Thursday, March 29, 2012

Princeton 2012 – The New Jersey Devil: A New Member Joins the Bucknell Cycling Team…


The fourth weekend of the 2012 ECCC season saw the Bucknell Cycling Team heading back to New Jersey for the Princeton weekend—or the “New Jersey Devil.”  Along for the epic journey was Kelly, Sam, Papa K, Voodoo Tino, and myself.  For those who had other obligations this past weekend, you know, studying and such, you all should know that Voodoo Tino is a new and important member of the Bucknell Cycling Team.  He originated from the brilliant mind of Papa K and his immediate frustration with a team hotel reservation 1 hour and 40 minutes away from the Saturday race course.  It was from this anger that Voodoo Tino was born—a raisin brained, green man, wearing a shiny silver headband and holding a silly looking star magic wand.  With these attributes clearly connecting Voodoo Tino with extreme likeness to President Tino himself, it all begs the question, is Voodoo Tino in some way a stray particle of President Tino’s mind, body, and soul?  I guess we shall find out…as we follow the journey of the team this weekend, with Voodoo Tino along for the ride.  <---- (That’s a pun…haha) 

The trip to the hotel on Friday night was a ton of fun.  Stopping off in the legendary town of Stroudsburg, New Jersey, the team enjoyed a boat load of cheese and bread at a local Olive Garden.  Papa K was man enough to order man water along with his unlimited supply of coffee.  Void of ice cubes and lime, this water was destined to belong to a man as manly as Papa K.  The waitress supplied Kelly with a monstrous amount of cheese on our communal salad, and I myself engulfed seven breadsticks preventing me from physically being able toIMG_0460 eat breakfast the next day.  Sam ate multiple spicy green peppers, and at one moment we feared he might have eaten Voodoo Tino by accident.  Fears were quelled however, when we walked outside and witnessed Voodoo Tino lying limp on the sidewalk. He looked rather sickly, and was obviously plagued by a severe headache and tummy ache due to the unfortunate placement of these safely pins.  Questions then arose, was Voodoo Tino’s physical state a representation of how President Tino’s weekend was going thus far?  Were the poor hotel accommodations made by President Tino inflicting pain on Voodoo Tino?  I guess only time would tell… 

Saturday morning began early for me, around 2 in the morning at that…due to some unfortunate wheezing noises coming out of one Kelly DeSharkie’s nose.  Sound like some situational irony to anyone?!  Haha. The racing started later that morning after our long drive to the race course, where we met up with honorary team member Sheldon “we all know he wishes he was on Bucknell’s team” McKinley.  The road race featured a steep climb right from the outset, but was conveniently positioned at the beginning of the course, so I couldn’t use it to my advantage in the final sprint.  After a tough race in at C2 field, I came in a slightly disappointing 7th, even with Voodoo Tino there to cheer me on.   

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Kelly and Sam went out simultaneously in the Men’s B and women’s A/B road races. Kelly couldn’t go with the break, but controlled the main pack and finished second in the field sprint for 4th.  Check out this picture I got of Kelly coming up the climb.  Voodoo Tino however, positioned himself poorly, and ended up getting run over by Kelly’s wheel…ouch!

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Sam had a tough race as well.  Yet, Voodoo Tino was there to cheer him on even as the pace accelerated immensely on the fourth trip up the climb.  Check out some pictures of Sam experiencing a trip through the pain cave:

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Voodoo 2Sunday first brought an uphill time trial…of 4.5 miles.  Sam was smart and stayed back in the car with Voodoo Tino while Kelly and I froze our butts off climbing early in the morning.  I didn’t do as well as planned, and finished somewhere in the twenties, Kelly was in the thick of things as usual, finishing in the middle of the top ten. 

The criterium was just a few miles away from the ITT and screamed to Sam as a perfect course to suit his strengths.  An almost pancake flat 1.5 mile course, Sam was back on Sunday afternoon!  Check out some pictures of him at the start, with Voodoo Tino perched atop his saddle.  Below, another featuring Sam bringing some serious hurt to the rest of the field…on the front!!


In my crit, the C field was combined, always an interesting dynamic, with people falling, crashing, and flipping over themselves at every turn.  The course didn’t really suit my strengths, and a slow and lethargic pack of almost 50 really didn’t break up at all.  I came in for 15th in the combined field at the finish.   

In Kelly’s race, the tired women elite were unable to establish any break in the field due to the flat nature of the course, and the fact that a few of the girls had previously just raced with Sam in the men’s B race.  Kelly moved around and commanded attention as usual as one of the top girls in the ECCC.  She finished a modest 7th at the finish, mostly because Voodoo Tino had gotten stuck in her cassette!  Highly unfortunate.

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IMG_0464In the end, the crew returned home only to find President Tino high on his horse following what seemed to be an awesome weekend at House Party with friends.  Next week, we will have the entire crew going to Penn State, for what looks to be a legendary weekend already in the making.  Voodoo Tino will be joining us as well, hopefully strapped to someone’s seat post during their race.  Until we meet again, enjoy a picture of Voodoo Tino’s raisin brain…and keep it classy Bucknell Cycling.  Cheers! 

- CaseRace



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Philly Phlyer Race Weekend

471470_10100161710058646_10511273_41505467_1273421924_o  Sam and Tino’s Home Turf…Kelly in YellowBilly Tearing up the D’s!

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For the third weekend of the year, the Bucknell cycling crew headed off to the city of brotherly love for some awesome racing under the sun.  The weekend opened with a great pasta dinner at the Tino’s house.  The next morning, as usual, the team was up at the crack of dawn…we had a team time trial to get to!

President Tino, Harry, and I participated in the first team time trial of the season.  It was two laps of a 6 mile course with a pretty tough climb to close coming into the finish.  To start the race, Harry and Tino navigated me through the confusing turns at the outset of the course and once we got ourselves all straightened out, it went pretty well for the rest of the race.  Harry dropped the hammer on the flats and took some huge pulls along with Tino, sacrificing himself so that Tino and I could take it into the finish over the final climb.  In the end, we notched a top ten time in men’s B and earned some points to go toward the overall team standings.

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100_0232 The weekend soon continued with the D road race.  Participating for the bison was Max and Billy.  Billy exploded this week with some huge results, placing here in the road race—in an impressive 6th place.  In the C road race, I found myself trapped amongst a massive field of 75 riders.  At the ability level of some C riders, this can often become a problem.  Many riders just randomly fell over throughout the race—a race that was riddled with crashes and many sketchy moments.  My climbing ability allowed me to move up the field coming into the finish and take 12th place overall, 2nd among division two riders.  In the B men road race, the newly created trio of Sam, Harry, and Tino made their presence known.  Sticking with a pretty large pack for most of the race, Tino sprinted to the points in 13th with Sam and Harry coming in behind in 24th and 28th.  In the women A/B race, the golden girl of Bucknell dawned the yellow jersey for the first time.  Kelly was unable to prevent a breakaway from spoiling her chance at a victory in yellow, yet, she stuck with the lead pack and came in for 5th.   

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The next morning, the team headed off to the campus of Temple for the Philly criterium.  In the D race, Billy yet again came to race, battling his way on to the podium in 3rd place.  A men’s C upgrade in Billy’s future?  Perhaps….  The C crit was pretty fast, which again was combined and caused some massive crashes especially coming into the fast right hand turn after the downhill section.  I was at my limit for most of the race, and came in for 13th overall in the combined C field.  The three Bucknell B men musketeers had a long 50 minute crit.  Tino was 16th, Sam was just behind in 17th and Harry came in for 22nd.  In the women’s A/B crit, Kelly did well to fight for 5th place overall again.  It was definitely a valiant tour in yellow for Kelly, one that I think everyone on the team would chalk up as a success.  In the end, this week taught us many things. 

1.  You always have time, you just prioritize different things…commands Mr. Tino.  2.  Watching the movie before reading the book is what wimpy butts do…so don’t do it.  3.  It is always fun to be indecisive…it makes Tino angry.  4.  Harry loves his air mattress.  If you throw him outside and let him get mugged, he’ll be fine, he will still have his air mattress.  5.  Don’t ever put your bicycle on Tino’s bike rack, it will swing vertical to the road when travelling down the highway…which makes me and Kelly nervous.  A complete rap-up of the New Jersey race this weekend at Princeton will be coming this coming week.  Until then, happy good weather for riding! – CaseRace         

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P.S. Who is that guy in the red pajama pants next to Papa K?  …Only my dad who forgot to pack a pair of jeans—awkward.  Really bringing disgrace to the yellow jersey dad, not funny. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sandman…Puppies and Squirrels!?

Grimes, President Tino, Kelly, and I headed out for a easy ride of Sandman today, only to be met by many interesting challenges.  Lets just say we definitely interacted with the wildlife.  About twenty miles in, Kelly shrieked at the top of here lungs and ran right over a squirrel that happened to cross the path of her speeding bicycle.  She rammed right over the squirrel with little she could do to avoid it.  The squirrel then proceeded to get run over by Grimes as well.  It then miraculously scurried to the other side of the road—probably terrified and a bit shaken.  Then on Tour de Cake today, we ran into a woman with I believe seven puppies.  Tino ordered me to go pet them, and hence, your picture for the day—me and the dogs…

The race report for Philly will be coming this weekend.  I have had a lot of work and being the blog master beast definitely takes a toll.  Hope all of my passionate readers understand.  So look for the Philly post this weekend!! – CaseRace


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Columbia/Stevens Weekend – Kelly Rides to Yellow

“I hate when I accidentally carbo-load”

NYC 2012 CropThe sophomore weekend of the 2012 ECCC season saw the Bucknell Cycling Team visiting Grant’s Tomb in New York City on Saturday for a thrilling criterium, and then New Jersey on Sunday for the Stevens’ road race.

The Friday drive to NYC was characterized by massive traffic jams and many unexpected detours through small NJ towns.  Even a sign reading “apple pie special – $2.50” was unable to stop the determined Bucknell cyclists from pressing on to our eventual destination.  A delicious pasta dinner was served at Billy’s apartment upon our late arrival, prompting Harry to forgo his fear of pre-race carbohydrates, and chow down for some quality “accidental carbo-loading.”    


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This year the criterium course was changed from its usual oval-shape, to include an extra side section and a small punchy climb.  In the D race, Billy kicked off the weekend and rode well for his first race of the season—showing off his new rainbow-striped black specialized helmet.  In the C race, I was alone this week, with Dan LazerBeam already back in California.  I have to say it was one of the most exciting races I have ever participated in.  Some strong cornering allowed me to avoid at least 4 crashes that severely hampered the 50 man combined C field. I placed 10th overall at the finish—4th among division 2 riders. 

In the B race, Harry and Tino navigated the field well throughout the race, sticking with the lead pack and placing next to each other in 21st and 23rd place.  Despite feeling sick the entire weekend, Sam stuck with the main pack for around 25 minutes of the 65 minute men’s A race.  Check out some pictures of Sam, Tino, and Harry:

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In the women’s A/B crit, Kelly fought for 50 minutes to stay with MIT’s Katie Quinn, and succeeded.  In the end, she sprinted to a 3rd place finish ahead of Quinn.  At the conclusion of the weekend, Kelly’s hard work would find her on top of the ECCC female point standings.  She will be the first Bucknell lady to wear the yellow jersey next weekend.  Well deserved Kelly!!  Check out some pictures of Kelly from Saturday’s criterium. 

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In the road race on Sunday, Billy had a much stronger day in the men’s D field, coming in just outside of the points in 11th place.  I did alright on Sunday, placing 6th in the C2 field.  Brian and Harry once again stuck with the main pack right to the finish.  Encouraged by my loud and rambunctious screaming up the final climb, Tino sprinted in for a strong 17th while Harry came in just behind.  Kelly anchored her lead in the women’s A/B points standings with a fourth place finish despite loosing her water bottle early on in the race.  Sam, still sick from the days before, had a gutty performance and fought through some difficulty to put in two hard laps with the men’s A field.   

That’s it for this weekend.  Philadelphia is coming up in just a few days, and Bucknell will have its golden girl in YELLOW!!!!!  If you aren’t excited about that, then “perhaps you should re-evaluate yourself.”  Sorry for all the inside jokes, and Harry, thanks for being such a good sport.  Check out the facebook page for a full slate of pictures from this weekend.  Thanks to Jess, Mr. Tino, and others for the great photography.  - CaseRace


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let's not forget the man behind the curtain...

As many of you avid Bucknell Cycling Team Fans are aware, this blog has really taken off over the past few months. This is all due to the hard work of Mr. Brian Case (or CaseRace as we like to say...). Thank you, CaseRace, for your hard work and dedication.

This weekend, CaseRace was so busy taking pictures of his teammates for this amazing blog (and what became the most epic blog posts ever!) but, sadly, there weren't any pictures of him. Thanks to Papa K, we were able to catch a few moments of CaseRace's and LazerBeam's first ever collegiate cycling weekend. Enjoy!

Here we see CaseRace, with is game face on. "In the zone", one might say. First ever collegiate criterium!

Here, we have LazeBeam with is lightening yellow arm warmers. Also his first ever collegiate criterium!

Both Lazer and Case, cruising down this hill on the backside of the challenging crit course.

A few more of the grueling crit on Sunday...

Who wears short shorts?...some MIT guy apparently.

....Anyways, thanks again, CaseRace, for all of your hard work on this blog!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two Times Tuesday: Not for the Vertically Challenged

Hello folks!  Fresh of our first race of the season, President Tino called a two-times Tuesday terror ride today—first the normal ride backward, then forward.  Lucky enough for Sam, Kelly, and I, we had class during the first half of the proposed ride.  Unfortunately, Harry was free for the double extravaganza and had to join Tino for an afternoon of serious pain—two times over.  Sam came out hammering today, flying up the early inclines to which Tino exclaimed, “now there’s our A rider!”  I won Stein today for the first time ever, so I’m now going to let that sink in for everyone.  The mountain score on the year is now Tino: a billion, Harry: a lot, Me: 1.  Hooray for that.  Ok ill stop blabbing  now, check out this awesome picture, courtesy of the creative mind of Mr. Tino.  Bombs away everyone…it’s a blasting area. – CaseRace


Monday, March 5, 2012

Rutgers Frozen-Toed Season Opener!!

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This weekend at Rutgers marked the beginning of the race season, and of my collegiate cycling career, so without further ado, lets get right to the racing! DSCN1247

The weekend started off at four in the morning on Saturday, after a fabulous dinner and night’s rest at the Erlich’s house the night before.  The first event was the individual time trial, starting with Max and the D’s at 7AM.  The relatively flat 2.2 mile course saw Dan LazerBeam taking 9th place in the C2 field, and Kelly taking home 4th in women’s A.  Everyone rode strong, but the general consensus after this raining morning, was that the ITT was somewhat lame…so it was on to some real racing…the ROAD RACE!

The Rutgers road race this year was no joke.  A thirteen mile loop with a substantial climb right off the DSCN1260bat, the course was exciting and very fast.  Most of the fields were strung out in snaking single-file groups as the riders navigated through the tree-covered winding turns and descents. Dan and I started off in the C’s with a 40 mile race.  Tino and Harry in the B’s, along with Kelly in the women’s field did 52 miles, while Sam and the A’s did 65 miles to start off the year. 

The D Race – The hectic D race started off with a massive crash that put much of the field out of the race immediately.  Max avoided the trouble however, and put in a solid effort to finish off his two laps of the course. 

The C2 Race – A huge selection occurred immediately on the first trip up the large and gradual climb of the course.  Dan and I established ourselves in a select group of 8 who would stay clear of the field for the remainder of the race.  On the third lap, about thirty miles in, five riders, including Dan, broke off from the lead group of 8 on the climb, and would hold their gap for the remaining ten miles.  At the finish, Dan picked up 3rd place overall in the sprint.  I followed three minutes behind in a group of 3 and beat the other two riders to the line to place 6th on the day.  It was a solid first outing for the dynamic C duo of LazerBeam and CaseRace.


DSCN1249The B Race – A huge crash on the first lap of the B race unfortunately put Harry and Tino out of contention as they had to wait for the wreckage to clear.  After chasing the main group back, they were too exhausted to hold the pace and eventually called it quits.  They both chalked it up to an unlucky day, and looked forward to Sunday’s criterium.

The A Race – Sam rode hard in the road race on Saturday and got his first taste of big-time A racing.  He was dropped early on but battled hard on both Saturday and Sunday.  I know Sam could wipe the floor with me just about every day of the week, so I have a lot of respect for the effort he put out throughout the weekend.  A few more miles under his belt, and Sam will be right up there in the A field in no time at all. 

Women’s A – Kelly rode well despite having to do most of the work chasing her competitors back all weekend long.  No one gives her any help, but she persevered to finish in the second group on the road on Saturday, placing 4th in the women’s A/B field.DSCN1258












Sunday was Criterium Day…

The Rutgers crit course was akin to a hill repeat session.  With a substantial climb on the back side, a decent down to the finish on the front side, this was one of the most unique crit setups I have ever seen.  All around, it was a solid day for everyone…and allowed the B men to redeem themselves.


The C2 Crit – Other than a few small breaks that failed to gain any steam, Dan and I hung in the main field that stayed pretty much together for the entire race.  In the field sprint, Dan picked up 10th while I followed close behind in 12th.  In retrospect, we really should have tried to get away on the climb with about three to go…the race did not exactly play out as we planned.

The B Crit – Harry and Tino battled hard for forty five grueling minutes of the Sunday criterium.  Both finished placed in the twenties and rode with a lot of heart.  Check out the pictures: 

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The Women’s A/B Crit - Same story different day.  Again, Kelly was forced to do all of the chasing…and again, she finished a strong 4th in the crit.  Check some of the pictures I took, especially the one with her yacking it up and trash talking with the MIT rider as they go up the climb…funny stuff…

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FINALLY…the Men’s A Crit – Sam turned himself inside out to stay with the pack for over half of the 65 minute race.  I have a lot of respect for his determination…check out some pictures of Sam:

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Well, that’s the weekend.  I don’t think I will ever make a post this large again, because it took about an hour…but for the first race, I think its worth it. 

I had an awesome first collegiate race, and am looking forward to Columbia next weekend…until then, RAY BUCKNELL, and get out there and ride a bike!

– CaseRace