22 Sep Enzo’s Florida Trip
Enzo visits Z Motion and Tom Moloney in South Florida
Well, I am back in Chi-Town wondering who I will be racing for in 2011. ButtonHole is going to sponsor a masters team so I will keep everyone up to date with our racing plans.
I went to Florida, staying at my folk’s condo in Ft. Lauderdale, a condo that is next to the ocean on A1A.
A1A is the main road all the local cyclists use so this is a good place to pedal ButtonHole Chamois Creme. The idea was to meet the crew from Z Motion, the most organized cycling club in America, riding and getting to know a few of their members. The core group of ZM has been helping Enzo’s to get off the ground, since a few of their elite racers have been using our special sauce.
Saturday, 9/11/2010: I leave the condo at 6:00am, making sure I find the meeting place which is a restaurant called The Cove. This is weird since the sun is not up yet so there are sections of A1A that are black. Kind of cool riding blind with only a rear flasher to alert the cars of my presence. Did I say cars, I was passed by only 5 cars in 8 miles which is crazy for south Fla. I easily make it to the cove on time though still dark, there are about 70 cars in the lot, cyclists everywhere and there is a guy on a PA system telling people to register at the Z Motion tent. I follow instruction heading for the tent running into Mike Schweiger,
the main guy that has helped Enzo at ZM. Thank you Mike for all of your efforts, you and the ZM crew rock.
In the parking lot there are staging areas for the three ride groups, A,B,and C and we line up, a few announcements, a moment of silence, a women singing the Anthem and off we go. Oh yea, the cou de gras, a police motorcycle escort to west palm and back! That is correct, a rolling closure on a group ride for 60 miles on a Saturday, yea baby. I find a spot in the group and start talking to people about how cool this is, that there are about 100 riders in the A group. We roll 30 miles about 22 avg. stopping at the gas station in west palm for refueling. The ride back was a little different, about 2 miles in Pat, The Man at ZM, who has been fighting a health issue since breaking his collarbone, throws an attack and the game is on. I cannot resist and roll across the small gap to the front group. We are going 30ish, maybe 7 riders with one guy driving the pace, I take my pulls and soon it is only two or three smashing it. I look back after taking my a pull and the huge group is strung out chasing us, as I think this is stupid and I call no joy, back to the group which kept the pace most of the way back. I will guess we never went below 25 on the way home, really fun, though it was 90+ F. with high humidity. Back at the cove there is a full catered breakfast waiting for the 300+ riders which was complimentary for this ride. Z Motion had this day dialed up to 11 all day, kudos to you ZM.
Sunday, 9/12: Rosewood Criterium at Brian Piccalo Park where the velodrome is located. This park has ball and soccer fields, a pool, a crit course and the track, cool place. I was talked into racing by a few of the ZM guys and plan on doing the masters 35+ and 45+ races back to back. This was good contrast as 4 of us lapping the field in the 35+ race with the visitor from Chicago pulling out the W. Here is the contrast, in the 45+ race I was a domestic for the ZM boys bring back a few breaks and blocking for a number of laps only to have the ZM sprinter chase. When I called him out on how stupid this was he told me I do not care, basically to F off and mind my own business. Clearly to us that know, and respect the racing etiquette, this guy has never raced at a high level and is a wanna be, sorry for the tangent. So I watch the race in the closing stages from the middle of the field, since I am feeling the heat and humidity and finish last, hehehehe, “if your not first your last.” Quote from Reese Bobby.
Monday I play golf with my dad, packing the car with Buttonhole samples, my bike, and leave for North Tampa, the home of PC Miller/Tom Moloney and Florida Racing Magazine. I make it to Tom’s house where he has a gourmet salmon salad waiting for me, awesome.
Tuesday is driving around visiting bike shops while passing out samples of ButtonHole Chamois Cream. Tom and I meet back at the house about 5:30 and go out for a ride which is nice and easy, 15 -18 mph, I love this pace, then we have to hurry since I have a date with David Green from Florida Racing Magazine at a place called Soho Sushi. David says this is the best sushi in Tampa, considering myself to be a sushi snob we will see. OK David, you are correct, this was the most creative combinations of sushi flavors I have ever tasted. Those of you who know me take the advises if you are in Tampa and go to this awesome restaurant. Thanks David and congratulations dude!
Wednesday, 9/15: Tom and I are off to the SanAntonio morning ride which rolls through the orange groves of North Tampa. Country roads with hills, that is correct I said hills, nice Midwest type of hills on somewhat quite roads and a good group of people. This was nice contrast from the Florida riding I have been doing and I would put this ride on your hit list. After the ride it is back to bike shop visits though at 6:30 there is a training crit that Tom and I are going to play in. I meet John Gissal, who works at St.Petersburg Bicycle and Fitness, and also runs the training crit. This is a cool little event, $10.00 get you in and they pay 5 deep. I gave John a few jars of ButtonHole for primes and I did not sprint for any of them Druber. This turned out to be a fast training ride and I waited to later in the ride to make any moves. The break went after the last prime, after the short bridge alone I went to the front to keep the pace high extending the gap. I needed to talk to a few of the 6 break members telling them that smooth 20 seconds pulls is better that full lap pulls at full gas. Two laps of this and we were gone, with the visitor finishing 2nd, maybe a little tired from the morning ride, or the sun was in my eyes, not enough tire pressure $40.00 bucks for second place sweet.
Thank you John for being a friend to the local cycling community, this training crit is helping new riders to learn race skills and tactics.
Saturday, 9/18: Going to the Cove to meet the Z Motion ride, this turns out to be about 75 people into a 20mph hurting cross wind off the ocean. It is a beautiful day with the pace quickly turning to fast 24-25mph.
I sit in for quite a while after having a few days of rest from the bike, I am feeling a little tight. About 10 miles from the turn around point, Victor who is a 33 years young Brazilian who is a strong man, turns up the pace and I follow suit. The two of us have a gap and we keep our heads down until I am not able to see the group any longer. We make it into West Palm solo and I am happy to slow down. Victor pulled for the last 3 miles while I was hanging on, yes hanging on. After the refuel we go back to more of the same with 4 of us leaving the group, now the speeds are slightly higher but the efforts are still very hard. Staying on this pace it ends up being Victor and myself again and I am happy to know we have only 10 miles left to go with the Brazilian pulling for the last 5 miles trying to drop me a few times. I did help a few times but he was clearly the man of the day. We slow down at Spanish River wait for the group maybe 10 minutes and ride south to starbucks in Ft. Lauderdale for a well deserved coffee. I ended up with 88 miles on the day, perfect.
Sunday, 9/19: I get to sleep in since the ride leaves at 7:00 only 1 mile from the condo. This is the Commercial ride that I have done maybe 70 times over the years. We start out with a small group about 35 people and pick up a few on the way north. I sit in and when Victor goes only 1 person goes with and I decide it is to early to start a 3 man TT. Instead I end up pulling for long periods of time with some help from Steve Griffith, a good 50+ rider on ZM that I met at Masters Nats RR, and a few others including Lisa Victor’s wife and Sheila.By the end of the day I logged in another 75 and am happy to be going home.
Remember that the cross season does not mean ride a dry chamois, ButtonHole Chamois Creme for all cross races will help you find more podiums and the plug is behind us!
Next the race report from the Madison Planet Bike USGP!