Sunday, April 27, 2008

Old Capitol Crit

After yesterday and going to bed last night with snow showers in the forecast today wasn't looking to promising.  Thankfully the weatherman was wrong, and the skies were blue and the temps were creeping up into the 50's, not as nice as last year but nice.  They had the Cat 5's and the Collegiate D's racing at the same time, so the field was quite large, over 30 starters and I was on the 2nd row of them.  Got going and was in about 10th at the bottom of the climb, kept that place for a little bit, then an attack on the 2nd lap and I was sitting on the front of the second pack with a few guys between us and the lead group.  Kept a pretty good pace going, never was able to catch the front guys, but picked up a few that got shot off the back of them.  5 laps into it and I was on my own for a lap, and realized without anyone around me I was doing all the work, so I let a few guys catch me since the front group was nowhere in sight.  Worked with a few for the next couple of laps and with one to go it was time to get on it, so coming up to the final climb I was sitting 3rd or 4th and just got on it and opened a little gap in the field, and never looked back, sprinted coming out of the last turn and took 7th Place in the Cat 5's and 10th overall with the Collegiate Racers.  We did almost crash on either the 2nd to last lap or the last lap when one of the guys leaned to far over in the climb and pushed another guy into me, and the 3 of us were basically leaning on each other keeping us upright, kinda scary, but rubbings racing right?

Old Capital Crit

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Iowa City Road Race

Decided 2 days ago that I would do this race, I was only gonna do the Crit tomorrow. Showed up early and got registered, then went and watched the other races that were going on this morning. The wind was coming out of the west at between 25-35 mph, which was nice on the one section of the course, but meant that the 6 miles back were gonna be into it. We lined up and almost got going, but one of the Masters came back and said there was a rider down, and needed an ambulance so we waited for that to show up. The USCF official said we were gonna have a neutral start and roll behind her vehicle till we got past the crash, but we got to the hill and there were 2 ambulances and a sheriff blocking the road, so we turned back and waited for the road to clear, about 10 minutes. From what we were being told he got blown off the road by a cross wind and ended up flipping over the bars into the ditch, not sure what kind of injuries though. So once we finally got started we were on the tailwind section and cruising along at around a 30 mph average, then we hit the headwind and a few guys got off the front and got up to the masters in front of us, I wasn't ready for the attack and got stuck in the second group on the road. Me and another guy were working together pretty well and rode away from the rest of the group, so we came around for lap 2 and got back into the tailwind and tried to see if we could get back up to any other guys. Halfway through we picked up another rider and the 3 of us worked to pick up 2 more guys, so the way back into the headwind there were 5 of us working together. Coming up to the line was a short climb and the other guy I was origanaly with took off and I jumped onto his wheel and ended up in 13th Place. 26 miles 18.4 mph average, and other than the wind one hell of a good time on my bike.

Old Capital Road Race

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Eagle Point Crit

Came into this race with one goal, at least hang with the pack for most of the race.  Last year this race was my first crit, and I got lapped and 15th place, so I was hoping to see an improvement.  Got to the line and there was only 7 of us, kinda shocking since last year there was 18, but no biggie.  The first lap was a nice "easy" pace and then on the second lap the attacks began, the 6 of us in the pack worked well to cover any attacks and keep us together.  On lap 7 I heard a sound I didn't wanna hear, one of the guys behind me went down hard, and you could hear him hit the ground, they ended up stopping the race so they could get the ambulance in to him, he ended up breaking his collarbone, which seems to be a very common injury in cycling.  So while they were working on him they rest of us just rode a section of the course so we could keep our legs loose.  They restarted us with 5 to go, and it was on, we rode together for the next 4 laps with very minimal attacks, on the final lap there is a short little climb, a left hander and then the finishing straight, I was sitting 2 wheel at the hill, and one guy went so I chased him down and tried to hold his wheel.  One of the other guys came with and the 3 of us and there was less than a bike length between us, so I ended up in 3rd place.  So I made my goal of staying with the pack, and I also go a top 5 finish, which was another goal in a crit.  Next weekend is the Old Capitol Crit in Iowa City,  so we will see how I do at that one, hopefully stay with the pack there too.

Eagle Point Crit 4-20-08

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Night at the Oval 4-15-08

Tonights race we had much warmer weather, and a bigger turn out.  19 racers in all so the split us up into 2 groups. Group A was the 3's and 4's and Group B was the 5's, the Masters and the one woman that showed up.  There was 20-25 mph winds coming out of the south causing the final turn coming back to the start finish line to feel like you were hitting a wall.  First B race was an 8 lap event and we all just kinda rolled into it for the first few laps, then on lap 4 one of the Masters launched an attack, but was quickly caught onto and we remained a single pack, then the next few laps a few more attacks but we all stayed together until the final lap in which one guy went and we all tried to hang onto his wheel, but alas that didn't happen and I ended up in 3rd.  Come to find out he was actually a Cat 4 guy that showed up late and missed the 1st A race, so that was ok. Second B race was another 8 lap race and was pretty easy going for the first 5 laps until I decided to try and attack, had a pretty good gap for about 20 seconds, but they worked together and came back up to me once I hit that headwind.  Next few laps were a little more of the same, some smaller attacks and they were all quickly recovered.  Final lap on the back straight another attack and I was sitting 3rd wheel and had a decent lead out from the guy in front of me who I ended up passing about 10 feet before the line and taking 2nd place. Final race of the night was another granny gear race and both Groups A & B raced together, this time we did the 1/4 mile loop and a smaller 1/8 mile loop which I took 5th overall and 1st in the B Group.  Also made some contacts with a few local guys to start getting in some group rides, and also the possibilty of joining the one local race team.   

NatO 4-15-08

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sylvan Island Stampede 4-13-08

Ahh to be back on a mountain bike and racing it was just an indescribable feeling. It has been 9 years since my last race and even longer than that where I could say I have actually been competitive. I saw this race a few weeks ago and didn't think much of it, and just a few days ago I decided I would give it a go. Showed up right before the beginner's race started and I wanted to get a lap in before they went, so I hurried up and got dressed and went for it. It didn't take long to remember how to make my way through the technical sections and keep it smooth going through. Got to the line with about 50+ other people in the Sport race, first lap wasn't the best as we were pretty bunched up and there wasn't many places to pass, so you either had to wait for an opening, or take some risks passing where you probably shouldn't. I did a little of both and by the 2nd lap thing's were spread out far enough to the point where you could get into a rhythm and just cruise along. 3 laps into it and it started to get cloudy again, and even snowed for a short period of time, but at first I thought I was bonking and seeing little white floaties, but alas it was just the snow. By the 5th and final lap I was starting to feel the pain of being on the bike for over an hour, not just in my legs but all over my body, and just tried keep from getting caught. Did a good job of that and ended up 7th Place in the Sport Mens 30-39 and 13th overall for the Sport Mens class. All in all it was a great day of racing and I am looking forward to doing more mountain bike racing this spring and summer, I am better at this than road racing, so there are a few more crits I am gonna do, but after that I am gonna focus on the off-roading for a while. Pics from the race will be coming soon.

Sylvan Island Stampede

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Night at the Oval

Hawkeye Downs Cedar Rapids, IA 1/2 mile paved oval used for stock cars on weekends.

Wasn't sure what to expect going into this race after Kent Park. this one is a different format than other races, they have all categories race at the same time, but the turnout is usually 15-30 racers, so smaller, but more relaxed it seems. First race was a 6 lap race and I took 8th place in that one, 2nd was an 8 lap points race and I took 8th in that one as well. Next was a first and out, which basically means if you win the lap you are done and get points based on which lap you win, so I just sat on the first couple laps knowing I had no chance against some of the guys, then I tried again on the next few and just came up short, so finally on the 7th lap I started the sprint before the last corner and was able to hold it all the way to the line and take 7th place. The last 2 races of the night were a granny gear race and a big gear race, which I took 7th and 6th place respectively, the granny gear race was probably the hardest thing I have done, riding in my 39-25 at almost 20mph for 1/2 mile was rough.

Took 5th place overall based on points and 1st Place in the Cat 5's.

See photos here: