Showing posts from March, 2010

When I said I liked rain, this isn't what I meant!

Always loved cold rain storms. Riding in them. Racing in them. Vlaamse-wetter. Regen. Open the skies and bring it on! Most of my best racing performances were in cold rain. Somehow the worse the weather, the better my chances became. Well, the past few days have tested my affinity for intemperate deluges. Record flash floods here in southern New England dumped over a foot of water into my basement, ruining a substantial collection of vintage cycling posters and videos - and soaking some framed and signed retro jerseys that used to hang in my old shop, Velocite Bicycle Sport. At 6am Tuesday, my wife rushed to rescue the Christmas and Easter decorations. I raced to save a KAS jersey signed by Sean Kelly. Hey, a guy's gotta have his priorities. While trying in vain to pump out the cellar the past two nights I rationalized that many others were much worse off. My sleep deprived mind wandered to remembering that Gino Bartali once lost a lot of his personal archives when the Arno fl

Marblehead 3 - Blockhead 1

Well gang, 'Not-so-Fast Eddy's' comeback 2.0 got off to a crap start yesterday. Got spit out the back at Marblehead after hanging in for ~ 1/3rd of the 1-2-3-race. Uggh. Diagnosis: Less weight, and more watts. No excuses from this old dog, though. Just the butt-kicking I needed to motivate more work and culinary discipline. On the bright side, my 'aerobics' felt ok from all the base work, but I need to get some 'top-end' back. Actually felt ok for about 5 laps, but then quite suddenly (!) the legs couldn't handle the jams over the top of the hill. "More power captain!" Those skinny kids really put out the power - the standard is much higher than it was back when I was 'competitive.' I guess I have to expect to eat a little humble crow after 20+ years out of the sport, and any semblence of fitness. I don't agree with friends and family who said that as a '50-year old' I shouldn't expect more. That I should just accept tha

Take Charly Gaul's advice

Charly Gaul was 'de man'. His advice for climbing the toughest mountains: "Use the lowest gear you can, and rev it as fast as you can". He was the antithesis of what you'd think was the 'right stuff' to win big tours. Short legs. Not that small for a climber: 5'7", 142 lbs. Upright position. Not aero - bars almost as high as the saddle. Not the power to turn big gears. But Charly was an aerobic phenomenon with an amazing and steady tempo that would asphyxiate the competition. And a motor that could beat Jacques Anquetil in a flat time trial.

Marblehead...22 years later

Sunday is the New England road cycling season opener... CCB International's Michael Schott memorial race. Homecoming day. I remember Mike Schott like it was yesterday. He was what you'd call a 'gentleman' - a guy with an atypical manner for a bike racer - a notoriously self-centered breed. I started riding with Mike and the Cape Ann Wheelmen contingent in the mid seventies. Mike was one of the older guys in the club. He was a guy with a job and a family. I was just a 16-year-old kid who noticed and respected how Mike fit his cycling in around his suit-and-tie-professional and family priorities. Like all of us, he really loved the sport. He always treated me, and everyone else he met with respect and impeccable manners. I remember particularly that he would always take sincere interest in the stories of others, while being very modest and self-effacing about his own riding. He was a good friend, and good company. I used to envy the fact that Mike's bike and kit were

Time tested, old school early season training advice

I just love the article below. I found it on the web years ago. It's a lecture by Dr. Marco Pierfederici, a trainer who used to work with Eddy Merckx and Italian pro teams back in the ’70 and ‘80s. He delivered this talk at a training camp in Miami organized by a long-gone business called 'Italia Velo Sport'. They imported Battaglin and Francesco Moser frames, Campagnolo and Gipiemme components and other Italian clothing and gear. This innovative, early discount mail order company brought champion Francesco Moser to a winter camp with US amateurs in 1982, and then brought over Giovanni Battaglin and his teammates, I believe in early 1983. The pros spent the days logging early season easy miles with starry-eyed US amateurs, and spent evenings giving clinics to imparting old world 'knowledge'. An old friend and CCB teammate Rick Graham attended that camp. A few weeks later as we were tapping out the miles around Gloucester Mass., I remember Rick talking ab

Shay: Departed, not forgotten.

A rainy October Friday in Dublin. Still a bit too early for Guinness. More castles and cruising Grafton Street are not on. Just waiting for Saturday to watch Ireland play Italy in Croke Park in the World Cup Soccer qualifier. Middle aged boys temporarily freed from work and family obligations, with time to kill. I was reminded of that old Celtic saying... "When God made time, he made plenty of it." What to do? Well, when you're a house-guest of two-time Ras Tailteann (the Irish national Tour) champion Paul McCormack, you boog out of Dublin and drive up into the Wicklow Mountains. The gravitational pull of Irish cycling heritage led up to Sally Gap. Blarney, good company and storytelling made for a pleasurable journey, with reminiscences of big days on big climbs. The Ras, Coors Classic, Tour de Gaspesie, Tour de L'Avenir. Comparing grades, and war stories of breaks and blowups. We both were wishing we were on our bikes, not sitting in his sister's car. But the c