Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How we brought home our tree

This morning had recovery ride written all over it and Mel had the perfect idea. We were going to pick up our tree by bike. It is great to be married to someone who really understands how much fun it is to use your bike as transportation as much as possible.
To make this successful I modified the BOB trailer to accomodate a tree.

Then we bundled up and headed out to Holcomb Farm CSA to pick up a locally grown tree. We also get vegetables from the farm every week during the growing season. It is wonderful to be able to pick up vegetables by bike and give Lars his tractor fix at the same time.

At the farm Lars spent a bunch of time playing with Bruno, a black and white cat, while we picked out a tree. We all enjoyed hot cider and gingersnaps from Lost Acres orchard.

Once we pick out the tree, Patty helped me tie it up so that it would fit on the trailer and then I used several tie down straps to securely fasten it to trailer. Mel got Lars back in the trailer and we headed out on our adventure home. It was fun to see the responses of passing drivers and people in their yards as we rode by with the tree.

It was a bit of a challenge to ride with the tree. When the tree swayed the bike was tough to control. We did make it home safely and were pretty excited to have gotten our tree without using the car.

Baystate Cyclocross Day 1

Yesterday the Roti family headed up to Sterling, MA for day 1 of the Baystate Cross races. As always it was sure to be an adventure. We packed up the stroller and Lars' bike and my GTR Cross Bike and made the 1.5 hour drive to the race. Lars took a short nap on the way up, which was good as he stayed up pretty late the night before playing with Noah from across the street.
If you live in the east you know that it was extremely windy and cool yesterday. As much as the wind can be a real challenge to ride into it was certainly welcome as it rained all day on Friday.
I lined up for the 35+ race with about 70 other racers including the National Champion and 3 of my road teammates from the Horst-Benidorm-Property Research Corp. team. The course had lots of wide open stretches that would work well for the extremely fit racers and not so well for those (like myself) that have good technical skills and not enough fitness.
Needless to say the race started off fast on a cinder track for almost a whole lap and then we headed up a muddy run-up. The Horst toes spikes came in extremely handy for this. I was able to make up ground on this section every lap as I did not slip at all. After the run-up was a fast downhill that led right into a horse jump that was about 2 feet high and then into a twisty section. This was the best part of the course for me. After that there were several sections of longer wide open stretches where I really struggled between lack of fitness and the wind. Thankfully in between the wide open sections were some more technical twisty and hilly sections where I could make up time.
Even though I didn't feel perfect it was a fun race and helped me work on my top end fitness.
Lars and Mel got to see the start and then he wanted to retreat to the car to warm up and as he told Mom, "stay in the car and play trucks all day." Even though they didn't get to see too much of the race it was great to have them there to support. I may do one more race next week depending on how training and the first week back at work from a week and a half off go.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

2 Races in two days!

It has been an extremely busy fall thus far. I have really been focusing on using my time wisely so that I can get in better shape and actually be more competitive when racing. I am happy to say that all those rides pulling Lars in the trailer and early morning treadmill runs seem to have paid off abit. Last weekend I raced the Cheshire Cross race in Cheshire, CT and then the Spooky Bikes Cross Race in Easthampton, MA.

The Cheshire race turned out to be a blast of a course. Several people called it a mountain bikey course. It must have been because alot of the course was in the woods. I absolutely loved the course as it was a bike handler's course and there were two sizable run-ups. Hunter did a great job with the course. I loved the way he made the twisty stuff in the most technically difficult areas such as on a downhill that was both muddy and covered with pine needles! In the most recent races I have been close to last or last but on Saturday I managed to pull 12th place.

On Sunday the Spooky race turned out to be a similar course in terms of the twisty aspect. There was not as much elevation change which did not play in my favor. The guys with lots of gear grinding power fair much better on these courses. I did like the course. The barriers and run-ups were put in strategic areas that I never really got the right rhythm on. I spent most of the race playing cat and mouse with Dan C. He had my strengths and weaknesses figured out. I had been struggling in the sand section the whole race and he attacked me in the last sand section of the race to get a gap. I think that he was just plain stronger than me anyway!

We capped the weekend with lunch in Northampton with some friends at La Veracruzana Mexican Restaurant.

I will have to work on my cross technique some more for the remaining races this year and of course make sure that I keep up my early morning exercise during the week. It really makes a difference both mentally and physically.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hartford Cross

What a great day for a cross race. Last night we had torrential rains that made for an extremely tough race. I got down to the course at 7am to make sure the course was in order after last night's rain. We set up most of the course yesterday. This was a smart move as it made it a whole lot easier to focus on registration.
As of last night we had 78 people preregistered. We ended up with about 180 people racing today.
The course turned out to be a good blend of muddy sections to grind (literally) through and fast smooth. It turned out that the rain did little to the course.
For the first cross race of the year for me, I felt OK. Especially since I got home at 11am yesterday after flying all night Friday to get home from Mexico in time to set up the course.
I will post some pics as soon as I get them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hike in the Whites

This past weekend Mel and Lars and I were up in Maine for a wedding. The day before the wedding I had the chance to do a hike in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with a couple of college friends, Pete and Greg.

We started in Gorham at the Appalachia trailhead and headed up the Airline trail. As it turns out the Whites were true to their name and it had snowed a couple of days before. This made for slow going. There was just enough snow to make it slippery and not enough for crampons or the like.

We covered Mt. Adams and Jefferson and then came back along Randolph Path.

With the snow walking downhill was even more treacherous that up. We put on our Yaktraks for the decent. These are a great tool in these conditions. We were all wishing that we put them on earlier in the day. However the rocky trails were not kind to them. I ruined mine and so did Pete. Luckily for Pete, he had just purchased his so he would be able to return them.

All in all we returned to the trailhead 9 hours later tired and happy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hartford Cross

Come check out or race at the Hartford Cross race this Sunday. For more info go to: