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Showing posts from July, 2011

Flandria Cafe raid to Plateau de Beille

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Our own roving rouleur, Tony T.  is over in France at the Tour.  Today he rode up to Plateau de Beille, putting an exclamation point on 2 weeks of midi sun, wine, cheese and bonne temps.   Here's his IM ride report...

"Decent was cold and scary cars people and bikes all over the road, did I mention cold? Decending through the clouds was phantasmagical, hands cramping all the way, but easier than going up! 

Suffered big time ,wish - had a compact crank 10 percent ramp way hard after 10K of climbing, had to stop and eat and hydrate, but made it all the way after. Went out with the Flanders boys for pizza and biere, rock band in the square. Totally amazing day, a dream come true"

Tomorrow he watches the big stage to the same summit finish.

Tony is one of our Flandria cafe originals, who defines our joie de vivre philosphy on life and cyclisme... an ex-alpinist climber who reminds me a little of Bernard Thevenet  in size, frizzy black hairstyle, and in the way he crushes big…

"Truth? You can't handle the race of truth..."

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Or so said a little voice in my head for years.  Yup, come to think of it, he kinda sounded just like Jack too.  For years I avoided them.

Well I rode my first Time Trial since 1987 last week.  Jeez...I can't believe it's been 24 years since I last tried to go flat out fast against the watch, to turn big gears.  Our local BikeWorks Rehoboth Time Trial was the perfect place to jump back in the water...low key, fun, pretty flat, and fast.

I'm not counting last year's Mt. Greylock Hillclimb.  That was different.  I'm talking a flat to rolling TT, one where you're flying along at max velocity, punching a hole in the air.

About a month ago I splurged a little, snagging a new Cannondale Slice TT bike.   It's so much fun to ride.  I'm convinced the aero position alone is worth several mph, and the ability to drop a few cogs on the back at the same power output.  Still learning to be comfortable in the drops, it takes awhile to teach an old dog new tricks I gue…

Greylock Century...de plaatlanders hit the hills

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Yesterday?  Well jongens, it was a death march.

Over here, we unfortunately don't have the cyclosportives or gran fondo's they're lucky to have almost every weekend in Europe.  Most weekends it's either a race (often a short criterium)... or a century ride which while nice usually has a flavor more 'LAW-touring' than 'TDF-sportive.'

But the Berkshire Cycling Association's Greylock century in western Massachusetts stands apart from your typical century ride, featuring a sawtooth profile that rivals some of the big Euro cyclosportives.  It's a course altitude profile that would garner respect in a Tour de France roadbook.   At 100 miles and 9300 feet of climbing, I figured it was an opportunity to get some climbing in, and recon the East Hawley road climb that will be the prime obstacle in the Tour of the Hilltowns race in two weeks.

I was fortunate to be accompanied on this quest for 'maximum VAM' by three real veterans who are experienced…