Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thanks Jason Road Race

I was asked Thursday night on the group ride if I was going to make it to the road race this weekend, not knowing anything about it I told them I would see what we had going on and I would try and be there. After thinking about it for a day I decided I would go for it and see if I could help the team out, as I knew I had no chance of winning. It is a smaller race, so you usually get less than 20 people show up, and all categories go at the same time. While we were warming up a plan was made to try and cover all the attacks with the lower Cat guys so when we got closer to the finish the higher Cat guys could have a chance at the win. We start off at a pretty mellow pace, about 2 miles in a few attacks go off the front, but nothing sticks, I get off the front and cover as much as I can. We all regroup and an attck goes off with about 6 or so guy, 3 of them being HBA guys, I was going to go with them, but Carson said not to worry about it, and just sit in with this other group. So now we are the second group on the road, all is going well until Carson launchs an attack that I just couldn't hold onto and I was shot off the back. I did all I could to get back on the group, but never was able to get with them, we hit the turn around point and I knew there was no way to get back on, I tried, but after a mile or so I decided it was pointless. I did have 2 people behind me, so after being alone for 5 miles I knew it would be easier with another person to share the work, so I slowed a little to let the next guy catch me. The next 7 or so miles we took turns working together to make it to the end, and we were getting towards the finish line, and he takes off for I, so I tuck in behind him and just sit there waiting for him to burn out before the line, or be able to jump when need be. Turns out he went too early and I could see the line, so I get out of the saddle and go for it, and by then he had wasted all he had, so it was a pretty easy finish for me. Not sure what place I ended up in, but HBA took 1,2,3, and 5 so it was a very good showing for the team.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

7-13-08 FORC Side Thrill Ride

The 3rd Race in the IMBCS Series was being held at Sunderbrunch Park in Davenport, only problem is I was supposed to be leaving for NY on Sunday, hmm I will do the race and then just drive from there, yeah that works. Get there after the beginner race started, so no pre-riding the course now, no biggie, got registered and walked up the first hill t take a peek at the course. Didn't get to see much, so I would wait and try to get a lap in before the start. Get into my preride at about 11:20, and the course is just over 5 miles long, so I am off at just about race pace just to see as much as I could of the course and after a few miles I realize it doesn't ever come back out to the paved section that you can just cruise back to the start, so I finally see course marshalls coming out and ask one of them where to get out. Find my way out and get to the start line with 10 minutes to go.

The 1st lap they have you go up the paved trail so we get a little more spread out before shooting into the singletrack, which about 99% of the course was, I am on the second row of about 30 plus guys including the single speeders, which start with us but are scored separately. She blows the whistle and we are off, I get clipped in and am about 5th wheel going up the hill with 2 guys behind me, and by the time we hit the top of the paved section we have maybe a 5 second gap, first 3/4 mile is all big ring-able and I am sitting in a good position. We drop down into the creek crossing and then shoot uphill, one guy spins out and I have to jump off to get around him, do a little cyclocrossing run by 3 guys and jump back on and keep going. When we get around to the point where you can see the creek crossing again I look over and the last 10 or so guys are basically stopped waiting, good thing I was up front. The rest of the lap was me and 4 other guys riding pretty closely together and I cam across onto the next lap in 2nd or 3rd place.

2nd lap I am into a groove now and am just turning the pedals over at a constant pace to keep my position. About mile 2 I hit a tree with my shoulder, and could feel that it was pretty messed up, but never stopped to look at it just kept going. Got passed by a couple guys, and at the 1/2 way point I had hit the wall, and lost my rhythm, damn need to focus, a few more trees bounced off with my shoulder, elbow, hips and head I got back into it, but I have no one in sight either in front of or behind me, so just kept it going. I did get up to another guy, got by him, but on one section I wasn't pay attention, and went off course, grabbed a tree and let him go by me, but when I tried going again I fell farther into the woods and off my bike, so that sucked. Got back out of the woods and realized I needed to drink more as that wasn't really an option on this course so I was forcing my self to drink.

3rd and final lap I grabbed a bottle from the feed zone and was gonna make an effort to drink as much as I could on that lap, got to the top of the first climb where we cross the paved trail, grab a drink, and drop my bottle, crap, I grab both brakes and damn near endo, get my bottle picked up and a guy catches me, and I am thinking crap, but he is on a SS so I am all good, I get going again and get back up to him before the creek crossing and actually am in front of him for a little while. The rest of the lap we went back an forth being at the front, and that worked well giving me just enough motivation to keep pushing. Get to the back section of the course, maybe a mile to go, and we start to catch a few guys, sweet, so in the next 1/2 mile I am able to pick up 2 more spots. Get to the last section and just let it go to the finish, downhill for the most part, and it is a section you can flow pretty well. Come out of the woods and take a right turn back a across the bridge to the finish line, coast across the line in 1hour 35 minutes for the 16 mile race.

Waiting around for results because I knew I was top 10, but not sure just where, results get posted and I took 5th place in the Sport Open, and 2nd place Sport Men 30-39. So now wait around to see if I win anything, they do awards and I got a medal for my 2nd place Men 30-39. Leave from there at about 3:30 and now have a 16 hour drive to NY, wasn't gonna make it for that day, but all is good, we are in NY now, and will try and get some good climbing in while we are here. Will be back in a a week, pics will be up maybe tonight or tomorrow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

State Team Time Trial

I was approached by one of the guys from the HBA (Hawkeye Bike Association) Race Team about joining them on their B team for this years Time Trial, after giving it some thought I figured it would be fun to try. The course is 3 laps at 19.33 miles each lap for a total of just under 58 miles, and not really much for climbing. Winds were out of the south making the 2nd to last leg of the course very slow going. Since the team was just thrown together a week before, we didn't have any time to get together and practice, so we did a little warm-up to get things sorted out as far as pulling off and keeping a pretty solid paceline. We were the 14th team to go so we get to the line and get our countdown and we were off, all was going well until we headed down to the first corner and Jason ended up hitting the rumble strips which knocked his fork mount part of his computer off and into his front wheel, not the way to start off the race, so we slowed down so he could stop and fix it, and we were off again. We had a really good rhythm going through the first lap and came around with an average speed of about 23 mph, a little slower than I think we were shooting for, but we could make it work. Got a couple bottles from the feed zone and we were back in action, on the tailwind section we were going good, until Mack, our junior rider was hurting and couldn't get his heartrate back down, so he decided to let us go on without him, and come to find out he turned around and finally got everything sorted out with his heartrate, which kinda hurt us some because you only need 3 to finish and your time is based of the 3rd person to finish. At about mile 35 I cracked hard and slowed alot, which meant the other guys had to wait for me because we needed to finish all together, I went and sat on for the next couple miles to recover. We all decided we weren't drinking enough so we would go into the feed zone again, so before we got there I threw my 2 bottles where the boys were sitting, and see my wife holding up 2 bottles for me, not wanting to stop I had to do a 2 handed grab at about 15 mph, which I was able to get both bottles, and stay upright, according to my wife I got some props from the people standing around for being able to grab 2 bottles at the same time. So onto the 3rd lap, now with 2 new bottles, I was ready to go, or so I thought, man I was getting slower out there everytime I turned the pedals over, but kept going. We got to about mile 42 and Jason had a cramp hit him, and he actually had to stop for a minute to get it all worked out, I knew I couldn't stop or I would have done the same thing, so I kept pedalling at about 7 mph waiting for him and John, who went back to get him, about a mile later we were back together again, and John did pretty much all the work from there on out, John is a long distance rider, he didn't get warmed up till about mile 30, so it was great having someone that strong at that time in the race. He pulled us all the way back into the headwind, I did jump up a few times to the front, but Jason was still fighting cramps, so we had to keep a lower pace. At one point I stood up to stretch and my upper leg about locked up on me, so I sat back down really quick so I could keep going. We made the last corner and out of the headwind, and it was about 2 miles back to the finish line, John was pulling again, and we just sat in until we could see the line, then we increased our speed the best we could and cross the line in 2:43:59 with an average speed of just under 21. We got back to the parking lot, and I couldn't even touch my toes I was in some extreme pain, after about 20 minutes I was able to kinda move. Lesson learned, do more long rides before attempting something like that again, as my longest ride other than this one was 72 miles, and that was early April. Pics will be up sometime, I think we are off to bed. Here are pics of just the HBA team. More pics of other teams will be up later.

Team Time Trial (Hawkeye Bicycling Association guys)


Friday, July 4, 2008

Cat 4 Upgrade

So after some debating I went ahead and upgraded to a Cat 4!!! I know the season is mostly over, but I can finish out the season hopefully strong, and then next year start the year off right. Now to get a serious training program going.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 1 Night at the Oval

What a great night for racing, temps were in the upper 70's, lower 80's, wind was out of the SW at 15mph, and there was a decent turnout too. A few new faces, and some very familiar ones. Have I mentioned how I stand out very much so at these events, it seems like every week it is myself and maybe one other person not in Yellow and Blue, I guess there was also some red and white last night. First race was a 10 lap scratch race, so for about the first 2 laps we were all just going pretty steady, and of course I was up front doing most of the work, so I decided to attack and see where it got me, needless to say it didn't get me too far as we regrouped shortly, but noone would step up and pull, so I went again, and this time we spilt the group up a little bit, but not too bad. By the time we came around to the final lap I didn't have much left in me, so a few attacks from others and I had to settle for an 5th place finish. Next was the 9 lap points race, which every 3 laps you would be sprinting for points, and they are doubled on the last sprint. This one I let one of the other guys do all the work the first couple laps until the sprint, which the first sprint I think I came across in 3rd, so back to sitting on and setting up for the next one, which I had a great lead out and ended up winning the 2nd sprint, and then we slowed down and regrouped again so I had someone else to work with, and appears we almost slowed down too much as going into the last lap I look over and notice the 2 masters in our race coming by at a high rate of speed, and I was the only one to jump on their wheel, and let the one pull me around for half a lap, then I had to go for it, by now I had a pretty good lead on the rest of the pack, and came across in first and ended up winning the points race. Then he decided to switch things up and have us do a 3 lap scratch race the opposite direction, and at the start the one guy turned it into a 3 lap sprint basically, I tried to hold his wheel as long as I could, but that didn't happen and I ended up in 5th place. Next race was a big gear race, which this was the first time I had my 52x11 so trying to get started in that gear is a pain, but once you get going all is ok, well unless you drop your chain over the top of your chainring like I did and have to shift it back on, which cost me a few valuable seconds, but I was back into it and gaining on a few guys, and by the time we got around the last corner I was in 5th place and gaining on people, I shot right in between 2 guys that had obviously given up, and took 2nd place. Final race for the night was the granny gear race which was both the A&B groups together, the whistle blows and we are off, man do I love my new pedals, I was in so quickly I had a gap in the first 50 feet, and I can hear from behind me Carson screaming out "Go you mountain biker" I don't know how I did it but I was able to spin it up to 24 mph at one point, one guy did get around me and I could not get back on him at all, so I settled in for a 2nd place. Overall for the night I took 3rd in the B group and 3rd in the Cat 5's. Pics will be up sometime...