A Productive Summer
20th Aug 2011Posted in: Blog 0
A Productive Summer

After the disappointment that was the 2011 Little 500, it didn’t take any time at all for us all to realize how badly we all wanted to redeem ourselves in 2012. As part of that, even though we were all over the place this summer, we committed ourselves to riding regularly and, even more importantly, getting racing experience.

I pinned on numbers 16 times spread out over 9 weekends, winning two times in the process. Graham raced 10 times spread over 8 weekends, racking up 3 top 10’s for his efforts. Green and Laser both raced 3 times, while training up a storm and working full time. Needless to say, we took the necessary steps to come back to Bloomington in better shape than ever.

My win as a Cat 4 came at the EcoFest Criterium in South Bend on June 18th. Having Laser and Kiser in the field snapping up primes allowed me to sneak off the front during the middle portion of the race. Even though I was ultimately caught, I was able to recover well enough to win the final sprint. Afterwards, I managed to take 3rd in the 3/4’s race later that afternoon, where Laser was able to snag yet another prime.

I had a pretty big breakthrough at Madeira and Hyde Park the weekend of June 24th, placing 3rd and 10th respectively. During my first taste of true regional 3’s racing, I was able to spend much of the race driving the pace and countering attacks, even with field sizes approaching 100 people.

3 weeks later at the Bloomington Criterium, Green and I were able to consistently stay in the top 10 of a very competitive 3’s field. The video below shows the last 5 minutes of that race, which summarizes things much better than my words could possibly do. It’s never fun when something like that happens with less than 2 laps to go, but that’s bike racing.

After the disappointment of Bloomington, Green and I were determined to maintain our fitness and have a strong showing at the Indy crit just one week later. We found ourselves working off the front with less than 5 laps to go with Michael “Patches” Schroeder of the Cutters, and hoped to have an all-Little 500 podium. However, we were ultimately caught by the pack, and our last-minute attack left us with no legs for the finish.

A summer of learning and frustration had me more hyped for Mass Ave on August 13th than I had been about any athletic event in my entire life. Seeing as Mass Ave was the state criterium championship, I knew the field would be strong and I’d have to ride a strong, smart, controlled race in order to get myself on the podium. My GoPro was able to capture the race, shown below.

After working with Mark Alford (Joe’s Cycles) to reel in the rider who was off the front for well over half the race, I found myself second wheel with 2 laps to go. Feeling confident in my ability to make an attack and have it stick, I went for it after rounding the first turn. I don’t remember a lot of the 5 minutes that followed, but after averaging close to 400 watts, I was officially a state champion.

We weren’t the only ones putting in effort over the summer, however. Having the support of Doug Glenn (’84) and Ben Cottingham (’85) at many of our races made our lives unbelievably easier. Not only did they have our bikes in the best of shape, but their wisdom and strategic input proved to be invaluable. It takes a team effort to truly be competitive in the world of cycling, a lesson epitomized by our time spent in the saddle this summer.

As we prepare to get back into the day-to-day of college life, we are anxious to enjoy the wonderful riding around Bloomington. We know to be successful in April we need to continue working hard building our aerobic pace as the leaves turn and the weather takes a turn for the cold. Stay tuned to follow along as we take the steps to be in contention on lap 200 when April 21st rolls around.

in _kai_
Eric Anderson

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