Sunday, March 17, 2013

Columbia – Stevens 2013

Bucknell Cycling Wipes the Floor

…with the rest of the ECCC

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This past Saturday and Sunday in New York City can only be described as Bucknell Cycling’s weekend.  With the four B men riding together for perhaps the final time this season (with Sam and Lazer moving up to A’s)…the team was primed to dominate both the Grant’s Tomb Criterium and the Stevens Road Race.

892166_10152637192920387_171803061_oThe weekend started with everyone apart.  Lazer and Wade headed to Wade’s house in NJ, while Harry headed home.  Sam and I traveled with Papa K to our housing for the weekend on Columbia’s campus.  Everyone was to meet the next day at Grant’s Tomb.

Before I get into the racing, the team (especially Sam, Papa K, and I) would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the Straton’s for hosting us this weekend.  Their hospitality was first class.  Sam and I were exceptionally well fed with home cooked meals and delicious bagels from local New York supermarkets.  The Fairway salsas and cream cheeses were especially awesome.  We enjoyed a comfortable pull-out couch for both Friday and Saturday night, and were allowed to take over the Straton’s living room with all of our baby blue equipment.  Our bikes even got their own parking space on the bottom floor of the apartment complex!  Thanks again!  What awesome hosts.

Saturday morning started with Sam, Lazer, and I meeting up for some USAC racing to get the legs warm for the afternoon.  Lazer forgot his chamois…(whoops) but managed to muster up the courage to ride the morning in non-padded tights.  Both races were complete goon fests…but out of the 80 riders, Lazer started his domination of the weekend with a victory!  I came in 8th after almost being run into the barriers at the finish.  Sam did well to finish in the cat 3 pack despite some crashes in the field and a bicycle that randomly shifts on him whenever he stands up.  All in all, we left the morning feeling ready for the real racing in the afternoon.  Here is the finish picture—Dan pulling away from the rest of the field.  He’s going to fast to avoid the photographic blurriness.


After the early morning racing, Harry showed up and Lazer kicked into barbequing gear.  He spent the middle of the day cooking burgers for the general racing population in New York City with Wade and Papa K on the bridge outside the van.  Sam and I went back to the Straton’s for brunch—only to join everyone else later on.  Bucknell Cycling legend Kelly Dashark made an appearance mid-day to hang with the team and cheer on her king Sheldon.  High school/Colavita cycling god Alex Breakstone also came by with his Dad to mingle with the team.  We have our fingers crossed…if you know what I mean…

Harry, Lazer, Sam, and I went into the afternoon Grant’s Tomb crit with a plan—to kick some serious tail.  Here we are all lined up, eagerly awaiting sir Kopena’s instructions.  The yellow arm warmers were out…and Harry’s non-safety-approved Japanese helmet was perched a-top his head.  Both were clear indications that it was trouble for the ECCC right from the start.  I seem to be yawning for some reason.


The men’s B crit started with all 4 Buckell boys feeling extremely good.  Some Yale rider dilly-dallied off the front for a while, but the pack zipped along at 24mph + at a smooth and steady tempo.  Everything was literally moving along fantastic, with the race being controlled by Harry and Lazer at the front…Sam and I hanging mid pack.  Unfortunately about half way through the race, I flipped over my handlebars in a crash and was eventually DQ’ed.  From the side of the road, I channeled the irritation from crashing into cheering on the boys.

Lazer, Harry, and Sam covered all of the attacks, bringing back a serious threat with 2 laps to go, and blurring the front of the peloton with a sea of baby blue.  Coming through with 1 to go, Lazer was on the front, with Sam and his master navigation skills ensuring Harry was kept in good position.

Coming around for the finish, a Yale rider had broken away from the field, but Lazer was leading the rest of the pack to the finish…taking second.  Harry was just a few riders behind, while Sam, having done some serious work to get Harry in position, rounded out the bunch sprint toward the back of the lead group.  We all rounded ourselves up, and departed to our respective living quarters to get ready for the next day of racing at Stevens.  I’ll now let the pictures do the talking…

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The next day at Steven’s may have been some of the most fun I have ever had wearing a Bucknell Cycling uniform.  We all met at the course just before the start (Wade having ridden over on his new CAAD10!) with another great day of racing in mind…but we couldn’t have expected all 4 of us to place in the top 14. 

The entire team (minus Sam <-----wimp) went with no leg warmers…so we were looking real good—but feeling pretty cold.  For the first few laps, the field zipped along at a normal pace, with everyone just kind of looking at each other and sizing one another up.  Being the first road race of the year, it was a slightly different dynamic than we had been seeing previously.  All four of the Bucknell men crowded the top places amongst the field…with all those trips up New Mexico, Supplee, Stein, Jacks, and New Berlin having paid off.

On the third lap, Lazer attacked really hard on the “big” climb situated about half-way to the finish.  Some riders tried to go with him, but the general consensus within the pack was “just let him go.”  Little did they know, Harry, Sam, and I were quite certain we would not be seeing Lazer again…and we didn’t.  Lazer has a special ability to ride very fast by himself over sustained distances.  Some people often call this skill “time trialing.”  During the 4th lap, some KMS kids started to get real nervous, and the pace really picked up.  Harry, Sam and I covered all of the threats, chasing down attack after attack to keep Dan safely out front by himself. There were numerous calls to “get Bucknell off the front.”  We were definitely handing it to the rest of the field and causing problems.  I have no idea what Lazer was doing, but I presume it involved placing his head between his legs and pedaling fast.  In the end, Lazer finished his 15 mile solo display with a 1 minute gap on the field, and capped off his second victory of the year with a well deserved celebration.  He will be “swimming with the big fish” in A’s come his next race.  (Along with Sammy).

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The pack finished with Sam coming home in 5th…I was 8th, and Harry was just behind in 14th.  Harry pretty much dragged me up the final climb, so I owe my first B top ten to him.  We all gathered to congratulate Lazer on his dominant butt-whooping and said our goodbyes for the rest of spring break.  We were also sad to say goodbye to Kelly and Sheldon…but we will see them again at MIT.

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Well…I guess the only way to end such a great weekend is with Papa K’s list of observations from the two days.  I am writing this on the way back from Philly…so yes…its late…and I apologize for that. Until I get around to writing about this weekend at the Phlyer…this is B Case – saying HOPE YOU ENJOYED THE POST!

Papa K’s Observations from Columbia and Stevens:


1. Sam’s bike was being repaired in the basement of an appartment building in New York City the night before the race. DON’T TELL PHIL.

2. Harry registered for the USAC race but didn’t show up…SLACKER

3. When Sam thinks of Harry Chen…he thinks “Harry Chin”

4. Lazer raced without his chamois, what a man.

5. What is “hot boxing?”

6. Lazer traveled light this weekend (refer to #4)

7. It’s easy to make friends when you’re grilling…

8. Case had a dream last night that we slept in and missed the Sunday morning race.  He also dreamed he didn’t care.

9. I think New Providence NJ has a church for Turkeys

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10. Lazer likes to swim with the big fish

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I’ll leave you with the following message from President Case – (its self explanatory)


Monday, March 4, 2013

Rutgers Frozen Toed Season Opener - 2013

Rutgers 2013 - LET IT BEGIN

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Welcome back readers, fat bums who need to ride more, parents, alumni, current Bucknell riders, friends of BU cycling, and stray google searchers looking for information on how to lube their bicycle chains…it’s the 2013 ECCC RACE SEASON!!! What better way to kick it off, than with a killer blog post. Enjoy!

This year the caserace has many other obligations that he needs to attend to. One of these tasks seems to be to keep the team from running head first into the ground (kidding). So, thankfully, this week I have enlisted the help of one of our shining new freshman ladies – Sara “Supp” or “we want to call her Kelly because we miss Kelly” Chuirazzi. She did a fantastic job in capturing the opening weekend of the season, so what are you waiting for? Turning it over to Sara. Get reading!

– Caserace


PS – photos have been hard to come by for the non-men’s B riders.  I will be updating the post when more become available…(I still need to obtain Papa K’s pictures from the weekend).  Both of our girls are currently neglected from any riding shots below…which is very sad…but it will be fixed!!

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Take it from here Miss Sara!!!

The Frozen Toed Season Opener at Rutgers this past weekend officially marked the beginning of the 2013 cycling race season! After a hilarious (and slightly pathetic) dinner at Perkins on Friday night, the team faced a five AM wake up call on Saturday morning and headed to the park for the 2.2 mile individual time trial. Lazer came in fifth place in the men’s B category, scoring the team 26 points, and Eric came in third in men’s D2, scoring another eleven points for the baby blues. 

Former president Tino joined us on Saturday, which was really fun. He added a lot to our day, and I could tell that everyone (especially President Case!) was happy to have him there to provide wisdom from years past...don’t worry folks, his wrinkles haven’t started showing yet!

We then headed to the Rutgers Livingston campus for the criterium. Lazer crushed it again, coming in ninth place and scoring another 11 points. Harry, Sam, and Case all hung with the pack, placed in the top 25, and did a really awesome job of representing the team in men’s B. It was an exciting race to watch, and thankfully, our boys avoided the two crashes that happened toward the end of the race. Max and Eric represented Bucknell in men’s D nicely. Eric came in third place in his real first collegiate race, which was really great! He scored the team eleven points, and we were all really proud of him. He’s hoping to upgrade to C’s sometime early in this season. 

Audrey and I attended a clinic before our women’s intro race, and were relieved to find that a lot of girls there were first time racers, despite Sam’s attempts to get us to act tough and serious when we encountered some Yale girls in the hotel! We learned some basic safety information and practiced some turning and maneuvering drills before setting out on our own. We didn’t finish last, so that’s a victory, right?!


Harry’s dad was nice enough to treat us all to dinner at Olive Garden, and our coach Phil Cable was able to join and discuss strategy with us after being there for a full day of racing. Dinner was followed by an 8:30 bedtime for Max, Harry, Dan, and Eric and a little bit of Castaway in the other room (I guess I’m not very cultured, as I had never seen that movie before, but Case was adamant about it’s awesomeness).

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On Sunday morning, we got to sleep in a whopping hour later, and then we headed to the circuit course. The word “hill” is enough to make my stomach drop and my heart race, but I was confident in our team’s ability to hold our own out there and after Saturday’s excitement, I was especially looking forward to seeing how the guys did for a second day! 

Max’s bike gave him some technical difficulties, unfortunately, but Eric was able to finish tenth. The men’s B race was so intense and really exciting to watch! Lazer was looking really strong throughout the entire race, leading the pack for a large majority of the time. Sam played it cool in the back, sneaking in for a final attack around the second to last lap. It was a bummer that he got boxed in and Lazer got a flat tire (really, biking gods?!) when they were both in such good positions to finish at the top, but luckily they came out of it with optimistic goals for the season. Case hung in with the pack the entire time, which was awesome.  He finished 12th, with Sam in 8th.  Harry finished strong, too!

885111_4558075038189_2122058204_oThe Bucknell ladies worked together pretty well during the women’s intro race. Audrey led me up that hill more than once--she is a beast on climbs, even in her tennis shoes and cages! We stayed together until the very end...when it suddenly occurred to me that “race” means go as fast as you can, and I completely took off with all of my remaining energy. Needless to say, I need some help in the strategy department of cycling, as I totally should’ve stayed close so that she could ride my wheel home (...or something like that, that Case was quick to point out, but laugh off). Sorry, Audrey! We still finished right in a row, and it was really cool to race alongside my teammate for the first time. 

The car ride home was full of snoozes for the freshmen, DJ Case trying to find someIMG_3307 decent tunes (that ended with him mimicking a goat during one of T-Swift’s songs) and speeding along the wide open roads, and a couple of interesting moves from the “party” van (cough, cough, HARRY!). During a quick a Wawa stop, Dan bought a half gallon of iced tea and some steak nugget jerky which is apparently the snack of champions, and then we zoomed back to Lewisburg.

I would definitely say that one of my better discoveries of the weekend is the fact that Brian’s “pain face,” as Tino informed me it was, actually appears like he’s genuinely happy, almost laughing. Even if he was in pain and cursing his bike the entire time, it made the race more enjoyable to watch when I pretended that he was happy! Papa K’s mastery of the burrito blanket roll and Tino’s nifty idea to use the seat from the minivan as a spectating chair were among other things that I found made these cyclists (past and present!) oh-so-pro. Oh, and Dan’s multiple sunglass lens options made him pretty Euro pro, which I know is important, because he insists that victory partially stems from looking good.  

Overall, I this weekend was a great first experience for Eric, Audrey, and I and a superb start to the season for our veterans! The team dynamic provides lots of laughs, even after hours in the hauling van together. The Bucknell cycling team already has lots to smile about and look forward to, and we’re only one race into the 2013 season! – Supp

Complete Men’s D2 circuit Race with Eric Wengert in many of the shots – pretty cool!

Now stop what you are doing.  President Case would like to direct your attention to the following programing:  Audrey Love…you can take it from here my friend.  Until next week at Columbia, this is the Bucknell Cycling Team – saying goodbye for now.

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