Race: Masters & Rookies/ Track
Date: August 26, 2017
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider: Jo Johnson
A fast field of 15 riders came out for this BAR event day. A plus was the nice weather in the 70's with not much wind. The first race was a 2K scratch, winner take all. My goal was to stay up in the front group as long as possible so I went out quick on the first lap and looked for a chance to get off but riders were too my right and it seemed too close to go up track safely so I stayed in front for the next 3 laps trying to get off but with no luck. Then I slowed just a tiny bit on the 5th lap and the group went around me but I hung on until the bell sounded and that was when the group jumped ahead of me and I accelerated and motored in best as I could.
Second race was a 15 lap Points Race with sprints every 5 laps. This time I started a bit slower in the neutral lap so I could be in the group at the start. I was able to stay with the group through the first sprint and into the second sprint at 10 laps in then began to fall off the pace and finished the last lap just off the back.
The last race was a 10 lap Snowball. The first lap winner gains one point and each successive lap winner gains an additional point with double points for winning the last lap. Figuring the gals would let me gain a point on the first lap, I went for it and did win the first lap, but they were not on me yet so, I pushed hard for the second lap and gained another 2 points for a total of 3. But now I am totally out of energy so I pull up track but decelerated so much I could not catch back on. The leader came by me and I was lapped. So now I lost my points. Next time, jump in the group and keep at least one point.
Oh, I did not mention, our max speeds reached 31.8! Flying for me. Still learning and having FUN.
2 K scratch; 15
15 lap Points: 15
10 lap Snowball: 15
Race: Masters & Rookies Track Races, Track
Date: August 19, 2017
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider: Jo Johnson
Although windy today, it did not bother me too much on the 9 lap points race for the first of three races today. The pace was really fast and although I went out with the group I began chasing just off the main pack after a few laps. I kept working it and caught one of the Army gals, caught 2 more and finished 8th out of the 13 gals. I wanted to save energy but that was not the way to do it. I thought it was a fast race, it was as I saw 30 mph!
Second race was a 10 lap scratch with the points going to the first 4 across the line. I went out on the front for the first lap and swung up to get back into the group. As I did not want to expend all my energy in the first laps. I was able to hang in with the pack on the second lap and tucked myself in along the pole lane. Found that spot worked for another lap though I had to be careful as the pace was not especially steady. I was behind one of the sprinters and figured she would be looking for a good spot to move and I wanted to be right behind her. I was third in line. I hung in my spot for maybe 2 more laps and then the opening occurred when we got an open lane towards the front with the other riders in the main group just up track. Yea, hung on to her wheel for another lap or so, then the line above me moved forward and we were back in a group again. I don't remember the rest but I came in 7th. Again we were racing a high speed, this time it was at 31 mph!
Last race a 9 lap snowball. The leader points become greater as the laps continue. One gal took off and won the first 3 laps before the pack caught her, I was in the back of the pack but stayed well placed on the black line and passed several riders. Eventually the riders formed a spread out single line rather than a pack. On the last 3 laps I came up to 3 more riders who were dropping off and passed them. I had been really pushing to catch riders. I finished 7th and speeds we were racing at reached 29-30 mph. Whew! What a work out.
Quite a quick day of racing. Funny how you don't feel the wind or heat when you are racing. So much fun.
9 lap points race: 8th
10 lap scratch race: 7th
9 lap snowball: 7th
Date: August 19, 2017
Race: Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb
Location: Mount Washington, NH
Racers: Alexa Gubinski
Disclaimer! This is a pretty self-indulgent race recap, so read at your own risk!
First - a little history: in 2012—before I had really ridden a bicycle—my family and I happened to be hiking in New Hampshire the weekend of the Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hill Climb and serendipitously ended up watching the climb and my dad, brother and I promised each other that we would all race the next year - and we did, and have every year since!
This was now my 5th go at the hill climb: my first attempt was around 1:26 (I think) and I had improved on that every year to, finally, a 1:15:46 in 2016, placing 3rd for women. This year, I knew my legs weren’t quite as sharp and strong and that beating that time wasn’t a completely realistic goal. But I was still committed to giving it my best shot.
The Mt. Washington climb is an unusual one: the road is open to cyclists only twice a year (the August race and a July practice ride), it rises 4,600+ feet in 7.6 miles, averages a brutal 12%, with a final kicker at 24%, includes a mile on dirt and has, truly, the world’s most unpredictable and windiest weather. It becomes you against the mountain and there’s really no other feeling (that I know!) quite like it. There is something special that the payoff for all you suffering is not just a finish line - but the summit of an iconic mountain, with the weather, views and atmosphere to match.
So, anyway, 2017. I dug my trusty Trek Madone out, removed last year’s number plate (oops), worked out some frozen chain links (extra oops) and declared myself as ready as I was going to get! Mt. Washington absolutely requires modified gears and I’ve kept the same setup on my hill bike for the last few years: a compact crank, long cage rear derailleur, long chain, 34 cassette, no front derailleur, no rear brake. The 34x34 (1:1 gear ratio) is about as big as my little legs can get away with, but it seems to work OK.
It was a damp, foggy and pretty humid start, but the weather forecast looked remarkably good for the mountain: clear, warm and very low winds. We lined up and had the fun of sharing the start line with Phil Gaimon, adding Mt Washington to his “worst retirement ever” series. After a very loud “Cheer for Chad Young!,” the cannon sounded and we were off. I, as usual, started out probably too fast: I often judge my efforts behind my twin brother and I knew that staying ahead of him for the first 3/4 of a mile was probably a mistake, but I couldn’t help it - I always get so excited! The 2nd mile is the steepest and I knew to back off a little, but I actually think I slowed down too much and I ended up losing too much time: had I been more confident in my legs, I would have gone all in at the beginning and dealt with the consequences later.
My goal was to stay as mentally focused as possible: I find it easy to let my mind wander, stop paying attention to my efforts, or get discouraged by the suffering. And while, at some point during the second mile I did promise myself that I didn’t REALLY need to do this again, I tried to stay as relentlessly positive as possible. I didn't have data besides heart rate on this bike, so I kept it my heart rate between 180-185 and just kept repeating “good job good job good job you’re doing a good job!!!!” which always helps my compliment-motivated, narcissistic self :) I ended up having a really pleasant ride: I felt like I was keeping my power up, turning the pedals as quickly as positive, staying relatively focused, time was moving quickly and I was able to pass two women in the 5th and 6th miles. It’s a long effort and THEN the 24% section comes at you like an absolute wall. But the atmosphere is incredible, there are so many people SO cheering so loudly that getting up isn’t all that bad - there’s really nothing like the crowd support (every racer needs a car ride down the mountain - so there’s no choice but to have 100s of people lining the last tenth of a mile! It’s awesome.) Because I had had such a positive ride I was surprised to cross the line at 1:17:35, which was slower than I would have guessed but good enough for 5th for women and certainly not a disaster.
No matter what - the race is such a beautiful, motivating, special day: people cheer as loudly for the winner as for the last racer, and for everybody in between. I can’t help but encourage every bike rider to do it… I know I’ll be back!
Date: August 12, 2017
Race: Flanders Time Trial
Location: Long Valley, NJ
Racers: Doreen Bridgman, & Danielle Ferland
The Flanders TT is always a personal favorite of Danielle, who has a temperamental love/hate relationship with hills. Being Doreen’s first time doing this race, her anticipation was running high. The course generally features a short flat section before a long climb that is actually only about one mile (but seem to go for much longer), but due to roadwork in the area, the course was diverted to the right at the base of the Naughright climb, going up Feildstone Drive instead. Compared to previous years, the Feildstone climb, while still challenging, was much more scenic and shaded, making the climb much more tolerable (almost enjoyable!). Once up the hill, the course featured the rolling roads and some fun, fast descents as previous years. Danielle placed 4th and Doreen placed 6th in their respective categories.
This race was also the last race in the NJBA Women’s Cat 4/5 Cup Series for 2017! After several ups/downs/race schedule changes throughout the season, the cup has completed 12 total amazing races. Although official results and rankings for the cup have not yet been announced, it is speculated that Danielle clinched 2nd place overall in that series. Stay tuned for full/official results!
Women Cat 4/5:
Danielle – 4th
Women Cat Non TT B 4/5:
Doreen – 6th
Date: Aug 5-6th, 2017
Race: Tour De Millersburg Stage Race
Location: Millersburg, PA
Rider(s): Cat 1/2: Deborah, Evelyn and Emily
Cat 3: Andy
Told by Deborah Leedale-Brown
What a great weekend of team racing it was, our only sadness was that Cheryl Clarke woke up the day before with fever and sore throat and so despite all her efforts to make the start line, it just wasn't going to happen. So our team tactics would have to change a little without Cheryl, but we were still determined to make an impact on this race
After Friday night storms, Saturday started out a little overcast and cool, with a significant wind. We all rolled out on our bikes, and headed off out of Millersburg to put in a long 10 mile group warm up, most important when its such a short TT
One by one we headed out on to the 8.6 mile time trial course. It was a tailwind out to the turn around then a moderate head wind back in. With only Andy and myself on TT bikes, and minus our strong TT rider Cheryl, we knew that our best results were needed to start this stage race off strong.
After the TT we were able to rest and refuel at our host housing for a of couple of hours. We headed over to the crit course with enough time to get the TT results and we were able to take 30 mins of lap riding as part of our warm up. I had come 5th, Andy 10th, Emily 12th and Evelyn ?? in TT, so our plan was to keep the crit fast and strung out since the course was short and narrow with a hill. With me lying in 5th it was planned that I would do very little in the crit and just stay out of trouble and in a good position to be either in a break or contest the sprint finish, Emily manned the front, communicated, and no attacks escaped the field. Going into the final lap, we were positioned well, it was the plan to have Emily drive the pace, this was complicated however by the fact we caught the rest of the field and lapped them just before we had a fast turn up the hill for our final time. I needed to stay focused and not lose touch with the top 3-4 riders, once up the hill it continued over as short straight gentle rise then went slight downhill to the finish. I was lying 5th as we climbed the final hill and rounded the corner I was able to move up to 4th and sprint. I did not manage to make up any further positions and crossed the line in 4th with a slight gap over the rest of the field. Day one of racing complete and everyone safe!
Our host housing was amazing and just like last year they catered for our every needs, so after lots of refueling, resting, floating in the pool on giant swans and flamingo's, and even a little cool down trampolining, we were ready. Day two, and race number three was just a good night's sleep away.
Road Race time! 3 laps of a 18.4 mile hilly/rolling loop, with one longer steeper climb with QOM points up for grabs that was always going to be a big decider on the results. First lap took off and the Tarry Hall QOM climb came only 2 miles in. It wasn't a QOM on lap one so that ensured the first lap was not super aggressive. I actually was not feeling well having suffered some gastrointestinal issues the night and morning before. I was not sure how I would be but knew I needed to hang on the hill to keep in contention. Emily was riding strong and we both were up the front end of the peloton as we rode lap one. Even on the first lap, there was a natural split early and Andy and Evelyn found themselves in a second group. As we rode through Main Street Millersburg ready to take on lap three I still was not feeling well or confident and knew that it would certainly light up on Tarry Hall Rd. Again Emily was right there and we both pushed up the front end to tackle the hill. I was certainly hanging on this time around, but hang on I did and and as we got to the top there was a definite attack that involved the top two GC riders and a couple of other key riders too. Emily was very instrumental at picking up the chase, the race was certainly on! One of the breakaway riders ended up getting a flat and then caught onto our chase group so we knew that left 3 riders up the road. Our group got somewhat organized to rotate a pace line in an effort to bridge to the three leaders. Emily represented our team tremendously and took good pulls allowing me to conserve my energy a little. As we entered the third and final lap we had not closed the gap to the leaders and our chase group was still relatively large. I did not have any energy as I was still not able to eat much. I knew I had to hang one more time for the hill. As we started to climb I felt the pace increase and that put me under pressure but I saw emily just ahead of me. As we got to the top I realized too late the girl in front had let a gap appear and as I came around to close I found my effort was just not enough. Emily was safely in that group just ahead of me, I was in no mans land for a while then decided I will let the group of riders behind me catch on then we can work together. I was content with Emily's position as I knew she had a chance of a 4th place sprint. I was definitely struggling but was not giving in to my GC position without a fight. I worked with my group for the remainder of the last lap taking soft pulls so as to ensure we did not catch Emily's group. As we descended into town I was left with a group of four riders, I took my pull then looked to slot in to 3rd wheel. Once around the corner I moved into second wheel and ready to launch as we hit the final finish straight. I did not want to leave anything to chance so I jumped early and crossed the line first in my group and unsure of how many riders finished ahead.
It was a solid performance. Emily had secured 4th to move her up to 8th GC and initially I thought I'd slipped out of top three, only to find I hadn't and in fact I held the 3rd place GC by just 1 point! An exciting close finish to a weekend of strong racing.
International Omnium Results:
Race: Masters & Rookies Races/Track
Date: August 8, 2017
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider(s): Jo Johnson
Another fast day of races despite the windy conditions. The youngsters just plain go anyway. There were about 10 of us and 4 gals came from Kissena to mix it up with the T- Town Regulars. The first race was a very fast 1 Km scratch race which turned out to be a 3 lap sprint to the line. I was in the front of the group until the last lap when I was out jumped in the last lap. During the break, I switched up the gear which helped some to stay with the group a few laps longer in the next race, a 9 lap point a lap. Though I managed to hang with the group for a few laps, I could not stay with them and finished off the back. The last race was a 12 lap points race with sprints every 3 laps. This time I stayed with the group for a few laps then a split in the group after the first sprint so I ended up working with the second group of about 4 or 5 riders. Coming in after catching one of the riders who had fallen back. Not a bad day. And talking with the "Kissena Tough” gals, as I named them, after the racing was nice as well. They are not so tough once you meet them. Perhaps I will see them again to mix it up. They have a different style of racing, more mixing it up. Described as a tough style but I did not mind the action though I did have to keep a close eye.
1 Km Scratch, 6th
9 Lap Point a Lap, 7th
12 Lap Points Race, 6th
Race: Masters & Rookies Track Races
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider(s): Jo Johnson
A cooler and windy day brought out some hardy gals and some of the youngsters. Tough racing against the 15-16 year olds in these sprint type races.
First race a 6 lap Tempo where I try a different gear but it was too small though I managed to hang and not finish last. Second race a 2 km scratch in a
bigger gear but due to the wind not quite what I normally use. This time I can go to the front and try to string out the field but am caught after 3 laps,
get back into the field but can not sprint past one of the riders to get into the group at the finish. Third race is a 12 lap Points race with sprints every 3 laps,
the distance is better for me and I am in the group until the last 3 laps but in contention battling 2 other riders coming to the line. I am able to pass
both these riders for another solid finish. I am still wanting more practice racing so I gain permission to ride the B Feature which will be a 12 lap points race
with sprints every 3 laps. This will be with the guys and 2 other gals in a large field of about 24 riders. This race is good for practice and I am able to stay with
the group for the first sprint then I swing off and catch the group when they come by again. I am able to stay with the large group until the last few laps.
More good practice.
6 Lap Tempo; 5th
2 km Scratch, 6th
12 lap Points, 5th