I posted some of these on Twitter already on Thursday. But then my site was being dumb and I wasn’t able to post them on this here blog BUT HERE THEY AREEEEE.
1. Take the live power data from road races (like upcoming classics), send it to the CLOUD (?????), then send it to your computrainer (via the CLOUD), and make your computrainer demand that you put out 650 watts for two minutes or something until you quit bike riding forever.
2. Enter into your Garmin (or maybe on Strava or Trainingpeaks or whatever) food kilojoule units, so you can see your ride in terms of “bags of BBQ potato chips”. Not that you should feel guilty about eating an entire bag of chips, but maybe this will make you feel better (need to talk to therapist about this one)?
3. A klaxon that goes off any time Tim Mitchell shifts down three gears, warning everyone to get ready to party or get out of the fucking way.
I’ve started reading “Hark, a vagrant” after having followed Kate Beaton on Twitter for a while (she is at her best when she as at home in the Maritimes writing quick comics about her family), and it’s totally super.
You may also be thinking “Hey Ryan, this seems like a thing that you should be posting on your Tumblr!” (no, you are most certainly not thinking this, because who the hell thinks “this guy is posting this content on the wrong media platform”), that is because I think my Tumblr is cursed.
Over the last month or so I’ve been going through the bins of video games and other crap that I have in the barn, getting rid of things that I haven’t used in several years. Like Kolibri.
When I opened up the box, I found that it still contained a subscription card for Sega Visions(which I do recall having a subscription to at one point in my life), as well as this TOTALLY SWEET PAMPHLET FOR SEGA GEAR!!!!
OH MY GOD I WANT A SLEEVELESS SONIC AND KNUCKLES DENIM JACKET!!!!!!
I should probably scan these at work (because nothing screams professionalism in an office than a man scanning a 20 year old Sega merchandise pamphlet) before they get mailed off to the lucky winner of the Kolibri auction on eBay.
NOTE: I bought Kolibri at some point after the 32X went bust, so the game was probably $10 at Electronics Boutique (in MY DAY, it was called ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE). I think I’ve played it once or twice, it’s really weird and not that fun.
I checked eBay before I posted it to see what I should set for a Buy It Now price, and holy crap it’s going for at least $100 when it has the box and manual. Not worth hauling the damn thing around in a bin of other games for the last seven years, but interesting.
I was thinking to myself today, “I wonder how much Universal Sports/NBC/Comcast/Xfinity paid for the rights to UCI CX? And I wonder how much the UCI would make if they charged everyone in the US $5 per race to watch it?”
I think I actually thought this out loud, while reading Twitter. Or something.
Because if you’re a fan of cyclocross in the US, you have probably discovered the wonder of installing Hola in Chrome, pretending to be another country where Jack Donaghy didn’t win the rights to broadcast CX worlds, and going to the UCI YouTube channel, and watching the race in normal definition (WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE we had pixelated crap feeds on steephill.tv AND WE LIKED IT) on your laptop or TV.
ANYWAY, I was thinking all of this (and, as usual, Cosmo has a great post/rant about this), and thought I had a GREAT IDEA in the “charging $5/race”, until I realized that in all of the countries I pretend to be via Hola, the race is broadcast for free on YouTube.
Except in the US, where the UCI found a network willing to give them some money to “broadcast it” to it’s “subscribers” (and yes, I tried cycling.tv, but it was terrible, and they kept billing me after I cancelled my subscription).
So anyway. Someone in the UCI Media Rights Sales Department (gotta be a thing, right?) managed to discover a way to get some cash money from Xfinity International Sports, and we’ll never be able to watch UCI CX in a non-janky fashion again.
And with the magic of pyquery and putting additional loads on the road-results servers, I have somewhat of an answer!
I looked at the 2013 edition of the race. I basically grabbed the rider profile URL, and then grabbed the rider’s race history by year, and dumped that into a .csv file. It looked something like this:
I wanted to see how many people were first time riders at Battenkill in 2013, and how many of them went on to race in 2013 and/or 2014.
(alternate version of the sentence above: A CYCLIST WHO LIKES EXCEL CHECKED OUT THE RACE HISTORY FOR THE TOUR OF THE BATTENKILL. WHAT HE DID NEXT WILL MAKE A FRIGGIN RAINBOW LAUNCH OUT OF YOUR SKULL)
I didn’t look at who upgraded, because that might take more time? Or something. But I guess I could. I was primarily focused with what first-time racers did in the rest of 2013 and in 2014. I looked at race results as far back as 2008 to determine who was “new” to bike racing.
2013 New Cat 5s:
Total Cat 5s: 584
Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 212 (36% of total)
What those new 2013 Cat 5s did afterwards:
Did a non-Battenkill race: 89 (15% of total, 42% of new riders)
Only raced Battenkill : 123 (21% of total, 58% of new riders)
Raced something in 2014: 107 (18% of total, 50% of new riders)
Only did Battenkill in 2014: 69 (11% of total, 32% of new riders, 64% of those who only did Battenkill in 2013) (GIANT FRIGGIN ASTERISK – it’s early April, so I’ll check back later and see what happens with this)
What about “veteran” Cat 5s (people who had raced once before) in 2013?
Requested by “someone”
Veteran racers: 372 (64% of total)
Did a non-Battenkill race: 244 (42% of total, 66% of vets)
Only raced Battenkill: 128 (22% of total, 34% of vets)
Raced in 2014: 190 (33% of total, 51% of vets)
Veterans + Noobs in 2013:
Did a non-Battenkill race: 333 (57% of total)
Only raced Battenkill: 251 (43% of total)
Raced in 2014: 297 (51% of total)
2014 Cat 5s:
Total Cat 5s: 602
Cat 5s whose first race was Battenkill: 223 (37% of total)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN???
For 58% of the new Cat 5s in the 2013 race, Battenkill was their only race of the year (or, at least, the only race of the year that was on road-results, which is kind enough to include most things that have results posted – training races, gran fondos, that sort of thing. So lots o’ events).
In 2013, that’s 123 Cat 5s that did one event and then hung up their license for the rest of the year. If were promoting an event and I wanted a ton of Cat 5s – or at least one race-field worth – I’d figure out how to reach out to those 123 dudes that didn’t race again. Get a booth in the expo area, have an airplane flying over the course towing a banner…something.
On the other side of the coin, maybe it’s good that 42% of first-timers went on to another race in 2013? I don’t know what the attrition rate of newcomers to cycling is, and where this falls in comparison to that.
Also, even though the 2014 cycling season is still very young in the Northeast, 50% of those people who were new to racing went on to do some race in 2014 – and it wasn’t limited to just Battenkill (64% just did Battenkill). Though it is clearly a majority.
It’s also interesting how close the percentages of new Cat 5s are between 2013 and 2014.
And over a third of the Cat 5 field was totally new to bike racing! That’s pretty cool, actually. Battenkill is an interesting event that scratches an itch that a lot of people have, and apparently it’s compelling enough to get so many new people out racing their bike.
So, to answer my question – roughly 50% of Cat 5s do other races.
I was asked to look at non-newbies who raced (which you’ll see the data on above).
More veteran riders did a non-Battenkill race in 2013 than new riders (66% vs 42%), and adding veterans into the mix certainly raised the percentage of riders who did a non-Battenkill event in 2013 (57%).
Even still, in 2013, there were 128 veteran racers who only raced Battenkill! So, yeah, spending money on that airplane towing a banner for your team isn’t that terrible of an idea.
Ten years ago today, I did my first road bike race – which I consider to be the first race I did, despite the two terrible mountain bike races I did in the fall of 2003.
I missed out on the first ECCC weekend at Rutgers, so my first race was at Penn State. This was also when I first developed my general hatred for Pennsylvania, a hatred that would only grow stronger as I spent several weekends driving a billion friggin hours to and from bike races in the land of Erica Allar.
Anyway, at my first road race ever, it was really cold (and, as we were going to Florida next, my idiot 18 year old brain only packed for warm Florida – not frigid Pennsylvania). The hillclimb TT was shortened because there was too much snow at the top. I don’t remember anything about the crit.
I do, though, vividly remember the circut race. Matt Piotrowski, then a junior (I think?), and now a coworker of mine, gave me a congratulatory pat on the back towards the end of the race. What he didn’t realize, though, was that I was on the brink of exploding.
Right after he patted me on the back, I got dropped.
So, with that, let’s look at what my first road racing weekend was like! Maybe later in this here post I’ll wax nostalgic about all the great things that cycling has done for me in the last ten years – or I’ll just go off on a tangent about dicks.
Thanks to the wonder of archive.org, here are the results.
Men D 31 Starters 4.8 Miles, 1100'ITT Pts.
1 686 Zach Via UNH 21:31.18 11
2 633 Edward Naughton UNH 22:44.88 9
3 654 David Maitlin Penn State 23:17.92 7
4 684 Joshua Kissinger UNH 24:29.33 6
5 634 Drew Szeliga UNH 24:43.91 5
6 682 Matt Piotrowski UNH 24:46.97 4
7 630 Nathaniel Brahms Harvard 24:57.36 3
8 607 Stewart Ellis Harvard 24:59.05 2
9 679 Ander Kazmerski Rochester 25:06.55 1
10 627 Nathaniel Craig Harvard 25:13.62
11 683 Gerald Obey UNH 25:21.13
12 687 Ryan Kelly UNH 25:26.22
13 672 Max Rietmann Cornell 25:29.85
14 631 Jonathan Tan Yale 26:01.96
15 677 Peter Nix Rochester 26:06.27
16 632 Blake Holt UNH 26:14.68
17 660 Mike Garvey Penn State 26:16.29
18 656 Heinz JurgenPunge Rutgers 26:26.30
19 619 Stephen Maxwell Harvard 26:28.83
20 655 David Miller Cornell 26:34.18
21 601 Pieter Van Lieu UMass 26:36.95
22 635 Ricky Silver Skidmore 27:05.24
23 661 John Cawthorne Penn State 27:11.22
24 662 Aaron Nathan Cornell 27:18.26
25 678 Brian Anderson Rochester 27:19.36
26 623 Nicholas Qiang MIT 27:40.60
27 689 James Miller Cornell 27:44.43
28 690 Ryan van Hoff Dartmouth 27:54.41
29 681 Jonathan Rupp Cornell 28:09.10
30 688 John St. Onge UNH 28:59.74
31 680 Andrew Potter Cornell 30:38.18
A fun thing to do here is guess “Who won a collegiate hill climb TT in 2004?” SPOILER: Mike Barton. It was Mike Barton. Duh.
Another fun thing to play is a game of “Who is still racing?” Nice to see Cosmo turning in a SOLID mid-field finish in the Bs.
Men D 38 Starters Crit PoiSprint Points
1 686 Zach Via UNH 12 8
2 682 Matt Piotrowski UNH 9 5
3 619 Stephen Maxwell Harvard 7 1
4 683 Gerald Obey UNH 6
5 607 Stewart Ellis Harvard 5 1
6 691 Regi EndriukaitisDrexel 4 2
7 611 Justin Kline Drexel 3
8 630 Nathaniel Brahms Harvard 2 5
9 653 Eric Miller Penn State 1
10 621 Abe Gissen Tufts
11 633 Edward Naughton UNH
12 634 Drew Szeliga UNH
13 687 Ryan Kelly UNH
14 662 Aaron Nathan Cornell
15 672 Max Rietmann Cornell
16 692 Richard Katz Columbia
17 679 Ander Kazmerski Rochester
18 641 Jon Menzin Columbia pulled & placed
19 623 Nicholas Qiang MIT
20 620 Matt Dysart Tufts
21 660 Mike Garvey Penn State
22 677 Peter Nix Rochester
23 678 Brian Anderson Rochester
24 689 James Miller Cornell
25 690 Ryan van Hoff Dartmouth
26 694 Noah Ashbaugh Penn State
27 601 Pieter Van Lieu UMass
28 654 David Maitlin Penn State
29 684 Joshua Kissinger UNH
30 635 Ricky Silver Skidmore
31 658 Karan Gill Penn State
32 631 Jonathan Tan Yale
33 661 John Cawthorne Penn State
34 610 Michael Ondik Drexel
35 671 Timothy Reissman Cornell
dnf 627 Nathaniel Craig Harvard
dnf 688 John St. Onge UNH
dnf 693 Steven Place Drexel
I didn’t get pulled NOR DID I CRASH in my first crit. I got that going for me.
Hey, who won the Men’s A crit? (Mike Barton. It was Mike Barton). Also featured in the Men’s A crit was Joe Kopena.
And Cosmo was in a break that lapped the field in the B race.
Men D 42 Starters 18 Miles RR Pts.
1 686 Zach Via UNH 51:28 20
2 653 Eric Miller Penn State at 1:20 16
3 654 David Maitlin Penn State 12
4 611 Justin Kline Drexel 1:23 8
5 692 Richard Katz Columbia 5
6 691 Regi EndriukaitisDrexel 4
7 696 Keith Kirkwood Delaware 1:30 3
8 683 Gerald Obey UNH 2
9 697 John Kirkwood Delaware 1
10 630 Nathaniel Brahms Harvard
11 621 Abe Gissen Tufts
12 619 Stephen Maxwell Harvard
13 682 Matt Piotrowski UNH 1:45
14 687 Ryan Kelly UNH 1:50
15 607 Stewart Ellis Harvard 2:00
16 631 Jonathan Tan Yale 3:00
17 634 Drew Szeliga UNH 3:10
18 695 Adam Cohen Skidmore
19 633 Edward Naughton UNH pulled & placed
20 620 Matt Dysart Tufts
21 684 Joshua Kissinger UNH
22 658 Karan Gill Penn State
23 645 Andrew Webster Delaware
24 677 Peter Nix Rochester
25 656 Heinz JurgenPunge Rutgers
26 635 Ricky Silver Skidmore
27 671 Timothy Reissman Cornell
28 641 Jon Menzin Columbia
29 693 Steven Place Drexel
30 694 Noah Ashbaugh Penn State
31 601 Pieter Van Lieu UMass
32 679 Ander Kazmerski Rochester
33 690 Ryan van Hoff Dartmouth
34 610 Michael Ondik Drexel
35 678 Brian Anderson Rochester
36 688 John St. Onge UNH
37 655 David Miller Cornell
38 627 Nathaniel Craig Harvard
dnf 623 Nicholas Qiang MIT
dnf 643 Steven Anton Delaware
dnf 660 Mike Garvey Penn State
dnf 661 John Cawthorne Penn State
Hrm. I finished ONE MINUTE AND FIFTY SECONDS DOWN in an EIGHTEEN MILE CIRCUIT RACE. WHAT. If I remember correctly, there was some sort of wall-ish climb there or something. I have no idea what the course was. Because it was 10 years ago. And I got dropped. In my third race ever.
Who won the Men’s A race?
It was Mike Barton.
Anyway. That was the first race. Then I went to Florida, crashed and broke my frame (which I found out later and raced Beanpot and UVM on a borrowed cross bike), and gave myself a knee wound that is still a nasty scar to this day because I continued to crash on it, never letting it heal.
Bike racing has brought me MANY BEST FRIENDS. Oddly enough, Cosmo and I could have had several more years of BEST FRIENDSHIP had we hung out at Penn State that first weekend, but, it was not to be.
Bike racing (and riding, which is required for the continuation of my mediocre results) has brought me/led me to/enabled the following things (that I am thinking of off the top of my head):
Fitness, and an ass that just won’t quit.
Possible immortality, due to fitness.
From collegiate cycling, an ability to race on little sleep and junk calories (Pop Tarts).
My wife and our currently unborn child (as we met at a UNH cycling team potluck that I went to, with no food, when I was one year out of college).
This child will LITERALLY owe it’s existence to cycling.
One internship at a trade magazine publisher in Oxford, CT (as I met the owner on a group ride. I did not drop him.)
Tip, kids – don’t always try to drop everyone, as they may end up offering you an internship.
My career (tipped to me via Josh Austin/John Healy, both of whom I knew through cycling).
Most of my friends (as noted above).
As a result, the improvement of my job skillz (thanks Colin).
The development and refinement of thousands of complicated dick/poop jokes.
Probably skin cancer on my nose.
Ownership of one car for quite a while, thus enabling me to be a pompous dick about carbon footprints.
Yes, I understand the carbon footprint of a supply chain that brings me a bike and components from China. Shut up.
I could really dig deep into this list (bike racing led to my job which led to destroying my eyes from looking at a computer screen which led to me getting glasses and thus looking sexier), but you get the idea.
Bike racing may seem like a totally silly hobby (silly by some metrics, but those are the same metrics that consider golf to be a totally reasonable hobby), but bike racing is like some sort of parasite that infects your body and directs you down a path towards health and awesome decisions and, if you’re lucky, an uncanny ability to find a dick joke in every sentence.
Go figure, I rode my bike a bunch in 2013. This post is inherently conceited, and there’s not really anyway around that when writing a blog post talking about how much bicycle riding one did in a calendar year.
One number that is interesting to me and, PERHAPS, interesting to other people: miles commuted, and miles commuted’s best friend – dollars saved. This is interesting because bicycle riding and racing is an expensive hobby, and I try to “offset” this expense by riding to work and continuing our adventure as a one-car household. If I wasn’t riding to work, we’d have to have a second car, and that would cost valuable dollars. Also I hate cars.
In all honesty, my primary motivation for bike commuting is not to save money. It’s just an added benefit, and one that I can use in finance negotiations with Amanda to argue for #carbonwheels (hahaha j/k #aluminumwheelsforever).
5482 miles commuted. I rode my bike to/from work 145 times, and rode to or from work (one direction) 33 times. This is also why my Strava page is boring as hell.
I calculate my milage at $.55/mile, and along with tolls, I “saved” (saved is in quotes because it’s not like money fell out of my butt every time I completed a bike commute) $3,152. Which actually more than offsetmy bicycle riding/racing expenses for 2013!
So, if you are trying to motivate yourself to ride to work, consider this fact.
GENERAL BIKE RIDING!
I rode my bicycle over 10,000 miles (550 hours)for the first time ever (10,093 miles, actually). This was something I was actually trying to do (sort of), because we have a base 10 counting system so 10,000 miles is somehow important in my brain.
Also I probably won’t get a chance to ride this much once there is a small human living in my house, requiring attention and additional financial resources.
Yes, an announcing report. My absence from bike racing has been so long that I am now writing ANNOUNCING REPORTS. But, it’s about Ice Weasels, which is the greatest race ever so screw you.
SO. My involvement with the race started on Thursday night, when Colin and I ran errands (which included returning the crappy stakes I bought (in JD we trust)), and continued into Friday when I finalized the playlist and helped staple numbers. And Christin is allergic to dogs. Good thing I have two of them and I don’t vacuum regularly!
I did not put my nether regions on any of the numbers. Adulthood is stupid.
Also, Colin got stuck in the turnaround of my driveway (which, honestly, we both saw coming), but it was a great chance to remind him that he should probably own a Lancer Evolution.
Thankfully, the PA fit in Colin’s Fit (hahahahaha…get it???????) when we packed it up on Friday night, so Saturday morning we were out the door at 6:30 a.m.
It was cold. HOW COLD, YOU ASK? Cold enough that the lock to the gates at Grand View Farm was frozen. The property owner said he had to get the “master key”, which was obviously a pair of bolt cutters. OH, FARMER HUMOR! I should get on this, considering I have a barn. I will start referring to everything as the “master key”, which will certainly make for some silly bedroom antics!!!!
When we got there at 7, there was ALREADY A RACER THERE (Apparently he got his start time wrong, thankfully in the “too early” direction), and he was super friendly and actually helped set up. He was also riding some old road bike that may have been his dad’s (at one point), with downtube shifters and flat pedals, and I’m sure he probably beat some beginner men who were on $2,000 carbon dealies with Di2.
The gate got cut open, I got to setting up the sound system (and, most importantly, the generator so that the tent heater would work). I’d like to note that my arm is STILL (it is now Sunday evening) sore from pull-starting the generator.
Before all that “work”, though, I was the first person to poop in those portopotties. Have you ever put your butt on a portopotty seat when it’s 13º F out? Not pleasant. I was also wearing bib tights under my jeans, which required me to basically strip down to use the bathroom. GOOD THINKING, RYAN.
I thought it would be a good idea to pre-ride the course, so I borrowed Chris McKernan’s bike, which I managed to flat the rear tire of about 1/3 of the way through the course. Whoops!
The ground was totally frozen, and sections of the course were that really fun frozen washboard business that happens on the side of a dirt hill. A significant portion of the course was off-camber (or, according to Tom, “the entire course is off-camber, except for that damn run-up”).
I never actually saw the run-up, but I heard (from the promoter, duh) that it was awesome and long and would probably be a great place to spectate from if it were not 500 meters away from the fire pit and beer tent.
So, things were set up, jams were pumping, and the racing started with Beginner men. Because Colin is a “cool dude”, he decided to give all the categories totally WACKY names (well, not that wacky. Just beginner/Killer B/Jedi), and since I’m really used to talking about categories/Elite fields, I kept saying the wrong thing and I felt like a big dummy. Odds are none of you noticed, but here I am, handing you my failures on a silver platter.
The business ends of all the races were pretty exciting to watch, and unlike past Weasel editions I could actually see what was happening on much of the course. Though, I didn’t have a useful start list (COLIN), so I did a lot of the following:
– See rider number(s) as they went through the barriers.
– Take gloves off (ugh) so I could find their number(s) on the spreadsheet on my computer.
– Hope that my fingers didn’t fall off in the short time that they were exposed.
However, worse things have happened and it wasn’t a big deal, I just want to start passing off blame for any mistakes I may have made.
I mentioned the fire pit before, and it was awesome, especially when the wireless mic was working correctly, as I would go stand there and announce/interview random people standing around.
SIDENOTE: I saw a lot of my friends, where by “saw” I mean “glanced at with my eyes but didn’t talk to or say ‘hi’ to, I’m sorry, I’ll see you later.” A lot of this happened at the fire pit, and I was there trying to stay warm and not super interested in casual conversation.
The Peter Goguen/Brendan Rhim battle for the win of the Jedi/Elite/Whatever race was exciting to watch, especially Peter’s aggressive inside line after the final barriers, and of course the fact that Brendan broke the rule of “Never take a Gogeun to the line.” Brendan broke that rule AND HE PAID DEARLY (he lost).
I also enjoyed making jokes about how Mike Rowell needed to win money so he could afford improvements to his cabin in Vermont.
If you post something of interest on the Internet, I will do my best to make it into a dumb joke while announcing.
Also, people, buy stock in Melissa Seib. Or pay her off to quit cycling forever, because she is on track to be crushing all of you in a short amount of time. I should also remember how to pronounce her name correctly, as her family members are probably tired of correcting me while I botch it on the PA (“seeb”? “sib”? I’ll get it.)
Mike Rowell crushed the singlespeed men’s race (HAHA MIKE NO PRIZE MONEY IN THIS ONE BUDDY), and Melissa Seib won the women’s race. Though there was an issue with A PRETENDER TO THE THRONE in the women’s race who won, but didn’t have a number on (!!!), so didn’t get scored, c’mon people you should know this by now.
Oh, the giraffe was there. Also, dildos. Of course, being the PROFESSIONAL THAT I AM, I did not know about the dildos until one was thrown at me at the end of the race. As far as I know, dildos are not super cheap (NOTE: do not check Amazon for dildo prices, because it will totally skew your Amazon browsing history, and then Amazon will always show you dildos until the end of time so when you’re at work and you check something on Amazon and your coworker is there they think you’re some sort of crazy dildo fiend), so I appreciate someone being dedicated enough to the joke to buy a pile o’ dildos.
Here is a nice rundown, and you can see me trying to eat a waffle while also announcing.
At the end of the day, it started snowing, the promoting party went into “WE GOTTA CLEAN UP THESE STAKES NOW” mode, and they went into garbage cans which now sit in the basement of my barn (you wanna rent stakes? Talk to me.) along with the barriers.
You probably don’t want to read this. But it’s here, on the off-chance that I forget how to fix it and some day stumble across the solution on my own blog.
I use Excel all day, every day, 24/7, because that is how businesses run.
Anyway, when I work from home it is real crashy. I thought it had to do with VPNs, but after reading the Internet and trying things, I discovered IT WAS NOT related to VPNs. It was related to monitors, or rather, the lack of my external monitor (please note this was not discovered in error logs, just by a lucky guess).
When I opened up the VBA editor on just my MacBook, the VBA editor would have a bunch of title bars and things off-screen. At work I have the VBA editor on my external monitor, and Excel itself on my MBP display. When the VBA editor went from big-ass monitor to not big-ass laptop display, it got funky with placement of title bars and windows and such.
Once in the VBA editor, I’d try to move things, or just try to deal with it and start writing things. After a few minutes, it would always crash with this error report: