John Healy is AT IT AGAIN with an updated training spreadsheet for 2016.
I don’t use this because I don’t ride my bike any more. lolzzzz.
Get it here, and the old versions in case you plan on traveling back in time and want them.
John Healy is AT IT AGAIN with an updated training spreadsheet for 2016.
I don’t use this because I don’t ride my bike any more. lolzzzz.
Get it here, and the old versions in case you plan on traveling back in time and want them.
Anyway here’s that blog post from nine years ago, because apparently all that this website is now is just RYAN’S GREATEST HITS.
There was also a picture of me whacking my head on a beam in the basement.
UPDATE: Found the picture.
Bikes don’t get delivered fully assembled. They come in large boxes. Then, someone who knows what they are doing with allen keys and a torque wrench puts them together and gets them on the floor. The boxes get haphazardly tossed in the back room of the shop, where Sean probably thinks they magically break themselves down and get put in a dumpster.
Those of you who have entered the shop through the back door know that this is where boxes go before they die. This is where the “box fairy” comes and takes them away. Now, unfortunately the box fairy isn’t attractive, dainty or even winged.
The box fairy is me. I’m 6’3″, 175 pounds and I have a beard.
My name is Ryan Kelly. I worked at Bethel Cycle primarily on Wednesdays through the summer, and you may have seen me during the last few months emerging from the basement covered in asbestos and toxic mold, or in my natural state destroying boxes.
My goal this summer was to work at a bike shop, to learn as much about the equipment necessary for the sport I love, so I wouldn’t go through life as mechanically astute as a rhino. I contacted Greg before I got home from college (I will be a senior at the University of New Hampshire) to line up a job, and started working at the shop in early June.
I spent my first day at the shop organizing the basement.
I don’t suppose any customers have ever been in the basement, as it is probably an insurance liability. But, since I’m 21 and I probably heal fast, worries about dangerous mold and radon were tossed aside in interest of Sean’s constant pursuit of an organized shop.
I don’t quite remember Sean’s exact words on the first day when Greg told me to organize the basement. I more remember the look on his face. It was a grin. But it wasn’t a happy grin, not the kind of facial expression that is brought out through a joke.
It’s the kind of grin you get when you see someone take a fastball to the face on a sports blooper reel. You aren’t being really malicious, but are somewhat enjoying the humorous discomfort of others.
The discomfort part came when I walked down into the basement. The ceiling is about 5 feet, 10 inches high. There is a heating pipe running across one side of the basement at about four feet off the ground, which is not necessarily ideal working conditions for someone who rides a 60 cm road bike. And there were years of abandoned bikes that needed to be organized.
But hey, I was getting paid to be around bikes, so I didn’t mind.
After I emerged from the basement alive, much to the surprise of Greg and Sean, I continued to perform various other tasks around the shop.
As the summer progressed, with the worst task available at the shop already completed, I slowly climbed the ladder of the retail bicycle industry. Every day I would water the flowers, break down the boxes and vacuum before doing other random jobs. First I was cleaning windows or organizing the back room. Soon I was building and selling bikes, and I was allowed out of the back room to interact with other people.
Now, I wasn’t around bikes in a dank basement or fiddling with excess stock in a musty storage room. I was around bikes and those knowledgeable about them in an air conditioned room with a dog I could play with.
I learned a lot from Sean so far this summer (like tighten everything several times), although I am still pretty much an idiot. It’s hard to teach an English major mechanical skills.
And even though Sean may be the head mechanic, he’s got nothing on me when it comes to box destruction.
BY POPULAR DEMAND (one person)
Hey @ryantkelly, you really need to dig your Tour of Hilltowns recap off your website backup and repost it.
— Nicole (@nswan) November 5, 2015
I pulled this out of an .sql backup I had from before I totally deleted every post on my site one time in 2011 or something (which…honestly was for the better).
BACKSTORY: 2008 Ryan worked full-time from home for a small software company in a house with three of his college friends and didn’t have any responsibilities so he drank a lot of High Life and that was reflected in his race results.
If I ever say to you “Hey, I’m going to go do a 97 mile road race with lots of climbing,” pistol-whip me into a three-day coma.
Because Tour of the Hilltowns sucked more than anything has ever sucked in my five years of bike racing. I have never cracked so badly in a bike race. I fell apart worse than the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (yes, I was just watching Modern Marvels).
For your viewing pleasure, here is the course profile with my annotations (click on it!):
[Note from 2015 Ryan – I think I drew a picture of the course profile, and there were some jokes or something on it? Maybe a dick?]
It got to the point where I would be riding up the final hill (where I was going ten miles an hour), and I wanted to stop, sit on the side of the road and cry. My legs were wrecked, my spirit was broken, and all I wanted to do was drive my car and my bike directly to a pawnshop and drink all the money that I would get for it.
Even today, walking up the stairs of my apartment, my legs hurt. Still.
I don’t know who won my race, and, frankly, it doesn’t matter. Because by the time I had finished, they had probably taken a shower, had lunch and gotten halfway through writing a dissertation on Dostoyevsky.
Things that were going through my head during the race:
– Creating lyrics to the song “Bike Racing Sucks” – which are “Biiiike racing sucks. Oooooooh bike racing sucks,” repeated infinitely, or until you catch the group at the base of a monster climb.
– Thinking about the best way to sell my bike – eBay as a whole bike, or a frame and group set? Craigslist? Selling it to someone on the UNH team?
– Wondering how I should spend the upcoming week – Completely demoralized, off my bike and drunk; or motivated to improve and getting in good training?
– The song “Rage!” by Chromeo.
– Hoping that more people give up – if that happened, I’d have more friends to ride with.
– How good my post-race Baconator was going to be
So, yeah, that was a ton of fun.
Time to put Tour of the Hilltowns in the “don’t do again for a really long time” pile of races.
p.s. Dear other teams that I might try to get on…I’m a really strong racer. Really. I swear.
(in response to Cosmo)
Twitter has ruined me, so I can only think in Tweet-sized chunks. Drew and I were on the mics at Gloucester this weekend, and it was a friggin’ magical experience. As two guys who came up through the amateur ranks and watched Trebon/Wicks/Johnson/Powers/Page battle it out years ago at Stage Fort park, it was pretty absurd to be standing in the gazebo with Drew forcing Star Wars references upon a thousand spectators.
These are in no particular order.
Eventually Mr. Katie Compton broke the conversation up and both Katie and Caroline had a laugh at me because welcome to my life (it is actually pretty baller at times).
Yeah that was awesome. haha I announced Gloucester again, this makes no sense.
So yeah on Thursday it was 200 on 100 party time. In addition to Ben Wolfe and Chris Lyman, Ted and Tim decided it would be “fun” to invite their pal Guillaume Boivin (of “winning Canadian road nationals four days prior” fame) to join us.
The mayor of Chandyland decided it would be a nice to welcome our northern neighbor by comparing his win at road nationals to winning Ninigret.
Guillaume doesn’t know what Ninigret is, but he was able to infer it was an insult by everyone’s reaction.
(don’t worry folks, Chan pays)
We spent the night making piles o’ rice cakes, Periscoping dumbness, and I particularly enjoyed being around a 22 year old, because I am old and the continuous joy and wonder of a 22 year old is refreshing and also rage-inducing.
So then it was wakeup time, someone decided it was a super idea to put maple syrup IN THE COFFEE GROUNDS in the coffee maker, which obviously caused the syrup to become thick and clog the filter and back up coffee all over the counter at 5 a.m. before a 200 and something mile ride THANKS NAMELESS PERSON WHO LOVES MAPLE SYRUP.
I ate three eggs. And maybe some of the weird leftover Skratch cookies we tried to make that Ben totally screwed up because he’s 22. I think I drank some coffee.
Please note that there will be no pictures from me of the actual ride because my phone is dumb. Ted posted some, but I’m not really featured, send me an email if you want some pixxxxxx.
We got to the border at North Troy at 6 a.m. There is a photo from the first year just like this, maybe Chandler has it. I certainly don’t. I don’t know where my photos from 2011 went. GOOD WORK RYAN.
Then we started riding.
And as soon as Guillaume got to the front I realized “oh dear this is not going to work out well for me and my 7 hours a week of training but maybe at the halfway mark there will be an Excel challenge and the winner gets bonus food and I’ll certainly win that?”
I kept my pulls to 2 – 3 minutes, as did Andrew Gardner (aka AG), because we have jobs that do not involve crushing it on the bike every day or being a professional fit person. Chan was smart, and kept himself on the back, muttering about how screwed he was.
We covered the first 100 miles with an average speed of 24 miles per hour. With a head wind.
Which makes sense, as the first 100 miles is less climby, and also every time Guillaume went to the front we were going THIRTY MILES AN HOUR and he would pull for about FIFTEEN MINUTES and then he would come back into the rotation with a shit-eating grin on his face because he was clearly having fun and that dude just loves riding bikes and making me feel like garbage.
I also nailed a pothole at 30 and flatted, killing my S-WORKS TURBO tires which makes me sad.
And yes I rode tires that have a lifespan of 800 miles on a 200 mile ride because I needed every advantage I could get.
ALSO I flatted five times total. Not a great day for me (thanks Chaz for keeping me moving!)
The first 50 miles of this ride was also the worst pavement-wise.
At some point we picked up a gaggle of 1k2go’ers, and eventually ASG and Carl, I don’t even know where or for how long because I was at the front trying to reconcile how much fun Guillaume was apparently having with how terrified I was of him keeping this pace up.
My body started throwing up warnings on the climb into Killington (around mile 106). A few cramps, getting gapped off the group and realizing I should probably not see the front for a while.
Obviously we were hammering from there until the climb out of Ludlow, which I remembered from 2011 as being the really terrible one, and there was some cramping and some stomach distress. Chan had decided (or was told by his body) to go hang out in the car, and he gave me a Red Bull Cola which has GINGER in it, which helped me keep my stomach together.
I think we picked up Elle Anderson on this climb. She asked me how I was doing, to which I responded “Generally good, but at the moment pretty terrible.”
After Ludlow is a nice descent into the town of Weston, which you may remember from “Ryan Starts Acting ‘Odd'” in the 2011 video.
Well, I was probably 80% of the way to being that cracked this year. My IT band was killing me, I’d started cramping (which is not a frequent occurrence for me, but neither is riding 200 miles), and the only food I’d been grabbing from the car had been rice cakes. Which, while good, were starting to get old and destroy my stomach.
So I had an iced coffee, and a Red Bull, and AG did some sort of secret ski coaching trick where he basically had elbowsex with my lower back (he was out at this point because of a Di2/outlet on a light switch issue), and then we were back on the bikes and I went to the front for the first time in three hours.
At this point in the ride I realized I had passed the point where my brain shut down in 2011 because I don’t remember having ridden any of this stuff before.
I think the climb out of Wardsboro saw me holding onto the side of Tim’s Touareg while Chan shoved gummy worms, gummy sharks and maple candy into my mouth while I used my free hand to massage a cramp in my right leg.
Eventually we got to the point where, in 2011, we decided that we should just go straight to the Mass border instead of continuing on some other road that looked like it went up hill.
FUN FACT: that road was the last 25 or so miles of Route 100 and they are ALL BASICALLY UPHILL.
hahahaha oh god
yeah I started falling apart pretty rapidly here
Some FUN FACTS about this final section because it’s all pretty spotty in my memory because I think my brain didn’t have enough oxygen or calories to create new memories:
Tim was riding at the front towards the end. I knew that the road we were on was the last road of Vermont, and I was watching mailbox numbers to get an idea of how much road we had left until Massachusetts.
And then I took the sprint because haha suckers
Wait were we sprinting? Who cares. It’s going on my resume.
Then we laid on some person’s lawn and drank um seltzer and pulled our crap together and headed into North Adams to eat. I had some mozzarella sticks and a gyro and it was great and then I shouted at Tim, Ben and Chris to GET IN THE VAN because they went to a “fancy place” that “considers food allergies”.
Then I got home and ended up not doing Gnar Weasles because that wasn’t gonna work out with my life, but I donated my entry fee to Colin and he didn’t have to deal with my dumb ass on Sunday.
It’s not every day that you get to ride bikes with some of the best cyclists on the continent, so I feel pretty hashtag blessed to be a part of this ride once again. It was glorious seeing Ben Wolfe crack, Tim had my back when he was on the front by keeping the pace sane, I am really glad I don’t have to ever race Guillaume, Ted is annoyingly chipper, Chris needs to keep his sodium intake up and Cooper Willsey is an overly-energetic youth who needs to stop popping wheelies when his elders are cramping and looking for someone to punch.
I have no idea why Meg McMahon and Jenn Blazejewski and Chaz and Todd and Chris Milliman came out to help us but it’s probably mostly because they are very nice people and partially because they enjoy seeing people complete collapse while riding bicycles.
If you don’t want to read what I have to say about my bicycle riding (which is Very Important Stuff) you should go read some other blog that is less masturbatory (does such a thing exist???).
Anyway, last week was crap because it was sales meeting at work (GUYS LOOK AT THESE BOOTS, RYAN HELP US FIGURE OUT HOW TO SELL THESE BOOTS) and then I announced/quarter-promoted Exeter on Tuesday night and other things so I didn’t ride.
This Thursday is the 200 on 100 (for real this time, on route 100), and the last time I did a ride of this magnitude I was in substantially better shape.
For example, going in to the first ride (in 2011), I had ridden 5611 miles (297 hours). This year, I’ve ridden 1646 miles (217 hours, because my whole winter was spent on the trainer playing Gran Turismo 3). My longest ride in 2015 has been 69 miles (awww yeah), usually I’ve done a few 100+ mile rides by this time of the year. I only have 90 minutes of fitness in me (see: where I exploded at Sunapee and Purgatory, and oh yeah that time I got SUPER COLD and things got FUZZY at the 90 minute point of the Exeter Ride).
WHAT I’M GETTING AT is that there is a good chance that somewhere around the midway point of the ride this year I am going to single-handedly increase the price of balls in Vermont because I will be tripping all the balls. There will be no more balls to trip.
If you are a fan of me looking exhausted, then YOU MY FRIEND are in for a treat! Because yeah I’m gonna be real tired from all the pedaling.
However, I am mentally stronger than any of the fuckers on this ride, so there’s no doubt I’m going to finish the ride as, if I have to, I will do so through sheer force of will. As it is only a bike ride. Though I will be tired.
You should come do the bike ride! Just meet us at the North Troy, VT border crossing at 6 am. Or just see us somewhere along Route 100 on Thursday. We will be the three or more people on bikes, I will be the one with a beard screaming obscenities.
AND THEN if that wasn’t enough of a “fun time” on Sunday I’m gonna do my first mountain bike race since 2006 (Pretty sure there is a blog post in a WordPress database backup about that race) at Gnar Weasels, because Colin is my friend and I like to give my friends gifts. In this case the gift is “reading my blog post after the race”.
I have been mountain biking a bit in Hampstead, so I am approaching the race as “a mountain bike ride in Rhode Island I paid $25 to do”. And it will probably be fun, and Paully will be there too and he will be equally miserable and then he and I will conspire to make Colin’s 2015 Gloucester as terrible as possible (aka not playing “Battleflag” in the Elite race).
It’s Friday, and the bicycle race in question was on Tuesday, so at least this isn’t timely or anything.
SO HERE’S THE RUN DOWN of what happened leading up to the race, and the race itself. If you’re a friend of mine I’ve probably told you these tales through many Google Chat conversations, or maybe you could piece it together from Twitter like assembling really boring Dead Sea Scrolls. I’m writing this run down because Drew is just now getting good at using the Internet, and he uses exclamation points way to much.
Drew and I have been involved with the race since we were in college, as it supports a scholarship at UNH and was previously promoted by Ed Spuler, former UNH coach and fan of Eddie B’s cycling tactics. We’ve worked at the race, raced the race, announced the race and I even sponsored the race one time.
This year, Ed wasn’t able to handle promoting it, and Drew really only took over promoting it in mid-April. I was unable to help with any of the actual “work” of promoting the race – getting sponsors together, finding hay bales (thanks Dodge’s Agway!), putting up fliers, getting city and USAC permits, getting volunteers, getting the worst of the potholes fixed, getting fencing, all the other shit that’s needed to run a bike race – basically I was just Drew’s good-looking friend who couldn’t commit to anything other than shouting on Twitter, sending some emails and reminding him that he is a wonderful man.
(This last paragraph is in here because I think a lot of people didn’t know that Drew essentially did everything by himself. It was a tremendous amount of work, and he managed to do it all without choking me.)
Early on we decided it was important to have a women’s race with equal prize money, and Drew expected 25 racers in that field – because that’s roughly what is reasonable to expect from a women’s field in New England. Colonial Bicycle Co. came on board pretty early as the title sponsor of the women’s race, Exeter Cycles sponsored the men’s race, and WE WERE OFF with a high likelihood of the race not making negative dollars (positive dollars go to the Barrow/Bogart scholarship at UNH). Also Todd Rowell was a sponsor (seriously).
NHPR did a little story about the equal prize money, and it’s awesome to hear there will be equal prize money at Portsmouth!
Soooo fast forward to race day. 40 something women pre-registered (holy crap). There were a couple of day-ofs, so we had a women’s field of 50 (holy crap)!
HEY OTHER RACE PROMOTERS IN NEW ENGLAND – you can have a big women’s field. It’s possible. Some things that worked in our favor:
I was announcing, Alan Cote (of Longsjo/New England Crit Week/Announcing sans Sonic references) joined me which was great because this was the least prepared I have ever been for announcing a race. Probably because this week was Sales Meeting at work, I was spending time helping Drew (NOT THAT MUCH TIME BECAUSE SCREW YOU DREW) with final things, and a third excuse.
(oh shit I just realized I didn’t have the NBA Jam soundboard at the race what the hell ryan your shit was not tight)
The women’s race was friggin AWESOME. Gabby Durrin came out and took a bunch of the early primes. There were a LOT of primes – probably $500 up for grabs in the women’s race. People were also just walking up to me and handing me money to give out as primes. We had a problem because there were TOO MANY PRIMES.
It was very active, not much “big bunch” riding – field was strung for most of the race.
Then Gabby and Becca Fahringer got off the front in some business, Becca took a $100 prime out of that move and then ground her way off the front to take a solo win!
The men’s race had 105 riders, and about halfway through Connor Jennings (TEAMMATE), Bobby Bailey and Cole Archambault got off the front and did a bunch of impromptu teamwork to stay away and take a ton of primes. Bobby won out of the group, with Cole in second and Connor in third.
Some how the Exeter Running Club was at the race and helped us marshal and take down hay bales? We had a lot of great volunteers.
This post isn’t supposed to serve as a recap/thank you post, so, um, yeah, sorry I guess? I don’t know, I don’t really blog any more. Also I haven’t had any lunch today.
I sent out a survey about the race, and have already gotten some great feedback (which echoed what I knew we needed to do for next year). Now that Drew and I know we’ll be promoting the race with a bit more lead time, things will be better planned and his blood pressure will be healthier. Also I can actually help him on it as my life is less chaotic now than it was three months ago.
Okay thanks for coming to the bike race.
Amongst your coworkers, there are people who:
So when you are working on something, you may be working with someone who sucks (“gah frig”), who is competent (“okay, this is fine”) or who is great (“BOOYAH I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING CAPT GENIUS PANTS HAS IT UNDER CONTROL”).
Doctors are just people at work. Some suck, most are competent, very few are great. So when a doctor tells you something, just pretend it is coming from a shitty or AT BEST mediocre coworker, and then react as you would normally (calling them useless? getting a second look from someone else who is actually good at their job?) to a coworker – and don’t automatically assume that just because they have the training that they are good at their job. Plenty of MBTA bus drivers have training, but a whole lot of them are terrible at driving a bus.
They keep (or, maybe they just had one but my memory is bad and I think they had more) having workshops and seminars about how to manage millennials at work – aka “break these kids spirits and fit them into the corporate form”.
This came up in a meeting with my team at work, and my boss (or someone) pointed out that it’s silly that corporate is trying to make the new workforce fit what it needs, instead of adapting to what the workforce has to offer. Though it is good for people to get a little more “corporate” as they become adults…I’d also argue that some corporate mentalities are just there because “it’s how we do things”.
It’s also funny that the office “problems” with millennials – always expecting praise, everyone gets a trophy, etc – are a product of the way they were raised, how society at that time said they should be raised. And that parenting/societal mindset was created by the same generation of the corporate leadership. So when higher-ups are all “friggin millennials! what the crap!”, do they not realize it’s basically their kids that they are hiring, kids who are a result of the parenting strategies of the previous 25 or so years? (obviously they don’t)
[obligatory snapchat/emoji “joke” that i’ve made a thousand times]