Monthly Archives: April 2009

Wednesday “Vernon Cycle” Ride

This was the first Wednesday “Vernon Cycle” ride of the year. It was the biggest turn out I have seen for this ride from the store in a long time. There were 15-20 riders and 4 of which were women—that was nice as usually I am the only one. The riders were all very nice, relaxed and varied in category range (although no beginners) and we had a lot of fun. We averaged about 17-18 mph for 30 miles –no big hills this time (1 hr 45 minutes this day). I missed the May 6th ride but heard it was hillier and faster. This ride is suppose to be a recovery/ relaxed, skills ride but be warned that this ride can be brutal (hilly and fast) depending on who is in the group. – Nicole

Race results and video from the Winding Trails MTB race Fat Tire Classic

Race Results from the Root 66 Winding Trails MTB race

Cat 2 Women Start.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cat 1 Men 50+ Start

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cat 3 Women Start.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Gay City / Case Mountain Sunday Mountain Bike Ride Pictures

Pictures from the Gay City / Case Mountain Mountain Bike Ride.

Found out how deep the mud puddle was... up close and personal.

Found out how deep the mud puddle was... up close and personal.

Turtle Pond Circuit Race

Turtle Pond Circuit Race (Loudon, NH)
36 miles (3 laps of 12 miles) Cat 3 & 4 Women

This was my first road race ever. I was not necessarily planning to race this year but many said this was a good race to try. With the whole family racing I was “support” in 90 degree sunny weather for four hours right before my race. I was exhausted before starting but nervous & excited to be involved and not just watching the races. We started at 1:30 (95 degrees) on a neutral 1 mile steep hill. I knew if I could stay with the group on the hill I had a chance to stay with the pack for a bit as it was flatter for the next couple miles. I was with the pack half way up but at the back ¾ of the way up the hill, struggling not to be dropped. By the time I was at the top of the hill most of the group was out of sight and a quick look behind confirmed I was the last up the hill. I could not believe that I was dropped in the NEUTRAL zone.  I quickly realized the physical fitness and speed of a road racer was totally different from a mountain biker.  I pedaled on and caught up to another rider Amy from Maine. We both worked together thru the laps and it was nice to have someone to ride with. The course had many deep rolling hills with an additional energy consuming extremely steep (17%) short hill half way thru each lap. The first lap was painful but I warmed up and felt stronger in the second lap. The third (last) lap Amy and I were joined by a third rider, Marilyn, but a quarter of the way thru I started to drop off. I had a goal to finish and hopefully not finish last so I worked really hard and was able to catch up to them a few times but then got dropped again. This last lap was pure torture for me and even on the last few miles giving it everything I had I came in last by 5 seconds. Total torture time 2hrs:11minutes:55 seconds but I finished and that’s something to be proud of.  -Nicole

Arcadia MTB ride

Pictures from Sunday’s Arcadia MTB ride.

Bunny Hop Brook Dam MTB Race

Race Results

Cat 1 race: The rain started right at the finish of the Cat 3s, turning nice hardpack into butter. Some parts of the course was so slick it was comical, like pedaling on ice in slow motion. The downhills were a leap of faith in some spots. Turnout was big, considering the crappy weather with some fields around 30. Even pros had 40 including Tim Johnson and Lynn Bessette. The course was the same as last year with the big climb about 1.5 miles in. Jill and Chris Logan did a great job setting up, as usual. The rain continued the whole afternoon making Cat 2s ride in worse conditions. Everyone got mudfaced, but they all seemed to enjoy it and I didn’t hear of any casualties. All in all it was a typical first race at Hopbrook (last years warm/dry weather was a fluke) and I was able to really test my recovering achilles tendon repair. It was great to see all the familiar faces and catch up with my racing buddies. Hopefully, I’ll see some more Nerac Earth jerseys at the next race in Farmington. -Andy

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cat. 3 race: We got there and it looked like it was going to pour, but the rain held out for the entire race. After you go around the field we all had to squeeze into single track so a lot of people ended up hiking their bikes around others. On our first loop there were 3-4 small mud puddles, but on the second there were 6-7 and they were huge. There were no big injuries but a lot of mechanics. Two high school teams went so there was more competition than we had last year, but they sent all the women off at once because we were a small pack. Although there were only 2 big hills you couldn’t tell when they ended and most of us ended up jumping off our bikes and running up them. Overall there was a lot of people, and since it was so cold out everyone was hanging out in the registration tent where they had a propane heater. My Dad and I both finished first with fast times. I got a bloody nose halfway through the 2nd lap and when Dad saw me, he thought I had crashed and mashed my face on something because there was blood all over it. He ran to the EMT to get him ready for me when I crossed the line. But, it was only superficial. -Rachel

(Rachel in light blue jacket)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Plainville Spring Series Week 7 Cat 3/4

Seems like a long time ago I pinned on my number in the beginning of March for week 1. The last race was similar to the other weeks in that there were lots of breaks, but nothing stuck. Cyclonauts was very active, constantly getting riders up the road and they deserved the win today. The last 5 laps were typically pretty helter skelter, Keith did a great job to keep me out of the wind the last couple laps. With a half lap to go it was pretty bunched up & I got boxed in pretty good. The guy who won stole my trick of jumping about 75 meters before the last corner & held it to the line. I came around the last corner just behind the series leader Tim Ratta, at first it was a drag race, but I pulled away from him. About 75 meters from the line a Cyclonauts rider came up to my hip, but then he died & I ended up in 2nd for the  day. I had nothing left after the race & could barely stay on my bike to roll around for a lap. I maintained my 4th place overall for the series. Dave Hildebrand ended up 3rd overall, despite not racing the last race (he went to Battenkill in NY).  — Dave G

Miss & Out

After about a 2 hour break we lined up for the Miss & Out. A miss & Out, also called “The Devil take the hindmost”, is an “interesting” race that’s normally done on the track. I’ve done a few of them on the road & a few more on the track years ago. What happens is that every lap, the last rider over the line is pulled until you get down to 3 riders & then they sprint it out for the top 3. In the beginning when the field is still pretty good sized, you can stay out of trouble by staying in the top 5 or so & then accelerating a “little” to the line. As the laps go on and the field gets smaller, those accelrations become more like full on sprints every lap. We started 27 riders and it wasn’t too hard for the first few laps as there were 3 guys doing a Team Trial on the front & me tucked on the back of them; just stay near the front and make sure to keep a couple guys behind you & not get boxed in. I had a couple close calls where I boxed guys in to protect myself and get them pulled, but I also let a few guys out of the box when it suited me as well. All that thinking and experience eventually doesn’t help much when the legs give out. I managed to stay in until the last 5 & couldn’t even sprint the last time. It came down to 2 Cyclonauts & a Bikereg rider. The advantage should’ve been to the Cyclonauts and they should’ve taken turns jumping the other guy. Either they didn’t try, or they couldn’t get rid of the Bikereg guy and he managed to outsprint them both to win.

All in all; lots of fun and some good race miles in the legs.  — Dave G.

Group ride tips

Group ride tips from the Hartford Area Cyclist Meetup group

The Maureen Fluckiger Scholarship Fund

Dear Club Members and supporters of Nerac Earth Cycling:
Most of you know me and my daughter Sarah from rides, races, and Nerac Earth events. We are usually the first to volunteer to help our club or anyone else that needs a helping hand. Today I’m asking for your help for a worthy cause. As most of you know I lost my wife to breast cancer in 2003 and we have set up a scholarship fund in her name at East Catholic High School. My two older children were attending ECHS when Maureen lost her battle with cancer. The school was very supportive and helpful at that time, ensuring that both Tom and Meghan could finish their high school education there.
The fund helps a family that has more than one student at East, and instead of being awarded based on athletic ability or academic achievement, it goes to a junior who exemplifies what it means to be part of ECHS. They are average students who give it their all, in effort and participation towards their work and school spirit. These students might be otherwise overlooked and we help keep them at East.
This will be the 4th year for the fund and we have previously helped 3 students attain their goals. We have all had to adjust during these hard economic times so it’s hard for me to ask this of you. It’s also hard for families trying to ensure a quality education for their children. Any amount will help and I’m only asking that if you have a little to spare that you consider donating to this worthy tax deductible cause. We are quite proud to be able to pay it forward and keep Maureen’s spirit alive thanks to your generous donations.

Donations can be mailed directly to:
Maureen Fluckiger Fund
East Catholic High School
115 New State Road
Manchester, CT 06040
Attn: Sarah Adanti

The deadline is May 9, 2009.
On behalf of our entire family, we thank you very much!
David Fluckiger