Tag Archives: Jeff Cash

Hello, Max Heart Rate

Today was Tyler Crotts’ last official Hour of Power ride before he heads off to Brevard College for the year.  I don’t think it will be his last Hour of Power for the year though.  I’m sure he’ll be coming back so his elders can help keep him humble.

I was still feeling the effects of Thursday night’s ride.  It was a tough one, and I didn’t sleep that well Thursday or Friday night.  I knew the alarm was about to go off before it rang.  After an inner battle, I finally rolled out so I could be there to kick Tyler’s you-know-what.

The first order of business was to pump up my tires that had been switched a bit.  I had taken my tires from my race wheel set and moved them to my training wheel set.  My regular riders were starting to show threads.  It seemed like a good idea to get some more out of the race tires while getting my race wheels all prepped with new rubber for the SC Road Race Championships.

Wouldn’t you know it… the tube exploded at 100 psi.  I didn’t have time to change the flat.  I just threw my front SL on the bike and headed for the shop.

Pulling up I found a good crowd ready to roll out!  There were several levels of riders represented.  Of course, the ones I noticed first were the number of Greenville Spinners Bicycle Race Team members.  Randy was bringing some reinforcements!

Hmmmm, John James was the only other POA guy there.  It would be just the two of us.  Oh boy, and there was Jeff Cash.  Tony was there as well, but he was riding his cross bike.  The sprints could be interesting today.  I’m sure Tyler would be gunning for one himself.

The first test came at the pee-tree sprint on Meece Bridge Road (click to see the infamous tree).  The Spinners started the train.  Looking ahead, I saw Jeff, Randy, and one other rider breaking away.  John was sitting holding a steady pace and letting them move.  I decided to bridge up so I could recover a bit before fighting it out.

I caught them and moved onto Jeff’s wheel.  He was the one I was watching out for.  The plan was to match his acceleration until we crested the small rise about 300 meters or so from the finish.  Then I would attack from third wheel.

It never happened.  John came flying around and Jeff jumped on his wheel.  I held my pace to let those two guys go for it.  I figured my chances were pretty good with John.  I might as well save myself for the next battle.

It came sooner than I thought it would!  Before I knew it we were pulling onto Grove Meadow Road.  This is the “pace-line road.”  It is a long stretch without stop signs.  We typically end up getting in a single line pace-line and move along at around 22 – 24 mph.

I got on the front first.  I figured I would get my pain out of the way early so I could recover before turning up the quarry road.  It worked like a charm.  As we turned onto Keller Road, I was about 10th and sat in for the next couple of minutes before we hit the bottom of the climb.

John started them up with a nice steady pace.  I stayed in my 53 and just launched a do-or-die attack from behind.  Looking back was not an option.  However, I know now that John picked up a “false” pace as though he was coming after me and others sat on his wheel.  It bought me some more time.

My goal was to stay in this attack mode until I reached the false flat.  I didn’t make it.  I had to shift down and recover about 50 meters from my target.  Later I noticed that my computer had me pegging 197 bpm at that point!

Once I did make it over the hump, I hazarded a glance behind and didn’t see anyone.  I was now moving at around 16 mph and trying to recover a bit.  Then I looked back again to see a lone rider coming up behind me.  It was Jeff.  He was just coming around this corner – this picture is from the vantage point about where I was.

No way was I going to give it up after suffering so much!  I grabbed some more gear and tried to stay over 20 mph. Thankfully, it worked and my go-for-broke attack paid off… but I’d say two matches went up in smoke at once with that one!

It took me until the State Park entrance sprint before I was recovered enough to give it another go.  Right away I messed up because I got separated from John’s lead out because I got caught behind some slower riders.  Things worked out though because the break came to a halt due to a car stopped in the middle of the road.

Seems that these folks stopped to talk to some people standing on the shoulder of the road.  As we came up on them and began to make our way around the stopped vehicle, we noticed that the people on the shoulder of the road were attempting to coax a pot-bellied pig to move out of the ditch.

The pig out of the way, we started ratcheting things up again.  I got on Jeff’s wheel as he was following Tyler.  Web Fitton and Randy Hutchison were also in the mix at that point.  However, as we hit the bottom of the climb… it was Tyler, Jeff, and me.

Then things got dicey – and it had nothing to do with a pig.  Jeff and I had momentum taking us right onto Tyler’s wheel.  I could see Jeff was getting ready to move on Tyler, but I realized I could get the jump on him by pinning him behind Tyler while I moved up the right side.

I made my move, but Tyler must have been aware of Jeff because he moved to the right.  That brought Jeff over to me and for a moment the three of us were bar-to-bar with me tight-rope-riding the white line.  Thankfully, none of us touched and Jeff and I drag raced for the line.

After that, John played spoiler for Art and took Oak Leaf.  On Nature Trail Jeff finished strong by holding off John.  We all rolled into the shop pretty tired, but with lots of stories to tell.

It was such a beautiful day, I decided to put in some extra miles and did an easy spin down Chick Springs to Main Street.  From there I did a couple laps of Cleveland Park and then went home.  A very profitable 45 mile morning.

Speaking of beautiful…  If you get a chance, click on the links I’ve placed in the post.  They are Google Street Views of some of the points on our ride.  Of course, these were taken in the winter, but if you play around with the views, you can get a good idea of the terrain and scenery that we get to enjoy around here.

Time for a break

Three tough rides this week have left me pretty tired. Throw in some late nights with the Tour De France and I’m ready for a break. Sitting here after the morning ride before lunch, I feel like going and crawling into bed for a looooong nap. Yeah, I’m tired, but it has been fun.

There was a good group out on the Hour of Power ride this morning. I thought with the Tour being on we might have less people.  However, most of the regulars were there – and some fast men to make it interesting.

The first thing I realized was that apple butter is not a good thing to put on your toast before going on a ride. Basically, for me I’ve found that any type of fruit substance before a ride doesn’t sit that well.  By the time we got off of Tanner Road onto Reid School Road, I had indigestion.

Of course, this was right before the Meece Bridge Road sprint.  I got into the group, but didn’t even try for it.  Luis and John were up ahead and then I saw John pulling the pace line.  Jeff Cash was on his wheel.  I was afraid at that point that we had put John in a bad situation.  However, he controlled it and scored one for the POA boys.

By the time we reached the quarry road, I was feeling much better. I eased to the rear of the group and tried to get the heart rate down and catch my breath.  We hit it and there was John ahead of me again with Jeff marking him.  I eased up to them but didn’t go on the front.

Then Jeff went forward and I followed him up toward the false flat.  I moved to the front and tried to stamp out a steady cadence.  My idea was to narrow down the players and then see who would be left.  I wasn’t surprised when those players ended up being John and Jeff.

Jeff came around and then John.  I accelerated to get on John’s wheel.  Then John pulled off after bringing me to Jeff’s.  I sat there for a bit and then attacked around him.  After a short gap, I looked back to see that neither of them reacted.  Score two for POA.

It was on that climb I realized I needed a break.  I had no snap at all.  Plus by the time I reached the top I was in recover and survive mode.  For much of the next portion of the ride, I was just trying to hang on.

There was a small sprint point soon after the climb.  Billy moved to the front and followed a Spinners rider who attacked.  He was able to move around him and reach the fire hydrant first. Score three for POA.

Next up was the State Park gate sprint. As we were making our way toward that zone, I pulled up beside John near the front. “Save yourself for Mont Vonteux,” he said. I replied, “I was wanting to ask you if you could take the State Park sprint. I don’t think I can do it.”  He didn’t want to do it, but said that Billy could probably take it.

I rode up to Billy and he was good for the try.  Then it was just a matter of letting Luis know and then setting him up. Billy sat in and got ready for the train.

As we moved into the zone, Tony moved to the front.  He pulled for just a bit and then moved over, saying as we sped by him, “Just kidding!”

Luis moved to the front with me on his wheel.  I wasn’t exactly sure who was directly behind me, but I knew John would be there taking care of Billy.  Our job was to stretch out the field and leave John and Billy to launch up the hill.

Luis wasn’t pulling his normal killer pace and I heard John yell from behind us, “GO FASTER!” Luis picked it up a bit for several yards and then pulled over.  Now it was my time to pull.

I pushed it up into the 30s and once on a slight downhill tickled 40 mph.  It didn’t last too long though.  I heard John say, “Pull over for when we start down the hill.”  In my tired state it didn’t register completely and I started to move to the left.  “Not yet!” he commanded.  I got back on the pedals and decided to smash it until I was told to move.

Finally, John said, “Now!” I gladly got off the front.  John, Billy, and Jeff went flying past me like I was sitting still.  I rode just fast enough to keep them in sight as they made the turns to start up the climb to the gate.  John dropped Billy off in a great position, but Jeff was right on his wheel.  For a bit they were right there together and then I saw Billy move ahead.  Score four for POA.

Once more I was just hanging on as we suffered up Oak Leaf. By the time I hit the 12% grade at the top, I was ready to call it a day.  However, after I caught up with the group and we made our way toward Nature Trail, John asked, “Are you going to try for this one?” I gave a noncommittal, “I’ll try.”

John then moved to the front and as we descended to the bottom of the road just before the climb up Nature Trail, I got all the gear I could and tried to build my speed for the ascent.  If I was going to try this, I was going to hit it and try to coast as far up as I could!  John moved over and I took a deep breath and went for it.

At first I was in the big ring and was climbing at 20 mph plus.  For a moment I felt really good and stayed there listening to the swish – swish – swish of my wheels as I sped up the climb.  Then it ended. Just like that I didn’t feel it anymore.

Glancing behind me I couldn’t see anyone between me and the first turn. No need to kill myself.  Hopefully John was serving as a buffer.  I shifted out of the big ring and tried to make myself as comfortable as possible toward the top.

Looking back again I saw riders coming around and not at a slow pace. I could see myself getting pipped right at the top.  I searched my gears for some more leverage.  Finally I decided I didn’t care.  If they caught me, they could have it.  Turns out I didn’t have to worry. I made it to the top with time to spare.  Score five for POA.

To be fair, I have to point out that while the POA members took all of the sprints, Jeff Cash with Window Gang probably took the points jersey for the ride.  We ganged up on him every sprint, but he was there in the mix 2nd or 3rd for each of them.  He made the morning a whole lot more fun.  Thanks, Jeff!

Now I’m off for that nap! You all have fun out there Tuesday night.  I’m taking a break.  Hopefully, I’ll have my legs back for the POA Cycling Summer Series race on Thursday evening.