Sunday, May 25, 2008

Melon City Crit

Never did this race before, but have heard good things about it. Since we were staying at a hotel we were able to get there plenty early and watch alot of the other races, which was a good thing since there was a speed hump right at the bottom of the downhill that everyone was talking about and we got to see how everyone else did that. Get to the line when they call us up, and start looking around an see some familiar faces from yesterday, but there was only 12 of us, oh well less of a chance of getting pulled, lol. Start the first lap and go out towards the front on the downhill to try and avoid and crashes on the speed hump, but we all make it through safely, and start the climb. 2nd and 3rd lap are about the same, except one guy made an acceleration on the hill that I just couldn't cover and I was off the back, so I spent then next couple laps riding by myslef, knowing that the leaders were too far in front for me to catch, and there was a group of 3 pretty close behind me, so I couldn't let up. One lap to go and I can see the group of 3 about 300 yards behind me so I know I have to keep going all out, get to the climb and keep it in the big ring and hammer up the hill never looking back to see where they are. I came across the line in 6th place and the legs were feeling 2 days of racing thats for sure.

Melon City Crit

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Snake Alley Crit

"The crookedest street in the world" according to Ripley's Believe it or Not I would have to agree with them, especially after having to go up it 8 times in a race. Rolled up to the start line in order of registration which put me in the 2nd row, but that was ok since there was 28 of us starting, after we started one guy took off and I knew I had to try and hang onto him and anyone else that got off the front because once you get to the climb the road narrows quite a bit, and you wanna be up front to not get stuck behind others. First lap I was 2nd up the hill, but the leader took a wrong turn on the downhill and I yelled at him he missed the turn, so by the second lap I was in the lead and had a few guys with me. By the 3rd lap the guy that took the wrong turn caught back up to us and back up the hill again. A few more laps go by and I start to crack a little bit on the hill and loose a few spots from where I was at the time which was probably 5th or so. The worst part about this race is there is really nowhere to try and grab a drink, so you are working hard up the hill, and can't really get anything back into you, so I was able to grab a couple sips on the far section of the course. The last few laps I was with another guy and me and him kinda went back and forth until the last lap where I couldn't get out of my big ring going up to the climb so I had to soft pedal until it dropped down costing me a few seconds on it, but once you hit the Snake you have over 100 screaming fans making you work harder than you probably should, but in the end it gives you motivation to close small gaps, and by the top of the hill I was maybe 50 feet behind him, and knew I had to make up time on the descent. I took a few risks though some of the corners, but it paid off in the end since I was able to catch him on the section where there ae only 3 more turns and a slight uphill to the finish, I went to the inside on the 2nd to last corner and got around him, started the sprint at the last corner and end up beating him to the line. So with that last bit of effort that got me an 8th place finish, one place out of prizes, but alot better than I had thought. Overall it was 6.75 miles with 1104 feet of climbing with an average speed of 18.5mph. There will be pics up sometime, time to go watch some TV and go to bed and get ready for tomorrows race.

Snake Alley Crit

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5-20-08 Night at the Oval

Another Tuesday night, another windy back stretch. Winds were between 15-20 mph for the races tonight, making it hard to be out in front by yourself. B race again as there were alot of people there tonight, and also some new faces which is good. 10 lap race, we all just kinda rode the first couple laps together and I was waiting for an attck, but again noone would go, so I went, and had a guy that caught on to me, but didn't realize it until I sat up for a second and noticed he was on th eother side of me, a couple other guys chased us down and caught up with us going into the next lap, 3 to go and another attack from one of the other guys, and I was able to get their wheel, sprint at the end, came in 3rd on that race. 2nd race was 8 laps, same thing noone would atack so this time I waited till I had a tailwind and went off the front, took a couple guys with me, but I was feeling it after the counter attack and fell off a little bit. Worked my way back into 5th wheel going into the last lap, set up for the sprint and took 3rd again. Next they divided us up into 2 group, the old guys vs. the young guys, and what they did was put one woman on each team, and the goal was to see how fast we could get her around the last lap, so the older guys went first, and you could hear them talking strategy the entire time they were riding. Us younger guys had a plan all layed out, so we get to the line, et to the 3rd lap, and since you had everything from Cat 2's to 5's and everything in between it didn't work out for us as planned. We did however end up winning by .8 seconds though. Next was a granny gear race around the 1/2 mile track, didn't finish too bad, but spinning out at 22 mph in a 39x25 is a killer, then for the final race we did a big gear race, but you have to start with both feet on the ground. I got clipped in pretty good, but for some reason my chain didn't wanna stay on and kept jumping over the big ring so I had to get that back on 3 times, so by the time I got going I was so far behind it was not worth it. I did catch back up and wasn't last, but man did that suck. Time to adjust the front deraileur now. Ended up taking 2nd Place overall in the B group and also 2nd Place in the Cat 5's. Also there are no pictures this week as the wife and kids had a chorus concert to got to at the school.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Night at the Oval

Tonight's weather was great, there was a headwind on the last corner again, but wasn't too bad. Once again we were split up into 2 groups, so we waited around for the A Race to get over, and we took the track. I think there was 11 of us, and we took off for a 10 lap race, the first couple laps there was not really any attacks to speak of, so I decided to go for it, and we did a good job of splitting up the field, 4 of us were off the front. 3 of us worked the next couple laps pretty well together and had one guy sitting on, final lap and the one guy takes off and 2 of us start to chase him down, but he got a good jump and I would have to settle for 2nd on that one. Second race was another 10 laps and the one Junior joined us since he had to repair a flat and missed the first race, well 3 laps into it he jumps and myself and the one 50+ guy jump on his wheel, except the junior couldn't hold it and was shot off the back, so we spent the next 7 laps with a pretty comfortable lead of about 1/4 of a lap. We took turns trading pulls and was able to hold off the rest of the field, took 2nd in that one as well. Third and final race was an 8 lap points race, basically every other lap was for points, so you need to have some kind of strategy to do well. The race started and one guy just took off, so of course we had to chase him down, and before the first lap was over me and the 50+ guy were off on our own again. I took the first 2 sprints, and was starting to feel some pain in the legs, so on the 3rd sprint I tried to go to early and lost it and he took the last 2 sprints. Overall I ended up 2nd Place in the B Race, and 1st Place in the Cat 5's.


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ingawanis MTB Race

Second race in the IMBCS (Iowa Mountain Bike Championship Series) Showed up with plenty of time before the start of the beginners race so I could get registered and do a lap before they raced so I kinda knew the course. Was not feeling into today during the pre-ride or leading up to the race either. Got to the line and was on the front, looking back I could see about 50 people ready to start the sport race, first though was I needed to be in the front of the bunch before hitting the woods or I would be stuck in the back and have to fight my way through traffic. From the line to the singletrack was just over 1/4 mile and had a short climb, the race started, I took off and ended up first into the woods which isn't exactly where I wanted to be because I was sure there were people there that would be a little faster than me, but I was able to hold the lead for almost 1/3 of the lap. A few guys got by me, and I let them go since they were obviously faster. Got into my groove and just kept pedaling trying to keep a constant speed through all 3 laps. I did catch another guy on the second lap and passed him, but other than that not really much changing of position through out the rest of the race. Came across the line after the last lap not know how I did, or how far back I was, but I figured somewhere in the top 10. It took a little while for the rest of the expert class to finish up and for them to get results done, but that ok there was some food there to eat, so we had a couple plates of pasta, some fruit cups, and some apples while waiting. The results weren't posted until after they did awards, so we all gathered around for that, they did the experts first, then they started on the sport classes, got to the class I was in and it turns out I took 2nd Place in the Sport Open class, freakin sweet. I ended up picking up a pair of sunglasses that the lenses change to adapt to changing light conditions, damn nice prize. So all in all the race went well even though I wasn't feeling it at the start at all, and didn't expect much else but to finish.

IMBCS #2 Camp Igawanis