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Race report: Tour of Battenkill. Masters 55+

2013 April 15
by velomonkey

Race report: Tour of Battenkill. Masters 55+. Field 71 Coarse 65 miles, 16 miles dirt road, 3950 Ft of climbing. I raced without any gadgets, No heart rate, miles, power, etc; do not recommend.

Author: Scott Loring – Owner Team CLR Racing

Our race time was 10:10. The weather was overcast skies and in the 40s felt much colder. I stayed up front for the first 5 miles so to be ready before hitting the historical Eagleville Bridge because this brings you right into Perry hill and then Juniper swamp climb. Everything was going fine when Bill Thompson of CCC/ Keltic and his boys made a break for it. As soon as you come over the bridge you take a sharp right, and all of a sudden “” BOOM BANG CRACK “”some guys I don’t know are down on the ground. Now I am up out of the saddle and chasing to get back on, this early in the race I was OK. It was about mile 30 when things started to break. It was like a 20 man pace line but it was up a dirt hill. Things did get back together up the road some, I just was not there. I finished the race with a bunch of hardcore riders. First place times 3 hrs 12 min. My time 3hrs 22 min for 38th place.

Map and course profile

Map and course profile

Product review of the Cervelo P3 and dialing in position with your coach.

2013 April 8
by velomonkey

TT Product Review

By: Jay Millas (CLR Racing)

The Cervelo TT Bike

Jay’s Cervelo TT Bike

Well Spring is here and the spring race series have begun so that can only mean one thing. It’s almost time trial season!!  As a large fan of the ITT (individual time trial) and equally a fan of product reviews, I’ve decided to make public the changes I’ve made to my TT bike coming into the 2013 season.  Last year I purchased a 2012 Cervelo P3 Stock with a mix of Ultegra, FSA Gossimer and Vision Components. It was a fairly budget purchase as I have 2 small children and a wife that is only so patient. I did put money into wheels, cause YES they make a HUGE difference. I run a Zipp disc in the back, and a Zipp 808 in the front. On that note, off I went! The season went fairly well, notable TT results were 4th at Tour of the Dragons, 10th at Killington Stage race, and 13th at the New England Time Trial Championship.  Locally a handful of top 5′s and a win at the Expo Wheelmen TT in Manchester, CT, and a record setting performance at the Pequot TT in Mystic. Overall I was satisfied. This winter I decided I would try to revamp my bike. Spend a little money, and with the help of Team sponsor and my coach Amos Brumble, attempt to acquire  a new more aero dynamic race position. Here’s what I did and how it worked!

First thing I wanted to do was change the “cockpit” of the bike. The stock set up on the P3 is a vision stem, base bar and aero bar. While this is a decent starter setup, I had something lighter, more aero and more comfortable in mind. I went with the new 2013 Profile Svet base bar, The Profile Cobra  s-curve aero bar, and a new radically lowered stem. (Will get to that later) For the base bar I went with the 40cm not for its comfort or its handling, but rather because in the words of Amos ,”your only on it for the start!) This being said smaller=lighter=less drag. I find the bar to be extremely comfortable when in use. Steers well and is very light and stiff. The profile aero bar also weighs in very light, both of the bars are carbon. I enjoy the S-Curve much better than the riser bend that the vision clip on has. I will add that there are TONS of bar setups on the market. I went with Profile because I’ve always enjoyed their products. Also they make decently affordable stuff that is well designed. I opted for a clip on bar to offer the freedom of narrowing the aero bars. This can’t be achieved with a one piece bar. The one stipulation of the profile cobra was that the elbow pads were too wide for my preference so I went with the suggestion of Amos to go with the Zipp elbow pad as it fit with the profile bar and offered a more narrow set point than the stock Profile pad.

Close up of the stem and bars.

Close up of the stem and bars.

Now to talk about the stem, which brings us back to drag! I was aiming for a far more aggressive position on the bike so this would mean I would have to get LOW! (or GUMBY as I call it) Now this isn’t always comfy but I really don’t think TT bikes are designed for comfort! We want to go FAST! Amos had me go with a generic stem that has a massively negative drop, as fancy carbon stems are almost impossible to find in this angle. This change lowered my position quite a bit, but as a consequence gave me pain in an area I wasn’t prepared for! Which led to my next item review, the Adamo TT saddle.

The Adamo TT saddle is a fairly new item on the market but growing in popularity amongst the masses! And for a good reason. When I dropped my cockpit real low and took her for a test ride I came home with a pain between my legs that was very unsettling. It turned out that this new aggressive position was very painful to my taint (i.e.”grundle” i.e. the void between your testicals and your rear.) This new saddle gets rid of any kind of pain you could have. It is absolutely a must have if you plan to race in this aggressive position. For example, on CLR, Gabe, Bryan, Scott and myself are all riding this saddle and sponsor Amos Brumble also rides the Adamo TT. 2 years ago Bryan McGill (CLR),  won the ITT at Killington Stage Race, Cat 3, riding the Adamo TT!!

Another change for the bike this year in my mission to “un-stock” my bike was brakes! Now you may say you don’t need brakes on a tt bike, but anyone who’s ever raced the TT at the Tour of the Dragons will gladly argue that. That particular time trial has multiple hi speed turns and is a rarely very technical course. Now my P3 had come stock with FSA Gossimer brakes, and I can tell with no doubt that these brakes combined with the stock vision levers were about the most poorly manufactured items on the bike! I decided to make a change to ultegra brakes, matching the ultegra drive chain which I think is rock solid and affordable. I paired them with dura ace carbon tt levers. The new brake set up is a night and day difference. Responsive, light and aero.

Next I tweeked the drive train. This first involved me upgrading the crankset. It had come stock again with an FSA Gossimer crankset, which much like the Gossimer brakes wasn’t very worthy of the P3 carbon race bike. I did stick with FSA for an easy match on the bottom bracket since I wanted to save money somewhere! I went with an FSA SLK crank. The same crank I run on my cross bike. Not crazy expensive, light and stiff. The other part of the drive train I changed were the shifters. Now here’s where things were questionable. The P3 came stock with Dura ace bar end shifters. These are and have been titans of the industry since FOREVER and with good reason. They’re bomb proof shifters, but with any great thing, we’re always looking for something better. A team mate of mine had mentioned that sram had come up with “return to center” shifting for tt bikes. What this does is using a mechanism much like srams road shifters, the shifter returns to the original set point after every shift. Now not having sram on my bike I was presented with a problem. Do I change the whole drive train or keep the shifting I have. Neither, Amos explained to me that of recently Sram had purchased Zipp and with it the Zipp RTC shifter, thus incorporating the Sram shift mechanism into a larger more ergonomic  Zipp shifter. Now let me tell you. This is freaking sweet! My new drive train on the bike is smooth as can be and the Zipp shifter feels like an extension of the aero bar itself. The shifters are available in both Sram and Shimano and I highly recommend them! Of course if you have the cash I still believe the Dura ace electric shifting for your TT bike is the coolest thing on the planet offering you multiple shift points, but again it isn’t affordable to most.

Last of all and totally free was my computer mount! The location of my computer on the old P3 set up was on my stem, with wider aero bars, and a flatter stem this wasn’t a problem, but with the new drop stem and my aero bars jammed so close my elbows almost touch, I lost my computer mounting space. So came my home made computer mount. Now don’t get me wrong there are companies that make mounts for aero bars but why buy what you can concoct in your basement or workshop! I took a small cut of an old handlebar, put two old mismatched plugs in either end, drilled a small whole thru each side, and zip tied it between my clip on bars! This works great and best of all IT’S FREE!!!

Bar placement is crucial.

Bar placement is crucial.

The last step of this whole process was the set up done by my coach Amos. He offers these to all of his customers by appointment only. I sincerely recommend that you have him or someone qualified do a set up on your tt bike to achieve the fastest, most comfortable position. I recommend the same for any of your bikes. Professional set ups can help you achieve greater power output, comfort and overall well being on the bike that you just can’t get without it. Also, doesn’t it seem correct that if you’re going to spend thousands of dollars on a bicycle that a couple hundred extra to have it professionally fit to you is probably the best idea/ bang for your buck! That’s my opinion at least.

So, that’s my review for all the other time trial people out there. Hope it was informative and I hope it will give you some ideas to achieve greater form and speed on the bike this season. Remember to stop into Brumble Bikes in Westerly, RI for any of your cycling needs and keep an eye out for Brumble’s sponsored teams, CCB racing and CLR racing. See ya at the races!!

Cannondale now at Brumble Bikes

2013 March 19
by velomonkey

Brumble Bikes is pleased to announce that we are now carrying Cannondale Bikes.

Young, in green and all on a Cannondale - that's Sagan for you.

Young, in green and all on a Cannondale – that’s Sagan for you.

Cannondale is a truly iconic American bicycle brand.   As an innovator in Aluminum bikes we have regarded a Cannondale as he go-to bike for up and coming racers.   It’s light, it’s stiff, it’s comfortable and unlike exotic carbon it wont break the bank.   The result is you will push yourself harder in races not worrying about $3k frame.   Cannondale CAAD aluminum frames have won the Giro first with Ivan Gotti in 1997 and then again with Dammiano Cunego in 2004.   Mario Cipollini won four stage wins in the Tour de France while riding a Cannondale aluminum frame.     Then again if you want a $3k carbon frame backed by a great warranty then Cannondale has you covered there, too.    It’s also the lightest frame as the EVO weighs an astonishing 655 grams and the hottest rider in the pro peloton rides an EVO – Peter Sagan.   There are few bike companies with such a diverse list of palmares as Cannondale.

It doesn’t just end with frames as Cannondale has pushed the limits on all parts of the bike.   From their Lefty mountain bike suspension fork to their BB30 SL Crankset Cannondale has set the standard on several occasions.

2013 is going to be a banner year for Brumble Bikes – new lines of bikes and a new location.   We look forward to telling you about it.

3/16 Plainville Spring Series Criterium (Cat 1/2/3 and Cat 3/4)

2013 March 18
by velomonkey

Plainville Spring Series Criterium (Cat 1/2/3 and Cat 3/4)

March 16th, 2013

CLR Riders: Anson Ross, Anthony Eisley, Ben Pigott, John Anthony, Bryan McGill (writer)

After last week’s opening to the Plainville Spring Series put on by JAT racing was cancelled due to a March snow storm, the racers of CLR was looking forward to getting some racing in. The weather on the day was still cold, in the upper 20s to low 30s, as it seems like spring will never come.

For the first race of the day, Bryan came ready to race in the Cat 1/2/3 field after having some success in this field at Bethel a few weeks ago. The race was expectedly fast with no let-up. Bryan spent quite a bit of effort chasing after some early breaks in the hopes that the wind would allow a break to go early. As it always seems to happen, the winning break happened on a counterattack while Bryan was resting a bit from the previous effort. Much effort was put in by the field to bring the break back, but the disruptive blocking by a couple of Fusion riders proved enough to neutralize our efforts. Congrats to John Harris or Aetna for taking the win on the day. Bryan ended up finishing 3rd in the field sprint and for 8th place overall.

Up next was the Cat 3/4 race, the first race of the year for Anson, Anthony, John, and Ben, and the first race with CLR for John and Ben. Bryan decided to do the double and see what was left in the tank. The race started out slow with Biker’s Edge leading the field around for several laps before the racing started. After the racing started a bit John and Ben also got there first crash of the year out of the way, with John being taken out by an aggressive rider nudging him out of the way for position and Ben with nowhere to go running right over him. Seemed like a pretty pointless move that early in the race with nothing going on. After taking advantage of the free lap to get back into the race, Ben made a good move with about 22 laps to go taking a Biker’s Edge and Expo rider with him. After a few laps away the break was brought back, but Anthony took advantage and counter attacked. This time about 6 other riders, some of which were pretty strong guys went with, and CLR went to work covering and blocking. John covered one move and ended up bridging up to Anthony’s break giving CLR two riders in the move. The break stayed away all the way until 4 laps to go, with Anthony picking up a prime along the way. The field seemed mostly content to rest and get ready for the finish on the next lap with the exception of one rider, Stan Lezon, who go out in front of the field by himself. With 3 laps to go, Bryan came around to the front of the field and with Anthony right behind him decided to jump and bridge to Stan. There was no significant reaction from the field other than some bickering about who was supposed to chase, and Bryan and Stan were able to build a pretty good sized gap with the rest of CLR happy to sit in and disrupt the chase. In the finish Bryan found that there wasn’t much sprint left in his legs after two hard races and finished 2nd. Just as big on the day though was a field sprint that resulted in Anson taking 4th place just behind Larry Merling and Anthony close behind in 6th place.

It was a great team race, with everyone contributing in some way and 3 riders in the top 6 places. We learned some lessons on how to race, and hopefully got the crash for the year out of the way without any serious consequences. Next on tap…Plainville for most, Bryan and Ben to check out the Trooper Brinkerhoff, Johnny Cake race.

CLR – Bethel Crit

2013 March 4
by velomonkey

Ronde de Bethel Criterium (Cat 1/2/3)

March 3rd, 2013

CLR Riders: Bryan McGill (writer), Gabe Remillard, and Willie Payton, Scott Loring (45+)
March has arrived and with it, the first early season races in the Northeast. New CLR team members, Willie Payton and Bryan Melchionda had already raced on Saturday at Branchbrook in NJ, but Scott, Gabe, and I were set to get our first racing action of the new season. Earlier in the day, Scott raced in the Masters 45+ and Gabe raced the Cat 3/4 – both raced had breakaways that stayed away on a windy day with with temperature hovering around 32 degrees.
The Cat 1/2/3 race had a large field, with about 80 guys registered. Forty-six laps and around 40 miles, the course consists of a 90 degree right just after the start, then a slight downhill into the back stretch before the course curved around into a stiff headwind prior to turning right and heading up a short hill back to the start/finish line.
The race started calmly enough and I was content to sit in the field and just get the feel of things for the first few laps. After about 10 laps, I decided my legs were feeling pretty good climbing up the hill before the finish so moved up toward the front. Shortly thereafter I got into a 6 man break which seemed to have all the bigger teams represented. We stayed away for about 5 laps before a preme was called and the cooperation broke down…30 laps to go, probably way too early anyway. The rest of the race went pretty similarly. I fell back into the field to catch a breather for a few laps but stayed near the front to jump onto another wheel when the opportunity arose. At about 10 laps to go I was feeling pretty gassed from chasing a breakaway that had gotten about 20-30 seconds up the road, so dropped back to see Gabe at the front of another chase group. At this point I was pretty much thinking I was about done for the day, but day and started falling back in the field a bit. Then things slowed up for a lap or two (the field possibly giving up the chase?), giving me a chance to catch my breath and make my way forward again. Five laps to go, after the finishing hill I found myself out in front of the field with a Aetna rider (Dan Caridi) out in front of me. After taking the corner I jumped on his wheel and together we built a small gap. We worked together then next couple laps and increased our gap to the field while they were apparently gearing up for a bunch sprint. With one to go, I got about a 5 meter gap to the Aetna rider. I knew he must be pretty tired since he’d been in several of the breaks I was in earlier, so I hammered it down the backstretch. As I came around the corner into the wind I could see a group of 5 riders only about 50 meters in front of me starting to play cat and mouse, so I had the idea that I might be able to catch them. Unfortunately I ran out of road, and finished a few seconds behind then, but was thrilled to have finished in 6th place on the day. Looking forward to a great 2013 racing season!

Beaver Cross 2012 1-2-3

2013 January 2
by velomonkey

Beaver Cross 2012 1-2-3 race report

So this year I went to the Beaver cross race that I have attended every year since it started.  Don from Danielson Adventure Sports has promoted it along with a weekly training series for I think 4 or 5 years.  Go if you get the chance!  The course has always been fun with a mixture of tight single track, steep run ups, covered bridge and a sandpit in the volleyball court.  There were a few new twists this year with a much expanded course, reduction of the single track, USA cycling officials Bill Dolan and Diane Fortini and music!.

The trip
One thing that I get from races is the chance to spend time thinking about the race and looking at the scenery.  I listened to music from these guys to get in the mood.  I tend to favor fast paced music to match up with the effort the race requires.  After the race I took the scenic way home coming down on Rt 49 in CT.  Maybe you have been here?  It is one of the highest points around and I always feel like I am on top of the world looking down when I am on this section.


Pre race
I arrived with enough time to sign up and take my time getting ready along with a one lap pre ride.  I normally would recommend more course recon laps but I felt that I knew the terrain pretty well and the day was fairly dry.  Tire pressure is important so I borrowed a pump from Liz and put 30 psi in there.  It felt a little squishy but firm enough to keep from folding over.  Liz warned me about so roots and to be careful going by the pond.  My easy lap confirmed her advice and I made sure to stay to the left on that section.

The temperature was 48 and sunny so I went with knickers, a light long sleeve jersey and some assos light gloves.  I almost wore a base layer at first but decided at the last minute that I didn’t need it.

The race
The race had a small but aggressive field, we had a quick start to the first u turn and then headed out for the rest of the loop.  The start is not my strong point so I just hung on the back and hoped that the front riders would not gap us off before I could get to the part where I would feel better.  It turned out that none of the riders at the front of the field had the chance to break away from the group so I was able to stay in contention and then make a pass to ride on the front myself.  This happened with three laps to go on the long climb after the sand pit section.  I was inadvertently helped by the rider following me who bobbled in a corner making me get a substantial enough gap to have no pressure from behind.

Average heart rate for the race was 167 max heart rate 178.

Mechanical
Just to keep it interesting one bolt from my left cleat decided to fall out a few minutes after I attacked and I couldn’t clip in with that foot the rest of the way.  I made a big effort to not let the gap close down since I would not be able to put a full sprint effort in without a properly connected shoe.  Check those bolts!

I finished the race off with a 9 second gap on second and made sure to ride smoothly and safely all the way to the line.  Mistakes can cost more than time gained by taking chances when the gap is still small like that.

Amos on the podium

Post Race
I had a good race so I hung around for awards and then headed back to the car.  I made sure to drink my perpetum, eat a banana and stretch.  Post ride recovery makes for a quicker return to regular training.  On the ride home I grabbed some more food and V8 to drink since I was still feeling a little hungry.  Another stop to use my foam roller and then a leisurely drive home.  See you next year.

Jamestown 2013 race report

2012 October 18
by amos

Jamestown 2013 35+ mens report

This past weekend was one of the last events on the road for this year.  If you missed it sign up next year.  It is a great event for someone who wants to try a bike race for the first time.  There are what used to be called citizen races along with licensed categories to compete in.  So someone with no experience could try it out and have fun or someone who has been racing all season could enjoy it too.

The course is relatively easy with a few challenging hills and a good amount of wind to contend with.  Each loop is about 19 miles and beginners do one lap and the more experienced riders will do two.  The pavement is mostly good to excellent other than when you make a left turn on the course about 5 miles in where it is mostly filled in potholes.  At the end there is a small climb that can prove to be decisive place to launch an attack and then a downhill run to the finish.

Like every event I enter I have a basic strategy outlined for myself and then follow it.  Since I have been working on the new store location most days and taking a long break from structured training a conservative plan is what I looked to follow.  This means avoiding using tactics that involve using lots of energy to make the race go my way.  I also made the choice to avoid the downhill group finish that might involve a crash.  In short I would jump hard at the bottom of the final hill to try and make it to the line.

For the start of the race I lined up in the front row and made a short acceleration to the bottom of the first small hill.  Then I faded back into the pack to conserve energy.  The race took it’s natural course people started attacking, making breaks and generally racing.  I used this time to warm up and get ready for my last effort of the day.  I made sure to drink my perpetum, be in good position to avoid crashes and stay in the draft to save energy.

On the small hills leading to the lighthouse a break of 3 riders got away and started to open a gap.  My team mate who also had an excellent chance of winning was in it.  So I went to work making sure to block (generally discouraging people from closing the gap to the break away) by following them but not helping them.  The gap was not very big but seemed stable around 15 seconds.  One rider took the opportunity to cross the gap on his own when I was not in position to follow him across.  This was a mistake on my part since he also had a chance to win.  I usually feel like it would compound the error to try and chase after the rider since it would also likely bring others along with me.

After that mistake I made a much better effort to stay in good position when others madea attempt to get across.  For the rest of the race no other riders were able to cross the gap so the break was able to sprint and my Team mate Carian Magnen won.  I chose to follow my pre race plan of attacking on the hill and trying to solo to the finish.  The last few miles before the hill I rode conservatively and attacked at the bottom and was able to get a small gap and held that to the finish for 8th.            See you next raod season!

 

Will you ride with lights this Fall?

2012 October 2
by amos

Click here to take survey

New Years Day 2012

2012 January 2
by amos

New Years day ride

Brumble Bikes Weekly off-season Group Rides

2011 December 23
by velomonkey

We’ve had a great ending to 2011 with a very mild autumn and early winter. Our weekly Saturday group rides have been going out every week from the shop at 8am and are a steady 20 riders or so. As indicated in our email newsletter we alternate between flat and hilly, but keep the rides consistently to around 3 hours. This is perfect training for the off season and a chance to improve upon your group riding and paceline skills. Plus the group will help motivate to get you out on those cold days when you otherwise wouldn’t be riding.

  • If you plan on sprinting for a town line do it in a safe manor no need to have some big stupid pile up and call for help.
  • It’s not a race so please don’t try to prove anything
  • Stronger riders should be making a better effort to help the weaker rider on hill.
  • Stronger riders need to set a steady even pace.
  • All riders-stay out of road, three abreast riding is not cool we just look like a bunch of idiots.
  • If we are climbing there is absolutely no need to pass anyone, either give them a push to close the gap of help them back on on the downhill.
  • Make sure to eat and drink as needed. If you bonk or have poor performance because you didn’t do one of these things you may be subject to being left behind.
  • Single file out when appropriate. If we can ride two abreast and fit in the breakdown lane great if we can’t then single out.
  • Pay attention. The groups have been rather large this year. It’s okay to talk but you need to be looking ahead while doing it. Save eye contact for the parking lot. Multi rider crashes are prohibited on the ride.

Here are the GPS and profiles of a hilly ride and a flat ride. Come join us!

Flat Ride

This is a profile from a flat ride

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a profile from a hilly ride

This is a profile from a hilly ride