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: