Friday, November 28, 2008

Cape Cod Scene (Corner Cycle)

It occurs to me that I should tell you all a little bit about the scene down here on Cape Cod. Basicly all the good guys ride out of one shop....the BEST shop. It's Corner Cycle in Falmouth, MA. Owned and operated by George Sykes. The shop is classic East Coast. Small, yet efficient, with a loyal following of rollers as well as racers. I guess I was one of the first to race out of the shop, albeit as a triathlete, shortly after it was bought by Bill Sykes of Plymouth, and the shop went from Full Cycle to the 2nd store for Corner. The first being in Plymouth of course. The Plymouth shop already had serious racers, the famous McCormack brothers have roots there, as well as Tom Stevens and many others. Other characters that race out of the Falmouth shop (the Plymouth shop has long since closed) are Tobi Marzot (Tobi Jaun Kenobe), currently racing as a road PRO for the TIME cycling team, Jamie Tosca, Kevin (The Missile) Hines, and the entire Keough Clan. The Keoughs are a mini PRO team all their own. Some day I'll do more on them. But Jake (Twitch), the oldest, is a 2nd year PRO with Kelly Benefits, Nick is a PRO crosser on the Sonic, Jittery Joe's team, and Luke (Luke Skywalker) is fresh off another trip to Europe where he sewed up his spot for Cross Worlds with a fine 5th place at a World Cup. All three of them have raced in Europe several times and Jessie (Jessie the Body) is following closely in their footsteps. Ian is the youngest, and is quite possibly the happiest little guy you'll ever meet. Mom and Dad are Linda and Mike and VERY proud.

There are lots of other guys on the 2 teams that don't live on the Cape, and represent the best of New England. Cyclocross seems to be our favorite discipline, but we race all year on the road, mountain bike and finally cross. We actually had 3 National Champions crowned in July in Mountain biking. Kevin Hines 45-49 Cross Country, Luke Keough junior short track, and yours truly also in short track 30+ Masters. Our proudest achievement lately is that we posess the leader's jersey in 7 different categories. YES 7! Nate Morse leads the cub juniors and is on the junior team, Luke Keough leads the junior 17-18 category, Jamie Tosca leads the B's, I lead the Master's 35+, Kevin leads the 45+ Masters, David Rath from VT leads the 55+ Masters and Nick Keough leads the U23 category.

Tomorrow is the 7th race out of 9 in the New England Verge Series in Sterling, MA. Hopefully we'll all hold onto the jersies or extend our leads. The last 2 races of the year are in RI next weekend, and then it's off to Kansas City, MI for Cross Nationals. Then for Luke and possibly Kevin and also Nick, it's off to Europe for World Championships.

Thats just the thumbnails, but you"ll hear more about all these guys in the future.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mountain Biking in Paradise

Today was a bonus for me. After doing a good hard mountain bike ride yesterday with my friend (and teamate) Jamie Tosca. It was looking like I had no ride mates today. Jamie had other plans and my pal (and also teamate) Kevin Hines was racing out in the western part of the state, or so I thought. I was lazing around early eating french toast and trying to figure out which bike to ride today when Kevin called. I figured he was gonna ask me if I wanted to drive out to Easthampton to race with him, but to my delight he said he was thinking that 6 hours of driving and 45 minutes of racing wasn't the best plan for the day. I said "ya, plus you'd get home way too late for a proper Sunday night decompress". He agreed and we decided to ride mountain bikes over at his place in Wareham. I happen to live about 10 minutes ride time from one of the best mountain bike areas around, The Trail of Tears in Barnstable, MA. It's all conservation land and has an amazing and growing network of trails. But.....there's always a "but", I ride there all the time, and Kevin's trails are a different sort of animal. They're mostly motorcycle trails and powerlines. The singletrack is a blast, LOADED with woops, the powerline sections are loose sand and big hills, that always equates to some good suffering. It's endless out there and I'm far from sick of it. It's huge so we always ride different stuff, and Kevin sets a perfect tempo for whatever group we have. Today it was just he and I and his young buddy Jake Morrison. Jake is a 22 year old national level moto-crosser. So ya, he can ride a bike. We did a little over 3 hours with some good suffering along the way, a long section of sandy powerlines in the middle third of the ride drained all our energy, water and food. We rode another hour after that at a civil pace and finished with just what we set out to do.
Kevin and his girl Laraine then put out a nice feed for us which really hit the spot. We had chicken and portabella sausage, pasta, and yummy homemade soup. We spent the afternoon trying to figure out why the mallards in the pond were actually diving under the water for food, and then Jake and I both took off. What a bonus for me. I was looking at riding alone in the cold for 3 hours, and instead I had 2 great ridemates and different terraine, and oh ya that feed! Kev and Laraine are 2 of my best friends and I'm WAY behind on puttin' out post ride feeds like they do. Thanks guys! I got sushi next time.... JB

Saturday, November 22, 2008

National Championships of Mountain Biking, Short Track 30+ Masters, July 2008


This is my first blog, and I look forward to the process of learning all about this. I will of course make this mostly about cycling and the friendships that go with it. Thats all for now. Cheers, JB