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2015 Riding Season is here!

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Follow Dave Burnett and his team United 4 Health during the 2012 RAAM


Race Across America: United 4 Health


United 4 Health


Impressive results for Bob Meikle on Mt. Washington



Bob Meikle places 12th at Mt. Washington!  Read on.....

Todd Bausch and I ventured up North to tackle that small bump of a hill called Mt Washington. The planned Sat morning start didn't look promising with rain pouring out of the sky on the ride to the start. The smart people who run the race postponed it until Sunday, which proved to have ideal conditions, including a well-packed dirt section. The race was made more interesting with Tom Danielson being there, going to break his own course record. I started in the top notch group based on my time last year, so I got to line up with Tom. Everyone took off at the cannon like madmen up the hill, but I just held back and tried to get a steady rhythm, which proved to be a little difficult with my regular gearing on the bike - no special adjustments like last year. Well, before I hit the 2 mile mark (the race is 7.6 miles), my pulse was at 179, deep into zone 5. i knew this was absurd, so I had to back off a little, which put my cadence in the 50's and 60's - not ideal for climbing. I kept pace with an awesome tandem couple who would go on to shatter the tandem course record. I kept chugging along and didn't blow up, actually passing some people who did. With 1 mile to go, I realized I had some spunk left in my legs and picked up my pace. On a short, somewhat flat section just before the final incline, I blew by the tandem. The last 200 yards has a 20+ grade and with my gearing it was like hitting a wall. The tandem passed me back as I got out of the saddle, but I crossed the line without falling over. My time was 3 1/2 minutes faster than last year, finishing in 1:06:38 and I got first in my age group by about 4 minutes. I was 12th overall out of 157 finishers. Todd also had a great ride with a time of 1:22, beating his PR by 4 minutes. Unfortunately for Tom Danielson, he missed his record by 8 measly seconds. Todd and I got to talk to him on Friday, really nice guy. He's originally from East Lyme and now rides for the pro team of Garmin. I'll try to get pictures forwarded.

Mystic Velo Masters to race internationally!


Mystic Velo Masters Mark Dutka, Kelly Parsons, and Jim Themig are traveling to Sutton, Quebec Province, Canada during 4th of July weekend to race the Coupe des Americques.  This three day, 4 stage race consists of a hill climb, time trial, criterium, and road race.  This race is considered the unofficial North American Masters Championship.  Jim has done the race a few times.  Says Mark Dutka, "some of the guys we race against every week also have done it and are doing it this year. It sounds like a great race in a different location and with Fitchburg the only other option for this weekend it is better suited to Masters riders".  Good luck to Mark, Kelly, and Jim.  Kelly, we expect a full report! 

Chip O'Lari takes 6th at 3 Village Tour 


Chip O'Lari places in 6th place at the 3 Village Tour this past weekend in Baltic, CT.  Congrats to Chip and the other Mystic Velo placers.  Full results can be seen at  See Chip's race report below:
I'm going to title this "Stupid Plan, Worse Result".

There were 14 of us lined up on this beatiful morning, including MVC's Ed Deming, Jim Themig and Dave Burnett.  Ed was still licking his wounds from Housatonic (I'll never go back there!), and Jim said his hamstring was bothering him from racing the week before.  I was nursing a sore knee, but had a plan that if the race came to the end together, I'd attack after the last corner on the Shetucket River bridge, thinking I could hold it to the finish (about 450 yards across the train tracks, up the rise and through the start/finish line).

After one lap, Hank Pfeifle rode away from us on the first hill and nobody went with him.  He took the lead car and the following car and we never saw any of them again.  He ended up finishing almost 3 minutes up on the rest of us.  Whatever! 

Racing without an escort car, we had our share of incidents with honking drivers, but no accidents.  It was pretty slow going sometimes, as no one really wanted to do concerted work, but it was obviously harder than it seemed, because I was getting some crampy legs on lap 3.  Then Ed dropped his chain on the little rise in downtown Occum.  I looked back several times but didn't see him and assumed he was done, but he chased hard and caught us in downtown Baltic (with some help from an oil truck, I hear). I was happy to see him, and sorry I didn't keep better watch behind, to drop back to help him across.

At the start of the last lap there were 8 of us. The last lap was mellow, and I tried to execute my plan for the finish, but the legs didn't have a lot left in them and my attack was pretty feeble. With about 200 meters to go 4 guys passed me, but not Ed or Jim.  Ed said the chase took its toll and he said his legs were cramping the whole 4th lap.  I got 6th, Jim 7th, and Ed 8th.  Dave B was 11th.

Looking back, it was a really stupid plan.  First, on a technical uphill finish like that, standard practice is to wait longer to start the sprint, not try to do a "Bettini".  Second, with tired crampy legs I should have known better anyway.  I think I could have improved the result by waiting, as the other 4 guys didn't go flying by me by any means.  I tried to apologize to my bike for such a poor effort, but I'm not sure it's forgiven me yet!

What's your story?  Chip

James Harnois captures #1 in Pequot Cyclists Time Trials




 James Harnois has captured the #1 spot in 3 of the last 4 Pequot Cyclists Time Trials.  Keep up the great riding James!  Full results can be found at Pequot Cyclists as many MVC members have been placing at this event.


Bob Meikle scores 2nd place in CA Death Valley Stage Race  



Last weekend, Bob travelled to California to visit relatives and get a taste of West Coast racing up some mountains. Here is his race report:  The first day was 15 miles up, 15 miles down, then 15 miles back up, all about a modest 5% grade. This was a first year event, so not overly full - 11 in the 45+ group and all categories started together (about 50 in all) so it was tough figuring out who I was actually racing against. I went out a little too hard on the first climb trying to hang with the leaders and made it to the top with 3 other riders, behind the lead group. The downhill had a vicious crosswind and I lost ground on 2 of the riders. Going back up, I passed a few others and latched on to the wheel of one of the guys I crested the hill with. I ended up in second for the 45+, but I was completely fried. The second day was a 13 mile climb at about an 8% grade. My plan was to start out easy and then pick people off as I got closer to the finish. Well, I wasn't able to make up much ground at the end and only passed one guy. I'm not sure of my exact finish for that day, but I was 3rd overall for the 2 day stage race. I got in the podium picture and earned some up grade points. It was a well-run event and I plan on giving it another try next year.  






 Bob Meikle finished in Top 10 GC at CT Stage Race

Mystic Velo Club master finished in the top 10 general classification at the CT Stage Race.  Way to go Bob.  Also participating where Masters Kelly Parson and Mark Dutka.  Full results at bikereg. 


 Hollenbeck Spring Classic Race Report - by Bob Meikle


 The Hollenbeck race is close to where I grew up in Northern PA, so it was a good chance to visit family and race. This year I raced the 35+ masters race, clearly less competitive than the races here in New England.. We started out with 45 racers strong. We hit the first hill at 5 1/2 miles and I was the first to the top without killing myself and broke away with 1 other rider. We stayed away for a couple of miles, but eventually got caught.

I knew it finished on a good hill (comparable to Mt Archer), so I thought I should conserve energy riding with the pack as opposed to going all out and risking a failed breakaway. Things worked out pretty much as I was hoping for. The second climb at 16 miles left us with about 10-12 riders. Fortunately, other riders were willing to lead the train approaching the finishing climb. I had done a few short pulls early, but felt pretty good hitting the last hill.

As we hit the finishing climb, I worked my way to the front and got up out of the saddle with about 100 meters to go, glanced over my shoulder and had about 5 yards on the next guy. It was great hammering through the finish line first. I won $15 (the registration fee), + $10 of beer at a local bar. Right On!





Rick Newhouse 55+ Race Report - by Chip O'lari 



A cold and drizzly morning saw only 10 riders line up for the 55+ race, including MVC members Ed Deming, Jim Themig, Dave Reed and Chip O'Lari.  Sandy said they were paying out to  8 places, so most of us figured to get something back for our efforts. 

Paul Curley was absent from 2 weeks before, so strongman Mark Hagen was the man to mark.  Ed and Chip had decided to alternate attacks until something gave.  Ed took the first prime, a cell phone inverter, 5 laps into the race.  Chip went off the front for 2 laps with Mickey from Bob's, and MH had to bring it back.  Ed took a flyer and again MH had to chase it down, going off into the grass in the process.  Chip put in another dig, then Ed surged off the front with MH in tow.  When Chip and Jim sat up, they cruised off the front and only Mickey tried and failed to catch.

With those 2 safely off the front, we settled down with 5: Chip, Jim, Dave, Mickey and Bruce MacGowan of Arc-en-Ciel.  Jim said he wasn't yet in decent form after taking so much time off the bike due to injury and surgery, in spite of a respectable 11th place finish in Battenkill last week. They announced a prime for a 6 pack of Newport Storm beer and Chip surged, which ejected Dave out the back (sorry Dave, I couldn't help it, it was for beer!).  After Jim said he wasn't much interested in the master's points, Chip indicated he'd like to win the field sprint if possible.

Off the front, Ed and MH worked for a while until Ed sensed him tiring, then Ed attacked.  MH caught back on but he was cooked from all the work he had done to chase down all the attacks.  Ed beat him handily in the sprint for the win!

In the field sprint, Chip again led the last 2 laps, but without doing much work, hoping he could win the sprint from the front if necessary.  Coming out of the last turn Jim came up and provided a nice little lead out.  Chip came around to take the sprint for 3rd, and Jim held on for 5th.

In the 55+ category, "Mystic Drools"!




Chris Hinds 55+ Race Report - by Chip O'lari





Here I am drinking my severalth vodka tonic after a great Easter and reflecting on yesterday's 55+ race:

I was ready to race but not ready to race.  I felt fit and fast and my bike was ready, but I hadn't raced since the 3 Village Tour 2008.  I decided to do the cat 4 race right before our 55+ race, as a warmup.  I'm glad I did.  I managed to get comfortable moving around in the pack and remembering my favorite lines on the course I knew so well from the old days.  I finished mid-pack and felt good.

In emails with Ed Deming throughout the week, the plan evolved into he would stick on Paul Curley "like a tick on a dog" and I would sit on the wheel of Mark Hagen, former national 45+ TT champ.  I was pretty sure I knew who MH was, and after a couple laps into the race, Ed confirmed my suspicions.  MH was the guy who had just spit into my front wheel.  He did a couple of testing moves and I faithfully jumped to stay in touch.  After a prime about 5 laps into the race, MH put in a strong sitting Cancellara-type attack down the back stretch. 

I jumped and chased as hard as I could and finally closed the 2-bike gap going into the last corner.  MH looked back to see the damage he had done, and I heard Ed say "keep going".  I took a pull and looked back and it was me, Ed, MH, and PC.  No one else was in sight. It was bizarre that we had gotten such a big gap so quickly, at least 200 yards, in the course of a 1/2 lap, but when Jim Themg said later that he did some blocking, and Rich Froh said the pack hesitated 5 - 8 seconds before reacting, it made more sense.

Of course PC wouldn't pull, and offered up excuse after excuse " You guys have 2 guys in the break, so you should do all the work", " I promised my teammate Bill that I wouldn't go without him", and my favorite "the only reason I'm not pulling through is that he's creating a gap".  He didn't take one pull, not one, but instead sat squarely on Ed's wheel.  I pulled through after Mark, and we just motored along. 

I felt OK but not great, and could have gone harder, but for how long?  Anyway, Ed would pull through after me and when he was done Mark would have to find his way back to the front.  We went like this for about 10 laps until we could see the pack ahaed, when Mark said "slow it down, we don't want to catch them".  When I asked why he said he'd tell me later.  He spit into my bike again and immediately apologized.  He was just tooling along.  I kept waiting for him to jump but he never did.

They made me lead the last 3 laps, no one would come around me.  I wound it up going into the last turn at about 27 mph, and as soon as we started down the front straight, Ed came around me on my right, followed by PC.  I was screaming as they dragged to the line, but PC just surged ahead within 50 yards of the line to inch out the win over Ed. MH cruised home in 3rd, and me 4th.

Critique - There are a number of things that could have been done differently, but would they have resulted in an MVC win?
 * Did Ed go too soon?  It's much farther to the line that it seems.
* Should I have attacked the break?  Todd Buckley said he thought I was going to. If I attacked coming off MH's wheel and Ed sits up, PC has to jump around to catch my wheel, Ed gets a free ride, and MH has to recover from his pull and catch on. Then PC would be on MH's or my wheel too.
* Should we have caught the pack?  They explained later that it would have been "messy" if we had caught back up to the pack, but maybe PC could have been isolated (except he had a teammate), for the sprint.
Anyways, it was great fun.  Thanks, Ed, and let's do it again in two weeks. Tomorrow morning I fly out for a 4-day business trip.  It'll be hotel fitness centers for me this week!





 Hollenbeck Spring Classic PA  Results

Bob Meikle 1st Place (short race report in the forum)

 Rick Newhouse Results

Ed Deming 1st Place
Chip O'Lari 3rd Place
Jim Themig 5th Place

 Wayne Elliott Results

Kelly Parsons 9th Place
Mark Dutka 19th Place


Tour of BattenKill Results 

M60+                                                                                          50+
James Themig 11th place                                                    Bob Meikle 12th place
Jeff Morin 12th place


Miles Standish Results 

 Mitch Favreau 13th place in M35+
Nate Etchells 3rd place Juniors Race

 Chris Hinds Results

 Congrats to the following top 15 finishers at Chris Hinds:

M55+                                                                                                              M45+
Ed Deming 2nd place                                                                                Dave Johnson 10th place
Chip O'Lari 4th place

Cat 5                                                                                                             
Keith Haskell 15th place                                                                         

Congratulations to all others who raced at Chris Hinds!  Full results at Bikereg.