Tag Archives: Samantha Smith

Upstate Winter Bicycle League won’t miss a beat

Even the local cycling scene has it’s silly season.  It is that time when team realign and riders will move from one to another. This go around we have a major change in one of the larger teams in our peloton. However, the silliness is settling down and things are looking good.

No need to go into all the details, but the GlobalBike team here in the Upstate has changed it’s focus away from the Master’s level and is trying to move into a higher level race team.  That meant that a number of the better known riders on the team were looking for new rides.  Some other riders who were going to move to the master’s team were scrambling to get back with their previous team or a new one.

None of this affected me directly, except I did know that Steve Sperry was one of those guys who raced with the masters riders.  He and his teammates headed up the Upstate Winter Bicycle League. While I wasn’t too concerned that the ride would disappear, I was wondering if it might be a little less organized if things moved to a new team or Steve wasn’t involved.

I met up with him at the Hincapie Sports Warehouse Sale and asked him about it.  He assured me that UWBL was on and would be as good as ever.  He himself was staying on with GlobalBike to help with the realignment and he would be organizing the winter rides once again.  The difference will probably be that the ride leading duties will be spread around among riders on various teams.

My own team – POA Cycling Team – has managed to come through all of this with only one loss.  We had a scare there for a bit as we thought we would lose a mate to GlobalBike and some other prospects to that team as well.  However, with the realignment we with that organization we have been able to hang onto him and pick up some other incredible riders.  Our masters team is going to be smokin!

We were sad to lose Sam Smith, but she is moving to a new team that is forming that will have more ladies on it.  I wish her well and hope she will still consider letting me ride with her crew during next year’s 12 Hours of Tsali.  Hope I don’t regret saying that!

The new team appears to be a creation that will include a number of riders from the Hincapie Development Team.  I have not received an official announcement, but I believe that team will not be fielding riders next season.  Don’t worry though, we’ll still have to deal with the same riders!

Right now, I’m ready to put some of this silliness behind me and focus on my Ride For Mike.  Right now I am at $1815 raised toward my $5000 goal.  I’m thankful to those who have continued to give.  My drop dead date for having donations in is October 17 at 2:30.  That goal isn’t silliness!

A race in pictures

I have the pleasure of having my own photographer for my races at the POA Cycling Summer Series.  My wife’s brother, David, has shown up for nearly every race and sometimes brings his camera.  He has a pretty good eye for good shots, so I look forward to what he comes up with.  Here are just a few of the shots that help tell the story of the race from July 30, 2009.

Talking with Luis during warm up.

Talking with Luis during warm up.

One of the best things about being on the POA Cycling Team is that it allows me to race with some guys that I have been riding with for years.  Luis is one of the guys in my category that I have ridden with the longest.  We go back some time on the Saturday morning Hour of Power rides.

Getting down a gel just before the start.

Getting down a gel just before the start.

I’ve learned that you need to have some calories in the old tank if you want to have the power toward the end.  Taking a gel just before the start allows it to start kicking in during the second half of the race.  Now, if I could just figure out how to put extra oxygen in a gel pack…

In the scrum at the start.

In the scrum at the start.

I got to the line a little late and ended up with nearly 20 riders in front of me as we left the line.  There were a good number of teams represented with only a couple of unattached riders.  My teammate Sam was one of the three ladies in the race.  The ladies and the Juniors were mixed in with us 4’s and 5’s.

Four POA teammates all together.

Four POA teammates all together.

The above picture is one of my favorites from the night.  You can see Matt coming into the center of the picture.  Luis is behind him and to his left.  I am coming up on his inside.  Between Matt and me you can see Billy in the background.  We just needed Sam in there and all of us would have been in this one shot.

Matt in the start of what would become the winning break

Matt in the start of what would become the winning break

That is Jae on the front.  He ended up winning the race.  Matt is right behind him and he took second.  Third in line is Peter.  He was in the break for a bit, but ended up sliding back.  I don’t know what his finish ended up being, but I know it was in front of me!

Not dead yet... working to control the front

Not dead yet... working to control the front

Part of the fun of the night was helping to control the front of the chasing field while the break built up a lead.  Of course, we were hoping that Matt would be able to take care of himself.  This was a pretty hot corner.  Later in the Pro 1/2/3  race a GlobalBike rider went in too hot and realized if he tried to hold it, he would take out most of the field.

He straightened up and bunny hopped the curb.  The only problem was that there was a water retention area on the other side.  He went over the curb, hit a root, and then slid down in the hole.  Thankfully, he missed the rocks at the bottom, but his back and knee got pretty skinned up.  Wonder how he has been sleeping lately?

So much for controlling the front... dropping back

So much for controlling the front... dropping back

If you click on the above image, it will enlarge.  If you look closer at me, you can see I am blowing out.  I’m trying to pull as much air into my lungs as I can.  Unfortunately, this night it was almost as though I had asthma.  I just couldn’t seem to get enough air into my lungs.  That is why I look like a blow fish.

A picture of me blowing up

A picture of me blowing up

Speaking of blowing.  This is where I blew up.  This would be in the last five minutes of the race.  I’m trying to hang on.  It seemed like every time I thought I might be recovering, it was time to climb that dratted hill again.

Well, I have one more chance at this course this year.  I need a new picture.  I need one of me coming across the line celebrating a win.  That is a picture I like to see in my mind.