2 weeks left

May 29, 2010

with two weeks left I thought I might as well try two get at least a few more posts in

ill let the photos do the talking

modiin super crit. 90k, 3k laps, 2 climbs each lap

raced in my BU red and white šŸ™‚

I completely died during this race

this isĀ becomingĀ a theme for me inĀ Israel

yalla

May 15, 2010

Long time no update!

Although the collegiate season has come to an end, my season here is still going strong (sorta).

Niv and Ran (the two founding and strongest members of the Israel Go Pro team) have left for Europe to Race for the Chint Autronic Ā and the UCI team respectively, living the life of budding pro cyclists and leaving me here to finish up my season.

However, without their support and help, it is quite tough to make it to races. I did make it to one race in Charish though, which proved to be an absolute sufferfest involving me breaking the 1200 Watt mark in the third lap to chase (read: sprint) back on and eventually bonk as if I had slammed into a concrete wall. The course was fast and I ended up riding with a female member off the Israeli national team for the rest of the raceā€¦

about to get dropped hard...

dead

As we were getting lapped a bunch of laps later, a crash occurred, felling the other IGP member in the race due to a sketchy turn made by another rider. As I had already been lapped, my priorities were with him so I collected his gear and dumped out my “suitcase of courage” (@phil liggett) into my “pain cave”Ā . This attempted charge back to the peloton ended after a short lap as his hands were too cut up to continue. The race ended in a small sprint between some other rides that somehow ended up with me in the end (I don’t even remember what happenedā€¦ too tired).

metal

The last few weeks have been interesting after coming back after some time off due to some small injuries. I’ve been riding a bit with Steve H. (the-kid-all-UVM-cyclists-want-to-murder.blogspot.com) and some local friends of mine since then, doing some great climbs and long training days in interesting parts of Israel. It never ceases to amaze me how magnificent this country is and how amazingly friendly the cycling community has become here. I really cant describe it on my own, just come here and go for a ride in latrun on a saturday morning and you will see what I am talking about!

Next up, trying to find a ride to race on wednesday for criterium shavuot, a 3k windy crit, which should be fun and interesting.

כדימא!!!

March 28, 2010

So here’s a few updates from the past few races

Tour of Dimona (Crit, TT and RR)

The criterium started early in the morning with an epic facepalm (EFP)ā€¦ (first of many for the weekend)

Can you spot the slow cameraman?

This was shortly followed by another “GET THE @#%! OUT OF THE WAY” moment staring yours truly and the same camera man on the back of a motorcycle.

We were entering a traffic circle turnaround and the motor cycle was going extremely slowly, blocking me and causing a few to brake and the inevitable crash a few guys back. EFP. #2

The rest of the race was routine, besides the massive amounts of little kids on the sidelines of the whole course, chanting “DIMONA DIMONA.” Super awesome.

Feeling very “meh” with a midpack finish I went to rest a bit before the TT.

The TT went ok, beside my lack of bibs for this race. There weren’t enough team bibs, so I had to wear these black shots. A skinsuit and aerobars (permitted for this race) would have been quite nice as well. In the end of the day I was left with a nice burn on my lower back in between the shorts and my jersey. EFP #3. Ā 

The scenery during the TT was quite nice though.

Road Race.

We had our pre race team meetingĀ  theĀ  night before in Hebrew, and naturally I didn’t understand all of it. This was the first of my problems. I thoughtĀ I understoodĀ the bulk of it, but I guess not. Chase down breaks without team members in them. Water from car. etc. Ā One think I didn’t understand was the very strong headwinds at around the 65km point in the race. This is right around I went to get water and 10 min before I was off the back. Ā It seemed to be going as routine, get the water from the left, a min or so until the car arrives. did a little bit of work while getting the water from the car and keeping pace. turn back to the peloton and see a 20 m gapā€¦ oh man. I pushed an average of 370W for 3 minutes, not gaining any ground on the peloton and then sadly faded without making it back into the group. Handed all the waters back to the car. EFP @!#^%!%&$ #4. Lesson learned, get better at Hebrew so I understand the instructionsā€¦ oh and dont wait 2 meters behind the peloton when getting water.

In other news, Steve arrived in Israel about a week ago. We ended up racing in Ashdod this weekend. I won’t talk to much about the boring details, but it was super oily and super wet most of the race. I ate it in the first roundabout and decided to chase back on. I wasnā€™t hurting so bad, so I made a promise to myself that I wouldnā€™t quit unless there was more rain or another crash. Ā Caught onto Steve and a few others and worked for a bit. Some ECCC tomfoolery started to show though. Steve tried to high five some people and somewhere in the mix we caught a nice picture together.

post crash #1 (Steve is happy, I am not )

After 5 more laps it started pouring again and I ate it in 2 seconds in another turn. back to the carā€¦

This was the last race with Niv and Ran from Israel Go Pro. They are heading to Spain and Switzerland respectively to go race for a few months. I’m sad to see them go as they were really fun to race and hang out with, but maybe I’ll catch them before I go back to the states in June. I think Steve and I are on our own for the rest of the season, but I’m sure it will still be pretty cool.

Have a happy passover/easter/spring festivusā€¦

update…

March 15, 2010

The season is in full swing!

IĀ totally love my new team, “Israel Go Pro”

Ran and Niv,Ā the two main riders from the team,Ā are doing really well. They won Eilat on wheels and the Tour de Israel. Every stage… every race.Ā I on the other hand, have been hanging in there despite some pre race bee bites, 2 broken derailleurs, 4 broken spokes, 2 broken chainsĀ and my lack of ability to produce the 6000 watts I would need to win a race…Ā Ā I’ll just go through some pros and cons of my time here racing and post tons of pictures as to not scare you with a big block of uninterrupted text.

Things that are great:

Friends on other teams: The last few races IĀ have cultivated some alliances with other riders from other teams. This is especially useful because while my teammates are off winning the race I can be suffering with someone else closer to my ability.

Yuval is my main man. Check this rare sequence of a never before caught on film altruistic water bottle handoffā€¦

Ā 

Purim: On Purim, a Jewish holiday that comes with a drunken Halloween style party, we raced the Chaim Yoav Road Race. Just like cross race on Halloween, people are often festive in the peloton. I suffered, but in the good company of a stuffed rat on a fellow racer’s back.

Weather: Its sunny and nice. Not rainy and cold. That is all.

Traveling: Through these races I have explored interesting parts of the country I had not seen before. Here is a picture of Machtesh Ramon, the largest crater in the world.

Ā 

Awesome Teammates: Even though I am not quite strong enough to be in the breakaway with these guys, Ran and Niv thank me for my contributions after every race, even if it is just fetching water from the team car during a feed zone. Niv even supplied me with one of the two derailleurs that I destroyed!

feed from the left with the left hand in the air... at least thats what I think they said in hebrew during the pre race meeting...

Ā 

Things that could be better:

Broken bike parts: My pulley exploded out of my rear derailleur during the Eilat road race. I alone was in the middle of the desert with little water and a broken bike for a terrifying 20 minutes. Thankfully there was a chase bus, but unfortunately this meant I had to ride in a bus for the last 60kmā€¦

didn't work so well with just one pulley...

TheĀ second time was even betterĀ 

The Weather: Its really hot, I get up at 5 am to rideā€¦ blessing and a curse

Language Barrier: The pre race meetings are extremely confusing and I usually need a recap in english to understand our tactics. I keep missing important rules. The last lap is worth double points!? I keep screwing this upā€¦

Tel Aviv: The Yarkon Park has a nice 1.15 mile loop to train on with few interruptions from pedestrians and no cars. However, without a car it’s hard to get to nicer rides and get in a long day. Thankfully I have met some nice riders who have driven me to their triathlete “I think I’m going to take it easy so I can run laterā€¦” rides and to some nicer areas in Nachshon and Latrun (awesome hills and amazing sceneries).

nice bikes, even nicer people!

Steve: Shopopengartenaganer is coming to Israel. This should be in the “things that are great” category, but of course I put it here because he seems to beat me a lot in the mud duringĀ cross seasonĀ and it hurts my self esteemā€¦ Looking forward to your arrival Steve.

Ā 

This weekend I head off to the Negbah Race. Another three race weekend with the crew. Wish me luck!

המצב … (hebrew, for “the situation”)

February 15, 2010

Hey ECCC! This blog will chronicle my time racing in Israel and hopefully will keep my mind off the fact that I won’t have theĀ  pleasure to see Kyle Bruley (http://huggingtheturns.blogspot.com) race his last season with BU!

I know Kyle, I'm sad too

אכשב, המצב שלי (now, my situationā€¦). Ā I’ve been in Israel about a month now, and after struggling to put together a bike with many frustrated conversations in broken Hebrew and English, I am back on my training schedule.Ā  This schedule has been modified slightly to include daily trips to the cycling federation where I have spent countless hours arguing about my insurance, USA cycling license, category, and UCI card. They even made me go to clinic and run on a treadmill with electrodes all over my body to make sure that I wasnā€™t going to die of a heart attackā€¦

After all of this בלגן (commotion) I managed to convince them to let me race in the sport class due to my lack of affiliation with an Israeli cycling team (in Israel there is Sport, a mix of cat. 5, 4, and 3, and there is Elite, cat. 1 and 2). So after some more arguing with a race promoter I ended up registered to race in the first race of the season, the Haifa Criterium.

I googled the race, got in touch with some family friends to stay with and ended up on a bus to take me half way to Haifa where I would ride the rest of the way by the coast.

Eventually made it to the famous Bahai gardens near the center of Haifa which were truly beautiful and atop a very hard climb.

The next day I headed to the race and after some more confusion with registration I got to the start right on time. Although I speak Hebrew pretty well, the prerace instructions were extremely confusing and utilized a lot ofĀ  biking vocabulary that I didn’t understand. After the start and the first two laps I hear the bell for a prime sprint. Thinking only about my dwindling supply of gels and cytomax (hoping for some sort of prize), I launched an ineffective breakaway mid lap and got pulled back into the pack leaving me with third after a hard bunch sprint. I wasnā€™t sure if this meant anything as I did not understand if there were prime prizes or how many places they were taking on the primes.

After hearing the bell a second time on the sixth lap I asked the rider next to me what was going on with the sprint laps. I listened to his answer in Hebrew and recognized only a few words including Ā × ×§×•×“ו×Ŗ (points) and שלוש Ā Ā (three). It was a points raceā€¦ ok.Ā  The next sprint was contested pretty strongly as well, leaving me in fourth place on the line.

the guy behind me was not amused by my sprinting...

The pack was splintered after this sprint so I tried to launch a breakaway with the guy who took first the last sprint. At the end of the lap four of us had twenty meters on the peloton. This was a short lived gap, as no one wanted to work whatsoever! I tried to motivate the group by yelling choice words at them in Hebrew, but it worked as well as myĀ memorable “motivational” yelling helped Preston and I during the Yale criteriumā€¦

Ā 

All in all the race came to an end after 55km of racing and some fun sprints.

I was bummed because it seemed that I had gotten fourth place and would not make the podium. Interestingly enough, no one announced the podiums for my category and only did masters, juniors and women. Confused I asked one of the other racers what was going on and he explained that there was a miscalculation in our race. After a few minutes they called up the podium for my race and I ended up getting called up for third! Woo!

Up next, my first race with the Pro/Elites in Israel at the Eilat road race, TT and criterium with a brand new team!

Ā