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Penn State Weekend

Race Reports

Aside from the awesome food this weekend which I'm sure will be included in everyone elses reports, here is my recollection of this weekend.

... In Delaware we have a phrase that is of some bearing on the personality of Pennsylvannia. "slower lower", Pa being directionally impaired is now to be "lesser wester". In the grand scheme of bike racing this is the exact opposite. Penn states hills are bigger, the ice cream is better, and there courses takeout less drexel riders per capita then philly.

When we left philly, all I could hear in the back ground was this song. You should be surprised.

We abandoned our plan for a four man TT team. The weather got the best of my inner cyclist. Given a mist like a bad 1930's horror movie, I'm surprised it was ever an option

The road race didn't hold any surprises. I died on the hills. Nick would have been better throwing his bike at the mountain, and Neal doing okay.

Men's C
Neal 21st
Nick 56th
Brendan 58th

Men's D
Tom 15th

The crit was rough to say the least. UVM attacked at the start dropping all but 11 of the C1 field (5 of which were UVM). Nick and I were dropped on the same lap, Neal hanging in there longer. As ironny would have it, none of the UVM riders finished higher then fifth. The course itself was a major confidence boost for me, I completed my lap finishing 58th.

Men's D
Tom 17th
Calahan 22nd

Men's C
Neal 25th
Nick 33rd
Brendan 36th

We did stay to watch the A race, which in reality wasn't that different for the C1 field. It was fairly obvious the difference in proper handling between the lead and the tail of that race.

Ice Cream Trips: 2 both Awesome
Stirrfry: 1

-Brendan Diener

The Return of the Raleigh
Unlike the Jedi the 1984 Raleigh of Chrome Moly was beaten down. (TTT)
The Raleigh with its age had no need for infantile test of wills, "by
16 it had learned to fight, the way of the warrior, it took as its
right". The Raleigh prefers to look its opponent in the eye. (RR)
"Hard as Iron" the Raleigh climbed. During the battle the Raleigh was
left by the more agile. "Through earth and water, fire and wind" it
climbed. With weapons "sharp as steel" it battled the Summoned
Grizzly not stopping to "beg or kneel". ... Though badly beaten the
Raleigh finished.
2nd lap w/ drexel
The Raleigh was then led (by those not known as Brendan) to battle
Bear Mountain again, only to find itself very alone. This time the
Raleigh would not escape unscathed. During the second bought the
Wearbear successfully Mauled the Raleigh's front wheel causing spokes
to come loose.
After mending its wounds from the previous days clashes, the Raleigh
returned to the field.
...It was not prepared to "mess with a mine field". The Raleigh was
accustomed to long drawn out clashes of strength and vitality, not the
battle of dexterity and mana with which it was met. As the battle
progressed the Raleigh slipped back slowly despite its efforts to keep
up with the advance. Until, while still having strength left, was
forced to retire. This would not be the end of its troubles. The
Raleigh had mended its front wheel but the Werebear apparently left a
Shockwave effect from the previous day has struck more damage...the
rear hub now needs adjusting.
The Raleigh shall now travel back to the time of Marty McFly.

-Nick Ferra

My plan for the weekend was to stay with the group for as long
as possible. In the past I set goals that exceeded my fitness level, goals
that required more training, or goals that needed determination- none of
which I had. Those goals generated high expectations that triggered an
increase in anxiety. I would become too worried about failing, too
concerned with defeat, and too distracted by minor inconveniences. In
preparation for Penn State I intended to go easy. I planned to take my
time, to stay with the group, and to not win. Telling yourself that you
wonít win can be demoralizing, but it worked for me this time. It helped to
keep me at ease before and during the race. I was not distracted by the
desire to win; I was able to focus on my riding and have fun.

Saturday: my race was a 20 mile loop around Black Moshannan
State Park. Since I felt comfortable, I could concentrate on my movements
and the movements of the peloton. The Dís kept a relatively easy pace
through the first 15 miles. My new bike made the descent much easier- and
faster. When my speed was too fast to pedal, my bike allowed me to get into
what may look like a precarious position- but was very aerodynamic, to
catch the riders ahead. I think the descent is where most of the field
split. Many newer riders did not feel comfortable exceeding 50mph while the
rest of us navigated the sweeping curves of the downhill effortlessly. I
stayed in the front of the group for the first climb.

Our tree-lined climb gave way to farmland at the summit.
Speckled cows sipping from a rocky creek indicated our second descent. We
kept speeds high along the farmland flats. There were 10 of us in the lead
group; no riders were spotted following through the mist. At the base of
the second climb the pace picked up, but the 10 of us held strong. All of
us stayed together; we made sure to take each sharp turn carefully- we knew
we had a long journey ahead of us.

After another stretch of rolling hills we finally began the big
climb. At the base of the climb I fell behind the nine riders. I knew the
climb that lay ahead, but I didnít have the motivation to stay. Fog and
rain passed as well as 5 more riders. For most of the climb I was back and
forth with racer; he would pick up speed, get tired and fall behind, pick
up speed again, get tired and fall behind. I managed to keep a constant
pace up the hill, but eventually (at the top of the hill) got dropped by
that rider.

While I was racing along the rolling hills of the top of the
climb I kept checking behind to make sure no more division 1 riders would
pass me. The division 2 pace car emerged from the fog- GAME ON! I love
confusing the D2 riders and generally making other peopleís jobs difficult.
The pace car passed me. I upped my pace and so did the car. The lead riders
of the D2 field were about 100yrds back, barely noticeable in the fog. Those
riders eventually passed me, but I kept up a good fight.

Nearing the final descent, I became aware of a small group of 4
riders approaching me. I could only recognize the man in front from MIT,
but I couldnít identify whether the other three were also D2. Again I
picked up my pace and made a fast descent. I signaled to them that it was
okay for them to pass me on the downhill. As they were moving ahead, I saw
a rider from PSU on the back- GAME ON AGAIN! I tagged along, but slowed
once I saw the ď25mphĒ post that signaled our sharp left turn to the
finish. I saw a rider take it too fast and slide out into the hay bales. I,
too, took it fast; I went slightly off-road into the gravel, but hopped
back on. With more than 200 meters to the finish, the PSU rider sprinted. A
lot of people thought the finish line was closer; this year they moved it
further down the road. Knowing that he sprinted too early, the PSU rider
stopped pedaling and glanced to see that I pulled up to his side. We agreed
to cross the line together while acknowledging a great race. We placed 15/16
th in the road race.

My thighs were burning, but my mind wanted more. I geared up
again to do another lap of Black Mo. with Joe, Tim, Brett, Nick, and Neal.
The pace was high, but we regrouped a couple times before the major climb.
I was struggling the second time up. I was looking for excuses to stop for
a breather and found quite a few. Every time a rider from the womenís field
approached I pulled to the side and cheered them on. I wanted to ride next
to them and have a chat, but they were too fast for me. All in all, my
second time around the course took about 2 hours compared to my race time
of 1:21:30.

Later that evening the team drove for some delicious stir fry
and flavorsome ice cream. Iím probably not the person to ask whether the
food was good, because I will always say ďyesĒ after such a tough ride.
Looking back now, I think the quality and service is about the same as the
other all-you-can-eat stir fry place, but both were definitely great. In
regards to the ice cream debate: I love all ice-cream; no place makes it
taste better or worse- itís all about the atmosphere. Itís the people you
go with and the stories told that make the ice-cream memorable.

I raced the D crit on Sunday morning. Calahan and I stayed
towards the front for a number of laps until there was a crash ahead of us.
It broke the field in two and we used up a lot of energy to get back to the
lead group. I hung on for a few more laps and slowly drifted back. I got
annoyed with people passing on the inside of the turns- nearly causing more
crashes, but I survived. This frat row criterium is one of my favorites,
but in a large group it becomes challenging. This upcoming weekend (Yale)
will probably be my last weekend in Dís. I want to get out of Dís. I must
get out of here. I must get free. And in this mind is the key- my key. Once
Zion is destroy- oh waitÖ

-Tom Calcagni

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Page last modified on June 30, 2012, at 05:27 PM