Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oregon State Team Time Trial Championships

Sun, a light wind, one couldn't ask for a better weather for the Team Time Trial Championships. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend riding for Team E-Web asking if I fancied a place in their echelon for the State Team Time Trial Champs. I said sure and the Men’s Cat-3 E-Web TTT team was born.

Now when you hear about teams who excel at the Team Time Trial format, there is a common trend, practice, and time. In our case, practice amounted to arriving early enough at the race so we could do a few clicks on the road. Yeah, we were tight.

So, the race format, four, seven mile laps around the plains of Corvallis, with two minute gaps between teams.

Our Team: Team E-Web, Jim (2006 RAO Solo Competitor), Ben, Doug, and big o'le me.

- The Start -

Rolling up to the start it was evident that the cycling gods must have favored us as we had an ideal starting position, last in our category. Team Guinness was getting their final count down. The Guinness guys looked good and with their launch, we had two minutes to chill. With the time trial consisting of laps the start had the added complexity of actively racing teams zipping through the start at the same time as other teams were being staged. With about 15 seconds to go a team shot through and then it was our turn to start the music.

The big trick on TT's is not to spend your load too early; ideally the fumes should only start to show up as one approaches the final line. Our start was tight, Doug, led the group out, Fish fell in, I was next, and then Ben. With Ben on the TT commenced and everything was jolly. Then approximately 5 minutes into the first lap, we had just passed a team of a different category, Fish was pulling, and as he drifted to the outside of the road and was suddenly off the road, throwing gravel everywhere! How Fish kept the bike upright is nothing short of a miracle. We eased up for a moment and then continued on thinking Fish was gone. Glancing back, someone said, "He’s back on the road!” with that we all slammed on our brakes, and awaited the arrival. With the team whole again it was time to really start the show. The now frustrated Fish, went to the front and showed the rest of us how it was done.

Team TT's are hard. In some ways I think they are much harder then individual TT's. In the ITT one just raises their pace to the maximum they can maintain for the distance and then just holds it. It hurts, but everything is constant, the tempo is steady. In Team TT's everything is different, when the rider is in the front they put out an effort far above that of their ITT pace then after a few seconds they rotate off reduce the intensity and slide to the back before jumping back on for another rotation. The big trick is jumping back on, sliding off is easy but jumping back on is hard as it involves a quick acceleration. If one misses the draft window it’s harder still.

Going into the third lap we were down to three riders. The rules for the TTT state that the third rider over the line is time so now for an official finish we would need everyone to bring it in.

Part of the reason, I do well in ITT's is I'm more of tempo rider. I like it when the tempo is constant changes in efforts are difficult and as such the laps were beginning to take their toll on me. I'd go to the front, drop my wad, Fish would attack, and I'd have to dig real deep to jump back on.

Some time about now, a Cat-1/2 team caught and passed us. But instead of opening a huge gap they just motored up the road a bit and then stopped pulling away. Being passed hurts, so we fought back and returned the favor. Then they passed us again but again after a bit we were again in the lead. I think this scenario was occurring because our team was holding a slightly more consistent pace then the 1/2 team.

A little time passed and then we caught the Ginuess Guys with one lap to go. Going into the final lap I pushed hard, and applied some force with my gastrocnemius (calf muscle) and felt the ever so slight tingling of an upcoming cramp. I swift gulp of cytomax, and a slightly altered pedaling style to avoid forceful contractions of the gastrocnemius and we were into the final lap. The whole final lap is a total blur.

Final Results: Team - E-WEB snagged first and first by a healthy margin (> 2 min), we ended up covering approximately 28 miles in a just a little over the illusive hour mark. Figure Fish's early off road race adventures, cost 30 seconds - 1 min, we figure we could have been under an hour if that whole escapade hadn't happened.

Now for note to all those entering the solo category at RAO this year. Fear the Fish. Trust me Fish is seriously strong, it was all I could do to hold is wheel today during the later half of today’s adventure. I don't think the Fish is RAAM qualified so it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see the great RAO tradition continue of requiring phenomenal race times to make the RAAM cut.

Link to OBRA: Results

As always, "It's Tartan Time!"


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Crew

So I should be writing a summary of a recent paper concerning the non-metabolic factors behind skeletal muscle fatigue, but it’s a nice day, and with a little less then two months till RAO, and 4 weeks till my muscle papers due, I should really fill you all in on whats truly important, “The Crew”..

For those of you in the know, last year, Team Tartan fielded what has to have been the most outstanding rookie crew's of all time. The dynamo crew motivated, fuled, and logistically planned each pedal stroke, and the results at both RAO and Fireweed said it all. Well, looking forward, what to expect, last year the fitness was good this year I’m not so sure.. Between my fatass, 16%, and increassing body fat, and Ben’s new gig, the bikes haven’t been getting the loving that they did in the past and the race results well sortof speak for themselves.

But the Crew is BACK and this time they aren’t ROOKIES, they know the course, and they want the BIG BEEF STICK; I know they won't let me eat it.

So with out further ado, its time for the roll call..

Team Tartan Crew Member, 10 Time STP Veteran, David Philbrick (Dad)
Ultra Crew Credits: 2005 Race Across Oregon, 2005 Fireweed 400

Team Tartan Crew Member, two time LA Marathoner, Cathey Philbrick (Mom)
Ultra Crew Credits: 2005 Race Across Oregon, 2005 Fireweed 400

Team Tartan Crew member and Nationally ranked masters swimmer, Larry Philbrick (Uncle Larry)!
Ultra Crew Credits: 2005 Race Across Oregon

New Teammates!

Not only is the whole of Team Tartan returning to RAO but I’m ecstatic
to announce that two new crew memebers who will be joining us for this years adventure.

Tim Larson (Ben's Dad) & Russ from Wisconsin!

Tim and Russ are from Wisconsin, Lon Haldeman, is from Wisconsin, basically I think that says enough right there. A few years ago I had the honor of accompanying Tim & Russ on one of there world famous Ultra Marthon Cannoe Expeditions, and what I learned in the process is these guys are a hell of a lot tougher then me..

So I guess what sort of wraps it up for now cause as you know

“It’s Tartan Time All the Time”!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Ride of Silence

A friend on the OSU cycling team just sent me info on the Ride of Silence, if you haven't heard about it I’d really encourage you to take a look first take a look at the website and then to get involved. The ride of silence is NOT critical mass it’s about attempting to raise awareness for the rights and safety concerns of cyclist’s through the remembrance of our fallen friends.

For More info please see:

Oregon Events:

Corvallis Contact: Jerry Rooney Distance: 5 - 15 miles
Notes: Meet at Osborn Aquatic Center at 7PM on Wednesday 5/17. Everyone invited.

Newport Contact: Elizabeth Rose Distance: ~2 miles
Notes: Meet at Fred Meyer parking lot and ride toward the Yaquina Bay bridge, through Newport.

Pendleton Contact: Susan Kelley Distance: 8-10 miles
Notes: The ride will start and end at Pendleton Bike & Board on Main Street in Pendleton.

Phoenix Contact: Robert Korfhage Distance: 14.25 or 10 miles
Notes: START LOCATION: Hawthorn Park, Medford (meet on Hawthorn St.)

Salem Contact: John Henry Maurice Distance: 15 miles
Notes: Endorsed by the Salem Bicycle Club - see for details

Monday, May 08, 2006

Eugene Time Trial Series

So this posting is a tad out of order but long over do so here we go. For those in the know, last month was the Eugene Time Trial Series. The series format, four 15 mile TT every tuesday for a month, same time same place. The race course, a Swedish pancake flat loop featuring 2 turns just a few miles north of Eugene..

The Results:

- Week One

So I’m always nervous going into TT’s. Was Jack Frost a fluke? How should I pace myself for this course? How much should I be warming up? And why oh why did I forget my cytomax. The competition looked good, lots of big legs, disk wheels, and aero helmets. Rolling up to the line I had butter flies in my stomach, 3, 2,1, go! And I was off, I tapped the pedals, the Co-Motion responded like it was an extension of my leg and I was doing 29 mph. With the course being a tad more then 10 feet in length I thought it wise to dial it back a bit, so I settled down to a cruising pace and started to pull back my carrots. Going out there was a head wind but as long as it held it might make the trip back fun. Not being totally familiar with the course, the first corner felt a little long, the second came a little quicker, and then I was sailing with the wind doing well over 28 mph. Crossing the finish line this weeks results, 15 miles in 34 min 47 seconds, which turned out to be good enough for first in both the 4’s and the 3’s, placing me 4th overall, not to shabby for week 1.

- Week Two

After the previous week’s results I was feeling a tad more comfortable with results. The plan this week, just do everything the same but better and let the bike take care of everything else. The catch, there always is a catch, the weather didn’t look good. The wind was shifting, and those dark clouds in the sky looked ominous. Back to the starting gate, and off the line, it felt good to know the course. The carrots this week were faster so I didn’t wasn’t catching quite as many, then it happened, those dark clouds in the sky just could hold back and on the way back the wind lashed out strike me in the face and the clouds poured down like a water fall. Coming in everything inside of me kept wanting to raise the white flag, I kept having to remind myself that I was TTing, that I needed to push it, the line came, and crossing it I knew my performance this week had been nowhere near as good as the previous.

Time: 35:32.00, 1st in the Cat 4’s, 6th overall, and almost a minute down from the previous weeks time.

- Week Three

Going into week three I felt kind of low, yeah the previous weeks weather was bad, but a nearly a minute down Kenneth? Were my first two times flukes of luck? This week I changed my warm up slightly, adjusting when I ate, what I ate, and I made a vow to control my pace off the line. The weather was better this week, no rain, but there was still a wind. Of the line, out, back, and across, I started early, and pulled in nearly all my carrots. Crossing the line I felt good almost too good, could I have gone harder, yeah maybe, thankfully there was still one more week to go..

Time: 34:21.00, 1st in the Cat 4’s, 6th overall.

- Week Four – Final week

With my victory in the cat 4’s nearly assured and just 3 days separating the final TT from the start of the Deschutes TT Fest, the plan for this race was to try out all the changes and modifications I was thinking about making for this weekends adventure. After attaching the new equipment, and going though a slightly more refined prep, I was back on the line and off. Off the line for the final time, I almost felt sad the series was going to be drawing to a close. But with the best weather of any of the weeks now was going to be the time to show my stuff, and the race seemed to progress well as the carrots popped back one by one. Crossing the line I felt good, but had it been enough?

Time: 34:12.00 (Fastest time of all three weeks), 1st in the Cat 4’s, 5th overall, and the Cat 4 series GC.


Friday, May 05, 2006

The Wager

Hey, Ol' Fogies...

So when Team Tartan, aka "the Whippersnappers", last checked, our biggest rivals, who, each individually, have more experience than our two man team combined have yet to register for the 2006 RAO. Could it be that the Ol' Fogies are "scared" of the Tartan; worried about getting trounced by two young whippersnappers? Or could it be confidence? Confidence that two Ol' Fogies have nothing to worry about from the whippersnappers and are comfortable to rest on their laurels for RAO 2006.

We don't know. What we do know is that a quality win doesn't come without quality competition. So to add another dimension to the 2006 RAO, Team Tartan, would like to propose a little ol' wager for, to make the two man team event just all that much more interesting. But what to wager? Obviously it would need to be something that would appeal to two Ol' Fogies. That left us wondering. Then it was obvious...

That's right! What could be better for two old fogies then a six pack of Ensure? And on the off chance we win, it works for us too since the stuff keeps for years. The deal: team second to the top of Timberline presents one six pack to the winning team at the banquet. Anyway, think about it 'cause, its Tartan Time all the Time..

Yours truly,

Kenneth and Ben

The Whippersnappers!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Deschutes TT Festival - Stage 1 Photos

Photo Credit: Paul Lieto


Monday, May 01, 2006

First Annual - Deschutes TT Festival (stage race)

Ever been to TT Stage Race? Up until this weekend I had no idea how much fun/adventure could be crammed into just two days. The Deschutes TT Festival, consisted off three stages all based out of Maupin, OR, a sleepy fishing, rafting, and now cycling town in north eastern Oregon. The stages started off early on Saturday with a punishing 40 KM, followed up by 8 mile hill climb later that afternoon and finally concluded with a 50 mile out and back Sunday.

- Stage 1 -

Going into the first 40 KM event I felt good. I was nervous about the first few miles as the TT started with a significant 2 mile climb, but after that I couldn’t have asked for a better course. With my minute man off, promoter, RAAM Veteran, and all around cool guy, George Thomas, held the bike. I snapped in. Put some pressure into the pedals, and was off. Now, I’m not a climber, but that morning I felt like this 180 lb beef cake could have shelled the lightest Columbian. By the top of the climb, I’d pulled back my 30, 90, and 120 second carrots, and was closing in on my 60 second carrot. At the top of the climb with a good 22 miles still left, I settled down, and began to cruise, and chased my 60 second man, Carl, into the descent. Carl descended just a tad more aggressively and by the base of the climb had increased our gap a little. I eased forward, found the nose of the saddle, began to put some power into the pedals, and then the saddle rocked forward! I moved back and it rocked back. The weld holding the top of frame on had broken, and the sleeve holding the seat post was just floating free! With the saddle just hanging there, I didn’t think I should sit on it, and I was worried if I just left it dangling there it might fall into my rear wheel and catastrophically end it all. So with that I slammed on the breaks depositing the saddle, seat post, severed frame sleeve on the side of the road, and resumed the chase with 23 KM left. Without the saddle, the aero bars weren’t an option makeing the shifters inaccessible. The bike had now been reduced to a high power low cadence single speed. A few miles later I hit my first decent and found that while I couldn’t pedal due to the loss of pedal tension, I could now tuck real low. The final decent of the course was less kind, it consisted of a few corners which were quite a challange sans saddle. In the final KM my hands and wrists began to hurt. Bringing it in I was passed by a few 1-2’s and two of my carrots. Crossing the line I’d salvaged 3rd place, 3 min down on the leaders. Carl, my 60 second man, took second only being denied 1st by 3 seconds. As bad as my luck had been it could have been worse, my good friend, Ben, had suffered a flat ending his chase for GC.

- Stage 2 –

Stage 1 had started at roughly 9:00 and with stage 2, an 8 mile hill climb set for 3:00 the plan had been to eat a nice lunch, take a nap, before warming up. The events of stage 1 changed all that. The whole rest and relaxation period was pulled from the schedule and replaced by a crazy fast attempt to salvage the TT fest by setting my road bike as some sort of bastardized TT weapon. Cranks were swapped, cassettes and wheels were changed, saddle height adjusted, etc. With a little over an hour left before the start of the second stage everything was as good as it was going to get and it was time to get ready. The hill climb started out steep, and then after a few corners turned into a power climb with a serious side wind. Hill climbs definitely aren’t my thing, but given everything else that had happened that day I felt thankfull to hold 3rd place. A climber catapulted himself into second position, putting over a minute on the rest of the field, and first place ever so slightly increased his gap. Carl, who had been sitting in 2nd position, suffered the serious misfortune of suffering the next bout of equipment failure loosing a crank arm not long after he had left the line, ending his chase for GC.

- Stage 3 -

Sunday Morning, I was sitting in third place, with a little over three minute’s separating myself from GC. With Carl and Ben both out of the chase for GC, both offered up TT equipment to try and give me some sort of aero setup to do the final TT on. I took Ben up on the offer and rolled up to the start with some borrowed clip on aero-bars. The final stage was a 50 mile out and back on the notoriously difficult bake oven road. The first 2 miles of bake oven are fairly gnarly but after that the climb settles down into a power climb. I was being chased by the Cat 4 climbing phenom. Right before reaching the summit of the initial two mile section I had the honor of seeing him fly by. Once the climb had settled down into something more reasonable, I returned the favor and went on to put a little less then 4 min into him, and 9 min into first, grabbing a stage win and cat 4 stage race GC!