Monday, March 21, 2011
The course was generally in good shape. The paved roads showed some signs of the past winter, with some broken pavement and lots of sand, especially on the corners. I do hope that the corners will be swept before the race on April 10. The dirt sections were, in general, quite good. Dieter prevails upon the transportation jurisdictions to refrain from grading any of the roads until the race is over, so they were generally what I like to call "Battenkill Cement," which translates to rock solid with the occasional rounded potholes and random loose stones. Thanks to the cold weather during the week there were areas on some roads that had frost heaves, and there were a few spots that were soft and somewhat muddy, but they were the exception, not the rule.
So, what was the new section like? As much as I was lamenting the loss of eight miles of gentle downgrade on pavement, the addition of 10 miles of more climbs and dirt just added to what makes this course truly Battenkill. It certainly added time to the course, as the ride took me 20 minutes longer to complete than it did last year for exactly the same normalized power. The "new" section had a nice steep dirt climb with little sun exposure, so it featured the highest snowbanks and probably the most muddy sections on the course. The dirt descent was good and smooth, and I could let it go. While at speed I did encounter some soft riding surface that had the effect of slowing down my bike just a bit. My body took a nanosecond to respond, so that was exciting!
I really love the last third of this course. Mountain Road was in good shape as was Meetinghouse. In fact, Meetinghouse was better than usual, with any potholes being on the section where you would be slowing down to go up the last rise. Stage Road was also good, but that could just have been the euphoria that I felt, knowing that it was the last climb of the day. Kind of a bittersweet feeling, such a wonderful ride was almost over. This definitely is a classic and enjoyable course to ride on, which becomes so much more painful on race day. Oh, right, they are all painful on race day.
Bottom line: the roads were in decent shape with nothing out of the ordinary to report. The biggest unknown will be the weather. I am sure hoping that it will be a repeat of yesterday.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Specializeed Roubaix Pro SL C2 Red, 2009 -- size 56 (L) -- $2250.00 plus shipping
This bike is by far the most amazingly wonderful road bike I have ever ridden. I am a fan of rides lasting longer than four hours – day after day – and this bike has been key to making those training days happen! I have never been on a bike so comfortable, yet the bike responds super-quickly to the rider’s demands to go faster. It climbs like a dream and soaks up rough road at the same time.
This bike has been used and raced, but never crashed or dropped. I am always aware that I will eventually be selling my bikes so I strive to keep them in like-new condition. This bike is no exception. It has been professionally maintained. The drive train has been inspected and is in very good shape. Components are SRAM Red shifters and rear derailleur, with Force front derailleur and brakes.
Included with this bike is a brand new Red rear derailleur. I was able to warranty the original rear derailleur, and it is pictured with the bike. It will be installed before this bike is shipped off to its purchaser. Also new: cables and housing, brake hoods, handlebar tape, and Specialized Avatar saddle. The Roval wheels have seen very little use because I race and train with a Power Tap and usually ride with another front wheel. The tires are Continental 4000 clinchers and are lightly used.
The frame has a couple of very very very tiny chips in the paint. There are also a couple of very small chips in the crank arms, mostly likely from errant gravel while riding. The crank arms have been protected with Crankskins that I just removed. I have a new pair of Crankskins that I can include with the purchase.
This bike retailed for $4400.00, and it currently retails for $4900.00.
Specs on this bike can be found at http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?arc=2009&spid=39259&menuItemId=0&gold_ses=
More photos available upon request. Email me at email@example.com
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
The fall of 2010 was busy with cyclocross racing and travel to those races. What fun! I was lucky enough to be able to combine local, regional and then national races into the months that comprise the season, and my love for this silly sport grew even more.