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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!

Jul
06

By guest KIT blogger, Dave Andersen

I was going to post a simple twitter note about being grateful and taking stock as I reached the halfway point of my racing (cycling) season. Then I got to thinking that this thought deserved more than 40 characters. Truth is, so far so good for me in 2012. In the first 6 months of the year I’ve cycled 9,000 kilometers, raced 19 times, worked countless hours at the office, and even met a nice lady. Over those six months I’ve been jostled with “close-calls” a few times while on the bike and even crashed once in a criterium. I always walked away physically unscathed, but knowing that others haven’t been as fortunate (my thoughts are with you) has given me an appreciation for my season and life thus far.

Further reflection has me reminding myself to keep endurance sports in perspective. I love to go out and hammer and feel the endorphin rush. Feels…So…Good. But I have to remember that I need to do so safely. After all, A) I have loved ones who want me in one piece, B) people are counting on me at work, and C) I’m an amateur (no ones paying me if I get injured!) So I I try to be mindful of my surroundings (traffic, weather, etc)and vigilant with my fellow riders to keep it tight at all times. I make it a point to follow the “rules of the road” and to wear something bright, use a light, and go slow and easy when in congested areas.

I want the second half of my year to go as well as the first, and I wish the same for you. If you haven’t already done so, take a moment to reflect, be grateful, hug your loved ones, and be safe. And above all, keep it tight.

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.