Thursday, April 29, 2010
Start: I rolled out at the back of the 40 rider pack, after a few miles Travis and I moved up to the front 3rd of the pack. At the end of lap 1 of 3 (13 mile laps) I was situated near the middle of the pack. There is a 10%+ small hill in the final 200M that hurt and would hurt again twice more. Nothing crazy about lap two, Travis pushed off the front once and I followed. For a mile or two we were up front but never really clear of the field. About half way through lap 2 Travis flatted, I found out after the race that Nate had flatted on the first lap. At one point the only bikesale rider in the pack (Aaron) pulled up along side me. He let me know that all the other CAT5 riders on his team upgraded and this was “”my race”. I paused a bit deciding how big of an asshole I was going to be. I figure I must be the douche bag on the Orange Tarmac to the bikesale team. I decided to blow off the comment and let him know any race with a long uphill finish was never going to be “my race” I think he got dropped shortly after that and ended up finishing 2nd to last.
In the final 1km of lap 2 a Jr. racer who had been swerving all over to this point managed to go hard into the back wheel of the guy in front of him. The Jr. who was just left of me went down and managed to take 3-4 other riders with him. Thankfully I managed to avoid another CAT5 crash. I didn’t have much time to think about it because I was trying to haul my fat ass up this damn hill! I focused on the guys wheel in front of me and was determined not to lose it. When I popped up out of the saddle to get over the final kicker the main pack had split in two and I was stuck in the middle. For the next couple miles I worked hard to try to bridge up to the main pack but it wasn’t happening. I let off the gas a little and let the chase group that and formed pick me up. The chase group was totally unorganized but after about 8 miles we latched back on to the lead group. Inside the final 1km the front part of the group split apart, there was no way I was going to be able to match the speed of the guys pulling away. I did manage to hold my own though and actually pass a few guys in the final few hundred meters. I ended up 12th.
Let me get this out of the way upfront, I’m a total retard. Not that you need proof but here goes. Last Thursday 4/22 I met Rob on Mercer Island to get in a few miles on the TT bike and test out my new Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet. We were zipping around the Island when Rob threw his chain on the short steep hill on the SE side of the Island. I waited for him on top of the hill while he put the chain back on. He was in a tall gear so he said I need to go back downhill to downshift. I call down to him to lift the back tire and spin the crank while downshifting. I decided to demonstrate and promptly fell over. The lady getting her mail must have had a great laugh at the dumb ass on a TT bike outfitted with a disk wheel and rockin an aero helmet falling over. Ouch! I mainly tell this story to explain why when I woke up the morning of the TT I couldn’t turn my head. Damn my neck is sore! It’s not like riding 12 miles in the aero position really is hard on the neck though, right? Wrong! After taking a boatload of Advil before leaving the house it really didn’t turn out to be much of a problem.
I ran this same course in early March and was really disappointed to only average 23.7mph. Report here: I had two goals for this TT, stay relaxed, stay aero! I think I did a pretty good job of both. Finished in 28:25 and averaged 25.3mph. A nice improvement over March despite plenty of wind and rain.
Few pictures of Rob and I here:
Monday, April 19, 2010
Skipped work today to stay home with a sick 9rd old. After Mom got home I was able to get out for a quick ride. The rain was looming so I stayed close to the house and got a couple climbs in. I was thinking Zoo Hill but the legs were a little weak after yesterday’s 100 miler and I settled on Lakemont and Forrest dr. I also worked on sprinting over some short climbs, burn baby burn!
Met Travis (from last weeks race) and his friend Nate in Woodinville at 8am. Nate was really strong (especially after finding out he had only been on a few rides this year) Travis is a monster! I did my best to hang on his wheel as much as I could all day, that was no easy task. About 85 miles in Nate and Travis headed back to Seattle over the I-90 bridge and I finished riding across Mercer Island and back to the house. At about mile 95 I had a TOTAL power outage, I needed calories pretty bad. I swung into Starbucks for a smoothie and finished with a little dignity.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Cat5 race report.
Note to self: Five beers on the golf course the day before a road race is a bad call! I hadn’t swung a club in almost six months due to a broken finger playing football in November and a serious ankle sprain in January. It was good fun and I played much better than expected after such a long layoff. That said, getting up at 6:00am and starting to drink beer at 10:30am the day before a race wasn’t ideal preparation.
The alarm went off at 5:30am this morning, boo I need more sleep after yesterday! And another thing, damn my back is sore as hell, wonder if that has anything to do with golfing, DONG.
The race starts in Brady, a small town 30 miles or so West of Olympia. Anessa drove and we arrived about 45 minutes before our scheduled 9:15am start time. Plenty of time to check in, use the rest room, and prep everything. Today’s race consisted of three 18 mile laps. The terrain was flat with several rolling hills but no significant climbs. The neutral rollout was only a few blocks so the race got started pretty quickly. Nothing to report on the 1st lap other then the fact that the bike-sale team had eight riders in the race and one of their guys was in an early break away. When we crossed by the start someone at the timing tent yelled out that the gap was 1:16.
Lap2 – I really wasn’t concerned about the gap since we still had 36 miles left. I was generally sitting in the last 3rd of the pack up to mile 20, I hadn’t seen much of Rob but I knew he was only a couple bikes behind. It was becoming clear that the bike-sale guys planned on controlling the front and keeping the pace down since they had a rider up the road. I wasn’t sure how many riders were in the break (I think it ended up being 5 riders after looking at Hunter’s video) I started chatting up another unattached rider (Travis) and in mile 21 we went off the front to try to close the gap. Travis was strong, we shared leading for several miles pushing it pretty hard. We were alone for 6-7 miles but never really got more than a few hundred yards clear of the pack. At one point my HR hit 189bpm, is that possible for a soon to be 37yr old? Up to mile 32 Travis or I were at or near the front of the pack, Travis tried hard to rally some others to get up front and do some work but there was absolutely no appetite for it. OK, I guess it’s a race for 5th? I did think it was funny that while I was out front (and had been for a while) one of the bike-sale guys actually had the stones to tell me not to “change my shirt” if I was up front. This really pissed me off, I was simply pulling down my arm warmers. I let my F-U reflex go and told him if I was up front working I’d do what ever the fuck I wanted, there was no response. Around mile 32 I slid to the back of the pack and Rob was gone, he’s a total animal so I figured he probably had a mechanical issue.
Lap3, final lap – In the first mile or two I hear “hey dr, J”, Rob was back? Somehow he had fallen off the back and managed to team up with an unattached rider who had been DQ’d for crossing the center line earlier. Pretty awesome that they clawed back into the pack. Nothing to note for the next 20 miles. At mile 51 I moved up to the front and pushed a little off the front for a very short stretch. The most significant hills hit on mile 52 and it blew the pack apart. Rob passed me halfway up the hill but I managed to stay with him. The 53rd mile we raced past a cemetery and down a steep hill with a sharp turn at the bottom. Coming out of the turn I was out of position and near the back of what was left of the pack. I managed to hang on a wheel and move up a few positions.
The Finish – CRASH! With 200yrds to go right in front of me on my left a rider went down very hard, he was immediately hit by another rider who flipped over him. I swerved hard right (Anessa confirmed this later, she was relieved to see me still upright) a piece from one of the bikes hit me in the cheek. Well, this is the CAT5 crashes that everyone talks about. I yell out wholly shit Rob, I saw he swerved left and was also safe. I jumped back on his wheel and finished right behind him. I’ll update the post when the results are posted.
Great ride, sad that a team of 8 would protect a CAT5 break away 40 miles from the finish though. Even more sad that other than Travis not a single rider was willing to even try to do anything about it. It was great racing with Rob , hopefully he catches the bug!