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Oct
04

By guest KIT blogger, Dave Andersen

Motivation. Where the hell does it come from and how come some folks have so much? I’ve been in the endurance and racing game since 1977. I can vividly recall many times throughout my athletic career where I was so motivated to achieve my best shape and results. At times my motivation to athletically succeed had consumed me, for better or worse. During my high school cross country and track years I was thoroughly driven and wound up with 72 races under my belt. My childhood American heroes, Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter, were on top of the running world and a beacon to my younger self. After high school and some wayward years I was back running. In a 2 year span I raced 35 times and set most of my fastest running times from 5K to the marathon. I trained with other young like-minded athletes and recall we all derived motivation from each other and the group dynamic. Alas, an injury and the desire to do other things squelched my motivation. A few years later it was back. And it was back with a vengeance!

From 1990-1995 I raced 153 times, everything from 5K to the marathon, biathlons, and triathlons. I was fit and in my early 30’s. At times I felt like Superman. As can be the case, an injury knocked me down and took a bite out of my motivation. For the next 5 years I did some short races but my body was not 100% cooperative so I kept it all in check. Fast forward to the year 2000 and the body was ready and then the motivation kicked in…AGAIN. How fast could I run at age 40? I trained harder than ever before and after a few years I found out the answer was pretty fast — almost as fast as when I was in my early 20’s. Sweet! Alas, when you push yourself to the limit things often break, or get so overused they become injured. So, it was time for the serious racing to go on the back-burner again. I stayed fit and did some running races and added more cycling.

By the time I reached 50 years old I decided to try straight-up bike racing…road cycling to be specific. I got a USA Cycling license. Before I even raced I crashed and spent a few days in the hospital. I didn’t let this stop me; I was motivated to see what I could do. Fast forward 3 years and 89 races later and the answer is: fast. In my second year I moved up to a category 3 racer and now on the right (hilly) course in a masters race I have been able to get a handful of top 15’s. Winning, although nice, is not what motivates me. The desire to be as fit, fast and smart as I can be burns within me.

The motivation to be MY best is what drives me. There will always be fitter, faster, and smarter racers but it’s nice to see what you can get out of yourself and to reach your potential. None of it comes easy and the successes are few. Sometimes I think it’s the lifestyle that motivates me. To be a competitive athlete is fun, fulfilling, and hardcore. The older I get the more I appreciate it. And when I see guys that are 60 or 70 and are still super fit, I find that motivating too.

See you on the road soon!

Dave
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*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.

Aug
16

By guest KIT blogger, Dave Andersen

Here we are in mid-August and I can feel a “peak” coming on! Many of us that race (tri’s, marathons, or cycling) have big races coming up. I’ve been racing for 35 years and many of those years have culminated in a big season-ending goal race. This year, for me, it’s the 4-stage, 4-day Green Mountain Stage Race and I gotta tell you, I’m ready to PTHD. The cycling season in New England started in April and it’s been a long and steady progression of fitness for me. Amazingly, at my age, I’m still setting personal records in my interval sessions and hill repeats. This is not only a result of this year’s training plan but from an accumulation of a lifetime of endurance training. You might say, I possess Old Guy Power. I’ve competed in 25 marathons, 6 Ironman triathlons, many multi-day bike races, and about 500 races in all. I’ve done about all I can do to devote time evenly to my fitness, family and work. Bottom line is: It’s an exciting time when the big end of season races roll around so enjoy it to the max!

Unfortunately, all good things, including peak fitness, must come to an end. It can be tough after the end of season goal race is over. We focus for months on intervals, hill repeats, racing, and watching our diet and then the big race is over. For a while we can bask in the glow (hopefully). But then what? There is no need to hammer out the training sessions. But it is so ingrained in our routine that we may feel inclined to keep at it. But then you ask yourself why. It can be a confusing time of the year. You are super fit but the racing is basically over. I know many folks get kind of blue after the racing season is over. I’ve found it’s best to be prepared for this feeling and perhaps bypass it with some “tricks”:

  • Group rides: For us cyclists, group rides with friends over new courses (get lost!) are extremely satisfying.
  • Cyclocross: X-cross is an amazing way to get the endorphins going in a relaxed, grass-roots atmosphere.
  • Running Races: Get out there and do a fall 5K or 10K.
  • Hiking: Put those strong quads to good use and bag a few peaks.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s only August and it’s still hammer-time. I’ve been doing double workouts several times per week and the intensity has been high. I can almost bounce a quarter off my abs. The big race is just around the corner for me..maybe for you too. If you aren’t racing maybe it’s time to throw in an attack on your weekend group training ride (no guts no glory!). Show your training partners on “the big hill” or town line sprint that you’ve just been toying with them all year. Be safe, PTHD and KIT.

See you on the road soon!

Dave
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*Dave Andersen lives in Boston and works in the educational publishing business. He shares his passion for cycling and sport with a wide range of friends and competitors.

Jul
09

The Bikes of KIT

by ikeepittight in Blog Comments: 0 tags: KIT Crew

By Keep It Tight

On one beautiful weekend in early June, several members of the KIT crew got together to conquer Mt. Greylock and the surrounding hills in Western Massachusetts. Here is a description of the bikes (and the people) that participated in this event– made possible by our loving and supportive wives.

Matt Kraus, aka JD, rides the full carbon Giant TCR. Coming from a strong cross background, JD requires a bike that handles well, allowing him to promptly lay down the smack on most terrains, from long climbs to twisty, off camber stretches of road. His cross skills allow him to handle pavement imperfections with ease, resulting in a super-smooth pedal stroke.


Kyle Smith, aka The Piker, is the only devoted racer left in the crew. His Gaulzetti Corsa aluminum frame is specially suited to meet his sprinting requirements. A pure race machine, this handmade American frame is stiffer than most of its carbon counterparts, providing a quick acceleration over rollers while sparing energy needed for a vicious attack. More images of on this d’lish bicycle can be found here.

Gustavo Cinci or “The Gus” also rides an aluminum Gaulzetti Corsa. Its super tight and comfy design allows Gustavo to ride a quick tempo and attack when the opportunity arises. This deliciously eye-pleasing Belgium blue rig has already proven itself worthy by making others suffer in its wake.

Drew, aka Drewbeartoe (or Drewbacca), rides a beautifully assembled Cannondale CAAD 10, unarguably the prettiest bike of the Boyz Weekend. Drew’s steady efforts on his light steed provides him with endless hours of delightful kilometers, saving his legs to finish strong and feeling good in the bunch.

Eric “Choo Choo” Pearson rides a Felt FS KO, but it really wouldn’t matter; he’d make you hurt just the same while pedaling a Walmart 10-speeder. As a “baroudeur”, Choo Choo relies on his super stiff frame to unleash prodigious amount of brutal force every which way the road goes. Astride his rig, he enjoys blazing a trail of abject pain to whomever dares follow his wheel.

Todd Eves rides and Cannondale Six13 carbon/aluminum road bike, a great performing bike on all conditions. Todd’s experience and ability to gauge his effort on long group rides allows him to be a strong contributor to fast pace lining and race situations. Besides, no one else looks good in light blue as Todd does.

The BMC Road Racer Sl01 ridden by Jeff “El Jefe” Gray represents the future of what bikes should look like. Or he just found a suspiciously rigged DeLorean, traveled to the future and brought this bike back with him. The bike is extremely stiff, which suits Jeff’s climbing specialties very well.

Gregor Rohda rides a deceptively smooth Cannondale CAAD 8, which aptly satisfies his requirements for a steady, sturdy, and responsive bicycle across any and all terrains. This Cannondale is a great bike for long training days and New England racing.

Matt Rivera, aka Matti TuTu, rides the super-light Scott Addict R1: a very feathery and stiff full carbon frame with SRAM Red throughout and a much envied HED wheel set. TuTu prefers to go uphill but can also hold his own on the fast descents. He races in crits where handling is essential in large groups so the R1 proves itself worthy for all that the road may bring. Bring it on!

Kenmore “KC” Commoss rides a Cannondale Synapse: a carbon frame with a Williams 30x wheel set just right for all conditions. The bike serves his abilities very well, as its beauty distracts us from his sneaky town-line AND state-line sprint victories (a state town-line is worth double points).

Dan Butler “DD” or “dZaniel” rides a Cannondale System Six, a unique frame design that is specially made to withstand his super thick strength without complaints. His massive watts are absorbed with aplomb on a bike that is both wicked strong and inordinately light, leaving those who dare sprint with him in the dust. He also has a deep knowledge of bicycle maintenance, rendering a brand new look to this 5 year old rig.

Art Trapotsis, aka “The Greek”, is the original creator of the KIT philosophy, and his Cervelo R3 represents its characteristics strongly: it’s a solid, balanced frame built for smooth pacelining, fast descents, and all-out town-line sprints. Art has skillfully harnessed his Big Boy ability to generate high watts in the TT discipline, which the R3 delivers with style.


A great weekend was had by all. Here is the final approach to a smaller climb known as Jiminy Peak.

Thanks for reading and Keep It Tight!