June 28: Pa. State ITT Championship

Job well done to all who turned out for Sunday's race.

Ag3r ended up with 2 - Pa. State Championship Gold Medals.

1st Place: Cat 3Brian Hopkins
1st Place: Cat 5 - Steve Marlette

Steve Brewer took 3rd Place in Cat 5, and
Henry Dimmick took 14th Place in the 45+ category.

My race report is posted on my blog.


June 28: Off-Road Triathlon

Mike Maher was doing Triple Duty this weekend... and doing it dirty this time, by competing in the 2009 XTERRA Trimax Off-Road Triathlon in Mifflinburg, Pa. With a 0.5 mile lake swim, a 11.5 mile mountain bike course, and a 3.9 mile trail run... Mike was concerned when he only recognized "fast guys" at the start line! Despite that concern, Mike was able to take 5th Place in 40-44 age category and 17th Place Overall. Go Dirty Mike :)

June 28: Millersville Road Race

Dave Shaffer traveled to Lancaster, Pa. to compete in a Pro/1/2/3 "east coast" road race. Unfortunately, he flatted in the first lap... and without neutal support, was forced to abandon the race. A long drive ...for nothing :(

June 21: Fat Tire Challenge

Rich Allen competed in The Fat Tire Challenge in Sigel, Pa. Rich competed in the 14 mile Sport Class, finishing 29th Overall, and 10th in 50+ Category. Here is Richy's Story: Did the Fat Tire Challenge in Siegel on Sunday. 100 Sport riders w/ one on a unicycle, yep Dave Crack, 35 or so Experts. Really fast group of riders this year. Sport was 15 miles with a dirt road uphill start for a mile or so then a 2 mile climb and then a 1 1/2 mile climb, 4000ft of total climbing. Lots of rocks, a couple small streams, lots of trees and 12 miles of mud. More technical then I would have thought for a race but still fun. Stayed with the main group for the first 6 miles or so, mostly single track so it was single file. Got to about 7 miles and my back started to hurt, it does this some times but if I slow down it'll usually go away, this time it didn't. Kept the back of the main group in sight for a mile or so then never saw them again. I was very disappointed that my back gave out before my legs.


June 21: Presque Isle Time Trial

Ag3r-ButlerHealthSystem Racing Team Members Steve Marlette and Ray Sielski along with FoxVelo Cycling Club Members Jim Miller and Donnie Panizales raced in the Presque Isle Cycling Club's Summer Time Trial Championship around Presque Isle State Park.
Steve Marlette: 2nd Place Men's 40-49 / 6th Place Overall
Ray Sielski: 10th Place Men's 50-59 / 58th Place Overall
Jim Miller: 12th Place Men's 30-39 / 63rd Place Overall
Donnie Panizales: 14th Place Men's 30-39 / 69th Overall


June 21: Ft. Cherry RR

Thanks to Fred Jorden for the above image! Dave Shaffer, Mark Briercheck (above) and Sam Morrison (in lead above) competed in the Ft. Cherry Road Race in McDonald, Pa. After repeated attacks, Sam was able to finish a terrific 7th Place in the Cat 1/2/3 race. Mark and Dave finish 28th+ Sam's Story: 3 solo/ duo attacks. One with Bob Stumpf to go after a break. Lasted a couple of minutes. One with Jake Lifson (pictured on Sam's Blog) covering me as I bridged up to the break. That was hard. He just sat behind me, and I knew he wasn't going to work (because he had a teammate in the break) so I just TT'd up. Last one was (when) I thought the second to last lap was the last lap. I attacked with 3-4 miles to go and had a HUGE gap on the field, and then came around and realized I still had another whole lap to go :( I still got seventh, in the money, (but am) super shredded. Very tired.

June 21: No Results Yet

In addition to the races already posted below, the following races/racers were out this past weekend, however, the official results have not yet been posted. June 21 - Ft. Cherry Road Race (McDonald, Pa.) Sam Morrison Mark Briercheck Dave Shaffer June 21 - Presque Isle ITT Championship (Erie, Pa.) Steve Marlette Ray Sielski June 21 - Fat Tire Challenge (Siegel, Pa.) Rich Allen Stay tuned for the Official Results...

June 21: Va. State TT Championship

Brian Hopkins drove long and far into Virginia for this weekend's Individual Time Trial Championships in Stoney Creek, Va. Brian's battle with Roller Dogs lead to him have a bit of a rough ride to finish 4th Place - Cat 3 division, and 7th Place - Overall. Excellent result considering the "conditions"! You can read all about it on "The Story of Brian".

June 19: PMVC Time Trials

Ray Sielski, T.Lyle Ferderber, Dave Hickey, and Henry Dimmick (me!) started the weekend off with Pittsburgh Masters Velo Club's 20 mile Individual Time Trial at the Washington Blvd. Oval in Pittsburgh, Pa. T.Lyle is coming on strong this season, recording a TIE with Dave Hickey! Aren't inter squad rivalries fun? :) Henry Dimmick - 7th Place Dave Hickey - 10th Place (tie) T.Lyle Ferderber - 10th Place (tie) Ray Sielski - 12th Place

June 21: Penn Trafford Triathlon

Mike Maher competed in the Penn Trafford Triathlon in Harrison City, Pa. this past Sunday. While maybe only a local race, Mike's confidence in his new sport received a real shot in the arm by finishing: 1st Place Overall on the Long Course, and 1st Place in the 40-49 Men's Category. Just wait until he gets a tri-specific bike :)


June 14: Carlisle 40K TT

Steve Marlette also traveled East this past weekend to take part in the Carlisle 40K Individual Time Trial. Steve finished 1st Cat 5 / 12th Overall. In Steve's words: There were several firsts for me this past Sunday: First 40K TT. First TT on open roads not shut down to traffic First TT where the predominate smell was cow manure First time I had to pass Amish horse and buggy several times during the race, and First time I had to dodge fresh horse manure at 30mph! All in all, it was not too crappy :-) ...AND, I managed to qualify for a sub hour t-shirt!

June 13: Yellow Creek Triathlon

Mike Maher competed in the Jackie Kallal Triathlon - Indiana Habitat for Humanity, at Yellow Creek State Park.
This was Mike first ever full Tri... finishing in 2nd Place in the 40-44 Category.
Swim - 23:17 (1:46 transition)
Bike - 27:40 (1:01 transition)
Run - 23:58
... for a total time of 1:17.42
Mike's Story:
Tri It You’ll Like it! Yellow Creek 2009 Well I had a plan. After learning to run in preparation for a half marathon the next logical step was to learn to swim and do a triathlon. So I hit the pool and had a couple sessions where I had worked my way up to swimming a whole lap of an Olympic pool before pulling myself to the edge, gasping for air and spitting up water. So things were progressing smoothly when I had eye surgery and missed 4 weeks in the pool. During that time I was sentenced to watching Total Immersion swim videos (Horrible swim porn with a pudgy 50 year old guy and bad music) .
So 3 weeks ago I’m back in the pool thanks to Mary Grace and some super secret pool espionage. Then off to the Y to get some more pointers from my coach and all around swell lady…Sue. So I swim a lap or two and ask Sue for some constructive criticism. Her rather puzzled response started with,” You haven’t swum in a month, how are you better than before?” Who says TV can only rot your brain. Swim videos! Man I know how to party. So 2 weeks later and a couple more pool sessions, I figure it’s time to man up and try an open water swim with a used wetsuit in Keystone Lake. Not exactly sure why this is freaky, but it is. Like I told Maria, I’ve swam over waterfalls after botched kayak runs, I’m not gonna drown in a lake. Now as I’m standing on the shore of this deserted, murky lake, in the pouring rain….and I’m telling myself the same thing. I will not drown. Snapping turtles will not eat the evidence if I do. It’ll be OK Mike. So I swim a couple hundred yards in the lake; all the while fighting the disconcerting feeling that I can’t see my hands in the water in front of me and the hope that the combined ingredients of fish flesh and goose poop will not mutate into a toxic combination of ecosludge and bring on some horrible disease. After 30 minutes I’ve had enough and I am out of the water. Thanks to the wetsuit and swim voyeurism I feel relatively confident that I can swim ¼ mile nonstop. Let’s see... ¼ mile swim will cover the out half of the ½ mile swim leg of the triathlon course at Yellow Creek. It’s 2 days away. If I swim ¼ mile out; I won’t let myself drown and I’m too stupid to stop. A plan is hatched. I will wait till Saturday morning and decide. If my mojo is good, my chakra is centered and the stars are aligned, I will do the race. Saturday comes and the aforementioned, plus the Magic 8 Ball all say go. DAMN! It’s 8:45 and frankly I’m a little worried. The buoys marking the swim turn around extend at least ¾’s of the way across the lake. Man that’s friggin far! I’m nervous. I’ve been anxious at the start of every race I’ve ever done. How will I do? Can I win? Will I finish? Now I sitting on shore watching the first wave hit the water and my fears are much more basic…will I survive? The three minutes between waves is over in a flash and the gun goes off. I’m supposed to do something. CRAP! That’s right swim.
I let my entire wave enter the water all sprinting and splashing furiously. I think I have just seen a killer white torpedo a seal when I realize that I am subconsciously chest deep and moving deeper. I’m in and swimming. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Slow down and concentrate. I have no idea how hard or easy I should go since the longest distance I’ve swum to this point is 200 meters. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. GRAB. What the hey? Something is catching on my hands during the pull. I getting trapped by seaweed….This is it! I’m gonna die….wait a second it just breaks off like Cray paper. Shew…that was a close one.
Settle in and Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. WHAP! Right in the forehead. I catch a big toe in the forehead. I’m actually catching a swimmer ahead of me??? So I move over. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. I can tell by the string of floaties and the 2 big buoys that I passed, that I’m almost to the turn around and feeling pretty good. So Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. SCRATCH! Stroke. Stroke. Breath. SCRATCH! Someone coming up behind me has hit my feet on each of the last 8 strokes. Is this the tri way of flashing the high beams to get me to move over? Too bad.
If I can’t see the rope, I’ll have no idea where the hell I’m going. See (pun intended) I have no idea how to sight while swimming yet and I cannot afford to break whatever rhythm I have. Finally someone passes me on the outside. So Stroke. Stroke. Breath. Stroke. Stroke. Breath. THUMP! WHAM! I have now been rear ended. I know I’m going slowly but someone came up behind me with enough force that I actually got jolted forward. It didn’t hurt, so I’ll try and stay in front of this swimmer and hope they push me all the way in. I’m not much of a NASCAR fan, but I think they call that bump drafting.
I finish the swim and the rest of the race is pretty uneventful. It hurts when I’m moving and feels better at the end when I stop. Hell racing is racing. Pretty fun all in all. For what its’ worth the THUMP! was my coach Sue who started in a wave 32 minutes behind me. I think she just wanted to make sure she got out of the water before me and figured swimming thru me was the shortest distance!

June 13: Oxford Road Race

Sam Morrison competed in the Cat 3/4 Oxford Road race in Chester County, Pa. this past Saturday on his way across the state to attend the USAC Cycling Development Camp. Interestingly enough, this early SUMMER race had HAIL... contributing to a breakaway of 3 riders...with Sam finishing in 2nd Place in the final sprint. Story by Sam: 5 laps. Started slow. A couple of attacks, then it started to spit, then it started to come down hard. I moved to the front because I knew the group wasn't going to be going too fast in the rain. Then it started to hail, and the one guy attacked at the bottom of the climb. A few seconds later I went, and then another kid started to bridge. I yelled at the guy in front to wait for us, and he did. As soon as we grouped up i went to the front and hammered for a couple of minutes. It was so miserable drafting wasn't really doing anything, and you could barely see 5 feet. The roads were like rivers, I'm surprised none of us went down. On the final straight we slowed down and did the tactic thing, and I got second. Kerry Werner (2008 Worlds Qualifier) won it.


June 5-7: Cycling Overload?

Sam Morrison is now recovering from a MAJOR cycling weekend! Check out this schedule: Friday - SuperFan @ the PMVC Friday Night TTs Saturday - Road Racer @ The Tour of Tucker County Saturday Night - (jersey clad) SuperFan @ Dash 4 Cash MTB Afterparty Sunday Morning - Circuit Racer @ Millcreek Park Sunday Night - Criterium Racer @ Riverview GP 3 races in 2 days... is guaranteed to turn any (Boy) into a Man :) Wow...

June 7: Riverview Gran Prix

Mark Briercheck, Dave Shaffer and Sam Morrison attended 0.7 mile, seven turn, EVENING criterium in downtown Oakmont, Pa. By the end of the Cat 1/2/3 race... Sam and his 18 yr old legs... fresh off a hard circuit race THAT morning, and an even harder Road Race the day before(!!!), was still in the hunt. Heading into the final turns, a gap in the field caused him to get caught out of the top ten. He tried to get across the gap... resulting in him (winning) the field sprint... but was unable to close down the lead group (of 11?) before the finish line. Official Results are Still Pending Watch Sam's Blog for a possible futher post.

June 7: Millcreek Park Circuit Race

Dave Shaffer and Sam Morrison traveled to Youngstown, Ohio to compete in this closed course, 25 mile circuit race with one HARD power climb each of the 25 laps. While that climb ultimately took it's toll on Dave, Sam was able to stay with the lead group for a 14th Place finish. Yikes. After yesterday's Tour of Tucker County... and surviving Millcreek Park...will Sam have the legs to finish (tonight's) Riverview Gran Prix in Oakmont, Pa.? Stay tuned :)

June 6: Philadelphia Time Trial

Brian Hopkins traveled east this weekend to compete in the Philiadelphia TD Bank Individual Time Trial. Testing (& confirming!) his form for the upcoming Pa. State ITT Championships, Brian finished in 1st Place Category 3, and 5th Place Overall (which included Categories Pro/1/2/3/4/5). Watch Brian's Blog for a possible future post! Nice Job Brian :)

June 6: Tour of Tucker County

Sam Morrison began his 3 race weekend with a very hilly road race in West Virginia. Rolling out in the 52 mile, Cat 1/2/3 race, Sam hung with the lead group though the first two of three 7 mile long climbs, eventually falling off the lead group the final time up. This very hard race was voted one of the Top 10 hardest Road races in the USA by VeloNews. Sam was in very strong company ...finishing in 18th Place on the day. Watch Sam's Blog for a possible future post.

June 5: Friday Night Time Trials

Oscar Swann's PMVC (Pittsburgh Masters Velo Club) Firday Night Time Trials opened with a 10 mile distance Individual Time Trial at the Washington Blvd. Track. These races are always a great way to start the weekend! Here are the results: 2nd - Steve Marlette 13th - Henry Dimmick 15th - T.Lyle Ferderber 17th - Dave Hickey 21st - Rich Allen 24th - Ray Sielski While Sam didn't race... planning 3 other races over the weekend(!), he did come to the track with his single speed commuter bike outfitted for speed :)


TT ramp up

June is looking like a busy month of racing for me (at least by my standards). In theory all of my races in the beginning of the month will lead me towards peaking for the PA state ITT in the last weekend of June. Today started my build upwards. I have taken the last 2 days off of my bike because I've been busy moving into my new house so today was for hard intervals. I was supposed to be doing the Thursday training TT that Yellow Breeches Racing puts on 2 Thursdays per month. It was canceled because of weather so I had to suffer solo. An hour and a half later I'm home and tired. Tomorrow will be an easier ride with just a few hard bursts to get ready for Saturday's "2009 Philadelphia Amateur Time Trial" This should be a good race, it looks like just over 200 people have signed up.


A Quick Public Service Announcement

I have seen two blog posts recently that brings an important maintenance item to my attention. One from Mr. Hopkins http://briansbikeblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/my-extended-weekend-of-riding.html and another from Sam http://samlikesbikes.blogspot.com/2009/05/what-happens-when-you-dont-work-on-your.html Often overlooked maintenance items on the bike are the cables, housings, and the handlebars. With some of the marathon indoor riding a few of you crazy people do, and the weather we all deal with here in PA, the potential damage to handle bars and cables is very real. The failure of these parts during a ride or race can be catastrophic. Some of the people from Indiana know of a rider who's sweat can eat through steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber over a winter's training sessions. So, if you can't remember the last time you unwrapped your bars and changed tape, housings, and cables, I recommend you do it soon. Once a year is not too soon. If it's been two years, you are probably over due. I happen to find enjoyment and satisfaction doing a good bar wrapping job. Happy Riding, Beachcomber


May 31: Black Bear Triathlon

Craig Dietz, Jim Miller and Mark Harmanos competed in the Black Bear Half Marathon Triathlon in Beltzville State Park, just minutes from Jim Thorpe, Pa.

Craig started things off with a 1.2 mile swim, Jim then took over for a 56 mile bike, with Mark bringing it home with a 13.1 mile run.

Named team "Bob"(!) , they finished 6th Overall in the Half Marathon Relay Division.

Here is a picture of Craig and Jim, chillin' after their efforts, while Mark is still sweating out on the course!

Congratulations Guys :)