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PSU Nittany Classic

Date: 2003-03-08
By: Joe K

Hey guys,

Here's how the weekend went down:

Reading Pagoda Individual Time Trial, Mar 8

  • Men's C (58 starters)
    • 10th Erik da Silva
    • 20th Joe Kopena
  •  Men's D (29 starters)
    • 9th Regi Endriukaitis
    • 16th Jason Hall
    • 21st Stephen Breese
    • 27th Marc Maraldo

Nittany Classic Pagoda Cicruit Race, Mar 9

  • Men's C (67 starters)
    • 12th Erik da Silva
    • Adam Alper
    • DNF Joe Kopena (mechanical)
  • Men's D (35 starters)
    • 8th Regi Endriukaitis
    • 15th Jason Hall
    • 21st Justin Kline

The traditional Rodale circuit race was cancelled because the coursewas iced over. Instead an ITT was held on the Pagoda, basically downthe main stretch, then halfway down the back side and back. Fourmiles round trip.

Full results are up at [1] and [2]. It was a pretty good weekend, allin all. Justin, Jay, and Regi all made it to their races this weekendwith good results, especially on Regi's part. Erik had a goodweekend, considering the first thing he said after meeting up with uson Saturday was "Hey, I actually did some training this week!" Adamfinished well, but was clearly pretty wiped out from crew practiceduring the week. I had a great Sunday going right up until a nastypiece of rock shaped like a shark tooth found my rear tire. But, itwas a solid weekend all around.


We made a hideous amount of U-turns on Saturday. I blame Jay. I lostcount, but it easily broke all previous records. We never got lost,but missed lots of turns. Those stupid people that you see doing allsorts of dumb things on the Schuykill, like backing up to exits?Yeah, that's us. Megan was ready to kill us after we nearly got themkilled by diving into an exit at the last moment. The worst part wasthat Justin didn't make any mistakes on Sunday on the way to the raceand made us look utterly ridiculous.

Saturday night we stayed at the Place family home. It's way out inthe boondocks, but man is it gorgeous out there. Lots of neat placesto ride it looks like. It was really cool of Steve to let us crashhis place, and it was fun. Except for the pet dander nearly killingJay and I. It was also cool to hang out and cook dinner there, have alittle team dinner.


Coming back on Sunday we were all starving and went out looking forfood on our way back. Eventually we wound up at this Italianbar/restaurant that from the outside looked like it was halfway tobeing a dive. Entering through the bar, I couldn't tell. It seemednice but it had a bar and an odd smell, so we stayed. However, I knewwe were in trouble as soon as the waiter started to seat us. As soonas he headed out of that room and back through the restaurant, I knewwe were in trouble. We wound up in this fairly nice room and I justsat there looking at the room, then looking at us.

At this point Jay and Justin were still in full spandex. Justin justalways looks like he's got mud all over him because it's stained intohis shirt. Jay.... The English language cannot describe howoutlandish Jay looked once we left the race. Full tights and jerseyon topped off with a black bandana and his pretty aggressive blue Rudyglasses. He looked like some 21st century pirate in tights. And herewe were, sitting in this nice room, amidst people wearing suits andrelatively nice kit. Fortunately, everyone mostly decided to ignoreus. Even as a loud conversation was carried on about the quality ofthe port-a-johns at the race, and even as Justin got up, rushed to thebathroom to deal with a whole glop of snot and, finding it locked withRegi inside, audibly proclaimed for the whole restaurant to here"Regi, lemme in, I gotta deal with something..."


One really nice thing about Sunday was that we got there really earlyand had plenty of time to warm up, stretch, sneak into the woods ahandful of times, etc. That's something we really have to work ondoing evey race.

Another thing is just working on the girls' observation skills. Forthe few laps I was in the race, I didn't get any cheers! They saidafterwards that hadn't seen me at all. I have to admit to beingslightly miffed that they hadn't been watching for us among thehandful of leaders coming up the hill each lap.

One really notable thing from my race was this move this one guy did.The course has this largish hill up to the start line, then a straightshallow descent for a mile or so. On the one lap these two guys fromPrinceton and I were the first ones coming up the hill. I tucked inbehind one of them (it later turned out that he had won the SaturdayITT) and just stuck there, refusing to come ahead. Sort of a shabbymove, but I didn't feel compelled to do much because we weren't makinga break on the group as much as waiting for them to catch up and hehad a buddy there, so I just kept zigging around with him. After alittle bit of this, he just dove way across the yellow line to theother side of the road. It was completely unexpected and I don't knowhow he got so far across laterally before I could react. Regardless,there wasn't much I could do so I just had to smile and pull into thelead. Kind of pissed at being made to do so, I took off a bit toforce them to catch up. After all this screwin' around we were fairlyfar ahead and the other guy started talking about making a break forit, but it didn't take much looking at the pack to see they weresemi-organized and we didn't have a chance on the descent so I talkedhim out of it. It was the right move because they came up pretty fastright after that (with da Silva in the lead, then finally pullingahead with this sort of look back like "why are you guys going soslow???").

Soon after that excitement I got that faint rumbling noise and extraslop in the bike that signalled the end of my day. It was frustratingbut after disappointing results on Saturday and last week, it justfelt good to be fast and be with the lead for a even a few laps. Ittook a while for that high to settle down and me to get upset that Iwouldn't get to find out how I'd hold up the rest of the race. But,on the upside, I did get to yell at Erik for going too slow on thefinal climb as the broom wagon I had finally gotten to pick me uppassed him by.

On a final note, somebody should have a little talk with Mr. Klineabout his carbo-loading technique. Something along the lines of"Pasta might work better than a bunch of Guiness." That 21st placefinish apparently came at the cost of most of his breakfast after therace...

[1] [2]

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