Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Winning is Good!

Well folks LCBC had some excellent results recently.

First of all Zachory Hyland who now resides in Chicago,  IL. Took a huge win at the Villa Park Grand Prix (cat 1/2/3 masters) 

These are His own words on the race:

My race was called Villa Park Grand Prix. It was in the western suburbs of Chicago. I won it on a last lap flyer( think Fabian Cancellara style). I countered a move and caught everyone off guard. I was dying  out there but still managed to pull it off somehow without much room to spare.

Great Job Zachory and thanks for keeping LCBC a winning National team.

Also in other race news I was able to get out to another race, the Dawg Days of Summer circuit race. The weather was not looking to dry and that's just my type of race. I'm not shy in nasty weather and I pride myself on bike handling skills... (Think Peter Sagan)
I knew I had to redeem myself for the poor showing at Millersburg. If I was feeling good I would give it my all. I actually didn't feel like crap (amazing what 8 hrs of sleep will do for your body) I decided to rev up the engine on the 4th lap in by taking a solo flyer. The solo flyer didn't work but I was able to pull off a 5th place finish in the final sprint out of 60 or so finishers, under somewhat sketchy conditions and a very fast pace.

Big Money winnings, time to quit the day job.

Also check out these GoPro cam videos of the race. You can't miss me , longsleeve skinsuit, neon yellow socks.

Thanks for reading keep the wheels spinning folks!!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Millersburg Part 2

Post 1st day at races

So the criterium was all done in old Millersburg and so was I. I couldn't remember being this tired in a long time, and I was pretty hungry too. I had scored a parking spot before the race under a shady tree so my car was nice and cool when I got back to it. All my gear was once again lazily thrown into the back and I was off to the luxurious Red Roof Inn. I knew i would need more caffeine for the 30 minute drive so I stopped and grabbed a coke at this relic, an ancient, retro/cool coke machine .
The drive to Harrisburg meanders through country roads and little towns and goes up a pretty big mountainside complete with a twisty switchback section. I know the road race has a "switchback" section but I hadn't previewed the course, just thinking about racing was making me more tired. I got to the hotel and checked in , the hotel lobby and parking lot was super busy and lively. Apparently there was a big dog show in town as well. There were lots of dogs of all sizes walking their owners around the grounds including one happy yappy dog next to my room. I showered, face-timed the fam, and ordered a pizza all within one hour. I then ate the whole 14" Hawaiian pizza in 10-15 minutes and passed out at 7pm. Happy yappy yipper could not awaken me from my slumber nor could a stick of dynamite under my pillow. Zzzzzz.

The Road Race

I awoke around 6 threw my stuff in the car, said goodbye to the Red Roof inn, and made why way up over the mountain and back to Millersburg. The road Race started at 8 so I had some time to get reorganized re-pin my number onto a clean jersey and wipe down my bike. The road race was 3 laps, 57 miles and supposedly rolling hills with a switchback climb where there was to be a KOM (King of the Mountain for all you non-cyclists) at the top.  While I was watching the pro 1/2 crit the day before one of the volunteers gave me a wonderful tip about the climb.  "Just when you think the climb is done it flattens out dips down then kicks back up again" excellent so now I knew not to blow it all on the lower slope.
I was definitely sore and still tired at the start but I was feeling ready to get going we all lined up on the Main Street and before I knew it we were rolling again.
A group of category 3 racers much more prepared for stage racing than myself.

The start was neutral for a mile or so then   I thought it was going to remain neutral, seeing as though we had 57 miles to go. Unfortunately the climb was in the first 3 miles of the course. The peloton slammed into high gear as soon as the neutral was over. My breathing was heavy and so were my legs, we blasted onto a side road and I could see it going straight up. Pandemonium started 2 guys with poor mechanics dropped their chains as the climb started. I myself being a gear masher never dropped to the small chainring I was out of the saddle weaving up the climb. My lungs were screaming my legs were screaming I was dying  to grab onto the wheel in front of me. I watched as the road level out and I knew the kicker was coming, unfortunately some of the other riders didn't. Curse words and moaning could be heard from the pack as the road turned upwards again. I remained in the group maybe 20th spot over the KOM and desperately tried to recover. The speed remained high and I was completely scared out of my mind that this pace would not settle at all. People were attacking and we were strung out for the next 10 miles when we finally slowed to a "comfortable?" Pace. We made it back into town for the completion of 1 out of 3 laps. Then the speed kicked up again as everyone tried to position themselves for the climb. Here we go again click click click clang clang a couple more chain drops could be heard as well as agonizing moans my body was done and my mind was slipping "come on Luke you can just pull off the road and bag this race" the devil on my shoulder said "yeah  you know you can't hang with this group " he taunted. I told him to shut up just a little longer, we crested the hill and I barely hung on. Every surge from the group I could feel and I was slipping further and further back. I could see another small crest coming up the road. I gave it my best but didn't have anymore to give. I saw the last wheel ride away from me I put my head down and tried to recoup. I thought if I just caught my breath for a moment I could catch back on. Soon enough the whole race caravan had passed by me and I pushed on solo through the countryside.

I could have sat up and taken it easy but I still took advantage of the nice roads and weather and pushed as hard as I could. Soon enough I was onto Main Street and finishing up. 50th place!! At the finish the organizers had yet another treat for the racers, ice cold chocolate milk yum.
Even though I didn't place well and I didn't have as much fitness I thought I would have, I still took full advantage of this great race and kept myself humble and still hungry for lots of improvement. I would also like to encourage any racers out there to head out to next years Tour de Millersburg because it is a very well organized, fun, and challenging race. Thanks to all the volunteers out there helping out. See you next year. 


El Presidente LCBC

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tour de Millersburg

It's been a while since the last post on here but things are still rolling along quite fine for the LCBC crew. I (el presidente) have been riding a lot more consistently this summer than last year and partaking in a few races, as well as group rides to try and get some fitness. I decided to sign up for the Tour de Millersburg and use my "cycling weekend getaway coupon" that I received from my dear wife for my birthday. Life is busy at home with the kids being so young and so close in age.. so this was a nice treat  to escape reality for a bit. The week leading up to the race was definitely not ideal for a stage race weekend. I purchased a new (used) car this week from a private seller and had a lot to take care of on top of a usual busy work week. The weather was rainy all week and any short window I had to ride it was pouring, so I'd just say to myself "oh I will ride the trainer after the kids go to sleep" HAHA who am I kidding, in my world that is not realistic and frankly I'm ok with that. There is a part of me that desperately wants to be training and racing while eating/breathing/sleeping cycling but that can be down the road when the kids are all out of diapers and I win the powerball jackpot. Okay enough woe is me also I think its important to note that I have a new addiction to Oreos, I don't know how that came about but I ate 2 full packages to myself this week.
This was quite possibly the longest day I've had in a while. I tried packing as much stuff for the weekend Thursday night but still did not finish. This was the morning I was picking up the car and taking care of the title transfer so after a long morning I finally could drive off in my new ride. 2002 Suburu Outback.
Then it was off to work for my 11a-11p shift. I had a normal day at the hospital on my feet for 12 hours (excellent for the muscles pre-race) and raced home to throw some more stuff into bags and pack the car full of bikes,wheels, food,and gear. I tend to bring more stuff to races than I really need, I guess this is just from past experiences of racing and trying to be prepared for the unexpected. Anything  can happen, like say the 40 degree morning in june,  no jacket packed, lesson learned. If you have it and have room bring it you never know... 12:30 am I finished packing and Im on my way up 83 north. Dinner was SUBWAY at work and a midnite snack of a tastycake cheese Danish and some pretzles. I arrived in Millersburg around 2:45 am and found a nice safe parking lot by the susquehanna. to toss and turn for a couple hours. After a not so ideal sleep situation (packed car,sleeping in drivers seat) I awoke around 6:30 to this lovely site.
My start time for the Time trial was 8:30 so I headed on up to the registration area where I was greeted by some of the many volunteers  in "Hi-Viz" yellow shirts. 

Millersburg is a quaint little town, basically what I think of as small town USA. The whole town comes out and helps with the race and it is such a refreshing change to see at a bike race. Not the office park crit if you catch my drift. Next stop the all important port o pot stop.
Stomach not feeling to well Gurgle gurgle..oh well I'm used to that. On to the warm up. Got all geeked out in my TT Gear and tested out my TT position.

seatpost flipped backwards Clip on TT Bars nothing special

Yeah that's some crappy facial hair too.

Anyways warm up went alright (or so I thought) and I was surprisingly not too sleepy. I had loaded up REAL good on the caffeine also the white chocolate cliff bar washed down with Tangy orange cytomax seemed to be the right breakfast. 

The TT 

The TT was an out and back 10 mile course with one stretch of false flat and a little kick to the finish, but basically Flat. A course David Cohen would DEMOLISH. They had a real deal "pro" start ramp. Some people chose not to ride down it and opted for the flat road start.  Not me I wheelied down that bitch.. Straight onto the course I realized  I hadn't  warmed  up enough and the lack of sleep/tired legs combined were going to make this painful.  Painful it was indeed i felt like my legs had been put through a meat grinder. And silly me I actually thought I put in a decent time . Nope! 49th outta 61 cat. 3 starters.. OUCH this could be a fluke right?. Oh well still got the Crit and Road Race.

Break Time

There was a good gap of time between the finish of my TT and the criterium. Roughly about 5 hrs..great time to Organize the mayhem and chaos i had created in my car from literally throwing all of my gear into the back of my car. 

I got the organizing done and out of the way as well as de-TTing my bike (seatpost normal, removing aero bars) I was feelin much more relaxed and also kinda relieved "the race of truth" was over with.  Also who am I kidding I've always sucked at TTs.
Back to the port-o- pot, then the Weiss supermarket, then an attempt to take a nap under a tree on a beautiful day. By this point I was so frigging tired but I was jacked up on caffeine, a little dehydrated and feelin weird. I could not nap so I just stared at the trees and layed there. 

Man this sucks somedays when I have all 3 kids by myself and im tired I would honestly pay a cool grand to doze for a couple hours. Now I have the opportunity and I'm blowin it big time. More staring at trees....

My window to nap had past and I soon found my self heading back to the center of town and trying to loosen up a bit. 

From the moment I clipped in I knew this was not going to go well, It was going to be a race of survival more than placing. The thing that kinda sucks is I am usually pretty strong in criteriums. I've done some  this year and have been in the mix for the final sprints. Oh well...I was enjoying myself with all this freedom and we had AMAZING weather. However I was not enjoying the dehydration, headache, tired TT legs, and the zombie hallucinations from sleep deprivation. Soon enough though i was listening to the race official give the race instructions then "TWEET" The whistle blew and we were ripping through the tight "city " streets. There was a small steep hill that goes straight up right out of Turn 3 of the  4 corner course . The pace to me was ridiculous I was barely holding on to wheels. The inside of my mouth was like a burlap bag filled with sand and my body was once again yelling at me, but I had to keep pushin through it. I believe it was about  10 to go when they started pullin and placing riders.. Super short course. So after putting my head down and gritting my teeth up the climb solo for a lap or 2  I was givin the wave by the official and I was pulled and placed  Amazingly I managed to pull off 49th place AGAIN. But like I said to me this was more for the adventure and now I was just trying to survive. 

Me hallucinating in the crit (at least I look euro-stylish doin it though) photo credit


Saturday, August 4, 2012

We want you! LCBC Recruitment

LCBC has had a great first season of road racing and appreciates all the support from our sponsors, racers, families, friends, and fellow cyclists. Although the road season hasn't officially ended, we wanted to get the word out that LCBC is looking for enthusiastic, dedicated cyclists who are interested in road or cyclocross racing next season.

Our team was formed earlier this year to serve as a new face for Baltimore County cycling and an opportunity to unify the numerous avid cyclists who have a desire to be competitive in the world of road and cyclocross racing. We believe in riding as a solid unit and support and push each other to excel and exceed personal and team goals.

If you are interested in joining the LCBC team, shoot us an email at and we'd love the opportunity to chat, ride, and get to know you.

In the meantime, we'll have representation out at the Highway to Heaven TT next weekend and will be finishing up the road racing season with Dawg Days of Summer. In the interim, a couple of our racers are already preparing for the cyclocross season and look forward to an exciting Fall schedule.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FreshBikes Group Ride

Since the LCBC team has taken a brief hiatus from racing for a couple of weeks, we wanted to highlight an awesome group ride one of the team members, Andrew Stroup, stumbled across while down in DC on a weekday. The Arlington FreshBikes Tuesday group ride is not your common group ride. Unlike the numerous group rides we've grown accustomed to in Baltimore, you aren't simply joined by 5-6 other cyclists looking for a good workout, but a posse that is almost overwhelming.

Feeling like a neutral roll out for a gran fondo, Andrew was joined by ~150 other cyclists for a solid training ride through Arlington, Falls Church, and McLean. Attempting some reconnaissance pre-ride, Andrew identified some cyclists who he raced with throughout this season, talking about the A riders, the B riders, and then everybody else. As the ride began, FreshBikes requested all the "slower" riders to start up front. The group was escorted by a train of police cars and bikes, blocking major intersections and roads for a continuous roll out to the "loop." As the ride progressed out of Arlington, Andrew found himself in the middle of the pack, passing and being passed by various cyclists over some moderate rollers at a casual pace. As the group turned onto an on ramp (yes an on ramp) and headed West, the groups quickly broke off and the ride was on.

By the time Andrew realized what was happening, the A group noodled off the front. Keeping in contact with some of the other cyclists he had raced with, he bridged up to them and stayed in contact with the lead B group. He quickly learned that the A and B groups were more of a race than a ride and found himself constantly drafting, pulling, or bridging up climbs, around corners, and down descents.

The B group headed home after one lap, while the A loop stayed around for a couple more for some extra suffering. Andrew was with 3 or 4 riders that broke off the front of the B group and was rejoined with the remaining group as they entered back into Arlington.

Overall, the group ride was a great change of pace, a chance to catch up with some fellow racers in a non-hostile environment, and some good conditioning as the summer racing season comes to a close. As far as upcoming races for LCBC, we have our eyes set on the Highway to Heaven in a couple of weeks and the Dawg Days of Summer as a closer for this year's season.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Hagerstown Challenge Criterium

Despite the blistering heat, LCBC showed up for another weekend of racing. Andrew Stroup and Joe Siegel packed their steads and headed out West to the Hagerstown Challenge Criterium on Saturday for the Cat 4/5 race.

The course looked promising, a 4 turn, fast and moderately technical course. Andrew and Joe performed their pre-race rituals and warmed up, mentally and physically, preparing themselves for the race ahead.

The Cat 4/5 field was small and the start of the race was fast. Halfway through the race, Andrew dropped out due to mechanical issues, leaving him to support Joe from the sidelines. In the closing laps, Joe had the best shot at a solid finish as he joined a 4 man breakaway in the last few laps of the race. In the final turn of the penultimate lap, Joe was riding the inside line, but had to take the turn tighter than planned. Before he knew it, his bike slid out from underneath him and ended his shot at the finish line.

Fortunately, Joe was able to walkaway from the crash with no broken bones, but was rewarded with some gnarly road rash down his right side. Sometimes the racing gods aren't in your favor and you're simply rewarded with the ability to walkaway from a race. Until next time, stay safe and cool.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Assault on Franklin Ave

On Monday, an unfortunate event occurred where one of the LCBC riders was assaulted on Franklin Ave during the Fed Hill Race Pace Recovery Ride. During the downhill descent on Franklin Ave, heading back into the city and towards Pratt, a group of kids jumped into the middle of the street, forcing Andrew Stroup to slow down. As he reached them, one kid grabbed his bike while the other hit him in the head and was then thrown into a parked car. Fortunately, Andrew wasn't badly injured and his bike only suffered a crooked shifter.

As Andrew composed himself from the incident, he went to confront the kids who quickly ran off. The neighbors came out and helped him clean up before he got back on his bike and headed into Baltimore and then home. It's sad to see this type of random act of violence in Baltimore and even worse when people accept these events as commonplace circumstance. Andrew was told these type of occurrences aren't uncommon when the kids aren't in school, noting "kids in July."

LCBC is glad Andrew was able to walkaway from the incident without serious injury and suffered only a bruised knee. Stay safe out there, since avoiding the heat isn't the only concern while riding in July.