12 year-olds; The Virtue kids, Levi Veltkamp [Noah's brother], and Rem. There were two other guys my age, but they were no match for Rem, who sprinted in for the victory!
After two BRUTAL road races, I can't wait to do the Gaslight junior race, on a nice, flat crit!
Friday, May 23, 2008
Maria scored the first (and game winning) goal.
I spent the night kicking a soccer ball around, trying to do a rainbow. I still can't do one. When I came inside, my dad was finishing up registering me for the Tour de Gaslight, which is a crit in Grand Rapids, on Memorial Day. I'm doing "Junior Men" at last, and Abby's doing "Junior Women". I think I am capable of competing for the win. The notable pre-registrees are Stephen Barnes. Stephen Barnes is a seventeen year old who won the junior race at ToKV. Mac Brennan is an eighteen year old who races for Team Priority Health. I know I can beat Stephen Barnes (I beat him at Ada last year, and my three lap time at ToKV is three minutes faster than his), but I don't know if I can beat Mac Brennan. However, I do know that Barnes and Brennan are also doing the Cat 3/4 race, so they can't race too hard in the junior race, in order to not bonk in the 3/4 race.
I won't have my wingman Alexey there, because he's doing a LAJORS (Lance Armstrong Junior Olympic Race Series) race in Illinois. However, I will be introduced to my new teammate, Jordan Sanford, who is racing age thirteen, and apparently strong. We should have fun.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
I made Jung-Ho proud; I made myself sick.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I got dropped in the next two races, mostly because I had gone super hard in the first race.
I attacked at the start of the next five lap race. I got a good acceleration, and Markus Nee got on my wheel. We were out of the pack's sight. I thought that I was stronger than Markus, because my Willow time is a minute faster than his. Regardless, I suffered to stay onto his wheel. The pack slowly closed in on us. I cracked, but I was still pleased that our break stuck for a while.
After the races ended, several of us (Colton, Zack, Doug, Dmo, Dad, Randy, and I) went onto the grass and practiced bumping. That may sound weird, but practicing bumping helps you be prepared for when you actually get bumped in the middle of a race.
After that, we hung around and stretched, as Doug took pictures of us. Then we talked about Doug's old Chevy Cavalier.
Monday, May 19, 2008
In my youth group, I'm moving up (or down) in ranks, from an upperclassman in the Middle School ranks to a puny lowerclassman in the High School ranks. On Wednesday night, all the eighth graders hung out with the High Schoolers, and I felt very welcomed. Yesterday was the official welcome party for the eighth graders. We broke up into teams, and went through a scavenger hunt through Ann Arbor, hunting down a chicken. When we found the chicken, he nearly evaded us, but I made a sprawling tackle at him, latched on to him, and then fell on my left shoulder. So now, my shoulder hurts, but I have a great excuse: "I beat up a seven foot tall chicken!"
After the party I went to see "Prince Caspian" with Barak and James Lamine. It was pretty good, despite the fact that there was a thirty minute sequence that never happened in the book, but movies do that. There were a lot of battle scenes, and all of them were pretty neat.
I was pleased to see that Edmund got to fight more than he did in the last movie. Hopefully, all of you guys know that I played Edmund in a play. Of course Edmund didn't get the spotlight that Peter got, but oh well.
Since the eighth graders are leaving, and the seventh graders are going to be eighth graders, who's going to be the seventh graders? The sixth graders. My little sister's friends. They are all so short. I felt so tall. It was a sweet feeling that I don't usually get to experience...
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Yesterday's performance has me motivated for the Tour of Frankenmuth. The Cat 4 race is a tiny 47 miles, and flat as a pancake! It's nothing compared to what I endured yesterday!
I finished 37th out of 50 starters, and I'm happy with that, although I finished 37th out of 37 finishers! Who cares though, I had fun.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Today didn't go as well as I had hoped, but I am okay with my results.
Dad and I got up at 4 A.M. and reached Kensington metropark at around 5:20 to help SLC set up.
We warmed up, with plenty of time until our 7:15 and 7:20 starts.
Let's skip forward to the start of my race. We managed to get all of the AAVC riders together, although we didn't quite get to talk tactics. Suddenly, without my knowing, the race started. I never heard a "Riders ready, go!" or anything like that, but merely saw the pack roll away. Thus, I started off at the back of the pack. The pace was painfully slow at first, but there was no space to move up because the pack was so thick. I considered shooting the guttter, but didn't have the guts to risk a crash. I gained a lot of places up "Snot Hill" and the other huge hill, but then lost those places down the huge descent. 10 miles were down; 46 were left. Up the next hill, a Wolverine rider dropped his chain, forcing Alexey and me to have to slow down and go around him. We were now at the back of the pack. The pack flow down the descent, gapping us. I realized this: since, my skinny-ness makes me a good climber, it probably makes me a terrible descender. The pack simply rode away from me on the descent. We were going so fast that I couldn't pedal, although my junior gearing didn't help me pedal any more. Juniors are required to ride with less gears than adults, so juniors don't harm their knees.
I was helpless. There was nothing I could do to descend faster; I could only look on in horror as the pack left Alexey and me. We worked together with a Saturn rider. He took a few monster pulls on the flat, gaining several seconds on the pack. Then I pulled up "Snot Hill" and dropped the Saturn guy. That was a dumb move, because he was critical to our survival on the flats. The peleton disappeared out of sight.
We caught another Wolverine rider, but he dropped us after a few miles.We rode another lap alone, and then Brian Pirrie, an AAVC rider caught us. We rode together for a few more miles, until he gapped us.
Take a look at this hill. Not only is it steep, it's also painfully long.
Check out this picture of Rem attacking Tim Finkel!!!One time on the flat section, the leading Pro 1/2 group passed Alexey, Brian and I, and I jumped onto their slipstream! They were flying, but I managed to hold their pace for a while until Derek Graham kicked me out of the group. Alexey and Brian caught up to me, and Alexey started to be the stronger rider. On lap 6 the Cat 4 group lapped us, and we held their pace all the way to the middle of the big hill. At that point, something inside of me snapped; I cracked. My pace immediately dropped about 5 miles per hour, and I had to ask Alexey to slow down.
My facial expression betrayed my expression; I was running out of gas.
How would I be able to crawl up Snot Hill two more times? This is how; my teammate pulled almost all the way to the finish. I took a few pulls, but they were much slower than Alexey's. I don't think I could have ridden those two laps alone. I was dead, worn down by almost 45 miles , and I now had to do 13 more. We went up Snot Hill for the penultimate time; I couldn't wait for the final time. We crawled up that instrument of torture at about eight miles per hour. We didn't go as hard on the flatlands of the final lap, preparing for Snot Hill. Then it came. We soared up it, going almost as fast as we had gone all race long. As I was almost to the top, I got a cramp, then another, then yet another. Pedaling was pure agony, but I couldn't quit when I had less than half a mile to go. Alexey had gapped me, but all I cared about was finishing. I hammered in at 24/25 MPH. People were screaming at me, "Finish strong! Give it all!"
I just about killed myself. I threw my bike across the line. The pain seemed to lift from my legs. I had done it: all 59 miles of it.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
So please motivate me, because I'm afraid that those 56 miles will separate the men from the boys...in a literal sense. I'm trusting that I really am a good climber compared to the average Cat 4 rider. I'm certain that in the later half of the race, the pack will shatter, and the strong riders will leave behind the weak riders. Thus, I need to be riding near the front all race long. AAVC doesn't really have a plan, although we have been having a long discussion about it, via e-mail. We don't have a plan because we don't know which of us will be dropped and which of us will survive. We have designated Ben Penner as our leader. My goal is to stay with the front group, and NOT GET DROPPED! If I don't get dropped, then I will think about attacking up "Snot Hill" on the last lap.
It will be very painful.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Today I'll be doing T-Max intervals. Don't they sound painful? They are painful. First, you see how long you can sustain your maximum one minute power output(for me that's 280 watts). You multiply how long you could do it times .6. Then, you do several more intervals.
Today, I'm doing seven of them.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Contrary to my predictions, the junior race might make it's minimum field size. It has gone from 2 to 6 in the span of 2 days. Something tells me that when I do race the junior race, no one shows up, but when I don't do the junior race, everyone shows up. It's frustrating.
Right now, the junior race still doesn't have ten people; so far it has Rem, Caleb, Joe Toma, and Peter Cox. Why didn't Caleb and Joe do the Cat 4 race???
AAVC has a bunch of riders in the Cat 4 race: Tom Barrett, Alexey, Ben Penner, Mac Wilkins, Doug, Colton, Brian Pirrie, and ME! Doug and Colton aren't technically on AAVC, but in my book they are. We have eight riders, and I predict that Colton will place top five, due to his high red blood cell amount from living in Colorado. I have a good feeling that I won't be dropped, since I'm a skinny climber!
Mark my words, Chris Aten will win the Cat 3 race! I'm willing to bet money on it! Even if Chris doesn't win, expect another mountain goat from South Lyon Cycle to take the yellow jersey.
It will be fun.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
We drove up to Kensington Metropark today, to scout the course and train for the upcoming race. Kensington is infested with hills, making it a Hill-Infested Metropark [I think I feel a song coming on:-) ]. I felt great, going up the hills, and Dad didn't drop me until the third or fourth lap, when we went up the infamous "Snot Hill" (I think you can figure out why it is called that). Besides that, I wasn't dropped. After doing four or five laps, we did hill repeats. Hill repeats are a workout in which you go up a hill, go back down it, go up it, go back down, etc. Hill repeats, as Coach Dave Young would say, "Will cure anything"! After finishing those, Dad and I rode back to the parking lot. We were both very tired.
My performance today got me excited. Tony, Chris, Zack and Dmo will dominate the Cat 3, because they're all so light, AND they can produce major wattage! They will be a force to be reckoned with.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Unfortunately, ToKV might not happen. It needs to get 8-10 more course marshallers, or else the Metropark people won't let the race start.
Volunteer for ToKV, and be able to say that you saved the Tour of Kensington Valley!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
So I socialized afterward, saying goodbye to John Henri, Sam, Jared, David, and anyone else I could find. I didn't to say goodbye to Joe, and that upsets me, because he's going to school in the Fall too.
I would have said more goodbyes, but I had to go.
On the less depressing side, there's been a lot of debate over what race I should do at Kensington.
Zack, Drew, Dan, Alan, many of my readers think that I should the Cat 4 race. My mom doesn't think I should do the Cat 4 race, and my dad is undecided. I know that I will be fine if I do the Cat 4 race. My dad will get advice from the AAVC coaches, who know what the right decision will be.
I was checking the pre-registered athletes, and I saw that Alexey's registered for the Cat 4 race. Caleb is still undecided.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
TIME EVENT DURATION AWARDS
FIRST WAVE OF RACES
7:15 am Men Pro/Cat. 1/Cat. 2 12 laps / 97 miles $1000 / Top 12
7:16 am Men Cat. 3 9 laps / 72 miles $500 / Top 8
7:17 am Masters 35+ (Cat. 1-4 only) 9 laps / 72 miles $500 / Top 8
7:19 am Masters 45+ (Cat. 1-4 only) 7 laps / 56 miles $400 / Top 8
7:19 am Masters 55+ (Cat. 1-4 only) 7 laps / 56 miles $100 / Top 3
7:21 am Men Cat. 4 7 laps / 56 miles $500 / Top 8
SECOND WAVE OF RACES
8:30 am Women Cat. 1/2/3*** 6 laps / 47 miles $500 / Top 8
8:32 am Men Cat. 5 4 laps / 31 miles Prizes / Top 5
8:34 am Women Cat. 4 *** 4 laps / 31 miles Prizes / Top 4
8:36 am Juniors 3 laps / 23 miles TBD
Those 500 dollars for the Top 8 Cat 4 riders sound pretty good to me, although those 56 miles sound pretty painful. Of course, I am capable of riding 56, but never have I raced for 56 miles. Hey, I can always just go to the front for the first lap and hammer the pace up as high I can go, then drop off.
Time will tell.
What's your opinion?
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
The play got me excited to do WCA drama next year!
During the game, I was on the sidelines with our British coach, Andy. The Hurricanes did wonderfully! They fought their way back from 0-3, to 3-3. In the second half, our goalie, Kyle, didn't appear to be on his best form, and as a result, he let in three more goals.
I don't think my team was frustrated though, because we played a really good team. I wasn't playing because I'm not registered for the team. I'd be able to play in the Canton Cup tournament, but it's on Memorial Day weekend, overlapping the Tour of Frankenmuth. Darn.
Friday, May 2, 2008
On a lighter note, I saw a lot of familiar faces at the play. I even saw some Home School Central people: Laura, her sister, and Trevor Tarantkowski with his brother Tobin. Oddly, John Henri didn't come.
Ironically, tomorrow I'll be carpooling with my friend/former teammate to the Hurricane's game. Apparently, my old soccer team got bumped up a division, and the teams in their division are really good! I'll be there, supporting the Hurricanes. Who knows, maybe my presence will inspire them...or not.
Comcast has been having "problems" with our region. Thus, our internet has often been disconnected throughout the week. That's why I haven't posted in 1 day.