11 December, 2011

This blog is now on vacation until further notice

Given my lack of interest in updating it, I've decided to post thoughts, links, media, etc. on a tumblr which you can now find at jeffmoote.tumblr.com


26 August, 2011

Summer wrap-up part 3: Provincial TT and Pre-cyclocross musings

Part 3/3 of the recap of my Summer racing and training...

Ontario Provincial TT Championship

This would be the last of my racing efforts for the pre-cyclocross season. I had a few more

weeks of training since the Binbrook TT and really hoped to put in a good ride. That all fell apart about 15 km into the race.

I don't know exactly what the problem is/was, but some residual tightness in my hips causes some misalignment and on the TT bike where the saddle is not as supportive this is exaggerated. The result was a lot of pain on the bike even when not really going that hard, never mind pushing a TT effort. By lap 2 of the course I was not even trying, worried that I'd injure myself further jeopardizing the rest of my season.

The published splits tell a lot - my first 20 km in 28:38, 12th place. That was with a significant drop in effort for the last 5 km. Lap 2 I pretty much shut it down, bringing my total time up to 1:00.01 and 17th place. It was not the result I was looking for, but that was largely outside of my control. I really should have stayed on top of tightness and asymmetry leading up to the event but had never had such a problem as a result to indicate it was this much of an issue.

Preparation for Cross Season

With the TT behind me, everything now is working toward cyclocross. Training is going as planned, with a couple weeknight mtb races and club rides for intensity and lots of cyclocross practice.

Also taking up a lot of time is planning for my race, the Firemen's Park Cross. Being my first time organizing a race, there is lots to learn but so far it's been a pretty smooth process. It appears everything is going to go off successfully. I hope everyone enjoys themselves and the course, and that this event can become an annual thing in one form or another.

My schedule for the fall is posted, including some events I'm not 100% sure I'll be doing. In any case that's the core of it, and I look forward to seeing everyone at the races and getting back into the whole cross season routine.


Look for more updates soon, as I have an interesting development in the way of competition with the one and only Chandler Delinks.

25 August, 2011

Summer wrap-up part 2: Binbrook 40k TT and lots of MTB

Continued recap of my Summer racing and training...

HCC Binbrook 40k TT

Having planned to do one of these all year, I finally made it out to a HCC club TT which was run very well and gave me a much needed opportunity to practice the 40k distance for provincials. I had a good ride, doing the course in 53:45, just over three minutes slower than Darko. With this under my belt, I felt good about the pacing for Provincials and hoped to improve on this effort.

"Hamilton Endurance Ride"

Jeff Landry has been putting these rides together on a roughly annual basis since about the time I got into racing. I've done a few of them, the first in 2008 when I was significantly less capable, and again in 2009 when I taco-ed a wheel fairly early into the ride. I skipped the 2010 edition, but returned for this year's which was to be taken in the opposite (anti-clockwise) direction and included lots of new (to most of us) trails.

These rides circumnavigate Hamilton and Dundas taking in most of the local trails along the way, climbing and descending the escarpment many times. The full route is over 100 km and is mostly off road except for short connecting sections and the stretch along the waterfront between Hamilton and Burlington.

Starting at Cafe Domestique in Dundas, somewhere around 23 of us set out for this ride. The first section along the escarpment which was supposedly going to take around 3 hours turned out to be more like 4.5 due to many flats and bent derailleur hangers. This really challenged our water rationing and also set the tone for the day's pace. At this rate we would not complete the whole route, which was fine as in the end we still did the intended duration of roughly 8.5 hours. Lots of technical escparpment trail was ridden and for the most part I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I cruised up the King Rd climb from Burlington to the trailhead in Waterdown gradually distancing myself from the others despite Jeff (wisely) having called off the KOM competition. I definitely need to return there to climb that on my road bike as it was a very nice extended climb for Southern Ontario.

After the ride Mr. and Mrs. Monster hosted us for a great BBQ at their place in Dundas where we all refueled and recounted stories of the day. Miraculously I had no crashes or mechanicals, failing to live up to my reputation and generating no particularly interesting stories.

Duke's Summer Epic 8h MTB Relay

For no particular reason I felt compelled to do this event. It would be a good way to put lots of time on the bike and practice my off-road handling. I recruited fellow Niagara resident and SHCC member Ryan to put our previous tag team back together: "SHCC - What's the Rush?"

We travelled up to Hardwood hills and met up with all of the other SHCC folks. For no particular reason we decided Ryan would head out first and we'd do double laps all day until the end when we might switch to singles to finish it off. It was around this time I remembered the 34t cog on my cassette was a little bent, so I went in to see Benno at the shop and decided to throw a 12-36 HG-61 cassette on. This would prove to be very nice later in the day, given that I was running a single 36t ring in front.

Ryan and I tagged off after his first two laps and I set out just below O-Cup pace, riding carefully as I did not know the course. I felt really good, and picked it up a bit for lap 2 putting in almost the same time for that lap. It was Ryan's turn for 2 more and I ate a bit, drank some water and got ready to go again. Feeling good, I again headed out and put in a quick lap, but the second of this set did not go so well. I cramped up early and often in this lap, and it only got worse as the day went on. To make things worse, we were now in 2nd place so we had some reason to keep trying in order to hold on to this and see if we could catch the "Lapdogs Tom and Larry Show" who were leading.

I cramped lots more, and later found out Ryan was suffering just as much as I was out there in different ways. In the end we held on to 2nd but my body was not happy. It hadn't been to receptive to food all afternoon and though I was drinking upwards of 1.5 L/h I was still very dehydrated. It took a lot to recover from this one, but in the end it was probably worthwhile.

Next: Ontario Provincial TT and Pre-cyclocross musings

24 August, 2011

Summer wrap-up part 1: Detroit and Windsor Crits

While certainly not timely nor regular, my posts on here have at least settled into a good rhythm and without full race reports for each event I am not constantly behind. Due to the amount of material I am going to split this into three posts over the coming days.

Since the last post I did indeed race two more crits and TT provincials, both of which were pretty huge failures for very different reasons. I also did the Hamilton Cycling Club Binbrook 40k TT, a social but nonetheless pretty epic mtb ride and an 8h mtb relay in between. All of those things went surprisingly well.

Criterium Detroit City

The Ciociaro Club Criterium, the 6th race on the O-Cup circuit for 2011 was held on a closed track in Windsor. The day before a criterium was run in downtown Detroit, so a few of us headed over to race that as a warm up. It turned out to be a very well run event for a first time race, and the course was moderately technical but fairly open through the streets of downtown Detroit. The race went pretty well for me, really, though the heat was not making it easy. I closed down a few gaps and tried a couple attacks, once bridging up to a fairly strong but not so organized break. In the end I was positioned fairly poorly for the bunch sprint, and there was a crash in the final corner. I avoided it by going wide up on to the sidewalk and back on to the road under the tape, rolling in for 30-something-th.

Ciociaro Club O-Cup

The Ciociaro O-Cup itself was a bit of a priority for me, one of my last chances to earn some needed upgrade points on the Ontario circuit. The race was not very interesting to start, and I found myself away with one other strong cat 3 who I had raced with before. we quickly gained a lot of time on the group, maybe 20 seconds in a matter of a couple laps, but with only the two of us it quickly was brought back as soon as they recognized the danger of letting us get any further ahead. While recovering from that effort, the big break of the day checked out, and it was full of strong riders. Four in total got clear and at least two of them were guys I knew could win this race.

Sticking to my plan, I intended to bridge to this move while it was still in sight but after the gap was established. Other strong riders left in the pack had the same thought as me, but decided this was going to happen about half a lap sooner than I'd have liked. I was too far back, and was playing catch up with the bridging group from the beginning. Six of us tried, got clear, but only four made it across. I was not one of those four. Now the break was 8 riders, with 15 remaining in the bunch. Normally this wouldn't be a terrible situation, but the break contained all but three of the stronger cat 3s and it also contained no Juniors. That last point proved to be fatal as more than 50% of the remaining 15 were Juniors with no reason to chase the break at all. As such there was a lot of dead weight and only a couple of us making any effort to chase. Add to that SRS and CHCH blocking for their riders in the break, and there was pretty much nothing we could do.

The organizer Dylan was giving us good updates over the PA each lap, but unfortunately I think the updates the break was receiving were even more useful as they knew when the chase was gaining ground and were able to pick up their pace accordingly. I would take a pull of one or two full laps on the front and bring back 10 seconds on the break. Then someone else would hit the front and let the gap go out 20, so we were constantly losing ground despite the efforts of a few of us. Had there been another two or three taking pulls like mine, we would have had the break back in less than 6 laps but most of the guys capable of doing this were either in the break or Juniors, so it did not happen.

In the end, the Juniors picked things up in the last 5 laps and raced their race. For the rest of us it was over long before and I simply cruised in at the back of the bunch, disappointed.

Next: Binbrook 40k TT and lots of MTB

01 July, 2011

Mid-summer update

Officially only a week and a half into summer, but well past the halfway point between the start of racing for the year and the start of cross season so... we'll call it mid-summer since it makes me feel better to think summer is over soon.

Lots of happenings since the TO crit, starting with my first hack at a 40 (actually 43.xx) km TT on the Nationals course to see how I'd handle the distance. Of course it had to be during a crazy thunderstorm, but despite this the course was super fast that day due to a tailwind on the climb and into the finish. I am happy with my time though I think I can do better with more practice pacing that distance. Somewhere in there I strained something in my quad because as soon as I got off the bike I could barely stand up. I (foolishly) rode the next day thinking I could work through it, but after a visit to the RMT on the following Monday and easing myself back into training I was good to go a week later.

Next I thought I'd see if I still remember how to ride my mtb by RACING AN O-Cup. Yeah, this should go really well. Actually, it was, until my frame broke. I was having a decent race on par or better than any last season when after the start climb on lap 3 my chainstay broke and I rode around confused about why my rear end was tracking really funny, but only intermittently and my wheel was still true. Then I figured out the problem and packed it in.

Now stoked about mountain biking, I dropped my frame off to be repaired by the master (he's going to add an EBB and that frame will be reborn as a singlespeed) and met up with Oggie to buy his Superfly frame. Just like that, I had a mtb again! Mid week I got word that a local team for the Summer Solstice 24h was short a bunch of riders. Having already planned on racing the crit in Georgetown Sunday, and to feed a friend in the National RR Saturday evening (not to mention wanting to spectate) I offered to do a few laps Saturday afternoon. I ripped one off and was feeling good about heading out for a couple more before taking off. 10 minutes into my next lap I clipped a tree or something and THIS was the result. Blerg.

Off I went to the Nats RR where Brandon who I was supposed to be feeding had already abandoned (shitty luck, but so it goes!) so I settled in to watch the Spidertech show. Yeah let's put 3 guys in the 4 man break and then put our other 12 riders at the front of the chase group making everyone else's ride futile! Britton fought hard nonetheless until they worked him over, dropped him all the while Svein was bridging from the chase. Good show with the boys going 1-2-3 and gifting Svein the title.

The next day was the National crit in Georgetown where they also had a Senior 3/Master 3 race that apparently only 12 people wanted to do. It was very poorly publicized I guess. Early on, three of us went clear and proceeded to lap everyone. With about 5 to go, Michael Aston checked out on the climb and decided he wanted to win with a 30 second cushion, not just outsprinting us. David Grose and I did the cat/mouse thing a bit, I put a dig in on the last lap and couldn't quite hold the gap, then he outsprinted me. Good times.

Watching the elite men/women in their POINTS RACE crits was fun. What a crazy course to do that on, but it made for a good show. Hopefully all those who crashed are healing well.

Today (Canada Day) was the annual CHIN Picnic Crit - but unlike normal this was the venue for Masters and Junior National crits, and there were a few races going on the side including the 3/4 race that I was a part of. I was having a really good ride for the first 20 minutes until I figured my rear tire must be going flat or something as it was all over the place in the corners. I rolled into the pit only to have the commissaire and myself determine that my rear tire was indeed not flat at all. No free lap! Given the options of quitting, hopping on the group and finishing a lap down or chasing like hell, I went with the latter. I rode a 10 minute TT, holding off the group pretty well until they decided with 2 to go that I was possibly going to be in the way so they pulled me. Though STILL extremely frustrated with my rookie mistake (note to self, make sure the damn thing is flat next time before pitting) the consolation is that I was able to go nearly as fast solo as the charging pack, and could/should try to replicate this effort off the front next time I have the opportunity.

Not too much left for the summer before it's ALL CROSS ALL THE TIME. Probably just another crit and TT Provincials for me, along with some mountain biking and such. Cyclocross! It is coming!

31 May, 2011

TO Crit Race Report

Sunday was the Toronto Criterium in the St. Lawrence Market. This race has a long history and was once quite prestigious taking place at a prime evening time drawing large crowds, offering big prizes and attracting many pros. This year was much more low key, essentially like any other Ontario regional level race.

The course is a 4-corner block with Front Street and the Esplanade running parallel at slightly different elevations making for a fast downhill corner 2 from Scott St onto the Esplanade and a small rise between corners 3 and 4 on Market St. Corners 2 and 4 are just greater than 90° and proved to be the most important. I probably clipped a pedal in corner 4 about three times during the race, but never more than enough to cause the rear wheel to skip just slightly.

The race started pretty fast from the gun, though my poor warmup do to a trainer malfunction may have influenced my perception of this. It was not bad though and within a few laps I was sitting comfortably in the front half of the group. We were combined not only with the Juniors as usual, but also the Master 2 Men and Elite Women. With some strong crit racers among the M2s, there were a few wheels I knew I should follow in addition to those in Senior 3 I had to watch.

The race was largely uneventful with no moves going clear for any distance. I put a couple digs in on the front to help string things out when I felt like it, and never felt in any real difficulty. At about the halfway mark a prime was announced and I stuck to my plan of not going for it, but trying to go with any counter attacks that followed or to bridge to a break if one formed. Edgars Apse of the Darkhorse Flyers soloed away for the prime and immediately after the line a Senior 3 rider (David Grose, Bikesports) attacked and I was quick to follow hoping we could bridge to Edgars and get a rotation going. Ideally a couple M2s would have followed but that was not the case. We reached Edgars on the backside of the course but nobody was keen to get the move going. I pulled through and gestured for someone to come around next time down the start/finish, but they had sat up and we quickly reintegrated into the bunch.

Nothing much happened for the remainder of the race until 3 to go when Etzl and Zottl attacked and went clear (and eventually went on to win). Because the move only contained Juniors the majority of the field was happy to let them go and set up for the bunch sprint. On the backside one of the Juniors from a rival team was begging me to come around, but there was no way I was chasing down a couple of Juniors nevermind a fellow SCCC rider.

I came through corner 3 on the bell lap in a great position but mistakingly took a fairly central line through the last corner. I got up to sprint but quickly found myself boxed in behind 2 M2s and a Junior with 150 m to go, watching Scott (Lapdogs) ride up the right to take 3rd in Senior 3 while I sat down and cruised in for 4th. I am really annoyed at myself for poor line choice leaving me nowhere to open up the sprint, but this was the first real crit I had done in a couple years and I still have much to learn. Next time I will know better!

Mostly I was reminded how much I like crit racing and while different, how it offers many of the same stimuli as cross. Now I can't wait for the last few crits on the calendar, and then CROSS SEASON.

23 May, 2011

2011 Spring recap!

One advantage of not updating my blog in a long time is I get to post about months of racing and training at once, masking my laziness as simply trying to be concise.

Since the last update there has been a full spring of racing starting with the Tour of Pelham which served as a nice warmup and test of the equipment for the big show of Ontario spring "classics", Paris to Ancaster.

Both races went pretty well for me. I surprised myself with 12th at the ToP just falling short of making the group of 8th through 11th with some local strongmen. Paris-Ancaster was a big focus for me and I wanted to see just how much I could improve from prior performances. The top 10-15 are a very elite group, and I knew I would fall short of this but hoped to make the second or third group on course by the major selection which always happens after the turn off the rail trail about 20 minutes into the race. I did this, falling a bit short of the group I had hoped to make but working with Preston Wagler for much of the middle part of the race until we were caught by a fast moving group with some familiar faces. We worked with them to make good time on the last rail trail before the mudslides and hills begin at the end. I made it through the first mudslide cleaner than some, not as clean as others and found myself riding with a Niagara local, Alex Schmidt riding for team Liberty! Bicycles this year. We hit the last few hills at a good pace and I figure I was on track for a nice top 30 finish or very close when I heard some hissing from my front tire and saw a nice spray of sealant coming out. I stopped to let the sealant do its work and luckily it did, allowing me to ride the final climb with enough air, sprinting Stephane at the end and losing. Were it a road race he probably would have been called out for not holding his line but at that point I can't blame him - everyone is wrecked when they finish this race whether they are Mike Garrigan winning for a second year in a row or a cyclo-tourist completing the event for the first time. It is a tough race, which is why I like it so much.

Between these two events I also kicked off my road season at the Tour of Bronte, a nice half dirt road half paved race without much elevation change. I hoped to do some damage here after a decent race but poor result the year prior, and followed some early moves in the first lap but nothing was opening up. At some point Rob Bruce and one of the M3s got clear but were not chased with any great urgency. I guess none of us expected Rob to solo away for 50km, but this is exactly what he did! We controlled the gap in the middle laps and almost had it under 30s, but it was really just the Team London guys and myself doing any real pulls so eventually the gap went back out and we were left sprinting for second. Geoff Power of Team London took this decisively with a nice leadout from his teammate, and I managed to grab the 5th S3 place. I'll take it!

Since then I've raced the next three Road O-Cups on the circuit: Springbank, Bike the Bruce and Nith River. Springbank was good if not a very chaotic race - pouring rain the entire time and with standing water on the fast back side of the course it was bound to be. The racing was fast from the start and I held my position in the middle of the group but wasn't really moving up. A few laps in there was a crash (on the UPHILL turn?) and I came quickly to a stop behind it, thinking I'd avoided any damage until someone slammed into the back of me (really?). Being a crit, despite nobody calling it one as such, free laps were given for mishaps so I cruised up to the tech zone and waited with a few Juniors including local Matt Hopkins to jump in as the pack came by. There was no break when the crash happened, but I guess it kind of split the pack because when we rejoined it was a pretty small group until some of the stronger guys from the main pack bridged up. Things were going well with this group and I prepared for a bunch sprint, until Tim jumped with about 700m left to go and before anyone expected it. Impressively, he held a gap of 4 seconds at the line over the rest of us - kudos Tim for doing it once again! We sprinted it out for second, which was taken decisively by Christian Jug over a fast charging Geoff Power and Russell Van Every, and I managed to pull out another 5th.

The next few races have started to go downhill as the training has been pretty steady and I haven't felt too fresh. Nothing I'm too concerned with, but it can be frustrating at times. Bike the Bruce was going well until a break finally stuck and I wasn't in it. On that course there was no way I was going to be able to bridge up to them, and I had spent too much to do anything in the finale. I positioned myself well avoiding a crash on the twisty run-in at the end, turning the final corner in a great position. I jumped to go with the train, but my legs were simply not there for the sprint, so I got out of the way and sat up as the rest sprinted it out. The Nith River RR yesterday was a continuation of this theme, with a different plot. I had a good first 2 laps, during which the weather went from sunny to rain so heavy it was impossible to see more than a wheel in front of you. A bit uncomfortable when the pack would jam the pace on the hills, I was hanging in and positioned well when the day's move went. I jumped to get on Tim's wheel and made it across the small gap that had started to open. All the right faces were there - the perfect combination to form a winning break, with a course and weather that made it likely to succeed. I thought it was all coming together, but once again my legs did not answer the call, this time spitting me out the back so fast I didn't even catch on to the pack as they went by. I gave the nod to Steve in the commissaire's car as he went by that I was done, and rode out the lap. Oh well, there is always another race!

That brings us up to date and with the Ontario calendar being laid out the way it is we're well over half way through the season. Likely just a couple more races on the road for me, maybe a mtb race or two and then we're into Provincials. I'll be making the trip to Ottawa for TT Provincials to see how I stack up, and the Provincial RR is a possibility as well. It is being held on the familiar Bamberg loop outside of Waterloo - my old training grounds.

22 February, 2011

2010 Results

  • Frostbike - 5
  • Good Friday RR - DNF
  • Tour of Bronte - 19
  • Paris-Ancaster - 108
  • XC O-Cup #1 Mansfield - 27
  • XC O-Cup #2 Albion - DNF
  • Life$tyle$ 24h - 2nd mens team
  • Canada Cup Hardwood - DNF
  • XC O-Cup #4 Mountainview - 20
  • XC O-Cup #5 Buckwallow - 23
  • CDMBR - 4
  • XC O-Cup #6 Kelso - 17

  • Jump the Cheeseburger - 10
  • Green Mountain 1 - DNF
  • Green Mountain 2 - 55
  • Ellison Park Cyclocross - 6
  • SRCC Guelph Cross - 13
  • GP of Gloucester Day 1 - 18
  • GP of Gloucester Day 2 - 46
  • Cobb's Hill Cyclocross - 4
  • Toronto International Cyclocross Day 1 - 4
  • Toronto International Cyclocross Day 2 - 2
  • Ontario Provincial Championship - DNF
  • Kelso Cross - 13
  • Parma Cyclocross - 3
  • Canadian National Championship - 36
  • Delaware Park - 7
  • Kissing Bridge Cross - DNF
  • Hardwood Cross - 12
  • Baseball Cross - 13
  • Riverdale Cyclocross - DNF
  • Subway CX - 7
  • NYE Cross - 3

20 February, 2011

Frostbike 2011

This post is for De Cal, who is calling me out for never updating the blog. Fair enough.

Today was the first race of 2011, The Frostbike winter mtb race hosted by the Shorthills Cycling Club (not to be confused with the QBP trade show of the same name happening at the same time). Thanks to Andrew winning the male overall, he was taken out of the running for age group awards bumping me into 3rd Male Under 30.

Conditions were a big unknown all week but turned out alright. Lots of exposed ground for February, and only a little ice so I opted for the Racing Ralphs over studs. I think it was a fair call as there were not many places I had to be cautious due to ice and my only crashes had nothing to do with ice. I managed to take a chunk out of my knee in a high speed crash on the canal path of all places... ruts are not my friend?

It was nice to get out and work the lungs and bike handling a bit after many hours indoors. Now, back to the grind (i.e. work, training, wheelbuilding, etc...)

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