The blog of the Penn Cycling team, 2nd place in ECCC D1 and the Ivy League in 2010!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beanpot Weekend, STEEZE (thanks Evan)

First off, big ups to ROSS who took the green jersey with authoritah, rolling the break pretty much the duration of the crit with Evan from RISD, Matt Buckley from UVM, and S Charles of Temple Cycling. Witness the dirty dirty glory below (photo credit eric poeltloeltloteltlel):

Also, big congrats to the always-classy Jeff Salvitti of Bucknell for taking the yellow jersey! Unfortunately, Ross's success came with the expense of a cracked rim...hopefully QCW Cycling carbon-repair-guru Aaron Ritz can fix it, otherwise it will be hucked into the Schuylkill River :)

I rolled in unceremoniously in 13th...tried to get away a few times once the break was gone, but UVM was all over me. Good position at the bell, but wussed out and lost it with people diving the corners on the chicane.

In Men's C, Colby Samstag rocked the house-- after getting gapped off the lead group in the first few laps with bad position, he clawed his way back up to the lead group, bringing Temple friend Sean Butler along for the ride. Colby then proceeded to lead the chase of the Columbia rider who had been off the front most of the race. Everything was all together in the final few laps. Colby sprinted solo for 400 m on the windward side of the finishing straight, and still picked up 2nd. Killer job! Someone will be upgrading soon (maybe after a crack at the C KOM jersey at Yale ;))

In Men's D, Nick Chen and Tony Altimore made the lead group chasing a break of three, with Dave Slochower playing teammate in the next group on the course. The break of three stuck, but wiley vet Tony won the field sprint convincingly, with Nick coming in fourth, for seventh overall. Dave won his group for 10th on the day, and fresh upgrade to D's Russ Leino pulled down 12th, after clawing back riders all race. I think the C field at Yale will see a few new entries next week :)

Saturday was marked by disappointment at the call to shut down the first legitimate (and hilly) road race of the year, but Penn rocked the TTT-ITT combo with panache. In the Men's A TTT, we took second, a half-second behind Harvard, led by "where the hell did that guy on the red trek come from?!" Losing a long TTT by a slim margin is disappointing (see Philly Phlyer) but second isn't half-bad. We will get our ish together for Easterns, you had better believe it. Colby and new B-upgrade Doug Schaefer did a two-man TTT in the B field...and took fourth! With two men and no aero helmets or deep-section wheels, very impressive! Our D men also took fourth with a strong ride, battling snow?! near the far turnaround of the course.

I was worried about competing against fresh riders in the ITT after essentially laying down a half hour of FTP work in the morning, but those worries were apparently unfounded, as Ross and I took 2-3 in the A ITT, two seconds apart (we're adorable) again behind "wtf harvard." Doug put in a strong ride for 18th in his first B competition, and Colby picked up a solid seventh place in C's. New D rider Russ Leino proved that absurd VO2max and cross country running prowess is very transferable to cycling with a third place in his first D race. Nick took fourth a few seconds behind, and Dave picked up tenth.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Penn Cycling Mid-Season Update

Not many exciting race reports to be seen, we're too busy riding our bikes (and doing damage control to keep our significant others from dumping us). Here's what the quakers have done so far this season...

Currently 6th overall in conference (3rd in division 1) and 3rd overall for nationals qualification! We've had great results in every race weekend and here is a summary of our most notable accomplishments for the season (top 10s listed only)

Rutgers ITT - Ross Marklein (2nd Men's A), Matt Furlow (6th Men's A), John Farrell (6th Men's B), Patrick Glover (8th Men's D)
Rutgers Crit - Matt Furlow (2nd Men's A), John Farrell (6th Men's B), Doug Schaefer (10th C1), Patrick Glover (9th D1), Tony Altimore (10th D1)
Rutgers Points Race - John Farrell (2nd B), Doug Schaefer (9th C), Patrick Glover (4th D1)

Columbia Crit - Ross Marklein (9th A), Doug Schaefer (7th C1), Nick Chen (8th D1), Alex Brown (9th D1), David Slochower (10th D1)

Philly TTT - 2nd A, 2nd B, 2nd C1, 3rd D1
Philly Circuit - Max Korus (4th A), Matthew Furlow (8th A), Doug Schaefer (5th C1), David Slochower (5th D1), Alex Brown (8th D1)
Philly Crit - Max Korus (1st A, nice!), Patrick Glover (3rd C1), Dave Slochower (5th D1), Nick Chen (6th D1)

RPI ITT - Max Korus (2nd A), Ross Marklein (5th A), Colby Samstag (10th C1)
RPI Circuit - Max Korus (2nd A), Ross Marklein (6th A), Patrick Glover (6th C)
RPI Crit - Patrick Glover (4th C1, 6th cat4/5)

In case you've been counting, that's 34 top 10s, not too shabby.

Also, lots of upgrades! well deserved! we definitely anticipate many more before the end of the season.

D->C : Patrick Glover, Alex Brown
C->B: Patrick Glover, Doug Schaefer
B->A: John Farrell

please check out (john frey is the man) for breakdown of all the races, as well as for individual reports from many of the races.

Here's to more excellent results from all our category racers as we fight to qualify for nationals and a top placing in the ECCC overall standings!

Monday, March 7, 2011


The season kicked off at Rutgers this weekend, and it was a blast! Thanks to Rutgers for hosting a quality weekend of racing, in the face of serious adversity (needing to find two new courses, get permits, etc in a VERY short time span) and intermittent drizzle and downpour on Sunday. Chapeau.

Penn rolled deep this weekend with about 20 racers in categories A through D. No women, sadly..we must smell bad :(. Penn friend, USC rider, Virginia Solomon made the trip though, with her adorable face-licking doggie, Georgia. Big ups to her, she pulled down 4th in the ITT, 3rd in the crit, and 12th in the points race.

Saturday Results:

Men's D ITT: Patrick Glover 8th/52, Nick Chen 12th, Alex Brown 14th, Schuyler Cadwalader 21st (you wish your name was that cool), Derek Lee 46th

Men's C ITT: Colby Samstag (computrainer hero) 14th/57, Jason Ruth 22nd, Doug Schaefer 23rd, Kevin Krebs 24th (the three of them separated by less than a second)

Men's B ITT: John Farrell 6th/41, Nick Bessman 12th

Men's A ITT: Ross Marklein 2nd/52 (Holy crap, Ross got fast!) Matthew Furlow 6th, Eric Poeltl 40th

Men's D crit: Patrick Glover 9th/56 (first ever mass start race, nice!) Tony Altimore 10th (SCOURGE OF THE D FIELD) Alex Brown 14th, Nick Chen 19th, Schuyler Cadwalader 27th, Derek Lee 47th

Men's C crit: Doug Schaefer 10th/60 (also in his first mass start race) Jason Ruth 20th, Kevin Krebs 32nd, Colby Samstag 33rd

Men's B crit: John Farrell 6th/49, Nick Bessman 21st

Men's A (twilight-ish) crit: Matthew Furlow 2nd/58, Eric Poeltl 18th (pulling down points in his first ever A race, nice!)

I was very proud to see Penn riders racing confidently, near the front of the pack, in every category. Looks like those skills clinics are paying off! Ross would have been high up in the crit-- he looked amazing in the TT and spent several laps off the front chasing "he who cannot be caught"-- but he unfortunately fell victim to a crash that spanned the entire road. Bum luck. Minor injuries, bike is ok, he should be back shredding at Columbia. In the A race, I found myself in a late move with Jeff from Bucknell, after a flurry of activity all race (the only constant being Austin off the front, solo) that we managed to stick ahead of a rapidly-closing chase group of three, followed shortly by the pack. That was pretty awesome.

Sunday results:

Men's D points race: Patrick Glover 4th/45 (yeah extended podium!) Nick Chen 17th, Ian Murray 28th, Daneel Schaecter 30th

Men's C points race: Doug Schaefer 9th/49 (two top 10s in his first weekend, solid!) Colby Samstag 25th

Men's B points race: John Farrell 2nd/43 (UPGRADE TO A, GOSH), Nick Bessman 30th

Men's A points race: Matthew Furlow 17th/46, Eric Poeltl 22nd
The points race was interesting. I couldn't wrap my head or legs around it, and got a mediocre result. Poeltl was solid, spinning up the hill cooly every lap, and throwing down some hard efforts when called upon. Mr. Farrell crushed it in B's, solo-ing away for the final sprint. Can't wait to have him ripping up legs in A's!

Random note-- D2 is looking STRONG this year-- top 4 spots in the Men's A overall. Way to go, small school guys.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Team Photo (Take One) + Cornering/Pacelining Clinic

First of all, sucks. Good thing that predicted weather for sunday turned out nothing like they said it would. Anyway, on to the important stuff.

Team Photo Take One!

Penn decided to go with Hincapie for our new clothing line this year and they sure turned out sharp. While this photo only represents about a third of our anticipated racers this season (and less than a quarter of our entire club roster), it shows off our sweet new kit and the hardened members that exemplify the acronym HTFU. there are women on our team tough, I promise! sidenote: there will be a closeup of Ross's glorious mane in due time, but you'll have to wait until it is unleashed at the Rutger's ITT. Furthermore, behold the "Scourge of the Men's D field."

Also, let's not forget the former "Scourge of Men's D Field," the honorable David Hilbert aka one toe clip Hilbert aka high socks hilbert.

Skillz Clinic!

Thanks to the return of previous Penn Cycling president Leonard Klipper, we had a very enjoyable, well run clinic teaching new and returning members the intricate art of cornering and pacelining. Countersteering, one foot/one arm cornering, turning left, turning right, and dodging water bottles were on the menu and people improved with every repeat of the specific drill. Now to incorporate that into some drills where people ride in a paceline and in a group, stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


University of Pennsylvania Cycling grew substantially last year-- third-most in the entire country, actually! [1] We were also the first squad to add 15 new members, which brought bountiful, tasty Gatorade goodies. Of course, that doesn't include the other half of our club, our equally-dedicated non-racing members. Here's to more growth (and world domination!)


Friday, January 28, 2011

Core Blasting! and delicious biking snacks

similar to BEAR BLASTING!

Since cycling is more than just pedaling fast (but not always, as a wise ECCCer once astutely put), take some time every week to do what we at PEnn Cycling like to call "blasting your core." Rather than spending all that money on super fast carbon wheels and an aero frame that reduces your drag by .007%, why not work on those overlooked muscles that help maintain an aero position (e.g. in the drops) and keep you more comfortable throughout a race?

This article explains the necessity of having a strong core as well as providing 8 fairly simple exercises that are specifically designed for serious cyclists. And hey, even if it is total BS there's something cool about saying "I am CORE BLASTING!!!!" enjoy,0

and onto tasty snacks...I haven't quite gotten the proportions down, but I assume the combination of carbs and protein is pretty solid, so figured I'd give it a shot. Taste isn't too bad and I get a little self satisfaction out of making a huge slab of these rice snacks rather than eating clif bars and gu's all the time. Haven't experimented with the PB and nutella option, but imagine it would be mighty tasty.

(sidenote: notice how this article was posted under fashion and style...nice)


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Need to cram? Last minute prep advice to get in shape

For a lot of us, this fall has been full of too much OCR, too much homework, too many recruiting-financed gin & tonics, and not enough biking!

For the team members thinking, "Crap! Racing is less than two months away! ...and Philly is a snowy mess," here are a couple of tips for last-minute cramming to get in shape for the upcoming races:

  • Sign up for RPM!
    The RPM classes at Breakaway are great. You go in, strap your own bike into their compu-trainers, and get a hard core workout in a coached environment. Sign up ASAP.

  • Ride when it's nice out!
    The snow will be cleared up soon. I'll be riding next week (on "Samantha," my beloved new bike) and slow/old/new folks are welcome to join me, since I fit in all those categories... haha.

  • Hit the gym!
    Go to classes at the gym. Pottruck has good classes, and we will soon send out new spinning hours, but general classes are great, too. My gym, Fusion (, has awesome, small classes that include 30 minutes of intense spinning intervals, 30 minutes of tough strength training intervals, yoga warm-down and a mini-massage. You essentially get uber-cheap personal training because of the small size. Hit me up if you want to check out a free session or two. It's especially good for busy students or those who need a pro to organize their workouts.

  • Get a bike "fit!"
    For anybody who's never had their bike "fit" to them, I promise that it makes all the difference in the world! You will ride farther, faster, and hurt a lot less. It's the best money you will ever spend on biking. Our sponsor shop, Breakaway, can help with discounts for team members (or talk to the shop where you bought your bike... they willl often do it for cheap or free).

  • Come to the practice clinics!
    You'll soon see emails about our team clinics on topics like cornering, bumping, sprinting, drafting, etc. They are great places to learn or practice. If you're like me (i.e. still need to learn to ride better), they are a phenomenal place to learn from some of the best riders in the country.

  • Ride inside!
    As a Californian-in-exile and USC alum, I hate the cold. So, I just got a new set of rollers to ride inside. The team has trainers you can borrow, too. Any of those are a great way to get in shape despite the nasty and snowy Philly roads.

  • Do your paperwork!
    Matt sent the list on how to register for USAC Collegiate races... Penn Cycling pays for it, so it's FREE to you if you race. Go for it!
So, if you've spent the past semester eating too many McKinsey-sponsored steaks, drinking too much Four Loko in one of those heinous high-rise dorms, sitting through too many Goldman EIS sessions, or (god forbid!) actually doing some homework... There's still hope! Let's get out, ride, and get ready for some fun races!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Saddle bag wallet: What to carry with you on rides

We always tell folks to carry ID and cash just in case when they ride, but I learned the hard way once when I was stranded without any money how helpful it can be to make sure you're not only carrying the usual (tubes, water, etc.), but that you bring the right things from your wallet, as well.

Different folks carry different things, but I am kind of lazy, so I keep a permanent "saddle bag wallet" in my bag so that I don't have to always pack and repack it (invariably forgetting something). Take a look and I hope it gives ideas to others. Feel free to add comments on other things you carry with you at the end.

(Paper clipped together in the saddle bag pocket)

  • Drivers License - Laminated copy
    It's important to have ID with you any time that you ride, but I always fear either A) losing the original or B) forgetting it in my bike bag when I need it later, so I keep a laminated copy
  • Penn Card - Laminated copy
    Much like the drivers license, the Penn Card is helpful in case of emergency. In the case of a bad accident, the hospital will contact the university if they know you're a student, so this is a major help
  • Spare credit card
    I leave a rarely-used Visa card in my saddle bag for unexpected expenses. This saved me when I had to unexpectedly replace a tire & tube at a bike shop in the middle of the Cape Cod Rail Trail and was 20 miles from my hotel. It's also handy in case of emergency, since Philly cabs are equipped with credit card scanners.
  • $20 cash
    For any unexpected expenses (most often: lunch), it always helps to have cash. This is also helpful if you're far from campus, have a problem, and need to take a SEPTA Regional Rail home.
  • SEPTA token
    It's Philly... You should always have a SEPTA token just in case you have a problem and need to get on a SEPTA bus, trolley or metro train
  • iPhone - in Ziplock baggie
    The most important thing I have on my ride is my iPhone. Whether I need emergency help (phone), get lost (GPS mapping), am hungry (Yelp application), bored waiting for somebody to fix a flat (Angry Birds game), or need email connectivity to the school project that I am ignoring to go ride in the first place, it's important to have the iPhone. Just keep your phone in a little bag to make sure it doesn't get any moisture from sweat or fall in a puddle, though! (Note: the iPhone is the only thing I take in/out of the bag, and I leave the other stuff there)

    Note: Some folks point out that you're not supposed to make copies of your license or Penn Card. Phooey. If I'm in an accident and need the ID, that's the least of my worries...

What else do you guys carry in your saddle bags? Feel free to chime in with thoughts and advice for others!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Hello fellow ECCCers, alums, parents, friends, and stalkers-- Penn Cycling has a blog! Stay tuned for updates on training, racing, eating, and shenanigans.

Make sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter (@penncycling), too.

Also, follow the blogs of our sponsor bike shop, Breakaway Bikes, at "Breakaway is Blogging Away" and good friends Temple Cycling.