Matt Donahue

Thursday, April 27, 2006

First Race Lead-up

The first race of the season is Sunday, Greenbriar AMBC. As far as training goes, at this point, as my coach JB likes to say, "It’s all in the barn." Whatever I do between now and then isn't really going to make too much of a difference. I've remained reasonably consistent with my training for the past 4 weeks. Obviously the training has been going on for much longer than that, but as a lead-up to this first race of the year, things have been good.

This AM I got out on the new mountain bike and did 4 hill intervals - 5 min 30 sec from a standing start X 4 with 4 minute breaks (to get back down the hill) and a 15 min warm up and 15 min cool down. The difference in climbing feel and power transfer on this new bike versus my old one is significant. Which is a good thing! It was sad to give up the Santa Cruz Superlight- I really enjoyed that bike, but the Specialized Epic (Marathon) is a real race bike. Don't get me wrong, the Superlight is race worthy as well, but from my perspective, the geometry coupled with the brain-fade shock on the Epic makes a major difference to this rider.

One more training ride tomorrow- zone2-zone3 and then an easy recovery day on Saturday and it's on. My only worry is that I don't know this new bike on the trail that well. I've only been on dirt with it three times so this race will be a learning experience as well.

The team is fielding a sizable group at this one, so there should be some good race reports on our new website next week.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I wasn't sure how to title this entry. But the main idea is to indicate how bad I feel for my buddy Joe who crashed and broke his clavical this week. I don't yet know the details of the crash. The how's and why's are not that important.

Joe's a dedicated cyclist. He's our team's co-captain, he is a big MORE member. He rides in group rides regularly, his presence welcome and looked forward to. He's my ridin' buddy. He drives to the trails when I can't. Joe, you better hurry up and heal up!

I feel bad that this happened to such a motivated cyclist. If it were me I'd be majorly bummed. So I hope there's a way to make the time off the bike a bit better for Joe.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Spring Classic Coppi Ride

OK well, it was only a spring classic because of the strange weather.

Similarly to last season, I resolved this season to make it out to Clarendon once a week for the Squadra Coppi's Wednesday hill ride starting at the Java Shack. It's a somewhat tough to commit to this ride as it begins at 6:30 AM which means a 6:05 departure (at the latest) from home. That's early. I tried to get a few fellow City Bikes team members out for the ride, but no dice, too early for them. I'll refrain from calling them names here. But know this! I will hassle them all until they go on the ride at least once.

Since it was the first Wednesday ride of the year I was hoping to see a good turnout- it's always better to ride that ride in a group. Unfortunately only 4 people showed (including me) and of the three other Coppi riders, I was the only one who knew the route. So City Bikes led the Wednesday Coppi hill ride. In fact I actually remembered the whole route. Leading was a bit tough because there were 4 distinctly different rider speeds. Keeping the group together was a challenge to the point where one guy did drop off completely. I felt somewhat responsible for his dropping off the group, but honestly, I am not that fast, and this ride is supposed to be a very fast (VO2Max ride). So as the leader I tried to keep things somewhat under control, but it didn't work out and it turned into a three rider effort. Sorry dude.

The weather took a turn for the worst and it started raining toward the end of the ride. The wind picked up as well and things became very sketchy at high speeds so I was not too keen on continuing the hill climbing and bombing for the final loop and led the group back to the beginning.

Overall, a solid 2.5 hour day; I was wiped that night.