PVC Club Social and Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 @ Bruno’s. Start your season with friends. Join us!
PVC Club Social and Annual Meeting
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 @ Bruno’s. Start your season with friends. Join us!
There was a great PVC showing at the Auburn Lewiston Crit today!
Three of our junior were there to represent with Aiden Simmons finishing 1st followed by George P Theall for 2nd and Everett Yannelli in 4th! Aiden continued on in the challenging 4/5 field to continue to gain additional experience. The wind swept in after the first race which literally blew the remaining fields apart. It reminded me of the Track race called a “miss’n’out” where each lap the last person was pulled from the race until the finish. The fields were not large but fast and challenging.
The 4/5 race Mark Carpenter and Peter Morrison were working hard in the field finishing 4th and 7th respectively.
The 35+ race Peter was back out there and finished 3rd.
The 50+ race had 2 people off the front almost from the gun. The field continued to loose people as the gap with the leaders grew. George A Theall burst out of turn 3, up the hill, skipping his wheel in turn 4 for a clear field sprint win for 3rd place. Carl Hitchcock also stayed with the field winning a few primes along the way.
Others racing the PVC colors include Chris Darling, Graydon Stevens, George Benington, Brook More, John Baldwin, Brian Cole, Paul Niehoff, Christian Ratliff, Dan Leland.
PVCers and ALL
In efforts to increase the safety of the peloton, pedestrians, traffic and all; the SMR will depart sharply at 7:00 am for the Peak Summer months of July/August starting THIS SATURDAY, July 1st. This is inclusive of both the men’s and women’s rides.
I was contacted by Scarborough Police Officer Peter Nappi who controls the Prouts Neck Area (and also has a bicycle repair kit in the cruiser) with concerns of having the peloton going through there at the time that we do. The concerns presented are that we are a large pack of riders (40-80) and it is the same time that things get going out there at Prouts, i.e. tennis, golf, kids on bikes walkers, etc…
This is the ride we all look forward to every week and I will continue to work with the local towns to keep this ride as safe as possible for everyone … riders, walkers, runners, motorists, etc… We appreciate that Scarborough PD reached out to us to make a suggestion and are willing to work with us to ensure safety for all. They, as well as many others, love to see us parade through their town. But Safety FIRST! Let’s all ride smart!!!! Thank you for your understanding. See you at the start this Saturday, July 1st, 7:00am.
Please spread the word!!!!!!!!
By Paul Weiss
We had a good crew from Maine at CX Nationals this year since it was so close to home, and folks are just really getting excited about cyclocross. The sport seems to keep growing by leaps and bounds, and it is funny to see both the Junior and Master fields overflowing with participants.
The Hartford Course was in a small park on the shores of the CT river. The area features some fields, a large earthen levee that was about 40 feet high and some small woods trails in the river bottom mud. Part of the course went through a gazebo and playground.
I went all out this year. I mean I love CX, but this year I went a little overboard with racing. I essentially raced more days than most pro racers. In retrospect, I over did it. Racing every weekend since the end of August has cost a lot in terms of free time, training and money. I set out to do the whole schedule for New England. Pretty much all weekends except Labor Day, even a midweek race. It was important to me to try to get on the Hartford course earlier in the year, which I did. The national course, while not following exactly, was in a lot of the same terrain.
With 2 weeks after the last Connecticut snowy races in Bethlehem and New Haven, I felt pretty good about having raced 2 full days in snow and then got some training days in on the road with snow. I knew Hartford could dish out some snow and ice. But the conditions early in the week at nationals looked like frozen mud to slippery mud. Changing fast each day. If you have not seen the video of the large slip and slide hill (that they eliminated later in the week) check it out here.
I got on course on Thursday, and things were in really descent condition in that all the mud was solid as a rock. There were a few good lines on the course, but really hard ruts that they had made some attempt to smooth with a ATV. Then it started to snow late in the evening, and I knew my race was going to be hard. The next morning it was those same frozen ruts but you could not see them because they were covered in a few inches of snow. This made the early races really difficult to say the least.
Brian Cole raced in the AM and ripped a derailleur off his bike. These frozen ruts could flat a tire in an instant. By the time I was set to race, the conditions had changed to surface mud. I got on the course for several lap,. and it was treacherous. Now the frozen ruts were not visible, and the snow was melting enough to make all sections of the course slippery beyond belief.
I lined up just after noon and was ready for a good technical race. However, this was a bit more. I love racing in snow, but ice and half melted frozen ruts are another thing. This course was a bit scary in that a fall on this stuff could break your wrist, arm or leg. No joke. We raced off the line and across the first turn, and it was going well. Into a straight away by the pits, I immediately hit a hidden lengthwise rut that took me out like I was not on a bike! Flat down, hard ouch. Got up and tried to see both the bike and me, both were ok, but a bent shifter had to be fixed.
Getting back on the bike, I was off the back of the pack, who were now going into a long diagonal off camber run-up that you could ride on the bottom for a way or along the top. It was really a hard run with mud, ice off camber. The big downhill caused everyone to pause a bit since it required leaning away from the hill, and an off camber turn then braking enough to not get caught in the exit ruts. Pretty scary for some folks since you could really injure yourself on the flat at high speeds. I negotiated that hill well, but it was the woods section after the pits that were probably the second most difficult.
The frozen ruts in the woods were unbelievable. It looked as if they raced hundreds in the mud and then left all ruts to freeze solid. Just the width sometimes of a 34 c tires. It was really hard to negotiate the small uphill’s and tight turns in the woods. Many spilled or ran their bikes here, but even running was dangerous. An ankle twist was very easy. I was glad to be wearing my Lake high ankle winter boots for both support and warmth.
A few laps in and I was still off the back. This course had no place to go really hard, and it was truly a course of attrition. The person who made the least spills and recovered fasted would win. There are so many places to have slip ups. Even the pro field experienced the same thing. I ended up having one other dump in the woods that caused another loss of time that really put me back. I ended up finishing way in the back ¾ of the pack. On the last lap, the leaders came through and started lapping the back of the field.
In retrospect, it was a fun experience but not what I had planned for. The conditions made the course more challenging than I had expected, plus the goal of not getting injured again. I had several injuries this season and did not want to repeat. Luckily I didn’t. I also saw the great advantage disk brakes could have offered me on parts of this course; my carbon rim brakes did not work well on the frozen downhills and mud.
The really good things was that I got the best hotel room, within a short 10 minute ride of the course. This made the post-race cleanup easier. It was so easy that Hank Pfeiffel and Troy Barry hung out there and kept warm before Troy’s race.
PVC had some good racing that day including: Nathaniel Smith, Brian Cole, Adam Lampton, and Chris Darling. It was great to see most racing! It was a fun season but I am glad to be on skis now! I look forward to the PVC racing team next season!
Here are some images:
Spring into the 2017 cycling season and attend PVC’s annual meeting and club social on Wednesday, March 1 from 5:30-7:30 PM at Easy Day in South Portland. Re-connect with friends, talk smack about the coming weekend’s first SMR of the year, and enjoy complimentary food and beverages. Mostly social, the Leap Day event will also include some club business in the form of our annual meeting. We’ll be brief. Oh, and there will be really cool door prizes for attending members.
Haven’t renewed your membership for 2017? Renew here.
2016-17 CX update by Paul Weiss
Last weekend was a good way to end the racing season before Nationals in January. Saturday was an epic with over 6 inches of fresh snow in an orchard in Western CT. I do not think that the promoter was ready for the race since they did not clear the course at all (not that you would clear it that much, but at least a little). We had to try to ride in the fresh snow. Luckily I got in the night before since the driving was really bad. I got a single lap in on the course, which was just about unridable. Not sure how much that helped me but, off I was to line up with high winds, blowing snow and lots on the ground. We all lined up and some were off on their bikes and other decided to run from the start line. You could only ride the flat or downhill parks, and even some of those were unridable. The course had been shortened since I warmed up on it since the conditions were so slow. We were to ride 45 minutes. The course went through an apple orchard and then through some corn fields, with a few hairy descents. Here is what I learned: carbon wheels and caliper pads do not work in the slightest in wet snow. I had to descend these sections, with skiing skills, like aiming for deep snow to slow down! Folks were even running the downhill now. Well just to say this was a unique race, I ended up running about 75% of the course, as did most riders.
Sundays race in a city park in New Haven was better in that you could ride the whole course even though the snow was still melting off. It turned out to be a muddy adventure with one kind of difficult downhill (no brakes again). Survived that descent each lap and did a reasonable race. This race was really helpful to get the snow and ice racing skills ready for Nationals. So very glad to have done it. That was the last of I think close to 30 races this season, starting in August just about every weekend but labor day. It has been a mixed season with some significant injuries that caused a lot of issues with training and performance, however, it was a lot of fun. I won all kinds of money, gained great notoriety and look forward to driving my new race car that I won……..ok I will keep trying. Really, I did a few races I was proud of, that will keep me motivated for next season!
I look forward to Nationals in Hartford CT in a couple weeks. We should have a pretty good PVC and Maine turnout. I will race on Friday in the Master’s and will stay the weekend to watch the Junior and Elite races. It will be nice to just watch someone else race for a change and then look forward to a good ski season!
The March Farm Cyclocross, see how some are riding and some running…for the whole course….
Getting Ready for the Elm City Cyclocross in NH CT.
Post race mud and enjoyment at Elm City CX.
Happy Holidays and New Year, Paul Weiss
On Wednesday, November 16, PVC announced its new race program for 2017. Approximately 30 members of the club were in attendance, as race organizers Ted Darling, Linda Braley, Paul Weiss, Kevin Woodhouse, and David Brink outlined the program.
Interested members will need to (a) renew/become a member for 2017 and (b) complete the online form indicating the races in which you will compete by January 31, 2017. (Note that there is a 5 race per discipline minimum for each discipline in which you intend to race).
The program objectives are identified as follows:
To participate, the following requirement are indicated:
Team member benefits discussed included the following
The Mountain Biking program was identified as follows:
Leader: Kevin Woodhouse, firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 PVC Mountain Bike team
There are about 35 trail races in New England each year starting in April and ending in October. These races range in both difficulty and length and are great for beginners as well as experts. The PVC Mtn bike race is targeting these 10 races in New England that represent the full range and level of difficulty offered. With the importance of supporting local races, this list emphasizes those races held in Maine.
The Road Racing program was outlined as follows:
The following races will be prioritized based upon rider interest:
*You may use two (2) Scarborough Crit Races against your minimum race commitment.
**You may use two (2) Maine Time Trial races against your minimum race commitment.
The CycloCross program was outlined as follows:
Leader: Paul Weiss, email@example.com
The season started at Blunt Park in Springfield MA in August and is now at the heart of the season in November. Working towards the US National Championships this January in Harford CT. PVC has had some great races, some good races and a few really bad ones, but it has been really fun and great to get to see so many courses across New England.
PVC has been floating some racers over the season and most show up at our local races at Pinelands, Casco Bay, and Orchard Cross. It has been fun to run our weekly cyclocross camps and also race with those folks on the weekend. We had 2 Juniors train and race with us, women, as well as some old masters. We even have some new folks trying cyclocross for the first time. PVC Racers include: Brian Cole, Chris Darling, George Bennington, Paul Neihoff, , Eric Larsson, Adam Lampton, David Beneman, Jeff Doughty, Greg Bartick, and Paul Weiss.
To see the results from all our team members click on this link for PVC Results.
It has been a long season, 22 races thus far. One fun weekend was at the Verge series races in Northampton MA. Two days of full on racing with the best racers from throughout the northeast. This race has grown so much over the 23 plus years of existence. It was the largest race in North America this past weekend.
The field Paul Weiss normally races in, the Masters 45+ was full with over 100 racers. Crazy start each day with a sprint from the gun and a giant field funneling into the serpentine course. First laps culminating in an arduous run-up with a bike over your shoulder and other riders stepping on your feet.
He had a really good race and moved up from somewhere in the last row to the top 1/3 of the field. Sunday He felt a bit slower but still a good race despite losing a lot of time to 2 crashes off the start line, one after another. Good to not go down in either. Also great to have a technically flawless race, this despite some really tricky technical sections of difficult descents and steep run-ups.
PVC is looking forward to the colder races and to race the season out to the end. The season is long and fun and we want to congratulate those that have given it their best. It has been impressive to see some of the best racers in New England right here from Maine.
What is left on the menu for this season?
PVC Double loop
Shed Park CX Lowell MA
New England CX Championships, Fitchberg, MA
NBX Verge, Cranston, RI
Ice Weasels CX, RI
March Farm CX, Bethleham, CT
Elm City CX, New Haven CT
US National CX Championships, Harford, CT
Brian Cole Ready to race at Northampton Cycle-Smart International, CX Verge Race 11/13/16.
Chris Darling is in the same peloton as Brian, and ready to race!
Paul Weiss Racing Hard
Jeff Doughty at Quad Cross
Paul Neihoff at White Park
Brian Cole, Chris Darling, George Bennington and Paul Weiss at Craft Gran Prix of Gloucester
Adam Lampton at Casco Bay Cyclocross
Here are a few of Eric Larsson, Paul Neihoff, and Greg Bartick from Orchard Cross at Applefest Farm taken by Katie Busick
PVC Member Survey Results
In mid-September, PVC surveyed its members in order to understand and better serve their needs. More than half of our active membership responded, and we are quite pleased with the overall results and the terrific feedback and suggestions. Over the next several months, the PVC board of directors will be evaluating the results carefully and taking steps to improve the club based upon that feedback.
We have published the complete survey results here for your review.
The Tour of the Hilltowns race took place on Saturday, July 23 in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. The day brought 94-degree temps (felt like 104 on pavement) and some pretty substantial wind. The women’s field was huge at over 30; and strong, as all of the New England climbers seemed to be there. The race was 54 miles and about 5000 feet of climbing, with a 4.5-mile mini monster at mile 22 up East Hawley Road. After PVC racers Kathy Ventura and Kate Lynch discussed the race with advisor Joe Lynch and their coach Troy Barry, who have both raced the race before, we planned on sitting in for the first 21 miles. We actually, intentionally dangled 15 yards off of the back of the group on the steep West Hawley descent at mile 15, based on advice from the guys. The pavement was sketchy and the road was narrow and there was the potential for oncoming cars; the women’s field can also just be plain twitchy and we all know this too well. We wanted to be safe above anything else. It was perfect advice. We rode easily back to the group at the bottom of the climb. The pace for the first 22 miles was mellow with a lot of rollers and decidedly not a good place to try to drive the pace or to get away.
At the base of the big climb, Kate brought Kathy around to the front to launch her up, according to the plan. Kate shares, “She got away with the lead climbers and looked strong from there A couple of minutes later,I rode back to her unexpectedly and told her to jump on. She said the heat had gotten to her and she didn’t feel good. I looked over at her and her face was bright red and white all at the same time. She looked really sick. She told me to go to keep one of us up there. I didn’t have enough oxygen to get a lot of words out to her, but reluctantly climbed on. I continued to climb hard with Natasha B. from Green Line Velo in about 9th position. We got to the top of the climb and started our 25-mile chase to the leaders. We picked up a couple of more ladies and had a fast, organized group. We got a lot of miles behind us. The heat was absolutely crushing and the wind seemed to be picking up and be always coming at us. With 7 miles to go, I started cramping. I put back some Hammer Extreme Endurolytes and Endurance Aminos and they immediately put the cramps at bay – but I knew it was temporary. We had two more climbs to go to the finish. At mile 3, the cramps came back. I was out of water. I decided to sit up from my group, take my last Endurolyte and just get to the finish. The last 3 miles were endless. I lost a few places and about 5 minutes from my chase group to finish 14th.”
Kathy got it back together after feeling sick on the climb and rode with one other lady. She pulled most of the remaining 25 miles but was psyched for the brief, intermittent break she got from the other rider. The other racer wanted to pull over and stop multiple times and Kathy kept her on her bike as she knew she could use her for the short breaks from the wind. She absolutely plowed through the remaining 25 miles, riding though a bunch of women and staying focused on the finish line. It would have been easy to quit but she stayed so strong and finished 20th. Absolutely epic effort mostly solo-ing in the heat and wind.
Kate and Kathy were both truly crushed at the finish line. Joe and Troy were there for them, picking up the pieces by taking our bikes, sitting us in the shade, peeling off our helmets, shoes, and socks, and giving us icy cold water and orange Gatorades. Thanks you guys.
One more race behind us. More fitness and more experienced gained. A couple more big races coming up – but maybe a quick rest first…..!