Tuesday, 14 August 2012

After Abitibi, and wraping up my 2012 season

I have now been back home in Victoria for a solid couple weeks and thought it would be a good idea to churn out a long time coming blog post. Getting back into the routine of working, riding, and training ha been a nice change from the amount of racing and travelling I have done lately. With that being said, I wish that my legs would tire a bit slower so that racing could be spread out over a longer period of time haha.

Abitibi lived up to it's reputation as being a fast, sketchy, bike wrecking junior race. Over the course of the 6 days, there must have been at least 20 seperate crashing incidents. Some of the more serious one involved riders losing parts of their faces of the pavement. For many, goals and aspirations were suddenly put on hold.

The American Nationals team were by far the most dominant team with all of their guys in the top 6. They rode the front all day almost every day covering moves and making moves of their own. The majority of their riders had spent time raing in europe earlier this year at around the same time the CCA had sent us over.

I've done a bit of racing on the Commonwealth Legacy Velodrome at Trackfest last week, racking up some good experience. I loved the match sprinting. Transferring match sprinting skills over to the road can allow me to visualize the last 3 km of a road race much differently. I hope to be able to put that to my advantage.

Sidney TT's and pb in the rain and thunder.

The TT I rode last week proved to be an interesting one. As I have been away for the majority of the past few months i have only raced that course once before this season in preparation for nationals. I rode out to the course from my house and made sure  i got in a decent but not too formal warmup. Breathing was good, tempo was good, and in the end, I got a personal best. About 10 people decided not to do it because of the inclement weather. The corners were slow and the roads slick, but the legs felt better than they have in months!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

From Quebec with love

I have to say, I have not been on top of this blogging lately. Though the blogging might stall for a bit, the bike riding does not. Quebec gets a bad rep for having bad roads. Here in St-Eustache where i am staying, I must say, the roads are smooth and deviod of those so familiar jarring potholes. Either the rumours were baseless, or most likely, I still have to experience what the roads in Abitibi are like.

I cannot say that nationals went as planned for me, but then again it was just another bike race. I just need to take them one at a time. Cycling is a journey. Cycling BC again put on a great program for our Junior Men and Women`s squads. I look forwards to working with JeffPain and the familiar cycling bc crew once again in abitibi where the stakes will again be placed high.

Training and riding in this area has shown me a few different sights. The weather has been perfect and I could not ask for more. This is perfect setup for me between 2 blocks of racing. I could never have done this without the help from family, friends and sponsors like Cycling BC, Adera, Haywood, and of course my team Russ Hay`s pb Accent Inn`s.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Robert Cameron Law

   The last couple weekends were full of exciting racing and good opportunity for me. The weekend was the first significant block of racing for me since  I got back from Europe. My tired legs would attest to that for sure.

  The weekend started off fast with the Russ hay's/ Specialized tt. It consisted of a 5 k individual effort along a windy stretch of Dallas road with 2 180degree turnarounds in the course. It was more of a prologue really and I knew that mere seconds would make the difference between placings. The wind was quite shifty that evening and would change several times during the course of the event. The later it got, the stronger the wind became. Our team was among the last riders to start. As soon as i left the start ramp, I had a feeling that running a 90mm front wheel paired with a disc would be a bit hairy in the crosswinds.  I was being buffeted quite strongly to the point that it felt like my front wheel was skipping sideways along the roughly layered pavement. To the say the least, that tt was not one of my greatest and my lungs felt like they had been torn to shreds after  I finished.... probably due to insufficient warm-up and starting the race feeling cold. TT position felt good to say the least.

  With Saturday came and early morning start for the Accent Inn's Provincial Road race in Metchosin. The junior men were slated to start at 7:30 am...  early considering some races  I did earlier in may started at 6 in the evening. We soon set out to do 8 laps of the rolling course with a field of about 15-20 guys. The first lap was chilly and a few guys started the race with full leg warmers or winter jackets. I just did some embro and some arm warmers, but that's just me. The pace was not overly hard at all in the first lap and a half and pretty soon I found myself in a break with Jackson. He had a problem with his bike soon and was unable to continue with me. Being a bit naive I kept the pressure on. Not time -trailing but going a decent pace. I had thought in my mind that a select group would be able to break away or drop many of the guys in the pack and bridge the gap to me. The course was on roads that were winding just enough that as soon as you had about 30 seconds, you were out of sight. I was away on my own for about 4 laps before getting caught. at that point I was not at all stoked with my race tactics and was just waiting for a sprint finish. I went with Joel on a few digs during the last lap but  i missed the decisive one. Not wanting to race for second place i went to the front and tried to chase as hard as I could for the last 1 km. But it was too late, the gap had been established and Joel took it. I can say that with the form I had that day, I raced extremely poorly tactically. What I did seemed right in the moment. Good job to Joel though. He was one the only people in that race who wanted to race hard.

  Bastion Square as a cat 1/2 was quite uneventful for me. I just did not have the legs that day was I was forced to pull out early in the race. So many strong teams were killing it at the front of the race and with my poor staging spot, I found myself about 2 thirds of the way own the pack. The pace was hard enough for me to be hurting in the draft. It just was not my day and it was just a really fast race. Congrats to Rob, Jake and Adam who had good races on the weekend.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Back in Vic

Spending a month racing in Europe with the Junior National team has definitely been a highlight of my involvement in cycling, and getting  resettled back at home has been a bit hectic to say the least.

Flying out 2 days after I was selected was rather short-notice.  The racing and travelling was a great experience and has taught me a lot about racing my bike, meeting new people, working with people I already knew,  and maybe most important, it taught me a bit more about myself.

Although some goals  i had coming into the trip were not met, I cannot say that the trip was in vain. I still pulled a lot out of it and being part of the Trofeo-Karlsberg Nations Cup will be an experience  I will not forget. I came into that race with the goal of finishing in the top 15 places in a stage, but a crash on day 1 all but ruled that out for me. The racing mentality and dynamics are very different when you are competing with 20 other national teams and when the bunch is more than Junior 120 riders, I emphasize, Junior. Things get very nervous in the pack, and  if  ill positioned, you are more likely to find the pavement with your arm.  Although I had my share of crashes and a flat, it just went to show that I had to suck it up and deal with it because at the end of the day, no one racing against me will care and the only person I can disappoint is myself. All I can do, is move on, and not let it affect the other tasks I have to do to climb up the ladder. Shit happens, deal with it.

  That being said, the kermesse racing we did back in Belgium was on a smaller and lower-key kind of level and allowed us to play out some team tactics and practise racing very aggressively and dealing with road furniture and the racing style over there. Racing for my second time in europe has only made me more confident on the bike, fitter, and has given me a different point of view on the sport. Racing a large peloton is as much about being fit as it is about positioning yourself to avoid crashes and come through in the right places after corners and roundabouts. Thank you to the CCA and their staff who made all of this possible for us.

I am now back in the swing of things racing with Russ Hay's pb Accent Inns. We raced the Minto RR in comox yesterday. It was great fun and well organized. It  is good to be home again. I look forward to the Victoria International Cycling Festival next weekend where I will be racing the Specialized/Russ Hay's TT, the Junior Provincial RR and Bastion Square as a Cat. 1/2.

Blog post soon after next weekend

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Racing the Euro way

  I've now been in Belgium for a good week and a half. The racing here is nothing short of what I was expecting; fast, aggresive and technical. The house we are staying at is in Tielt-Winge is on the east side of Brussels. It is close to a grocery store and to countless roads and paths on which to ride and explore. It took time to adjust to the time change and the schedule around here, but once in the swing of things, living, riding and racing here is like clockwork.

  My teammates are a great group and we are all excited to race here and learn some new aspects to bike racing. I got here on the 27th of April, a couple days later than the rest of the group. We raced the day after on a course that was not far from here in a town called Molenstede. Signing up in a smoke filled cafes or bars is the norm for belgian kermesses. The race went well and Ben Perry managed to win out of a break of 2 after a race where there were many attacks and aggressive moves played out by Brandon, Ben Chartrand and myself. We were all in the prize money which was a decent result considering some of us had never raced in Europe before and the jet lag that  was still affecting us.

   The shopping here has to be planned out meticulously… the shops will be closed at weird times and some items are in some bizzare places. Oddly enoughy, the milk and eggs are unrefrigerated.

  The CCA runs a good program here and I am glad to have had so much help from sponsors like Russ-Hay’s, Accent Inn’s, Cycling BC, Adera, and Haywood Securities. Without them, I am sure my cycling situation would be different!

More updates to come after Trofeo-Karlsberg Nations Cup where we will be hunting for some results!


Henri De Boever