Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday, March 23, 2009

Here is the race recap for the past weekend at UDel.

Saturday's Event - Road race (17 mi laps with 1500ft climbing per lap)
  • D2-class (1 lap): Garrett and Joe both did well in this event. Garrett somehow was able to grab another first place victory while Joe took 7th. Pretty shocking because the road race is Joe's type of event. Apparently he lost both contacts in the race and wasn't comfortable participating in the full sprint. Garrett on the other hand bullied his way through two riders riding very close together, screaming angrily as he pulled into first.
  • C-Class (2 laps): Ben, Corbin, and I competed in this. Garrett was kind enough to display the scores to the b-ball game as we rode by for our two laps. I got dropped from the pack around halfway through the second lap. I passed a few riders after getting dropped and eventually rode in a pace line with Corbin (fellow Nova rider) and two other riders. I beat Corbin in the sprint because he blew up right before the finish line and took my usual 19th place (out of 53). Ben got dropped after the first lap and I believe grabbed 41st or 44th.
  • B-class (3 laps): James was holding his own with the pack. The b class did not split up nearly as much as the c-class. Unfortunately there was a big crash early on in the sprint which James got caught up behind it. James ended up getting 18th place. The two riders went down real hard in the crash, one went face first into the pavement and was knocked unconscious for a little bit. He was fine. The other army racer, got some serious road rash and went to the hospital. Apparently you could see some bone on either his elbow or knee.
Saturday's Event - Criterium (course map)
Note: the map in google maps is not up to date (all construction was fully finished and buildings were occupied when we raced) The course I mapped out on mapmyride doesn't really show the intensity of the turn. The location where the hazard marker is where there was a foot path across the road. The foot path was cut into the hill and cut level and made with cobblestones/bricks. Then right after the foot path there was a very quick change in grade that could result in some air if taken quick enough. I showed the picture icon where crashes would probably take place. Believe it or not, in the woman's B race, the pace motorcycle crashed at this turn and he had to be taken to the hospital in a stretcher. They used a follow car for the remainder of the races and the car would squeal its tires after passing over this foot path a couple of times. Now for the races...

  • D2-Class (20 min): Garret placed third and Joe placed 17th out of 31. Garret might be forced to join me, Ben, and Corbin in the c-class because apparently there is a rule if you grab three podium finishes you must move up.
  • C-class (30min): for some reason Ben didn't get put up on the results. I, as usual, placed 19th... the epic curse, there were 45 riders. I did have one very close call almost eating shit on the nasty turn. After taking the turn pretty hard I began pedaling too early and scraped my left pedal on the pavement. I was pedaling hard enough that the force lifted my rear end off the ground and drifted it over a few inches to the outside of the turn. This also resulted in bringing the bike past perpendicular and angling a bit to the right, while my right foot automatically released from the pedal and i landed on my saddle. The crowd all yelled out with "ohhh" followed by everybody clapping as I regained my balance and pulled this one out of the bag with my superior bike handling skills. This incident cost my priceless seconds and resulted in my loosing the pack and fighting with the first follow pack. While Garrett had a valiant effort in cheering me on with various pictures, including one of a skoal tin, a failed to really remain in the race. I ended up completing 24 out of 30 min.
  • B-Class: James did superb, throwing his usual race strategy to the wind and riding up front for a number of laps grabbing 2nd in two prime laps. He ended up placing 7th. His race was quite an awesome race to witness.
Check the Villanova Cycling website for pictures!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Garrett's Race Report

Mine is forthcoming... but here is Garrett's!

Garrett (me) did my first TT(15th)+Crit(11th) + Road Race in D's(8th)
Tahir did his frist TT + Crit + Road Race in E's
Josh did Crit(19th) + RR(19th) in C's
James did TT + Crit + Road Race in B's

The weekend went very well with the extremely warm, weather stuck with us
all weekend. The princeton crit had a legitimate climb after a hard right
hander which I and think many found quite challenging. Except for maybe Nick
Frey who gapped the A field by 52 seconds on a 1:45 second lap crit. No
crashes on our team which was awesome but there certainly were many in the C
and D races. The field of talent has apparently stepped up its game as in
the D road race we had mutiple legitimate attacks throughout the race rather
than a group ride with a sprint to the finish as I was told would happen.
Manny plans to move from C to D. Though after using his unreal bike skills
to avoid a 5 person end over end flipping crash mess in front of him at the
sprint to the finish in the raod race, it would clearing be sandbagging with
a move to D.  I personally learned that we should use some type of horn or
white board to relay information during a race to our riders as to what laps
we are on and where the leader (most likely us) is in relation to the field.

Priceless moment of the weekend.
. . . . . . .  . 15 feet from the turn in on a 20 mph 90 degree corner
Kid on Zipp 404's and Cervelo Bike in D Crit Race: "Hey man everyone needs
to brake at the same spot in to the corner so we can keep on pace to chase
down the lead group"
Me, "Alright man you got it"
. . . . . . .  0.004 seconds later . . . .  Crunch . . . . . .Psssstttt
(Tubular Blowout from hitting concrete curb)

Dude went too deep into the corner and ran out of road and in to a monster

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snow in Virginia

So I signed up to work in DC over break at the IRS.  I had my official government employee orientation this morning (snooze).  However, my commute was far from a breeze, unless you count the wind that almost BLEW ME OFF THE BRADDOCK ROAD METRO STATION.  Seriously, water covered the raised platform, and it was like walking on ice at 6:30 this morning.  It snowed six inches in Virginia on March 2nd.  Clearly, I'm being conspired against when it comes to bike riding.

I decided to come here over break because I figured it'd be a balmy 40 or so degrees, maybe I'd be able to venture out in only arm warmers and knee warmers on my newly cleaned but still effed up bike.  I took it to the shop last week for a tune up, which turned into $179 for a new derailleur which is still making funky noises.  Freaking shimano 105, it's totally a piece of crap.  Some of us aren't nearly as good at bike maintanance as we are at bike riding, so we choose to pay people money to keep those complex machines running in tip top form.  It really frosts me when my bike comes out worse after mantance.

Back to the snow: I sincerely feel bad for the rest of you ECCC schools.  We're lucky to be at the southern end of the conference and snow still completely annoys the crap out of me.

Further updates: Less than a week till we race.  I'm 21 now!  Buying alcohol is fun!   Can't wait for the Thrilla'  I would love to do that ride from rutgers to princeton.  19 miles.  I'll just need someone to drive my car/ ride with me.  River road is a fun little bike jaunt!

Last, Bent Spoon for Primes???  Ask me what I think of Bent Spoon, their pretentious ice cream... how about HOAGIE HAVEN PRIMES?  Seriously though, Kudos to Princeton and Rutgers for what looks to be a great opener!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Too Long...

It's been too long because my bike has been a problem.  Sometimes, I wish I were a mechanical engineer like most of the rest of the ECCC!  Silly Liberal Arts degrees...

Apparently something funky was going on in my derailleur.  I brought my beloved Scott CR1 into Human Zoom for a tune-up pre season.  I guess the fact that the derailleur was bent for a long time finally bit when the new chain was put on... communism.

Co-captain Josh is away for the weekend, and thankfully he's also about 5'11" so I managed to borrow his bike for a pretty epic ride today.  This was the legendary "vino velo" ride, starting from the art museum in Philly at 9.  That meant that I was on the road at 7:30 to cruise from Villanova, pick up former president Kevin in Ardmore.  That is WAY THE HECK TOO EARLY especially when your roommate has a cold and coughs all night long.  It's 2:30 and I'm so tired right now.  It's naptime.

The ride was great though.  Even on only a few hours of sleep, I felt really strong and ready to rock and roll for the season.  Philly has a nice mix of rolling hills, bigger high percentage grade climbs, and flat out straights, and I managed to stay in the saddle and near the front on a pretty bunchy but fast ride.  It was solid.

In other news, I can't wait to use this blog as a place for detailed race reports.  What else am I going to do during ECCC downtime with my laptop?

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Can the wind stop already?? My sweet new wheels aren't exactly designed for a day facing 20 MPH winds. The Easton EC90 Aero rim catches a whole hell of a lot of those gusts, and I feel like I'm about to be blown off my bike.

We rode 37 miles today out to Ridley Creek State Park in the driving, face searing wind. A 2hr and 15min ride felt like a 4 hour marathon- climbing a hill with that much back pressure really saps the energy. 32 degrees and sweating bullets through my winter jacket doesn't help much either.

I'm ready to get on with this ECCC business- I'll be ready to fight that wind at the Thrilla'

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Maybe I'll delve into restaraunt reviews tomorrow, I'm going to the White Dog Cafe near UPenn with Shanna... looks to be delicious!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Stock Market Run

As the lyric from that Wolf Parade Song goes, "You are a Runner."

Yesterday I did my favorite new run just to keep my legs light and fast.  Yeah, it did take my an hour and 15 minutes to lug my heavy legs up and down the "volatile" hills of the stock market run, so named in the fall when things were out of control on Wall Street.

It's beautiful today, high of 66 and sunny.  When we're freezing our butts off at the Thrilla' on the Riva down at Rutgers.... then we'll know what's up.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Quick ride today after yesterday's long ride... 28 miles out to Philly and back.  I went home a sweet way though, up one of the five hills of Lower Merion, AKA La Collina, or "The Hill" in Italian.  You may recognize it- it's visible from 76 heading out of Philly.  Yeah, straight up the hill, hell yeah.  Epic Win.  PS- It's been beautiful the past two days.  Hopefully we'll have some race weekends that look like this... stellar.

In other news, I'm going to go see a nutritionist a week from today.  Hopefully she'll tell me how to eat 3000 calories per day and not feel hungry all the time anyways.

Homework time!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Riding

Where the hell is my helmet????  

After being up for 23 hours continuously on Saturday (one of which was a roller workout with a 123454321 interval, trademarked by me) I went to bed and got up early to make sure I'd be able to find stuff for my ride in the lovely springy weather.  Apparently, my helmet was the challenging item.  I thought I'd misplaced it; it wasn't in the usual hanging on the handlebars spot when I looked Saturday night.  Then again, a party was going on, so there wasn't much I could do...

I live in an apartment that's about 500 square feet.  Not much place for a big helmet to hide!  I looked around and around, no luck.  I ended up leaving and borrowing an extra helmet from coach for the day.  His extra is "flip top" style, i.e. the strap in the back is busted so the helmet was falling over my eyes all day.  Bummer.  Still, we got in 50 solid base miles out to Doylestown, PA- a nice ride, not that hilly, but really trafficky.  My bike got soaked and completely covered in salt and grossness, so that's another half hour I had to take at the end to clean everything off.

I went to do my laundry afterwards, and as I was transferring the mountain of laundry from my hamper to a washer... AHA!  My helmet!  What was it doing at the bottom of my hamper?  Who th heck knows.  Case of the missing bike stuff, part 5 million for me, is solved.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Here's my cross training for the year: YOGA!

Each friday for me is Yoga Friday, and this will lead to the introduction of two key characters: Shanna and Josh.

Rather than ride on Fridays, I head to the yoga class at the Villanova gym.  I've been doing it for about a year and a half now, and I was introduced to it by Shanna.  She's also an Econ major, also from New Jersey, and totally the greatest.  Earlier this year, I convinced Josh (team VP, from NY, riding for 2 years) that yoga was a good idea.... the kid's a champ.  He beasted the side crow pose... look it up.

Rockin.  Dinnertime.  Later.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Who Am I?????

Like the tackling guy on that one scrubs episode, I'll answer the question... WHO AM I?????

I'm James Miceli.  I'm a Junior Economics Major with a concentration in Writing and Rhetoric at Villanova.  I'm originally from Sparta, NJ, way up in the great white north of Sussex County.  Things I love: my girlfriend, habitat for humanity/ service/ helping people, my friends, cycling, Villanova, films (not movies), fine wines and cheeses, long walks on the beach, etc.

I'm in my third year with Villanova Cycling.  I am also coincidentally the third president of the club.  Running the team carries quite a bit of responsiblity, but with the help of Dave Lauria (coach), Chris McAlpine (Club Sports Director), and the two past presidents (Carl and Kevin) who may be known around the humble new ECCC blogosphere.

Last year I raced in the C and then later the B classes of the ECCC.  I'll keep it close to the vest for now, but we'll see where this year takes me.  Penn State, here we come.  Villanova Cycling is in gear, outfitted in our new Canari suits, and ready to roll.

All we have to do is let all the ice melt and get out on the road...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Joining the ECCC Bloggers

Hello Riders and Readers!

As a Writing and Rhetoric Concentrator, it only makes sense that I offer up a blog about the other passion in my life that occupies my spring... Villanova Cycling!

Stay tuned for more posts...