Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vance Creek Road Race -2013

Wayne, Alex and I were in the Cat 4 field.  Warm up a bit shorter than I would have liked but I used it to test out gearing on the final hill climb. Wanted something that I could use for my first 2 laps to go "easy", then something with enough teeth for the hard push to the finish line.  Course started on the downhill from the finish line, and we were off.  Saw a few breaks try to go off the front but they were caught every time.  Eventually the pack started to get lazy and our pace dropped as folks mostly gave up on breaks. 

I was feeling strong on the hill climbs and remember when Wayne commented how bad everyone was looking.  Knew that I'd want to be in front no later than the base of the climb if nothing else to avoid getting stuck behind a slow wheel. So sure enough about 3km out, I purposefully "surfed" up to the front intent on holding a wheel in the top 10 before anyone took off.  At one point a fella from Apex yelled at me about moving over so he could have a wheel I was on.  I ignored him and he started hitting my left leg I think with his handlebars?!  That's a pretty dumb way to try to move in, as he's more likely to crash out than actually do any good.  What he didn't see was a slow rider dropping back on the right side that I was avoiding, so I explained the circumstances to him... loudly... and told him to back off.  We talked later, and I still think he must have just poor line handling skills or something.  Is it possible to actually do anything by running your handlebars under someones leg? I don't thank that works does it? Good way to crash out though.

Pretty much I just ignored and marked the dude, and focused on the task at hand.  Apex had 4 at the front,another Cucina guy, polka dot dude, and me in the mix.  So they never were able to get a lead off as there were plenty of people willing to reel in the efforts (or be in the break with them).

Base of the climb a junior (couldn't be older than 16-17 yrs) and an Apex took off, I pursued.  Random Apex dude blew up about halfway and I never saw him again, junior (weighing in at 110lbs soaking wet) kept on chugging, and I pursued.  Eventually we saw the 200m sign passby and I waited on my "sprint" until just a bit later, really only stepping up the cadence enough to close the gap on junior guy.  Didn't have quite enough distance to catch him, and actually 2 others passed me right at the line.

Great race, wished I had another lap or 2.  Got to visit with a friend while waiting for the masters to finish, and really enjoyed seeing our cat 5 guys making the tough climb, and Wayne scoring a point too!

Wenatchee Omnium/Crit -2013


  I had skipped the TT knowing that I wouldn't be racing Sunday on the road, so the GC didn't matter to me, and I was only in it for any points that could be scored for upgrade and to help out others.  Since this was a 4/5 mix field and I knew the showing would be small it was unlikely to get much points unless I took 1-3rd.  

The first prime goes off and I'm in a great spot to chase the group, there started 3 of us but mostly it was another rider and myself that were contesting it.  He had entry to the 3rd corner nailed, so there was literally very little chance of catching him after the downhill and corner 4.  I put some energy into drafting and sprinting it out with him but backed off well before redline realizing that there was no chance at that speed to pop up ahead.  Felt like a safe bet and we both sat up to rejoin.

As soon as the front of the pack caught us, another break formed and the pack didn't respond quick enough, a group of  ... 5 or so was off the front.  Eventually that would turn to 3 riders (I thought it was more than that) and my chances of scoring any points was pretty much gone.  But that just meant the chance to work some tactics with the fellas was a much higher priority.

Nick and I attempted to work off the front and real in the break but nobody else seemed to put any effort into it... I even badgered the other riders to get to work, but I'm pretty sure either they were all barely holding on, or were just flat out lazy.  I tried to see who's teams were in the front and couldn't get a good view of jerseys to see who could be blocking.  Note: always see what teams are upfront so you can identify folks trying to slow the pace.

Anyways I rolled up to Alex, said hi and started the slow acceleration up to the front, when I knew he was on I attacked and drug him and Nick as far as possible hoping that he'd be in good position for corner 3 (the crucial corner) and the rest is history. I do enjoy hearing other teams comment "watch those Roosters" seems that we've made a name for ourselves.  Many teams are watching us, and I know Apex in particular feels we're a threat. Officials screwed up the last lap call, and I somehow ended up with a DNF, but couldn't care less so didn't protest the result.

Did however work with the officials to help find Alex's finish and they were really cordial about it.  I've found the officials to be really quite reasonable if you approach them level headed and with a good argument.

Nick's a strong dude, and it will be fun to work with him when he hits the 4's.  Enjoyed the ride over chatting with Johnathan about all kinds of things, made the time fly by.  Also, took a dip in the Columbia river for some ice bath recovery before the drive home.

Ravensdale -2013

My report:

Masters 4/5 35+
I did this one, simply because I could!  Finally I get to race masters and I'm stoked to get to know the field.  Had a blast, there's much less herky jerky during neutral start, better line selection and generally a good chatty bunch.  Plus, my buddy Davo is in masters.

Raced carefully, not knowing the players in the field, then took my opportunity for a long sprint from about 300m.  Got jumped right before the finish for 3rd place.

Transition
Quick recovery at the car, didn't have enough water, enough food.  Forgot to air up the tires before the previous  race, but figured they were pretty full anyway.  So checked tire pressures, and I was rolling a big 60psi... oops.  Aired up the tires, then met Alex, Wayne, and a friend of from school who is interested in our team.

Cat 4
Roll out was typically obnoxious with a herky jerky neutral start, but pretty quickly the pace picked up and we were actually racing a fairly well put together field.  There was Olympia Orthopedic, Bikesale, Apex all with 4+ riders.  One terrible rider on Apex was all over the place, he would charge up the right side on terrible pavement with high risk of falling off the road only to gain 3 positions with 3 laps to go?! He dove left while at the front, not even while leading the pack only to catch the front wheel of a Starbucks rider who managed to lock up his rear wheel and stay upright.  That Starbucks rider had amazing bike handling skills, so much that I spent the rest of the laps trying to find him and give a compliment.

I really enjoyed working with Alex at one point to bridge a gap, we both had the same mindset and launched from the left and right side of the field putting a small (unintentional) gap into the field, this lasted only a little while when other people saw us as a threat (little did they know I was pretty exhausted from the previous race).  Our small break got gobbled by the field but it spurred folks to chase a bit more aggressively and we eventually caught the more threatening break that was up ahead.  Mission accomplished, I knew I wouldn't be able to hold out in a break so that worked really well.

I made the bonehead mistake of not bringing enough fluid either, had to start rationing to sips from the bottle with about 2.5 laps to go.  Also, ran out of nutrition and only had my backup hammer gel left.  Imagine eating a gel with cottonmouth and you know how miserable that can be. 

Final sprint I worked my way into Olympia Orthopedic's lead out train and enjoyed some protection from the wind up the hill to the finish.  Jumped at the same distance as the previous race, but just didn't have the steam to hold out.  Took 11th.  Found water as quickly as possible and sat in the my truck with the AC going to cool down.  Yikes, I'm going to add a big jug of water to my race box from now on.

MOE -2013

Figured out I wouldn't be able to do the road race on Sunday last week, so determined to spend my time preparing for the crit on Saturday, which: 
1. Could score me the needed points for cat3 upgrade 
2. Is ridiculous fun (actually the whole event is in my opinion)

TT
I lined up knowing the GC was not an option, but was planning on using the TT as a great opener exercise for the crit later in the afternoon. Combined with the substantial equipment handicap I felt like this would be a good strategy.  Didn't warm up enough before my start time, but I put as much effort into my cantilevered CX bike as I could and squeaked out a 16th. Eh, not quite as well as I'd hoped, but still fun.

In between...
Started getting nervous when the rain started coming down.  This crit course is already pretty sketchy in cat 4/5 because riders tend to crash hard.  But in the rain I thought for sure it would be a mess.  So I was half tempted to skip it all together.  But about 2 hours before the event I found a chance to reset my mindset.  It's amazing what a difference a warm up makes.

After some solo trainer time by my truck I decided the smart move would be to fight like mad to stay inside on the corners (mostly), to stick to the frontish of the pack, and to watch out for people going sideways.

Crit
Start line I chatted with a rider about his SRAM Red components, as I'm pricing SRAM stuff for the Cat 3 bike.  Right before we took off I gave my complimentary "Stay safe, stay upright!" to everyone just before the whistle and we were off.

Started about 3/4 back and began picking off 3 people at a time to work my way up to the front.  Ignored the prime sprints, as I was determined to grab a good finishing position.  Dan and I had worked out a plan to attempt a break after one of the primes, but we never connected for that.

One solo break went out with 7 laps left to go, I later found out it was Kevin T, and that dude has been having some great finishes recently.  When I saw him go off, the next lap I was urging the field to bridge and indeed pulled the whole lap causing the field to splinter just a bit, but not quite enough for me to feel comfortable breaking away on my own, and nobody was willing to work with me to reconnect with Kevin.

Discouraged I fell back realizing that either these guys had written off 1st place (possibly...) or they were just flat out tired from the TT earlier (likely,.,.)  I realized my best bet for a strong finish with 5 laps to go now was not to try and catch up to Kevin basically by myself, but instead would be to hide back around 5th-8th and then attack from way back on the last lap because I was feeling quite strong still.

I heard that there were some crashes in our field, but my planning paid off and no problems at all except a squirelly rider (rockin the SRAM Red as it turns out).  Only had to yell at him once to watch his line as he'd cut across the whole field to chop the corners without looking.... ?!

With 4 corners to go I accelerated up to get position putting in the effort early, and advanced up to around 5th wheel recovering a few spots I had lost, then fell in behind some strong riders, and hammered again with 2 corners to go holding strong lines that I'd previously figured out.  Got up and sprinted and caught 2 riders for a 3rd place finish 2nd in the pack, just didn't have enough road to catch the guy that took 1st in the pack.


Joe Montava -2013

Raced the Masters 1/2/3 at Joe Montava, simply because I could!  Great to be in a category that allows doubles like this.  Masters race went off hard and maintained a fast pace the whole time (25.7 mph avg).  Got to race on my new bike, and I love it. 

Took it easy for most of the race hiding in the pack in order to conserve energy, was planning on keeping the HR right around 160, and was able to stay there for most all of the race.  Only at one point did I go redline, and I don't think that was even the final sprint!?  
Saw a couple crashes, but really enjoyed the new category. Even saw some of my buddies from cat 4 who must have upgraded around the same time as me.  Ended up swarmed, and intentionally avoided putting much heart into the finishing sprint.  Saving the matches for the next race...

Open 3s, as Bart said saw 5 Roosters!  Was great to see so many out, and I was eager to get to work together with some guys where we could.

Pace seemed completely manageable (23.7 mph avg)in the 3s field, with some mostly solid line holding, only a couple times did I feel at risk until eventually on the back stretch someone over-reacted to a crash in the middle of the field jumping hard left, into my front wheel.  I dove left but not quite quick enough, we both went down and I slid on my butt for aways. Excising myself from the pavement I could tell I'd mostly slid and not hit hard, indeed my chain was still on and everything.  Bike was in good shape.

Inline image 1

Sequim 2 -2014

Sequim 2 report.  Really enjoyed getting to race with some former teamates and current.  Our race was 5 laps, at 60 miles.  I knew that there would be break attempts but after last weekends hard efforts to reel in some breaks I opted to take it easy this time, and contest the pack sprint.  I've been testing a new method for sprinting and wanted to put it to practice.

The race pace was pretty quick as there was a break of 3 up the road that was only a threat because of the teams involved. Both the biggest teams in the peloton were involved, and one of the strong young racers from Rad.  They stayed out for just about 3 laps before we reeled them in, but we did see some great blocking tactics from the other two teams that most certainly threw a monkey wrench in the plans.  Though it was done really well, very safe, but very obnoxious and effective.  

We had just about a half lap of easy pace, but then as expected another break.  Same teams involved, and all our chasers were either exhausted or holding back for the sprint.

I made some offers to former teamates and buddies to bridge the gap with them, and really wanted to try working with a new guy who I haven't had a chance to race with yet, but they didn't bite.  Instead trying to "con" me into chasing down the break....not this time.  I was saving the legs for the last 2km.

Josh put in a herculean effort a few times at the front, so I knew he'd be pretty exhausted in the uphill sprint.

Earlier in the race I'd picked out my gearing I wanted for the final sprint, and was planning my attack distance.  So when we finally got to the last lap, all I had to do was 1. stay in front of the swarm. 2. hold a strong wheel for most of the flats (already picked on out earlier) 3. be flexible for changing conditions (ie don't get boxed in, be willing to let a wheel go, plan for pack movement) 4. test out the new sprint legs

It worked out well, and I was able to change up position from around 12th going into the base of the hill, about 5th by 200m, and finally upshifted, stood and hammered to take the pack sprint.  As it turns out we almost closed the gap on that break, and I was 3 seconds back, so ended up 4th and captured the pack sprint.  It was fun to hear my competitors yelling as I blast past them, and I let out a "war cry" on the way up the hill.  Ha, that sprint was fun.

The BBQ afterwards was great and it was good to hear the stories from teamates.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Route: Entiat 971 Loop

Details:
38 miles
2100 ft of elevation
Alternate route to Lake Chelan from Entiat

Features:

  • Crumbly rock faces
  • Tough guy yorkie
  • Wild asparagus
  • Low traffic
  • Mostly good shoulder
  • Mushies?

Go check it out here: Entiat 971 Loop Map




My Notes:

Great new way for me to get to Lake Chelan that avoids the infamous Alternate Highway 97 route, though less direct.  Frankly, I don't know if that's really a drawback as this route takes you through some nice shade pine trees and a long canyon that's mostly undeveloped.  Long stretches of no cars to be seen, and mostly courteous drivers. 

After turning off Hwy 97A, you immediately face one of the tougher climbs on this route.  Downshifting into the smaller chainring and mostly leaving it there 39 tooth, not compact :P  Just behind me and up ahead is a crumbly rock face overhead that made me a bit nervous, so I was riding in the middle of the lane to avoid rockfall.  Truly, as I rode past I could hear gravel and small rocks dribbling down the side of the face.  While it isn't that high or threatening, I'd rather not chance it.

The route then turns right and the grade begins to mellow, just in time to find a tough guy yorkie that has proven his worth by chasing off this big ol threat of a cyclist.  In fact if that yorkie weren't so overweight he might actually get a nip at my foot.  Good for him he's actually pretty slow.  My options were to either let him take a bit at my foot, use the mighty emergency whistle to scare him off (preferred method), or kick him when goes for my foot.  Yes, I think he would actually try and bite btw....

Either way, he scared me off for a second time in as many days and proudly trotted back to his big rock to sit in the sun.  Good.  Well done chap, you did a good job and protected your territory.  Realistically, just keeping in a moderate to easy gear was enough to outrun him.  He's got a little yorkie belly from easy living, ha!  Makes for a great story to tell post ride too.

On the left side there's a series of orchards all throughout the valley, but one of the first ones you encounter that's fenced in has wild asparagus growing around it.  In fact I saw some on the right side of the road as well.  Probably a bit earlier in the season would be good when it's just coming up.  By now folks have already mostly picked the crop over.  Though I did see some that people have missed that happily were spreading around the fenceline.

The ride itself had very little traffic, and a reasonable enough shoulder for most of the route.  There's really only a couple times the shoulder was unsafe, like in the plateau section before the downhill you'll some logging equipment and a rough broken up shoulder on the right.  Otherwise a relatively safe shoulder to ride on.

On the way down there's a few pine sections that provide shade for the descent and possibly host some mushies?  After the descent you'll drop down on the S Lakeshore Rd along Lake Chelan, and begin heading East.

Once you hit Hwy 97, you must choose, go right to continue the loop or take a detour into town to get some coffee?  After making that tough choice, the climb back out of Chelan is moderate and long, but completed in basically one effort.  You'll then get the chance to drop down with traffic, TAKE THE LANE as you descend by the way, do yourself a favor. The tunnel that you pass through has a light that you can stop and press to warn cars of a "bike in the tunnel" but it's not worth it.  Braking hard to hit that button simply lights up some flashing lights on a sign way back up the hill.... really pretty pointless, and just about as unnoticeable as an actual cyclist in road camouflage.


Concrete colored, for the Darwin award nominees among us.  I like how the jersey even looks like a cloudy horizon, brilliant!

Your momentum will carry you quite far, and not much longer you're back to town.
Hit stop on Strava now...

Break in the ... clouds


With the race season taking a strange hiatus right when the weather starts getting good, it makes one wonder if perhaps the race organizers simply prefer the rain?  So off to the roads I go, smiling all the way.

Got some family bike rides in with the wife and kids and it's really fun to watch all three of them grow in strength. Taught the kids to roll out in a pace line (with about a 4 foot gap between bikes), taught them about the benefits of drafting when we found a very windy section, and they got to test standing out of the saddle on a steep little hill.  All great lessons to learn, and as it turns out the wife was listening and learning too.  I'm very proud daddy/husband.


But there's still some work to be done beyond the family bike ride, and typically that involves a solo effort for hours at a time and lots of ideas flow by during those miles and miles... So it's time to update the blog.

The route I took was a new one suggested by a friend who recently stayed over to visit our place in Entiat, WA.  He asked "have you ever ridden blah blah canyon road, where's that lead?", "what about this highway, how's the shoulder?", "Do you know where this road pops out?", "What's the view like up here on this bluff?".  How embarrassing I didn't know a single route he'd mentioned!  With such beautiful scenery all I'd ever ridden was the highway back and forth to Chelan, or Wenatchee.  So I've determined to explore around the area a bit more.

I'll try to list out the areas by route name here in order to keep track of them, and if they're worth riding again, mostly for my own reference. Standby...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Real Ryder -Indoor Cycling Bikes

Real Ryder ABF8 
Indoor Cycling Bike -Review

Disclaimer: my theory on indoor cycling
As a group cycling instructor (fyi, not a Spinning® instructor, note the fancy trademark) I believe that the exercise we are doing should closely replicate the actual experience of riding a bike. 

This allows our participants to gain strength, burn calories, and do it while riding a bike.  Any additional movements that aren't applicable to riding a bike, should be excluded and are more risk than they're worth because actually increasing in strength on the bike will provide the caloric expense and functional strength that people are looking for.  While it may be fun to "hover" or "jump", it provides such minimal benefit that the risks to joints are not worth it.  Plus, it doesn't contribute enough to the act of cycling to make it worthwhile.








I was asked by a couple different folks at the gyms I work at for a review of the Real Ryder group cycling bikes, and finally got a chance to check them out. So here's what I've found:


Movement, but still stationary?:
It took some pondering on my part to consider the actual movement on the handlebars while on the road.  

The Real Ryder bikes seem to favor a turn right, go right type of movement.  But I know when I ride I push left to go left, this is called counter steering. A great example of how to turn is given here: 3 Step Cornering


Hard to explain, but here's a video of the movement of these bikes:
video
As you can see, the spring loaded movement creates resistance, and the bike essentially springs back to the center position. Also, the handles lead the bike into the direction it's turning.  Most similar to a very low speed turn on a real bike, which will develop bad form for corning in the real world.  This of course isn't ideal, but can be entertaining!

Really interesting movement, and something that would be fun to teach with, but not very fitting for real world mechanics.  Also, the Real Ryder feels much loose than a real bike (comparatively floppy!), this is probably due to centrifugal forces keeping the real bike rolling forward and upright. 


Arms vs Core:
The Real Ryder bike seems to sway more the harder you pedal, so folks with high power output may be dealing with a harder movement to control at the handlebars. I tested this at both 65 cadence and very high tension, as well as 200 cadence and much less tension.  The sway was much more pronounced at the high tension.

Turning with the hips is a crucial skill to develop to safely take corners and keep control of a bike outdoors.  In fact I'm pretty sure that's one of the reasons modern bike saddles are designed the way they are.  That skill can indeed be improved on the Real Ryder bike, but will require specific instruction in order to avoid just muscling the handlebars, an easier movement in general.

Also, using the core to turn (hips plus handlebar) will allow for a deeper and more useful workout than a stationary bike, which is well... stationary.  The only time we successfully integrate substatntial corework on a stationary bike is standing out of the saddle, or for some power drills in the saddle.




Tall and short:
I observed a participant friend who is close to 5 feet tall comfortably ride these bikes, but she was at nearly the bottom end of the height adjustment.  Another participant who is 6 ft 5 in, may not fit on these bikes, but we've haven't tested that






The saddle height adjustment is a retaining pin that fits in the seat post every inch or so. While stable this is not very accommodating for people with different height requirements.  Indeed, my perfect fit is halfway between two seat height positions unfortunately... 








A view from the cockpit

While sitting on the bike, you've got a multitude of hand positions. Including a tapered aero position that simulates my own aero bars.  Very cool hand positions, I'm glad manufacturers are starting to get there's more than race position, and beach cruiser position for hands.




Most of the time I was riding with my hands "on the hoods" or with a wide grip on the outside of the bars.  It's unfortunate that the handlebars do not slide forward to allow for people with gigantic legs, or with tiny legs.  This is another drawback that limits the size of the folks that can use this bike. While there are plenty of places to put your hands (again to muscle the bike through a "turn"?) it seems if you knees hit the bars while out of the saddle, you're just out of luck.

In the cockpit view you can also see the cherry red tensioner knob just begging to be turned up (heh heh) and two places for your water bottle (as long as it fits, no Nalgene bottles!).

A close up of the electronics:

     

  • RPM -Rotations per minute
    • RPM Avg -Average Rotations per minute

  • Heart Rate
    • HR % of Max -Based on input Age I'm guessing (220-Age)
    • HR Avg 
    • Garmin ANT+ Link -New tech from Garmin: more info



  • Training
    • Distance -always terribly innacurate
    • KCal -ditto, but still fun measures between workouts!




Conclusion:

These bikes are fun.  They add a much deeper core training to the class, and have the latest technology but also limit the participant base.  Fad?  Maybe, but they're fun.

The trick will be getting folks to use their weak core muscles in addition to their also weak and injury prone arms and shoulders.  The instructor I spoke with mentioned she was dealing with shoulder issues and blamed the "turns" that she does on the Real Ryder.  I observed her muscling the bike handlebars instead of using her core as intended, so perhaps just bad form?


  • Durability: 8* (they seem commercial grade, but jury is still out)
  • Ease of use: 5 
  • Real world functionality: 7 

  • Benefits
    • Instability engages core more easily
    • More opportunity to train technique
    • It's harder than simply pedaling now!
  • Drawbacks
    • Loose unstable bike may not be safe for all participants
    • Potential shoulder issues for poor form
    • Develops poor corning techniques
    • Saddle height / Handle bar position limits participants







Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sequim 2 -2013

Don't have too much of a report for this one.

Sat in the pack for nearly all the ride, allowing other teams to chase down breaks... phew!

At the final lap, made some simple mistakes but positioned ok for pack sprint, took 9th.  Really want to race Sequim 3 (no such thing), to redux some of the mistakes!  The weather was incredible, the pack behaved nicely and I feel like I'm starting to identify the stronger riders now.

Had fun with the other Roosters, and I love our cat 4 guys all working together.  At this race I feel like there was a couple things that I could have done differently, but really enjoy the comradere of teamates.

Afterward stopped by Fat Smitty's in Poulsbo with a few of the guys for a Smitty Burger, and then had angioplasty on the way back home to clear the arteries.  But the burger was tasty!


Seward Park 4-18-13

Wouldn't normally write up a report for a weekly race like Seward Park, but it was pretty epic yesterday... good or bad you be the judge.

Got there to register a bit early, thought I was late.  It was raining and cold/windy, forgot my base layer and only had a jersey, shorts, and arm warmers... oh and Nuun socks.  Not much "warm" up, but did open up the legs a bit on the course and saw ducks wandering here and there.

For the race itself there were about 25 people. Skipped first prime, missed 2nd, but caught up to the sprinters for the 3rd, and jumped the leader on his right side as he was looking left... shazam $12.  Crap, then only had 6 minutes to get ready for the "win an out".  Looked like it would be a field sprint, but hard to say.  "Win an out" means that if you sprint for first and don't get it you keep riding, then sprint for third, then sprint for fourth... The winner of that round gets to stop racing, everyone else has to do it all over again. 

I wasn't ready for the 1st place sprint, so let 3 guys charge off. Then we circled around again and I'm 2nd wheel of the pack catching the sprinters.  The sprint goes off for 2nd with 4 guys jockying for best wheel and trading out lead, and I gradually bridge solo but let the sprint go out knowing I'd make up ground on the downhill and that they were tiring out from all the effort to trade out wheels.  Sure enough I found the 3 after the downhill on a riser. I was catching up and they were still distracted so I snuck up on them, drafted for a moment behind them, then attack far left.  Immediately 1 dropped and 2 pursued, but I knew there was no way they'd hold my pace.  So I hammered up the hill and then rode easy across the finish line for a tactical, and not all that hard fought 3rd.

I like that kind of racing, tactical.  Also, really like the mixed fields in these races.  I get to ride with cat 5, to cat 2-3, and women all on the same course.  Makes things interesting for sure, and you can pick out the lower cat riders by their low WSBA #s.  Make choosing a wheel very easy.

After the race scooped up the prime, cheered on the rest of the field and drove home shivering uncontrollably from the cold.

Here's a video from a buddy of mine Slo Mo Shun, all props go to him and his crazy camera skills. This was 1 week prior, during his race:



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ice Breaker TT -2013



Really enjoyed the comradere of the Rooster women at this race.  Warming up chatting and getting to know Beth and of course give Emily a hard time (part of the fun of this sport I'd say).

Watching how people warm up before their race is really interesting and I'd say a huge part of the actual race day.  Today was no different, except with the weather just starting to change over to 'warmer' it was a debate on how many layers to wear.

I brought coffee again this time, and showed up a couple hours ahead of start time and glad I did.  There was a pretty long line to use the can.

The race itself I knew I was somewhat over fatigued.  It had been a tough couple weeks at work and the fatigue was cumulative for sure.  Warm up the HR wasn't responding as I'd expect and I knew that it was going to be a tough day.

At the start line I was using a borrowed set of clip on aero bars for my first "aero experience" and a borrowed TT helmet.  Would have been riding borrowed wheels, but don't have a 10 speed (thanks for the offer!).

The course was fun except for the truck that rolled past right before the official started me out, so I didn't want to get pinged for drafting and ended up waiting for him to move on.  Also, the turn around was a pain and I drifted the rear wheel for part of it having entered it a bit too hot.  The corner marshal heard me yelling at the cone "stupid friggin corner!".  No swear words so it was ok apparently, phew.

HR still didn't respond the right way, and I slowed way down at one point to catch my breath that had been evasive the entire day.  Was able to get back up to speed quick enough, and finished a half second ahead of the next masters racer for a 1st place finish in masters cat 4/5 35-39.  Could have done better in the open 4s if more rested up, but hey, it's still early season...

Tortilla soup was awesome, and met one of Roger and Austin's buddies who I've ridden with at the Bike MS 150.  Small world.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Frostbite TT -2013



So the only other TT I've done was last year at MOE.  Don't have aero gear (yet) but know how to manage the HR pretty well. So opted to race the "Retro" category, which ended up being a field of 20 or so riders all kinds of categories,  pro,1-5.  Don't know how many folks from the higher categories were actually there though.

The course was wet, with no rain but some sprinkles that started about halfway through the day.  There were a half dozen corners, that were more concerning on paper than actually in practice.  Thank you Emily and Alex for the early heads up that they were totally rideable.

My start time was 4th from last and I really enjoyed seeing our Roosters take off, good spot for the tent right next to the start line.  

Borrowed a trainer stand (thank you Beth!) to warm up and didn't face much challenge with nerves or anything, it was almost like old hat.  Very nice when things are relaxed and mellow before the race.  Warmed up with Derek Chan who was starting :30 ahead of me in the Retro division as well.   Enjoyed the company.

Trickiest part was deciding on how many layers, as I knew that if it really started raining I'd probably be cold.  But I love these new long johns the wife got me!

The guy holding us at the start is a buddy of mine, and he commented on me winning the "Cantilever Division"... Haha, that's what friends are for I guess! Didn't even get an extra push off or anything. Oh well, next time I gotta pay him a bit more.

Managed the HR right where I expected, and really enjoyed hammering the corners, skirted some service van that was going way too slow in town and slowly picked off my 'rabbits' until I ran out.  Finished in a full sprint with the HR responding as expected.  2nd by 1 second.

Looking at my HR graph, I had a bit more capacity so should have pushed it from farther out: