Saturday, September 29, 2007

Somethings that I or anyone else would never think I would do two days before my wedding after the last bike race of the year.

Nothing like tossing back a cold one, while riding the rollers. Remember kids safety first, always wear your helmet while drinking and riding the rollers.

Here is our buddy Will trying to put out some mega watts like in the USPRO road race which we were all watching.

I don't know whether it was the shirt or the bike that was about 3 sizes too small for him that held him back from reaching his peak potential. Maybe it was the alcohol , which of course warranted the use of the helmet. It's not just for speed.

Ride Responsible,
Breeze On
Ok I thought I had it down, but I decided to make a few course changes for the Breezer Hilly Hundred. Unfortunately I had to take out Lincoln Hill to keep the distance around 100, but in return I added two hills one of which begins after you cross this covered bridge. Looks pretty sweet to me. I've never seen it before, or been up it, but its another factor to make a sweet ride.

The new route will travel over this old covered bridge that was built in 1880 for a cost of around $1200. A little history this year.

The updated graph. The first little hill is cut out because of a mistake in the route map. And just for fun here is the graph from last years ride.

So there are a few more hills, and a touch less flats.

Breeze On

Friday, September 28, 2007

So for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hilly Hundred here in Indiana here are a few pictures from the scene.

Take note of all the other riders on route. It's like one super long paceline for the entire 50 miles of the route. It's pretty unbelievable.

For first timers to this ride there are surprisingly some very nice and scenic roads, that do in fact have a few hills. This is pretty much the only tour that is not a race that I do all year. I like to think of this particular weekend as the weekend when I start focusing on the upcoming season.

Here is the Hilly Hundred's profile for the Sunday ride.

Some of you may wonder why all this info on this particular ride and why do you seem so pumped for it. Well you have to do it to really understand why. Also it always comes after my break from riding my bike, so after a couple of weeks of that there is no better ride around to get back on the bike.

In a few years though I would love to see my ride grow. Last year we had a total of 3 and I hope to improve on that number. The more the merrier. Nobody "should" be left behind on my ride, as it is a ride and not a race. Let's have some fun.

Let's ride
Breeze On

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well the Tour of Missouri is over and so is my season. What a way to finish off a year! Racing consecutively days longer then I ever have, and against some of the best competition. It was quite the experience. Here are some photos.

This is the way everyday started off. Trying to get ready for a long day of racing, but first trying to sign around a hundred autographs for people that didn't know who you are while you got dressed, then on the way to sign in to sign in and sign some poster, then on the way back and even till the last moments before the race started. It got pretty crazy and my signature turned into a scribble. I guess with a last name of Rytlewski, it doesn't really matter because they wouldn't know what it was even if they could see ever letter.

Here is a start of one of the three races over 200km's. It's a different feeling waken up the morning and getting ready to do over 200km's of racing for consecutive days. Don't worry though the mushy pasta we were served in the morning got us through the day. Pasta in the morning is an experience in itself.

Just flying around Missouri. This just happens to be the last day in the streets of Missouri. It was good to see the Arch, it may not have been the Arch of Triumph in Paris, but it didn't represent the same thing to the race, the finish.

Another picture from the race. This of course would be the time trial. It just so happens this stage had the biggest climbs. It was an awesome course though, and a great crowd for a time trial.

Racing up one of the many long uphill drags. Great crowd though for a time trial. The other way though was much faster coming down that on ramp.

This was a pretty cool safety feature. The best barriers I've ever seen used. Just line the road with a few heavy duty construction vehicles, and away you go. There was such great support for this race in Missouri and I believe a lot of the people loved it, which made the race even better. A guy can really get use to do races of this caliber. Maybe next year. Also just so you know, no matter what you read or hear this race was not, I repeat was NOT mostly flat. Sure the hills weren't mountains, but there was plenty of down shifting for many of the continuous rollers that sometimes seemed never ending. They added up, and made for great courses, of course with the wind as well. Just watch out for the armadillos.

Thanks for reading
Breeze On

On a side note: The True Breezer Hilly Hundred is upon us now. Look for information coming on that ride later today or hopefully by tomorrow. It will be October 13th. Everyone is welcomed. It of course is on the same weekend of the "Hilly Hundred", and will join that event on the second day. I want a lot of people on my ride this year. It is an awesome ride. More to come later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A quick Missouri update.

The first two days started fast with lots of attacks. The break came back the first day to set up a field and the second day the break didn't even come close to coming back. I was following some moves the second day as things were splitting a bit in the cross winds, but as many of you know it seems like the one you dont go with is the one that goes. Once the elastic broke on the break it was gone and the field sat up and we cruised for a while. We did get on the front for a while and set tempo and practiced a lead out for one of teammates, which was more fun then just sitting there coasting.

Yesterday was the hardest and longest time trial I have ever done. It basically shows how many time trials I do. It was a demanding course with plenty of long uphill drags, and a few fast descents. I was doing good on the uphills, maybe to good as I was having a harder time keeping it rolling on the flat to rolling sections. Just wasn't keeping the speed up after the downhills good enough. Oh well. Had an ok time, but wish I was 30 seconds to a minute faster. Oh well, it is what it is.

Other then that I have been eating a crap load of food. Big buffets for breakfast and dinner. To bad the food today and last night was basically crap. At least it was free though. I just couldn't force myself to eat mushy pasta this morning.

So today is a nice 215km (133mile) race through the middle of Missouri. It's suppose to be mostly a head wind as well. So it's going to be a long day. Hopefully the team and I can dig up a good result today. If I don't I think I'm going to leave these plushy hotels and go camping with my dad like I did back at Fitcburg. I've been having it to nice in a bed and all.

With all this going on I will be getting married in 8 days.

Thanks for reading
Breeze On

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Quick update from the last road trip of the season. I was invited to do the Priority Health Classic Criterium in Grand Rapids this weekend. It was pretty sweet accommodations with them giving me a hotel room, having a reception on Friday night before the race (with an open bar), and the awesome criterium on Saturday.

Here is the start of the race. It was a fairly stacked field with the criterium champion being there along with Pipp and Menzies, three Jittery Joe riders and of course a full squad from Priority Health. Notice the sweet bricks on this section of the course.

The start of the race with me taking off with Obee who happens to be wearing the jersey I'll be taking next year at Downers Grove. That is along as it rains again and there are about two more crashes before the finish and should be just about the only one left.

Well if any of you know the Howard brothers who ride for Priority Health you know as well as I do that they love to attack right from the get go of races. Well so they were in my head before the start of the race so much that I fumbled a bit to get clipped in just because I figured they would be shooting around the first corner as the announcer was still saying go. But much to my surprise and I'm sure a few others it was a rather relaxed starting pace.

Riding on the second sector of bricks on the 1.2km course. Pretty fun course that wound through downtown Grand Rapids.

Soon enough things got going and the attacks went. Personally being the only one on my team at the race I knew I was going to be a bit outnumbered so my plan was just to be aggressive and get a good workout in. So I just took off at one point in the race and stretched out the field and kept going to a gap opened up. Eventually I got what I thought was a good group going around.

The first break I was in, but it didn't pan out.

Well as my father was there watching and I told him how I was going to race aggressive, I thought I better get on it quickly other I'd have to hear about. Our group was not working to well and about to be caught so I took off again for a few solo laps. Eventually another group of 7 caught up and it made the break of the day.

After those efforts I was gasping a bit as the others were going for the sprint points that were awarded in the first 25 laps of the 90 minute race. But I got a settled after a few laps and was feeling good again. It was a good break with 3 Priority Health, Tim Henry from Jitteyr Joes, Pipp and Obee from Health Net and the strong rider from Marco polo. Unfortunately my bike wasn't feeling good and it was puking out the crankset. Some how the bolt came loose and the crank was falling out. This was all going as my waterbottle cage was rattling out as well and was flopping between my feet.

Of course all this doesn't get you a free lap, but as the crank began to move around so much that it was hitting the chainstays I had to stop and get it fixed in the pits. The officials seemed to be more concerned about telling how I was not going to get free lap then getting my bike fixed. So after what seemed like forever of them continuing to repeat themselves over and over again I politely asked if they could just fix it and I'll jump back in the field before they get by. Oh yeah good idea! So the sram guy is tighten my crank and notices the bottle cage and goes you have bigger problems then this and ripps off the bottle cage. I thought the crankset was of bigger concern, but hey it was a bit warm and only having one bottle cage was a bit of an issue.

Well I get in with the field and wanted to continue to get a workout in and went right to the front for a while to keep the break from lapping the field and to see what would happen. I was going for a while before my crankest finally just gave way again and is shot and needs to go in for repair. So it was an early and disappointing excite for myself. Even more disappointing is after having been able to get back in the field and thinking you weren't going to be in the break of the day, but watching it as it all came back anyways for a sprint finish, and getting out the break didn't matter. Unbelievable.

So Menzies won the race, go figure and Pipp is lucky to be in one piece as an early chip in his fork got worse throughout the day as it was growing all the way through the fork blade and didn't notice till he was so worn out from his wheel rubbing the break all day and not knowing. Pretty scary stuff.

Well other then that my dad and I started the drive down to Missouri. We made it rather far only having 150 miles left to drive this morning. I have to meet the team at 2pm. There isn't much on the road after it get out of Illinois and into Iowa/Missouri, so it should be another rather boring trip to finish up the drive. Maybe I wont sleep to much this time to keep my dad company. I'm not promising anything though.

Hopefully I'll be able to keep you all updated, so keep looking back for the insider info at Missouri.

Thanks for reading
Breeze On

Thursday, September 06, 2007

USPRO Road Race Championships Powerfiles

Here we go another round of looking back at some of the numbers from this past weekends championship event. I am missing some data because my speed sensor is no longer working so after not pedaling for so long on one of the decents it would turn off and stop recording data, but the good news is I did get most of the race and all the ascents up Paris Mountain.

Of course the big challenge of the day was making it over the climb and that is where most of the efforts and selections took place. So here we go.

Entire workout (257 watts):
Duration: 3:33:24
Work: 3287 kJ
TSS: 257.2 (intensity factor 0.85)
Norm Power: 315
VI: 1.23
Distance: 0 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 984 257 watts
Heart rate: 0 189 138 bpm
Cadence: 29 132 86 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 kph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/km
Crank Torque: 0 102.1 27.9 N-m4th Ascent:

First time up the climb wasn't bad. Devine of Discovery set much of the pace up the climb. I felt good and real comfortable sitting in the top 5. Duration of climbs aren't going to match up correctly because I can't match up the distances without the speed working.

1st Ascent:
Duration: 9:04
Work: 215 kJ
TSS: 17.4 (intensity factor 1.073)
Norm Power: 397
VI: 1
Distance: 0 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 182 590 396 watts
Heart rate: 162 179 172 bpm
Cadence: 62 105 88 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 kph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/km
Crank Torque: 22.8 80.5 43.8 N-m

The second time up got abit harder as Cruz took the bottom of the climb and Devine being coached by Levi took the second half of the climb and he wanted some what of selection to be made. He talked to him the whole way up. It was harder, but a comfortable hard, if there is such a thing. Once again I sat in the top 5 after being pulled to the front by teammate Clayton.

2nd Ascent:
Duration: 9:58
Work: 246 kJ
TSS: 20.9 (intensity factor 1.121)
Norm Power: 415
VI: 1.01
Distance: 0 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 230 678 411 watts
Heart rate: 143 181 173 bpm
Cadence: 64 112 87 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 kph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/km
Crank Torque: 24.1 76.6 45.9 N-m

The third time is when things got interested. It started much like the second climb only harder with Devine taking the first few minutes of the climb and Levi showing most of us why he's a pro tour rider and a top 3 finisher in the Tour De France. Here are the stats from the third ascent, but the one thing that I looked at more where the first 5 minutes before Levi attacked. I was averaging 430 watts for the first 5 minutes of the climb before Levi took off. This is also the ascent that he broke the record by 25 seconds. I was definitely at my max going up this time. Once again Clayton put me right where I had to be at the beginning of it and ready to make the big selection.

3rd Ascent:
Duration: 10:06
Work: 252 kJ
TSS: 21.9 (intensity factor 1.142)
Norm Power: 422
VI: 1.01
Distance: 0 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 135 667 417 watts
Heart rate: 150 186 176 bpm
Cadence: 65 102 84 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 kph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/km
Crank Torque: 15.5 85 47.7 N-m

The fourth and final time wasn't to bad till the second half when a few riders started making the pace harder towards the top and over the climb.

4th Ascent
Duration: 10:12
Work: 241 kJ
TSS: 19.9 (intensity factor 1.082)
Norm Power: 401
VI: 1.02
Distance: 0 m
Min Max Avg
Power: 100 601 393 watts
Heart rate: 147 188 175 bpm
Cadence: 55 111 82 rpm
Speed: 0 0 0.0 kph
Pace 0:00 0:00 0:00 min/km
Crank Torque: 11.2 83.1 46.2 N-m

After making it over the top the race was far from over. The closing circuits led to some last minute attacks and chances to escape. I was feeling the effects of the long race at this time and wasn't feeling as spunking as some of the others. I also had to get a wheel change with 10km's to go, and it was around this time when the group split and I was in the back split. Not that it would have made a difference, but it couldn't help. Anyways it was still a good finish and I was excited with the way it turned out.

Thanks for analyzing
Breeze On

Monday, September 03, 2007

USPRO Road Race Championships

For most Labor day weekend marks the end of the summer, the last chance to go on a trip with the family and kick back and relax. For us American cyclist it lets us know that the end of the road racing season is upon us, but of course not without one of the toughest races to decided who is just the best American road racer.

Last year was the first year that the USPRO road champion was crowned somewhere else other then Philly in many years with the race taken place in Greenville, South Carolina on course that included 5 ascents up Paris Mountain. Not only was it at a different venue it was now closed to foreigners and only open to American citizens changing the dynamics completely.

This year there was a bit of change to the course which included 3 small circuits at the start on and only 4 ascents up Paris Mountain, not to mention the start list was bit shorter with only 108 riders deciding to partake in the grueling challenge.

Right from the beginning the race was fast and attacks were going. The field was stretched out on the twisting and tight open circuits and some small gaps even formed before the eventual early break went up the road. You can read about most of the details on cycling news who break it up pretty good, but here is what I saw.

The first, second, and third time I was in great position, thanks to my teammate Clayton who basically lead me out to climb and I was in the top 5 all three times. There is nobody in the peloton better to ride behind, and I made a few riders jealous of my teammate. The second time heading towards the climb Im sitting on Clayton's wheel and Baldwin looks over at me and goes "He's like a semi-truck, I wish he was on my team." Haha, he's on my team. Thanks Clayton.
It felt good riding right behind Levi those times, well of course that was till the third time when he attacked and you know what hit the fan.

We had a decent pace going as was and then like a motorcycle trying to get out of the way and up the road Levi took off with Baldwin on his wheel and I never saw him again. My jaw just dropped as he took off, of course it didn't drop that far as it was already basically on the stem. From there the pace of the race picked up and hardly let up.

The last ascent up Paris Mountain wasn't killer at the beginning, but picked up towards the end and once again another selection was being made as guys from the early break and those who had bridged up to Levi where all coming back one by one as the rest of us where trying to go forward. It soon enough came all back together, of course without Levi and it was a very nerve racking last few miles. Guys were attacking, some would bridge, some tried to catch the easy ride because fatigue was setting in. It was tough, and to be honest I wasn't feeling that great. With two finishing circuits to go my fate became apparent when I got tangled up with someone and broke some spokes in my rear wheel and had to get a change. I managed to get back up with the second group, but wouldn't have a chance or be able to see the front group again. I guess I'm just lucky I was able to get back up to that group, but the adrenaline was flowing and I actually felt like I got a second wind in after the wheel change. I ended up sprinting in for 17th.

I can't complain at all with my result, but once you get that close to an even better position you really want more. So some more hard work and another season of racing before next year and hopefully I can improve on it.

So just some riding and back to helping out the Marian College team as they prepare for Track Nationals. They all have been working very hard. I seen them basically kill themselves as they competed against each other in a 15 lap scratch race the other day. Also I heard some of them killed it the other day in some timed events. It must be all the coaching I've been doing. Racing wise next will be the Priority Health Crit in Grand Rapids followed by the Tour of Missouri with the National Team. So as quickly as the season is almost over there is still plenty of hard racing to come.

Thanks for reading,
Breeze On