Friday, December 25, 2009

2009 Year in Review/2010 plans

2009 was by far the longest season I have had so far, not in the number of races I entered, but it all started back in January with roller races and continued on with at least one race a month till November. I feel that by dong that I had peaked really early in the season and in turn had a bad cross season.

One thing I was focused on was winning the Cat 2 overall for the IMBCS mountain bike series, and after the first couple of races it was looking pretty good with myself and Nick Sobocinski going back and forth for the top spot. I did get a gap in the points by going to the race in Ida Grove that only few people traveled out to, great race course, but 4+ hour drives aren't friendly. Then about 1/2 way through the season Rick Blackford came from out of nowhere, started winning races and made for a really tight battle in points, but a few wins from him, and me not traveling to Council Bluffs and the cancellation of Sugar Bottom left me 13 points shy of winning. Such a disappointment on my end, but the stronger rider came out on top.

I did a few road events, and really realized that I am not cut out to be a road racer, I don't understand tactics that are needed to do well, I hear them say start and I tear myself inside out in the first few minutes like I would in a MTB race, and then when I settle into a rhythm that works for me, I get dropped, and it is game over. I did manage a decent result at Snake Alley, thanks to me ability to climb pretty well, but the next day at Melon City I was OTB after 2 laps and pulled not to long after that. The State Crit I tried to help a teammate that went off the front in the beginning of the race, fell off again and never recovered.

Then there was cross season, the one thing that I look forward to the most in the year, and I had a decent first race, but then got sick with some sinus stuff that wouldn't go away, I was sick for well over a month, and once I would start feeling good, I would go ride and right back to feeling like crap. So I took it easy and tried to make sure I was good for Jingle Cross, so instead of the 15 or so races that I could have done, I was down to just 6 for the fall season. I did pretty well at Jingle Cross considering I am a back of the pack Cat 3, and it was a really strong Cat 2/3 race.

Ok now moving on to 2010. I am at a point where I need to start thinking about the other members of my family and what they want to do with their cycling. Both of our kids will be old enough to race in the Junior races, and my wife has showed interest in doing both more cross races, and also trying a crit or 2.

I think it will be best for me then to put any personal major goals on hold for this year and help focus on them and their training, so I will not be competing for the overall win in the IMBCS series but will hit some of the more fun races and try for good results at those events. Road events will be limited to Snake Alley and the race that HBA will be putting on here in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area, oh and if Kent Park happens I will do that. Cross Season will be my major focus so hoping for a late peak in my training so I can be a little more competitive.

Training for 2010 starts next week, I have been on the rollers/riding outside at least once or twice a week in December just to keep the legs moving, but the real stuff starts soon. I hope to see you all out there again, and I will keep this updated as often as I race, maybe some status updates on how training is going and how the family is doing in their racing.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jingle Cross Rock

Last weekend brought Thanksgiving, and the return of the Jingle Cross Rock, only this year would be the first year as a 3 day event with night racing Friday night on a course powered by lighting from Musco, and some Christmas lights.

Lets start with Friday night, this was a toss up if I would even be racing in this one as I had to work Friday, and not sure if I was getting off early. I did get off and loaded up the car and headed down the highway towards Iowa City. I had heard from Kyle that the descent off Mt. Krumpit was sketchy with all the rain we have had that would turn it into a muddy mess, and it was on off camber switchback coming down, and as soon as we pull into the parking lot you can look up the hill and see it. I did get up there to check it out, didn't get to ride it before racing as other races were going on and it was rideable. Show up to the line for staging and see that there was about 65-70 of us in the Cat 2/3 race, I was sitting 4th row and it was a fast start with the first lap having us do basically a half lap including the descent of Mt Krumpit before heading out for a full lap. The first time down I knew it would be really bad with that many people trying to go down at once, by the time we hit that section I was towards the back of the pack, but still had enough people around me to make it even more sketchy. I get into the first right hander of the switchback, and the guy infront of me didn't go around the corner, he decided to stop and head straight down towards the fence, and that caused me to crash over the fence I tumbled, and it took me a few seconds to recover and get back to my bike losing time, but I was able to get back on and catch most of the people that chose to walk the hill. Next time around I had fewer people around me so I was able to make up any time I lost on the run-up by just letting it go down the hill and fly by those walking. The course conditions were pretty bad with mud that was really thick and it was causing alot of problems with people breaking rear derailleurs or hangers, the unofficial total was 30 for the night. I was able to ride it the next few laps only having problems on the 2nd to last lap where I got stuck in a rut and went down, but this time I was right back up and going again. The barns we went through were all lit up, and Grinch's lair was nicely groomed and there was a nice path through the sand. I had my best finish of the weekend taking 35th out of 45 starters.

Day 2 would bring us back to conditions that were a little better, a little less mud and temperatures in the mid 50's with lots of sun. Todays race would take us up the big run-up on Mt. Krumpit, 80 meters long and deep mud from the bottom to the top. I got about the same starting position, but would not get that great of a start and ended up towards the back fairly quickly but still had people behind me. The descent down Mt. Krumpit was a long not so steep hill, but it was very muddy, and people had lots of issues getting down and lots of crashes. I was able to find a great line, and figured out if you just point the bike in the direction you wanted to go and kept pedaling you could make good time down the hill. I did hear from alot of people that I made it down just as good if not better then most of the others including some of the Pro's that raced later in the day. I did make plans today to have my dads bike in the pit so after 2 laps I did grab his bike and let him clean off my bike a little bit. One thing I noticed is his bike has less clearance on the fork and clogged up with mud at the top of the hill, so I lost some time there, but switched back when I could. I did end up staying with the same group for most of the race, I would pass them on the downhill and they would pull away in the field sections. I didn't do quite as good as Friday night, but still 44th place for the day.

Sunday would find us up really early as both Angy and Salem were racing at 8:30am and the both did great. We showed up early enough to get a lap in before their race started, and with this being my wifes second race ever she was nervous and excited, and had a goal to not let Salem beat her again. They did start the juniors about 1 minute after, and she was able to hold him off, and even make up some more time then the one minute gap at the start. The did rerake the sand, so it was harder to ride today. My legs were really feeling the effects of racing 2 days and also running around taking pictures and cheering on others, coming up to the line was an effort in itself but I had every intention of finishing. Typically on Sunday we would be descending Mt. Krumpit on that same section that was the run-up from the previous day, but they decided to change it due to the conditions and we would use the switchback downhill, but this time it would be a left, right, left, right and then a short drop off and another right turn. I knew that section would be hectic, but it was so late in the lap that we would be very spread out. Today we would also see lots of long field sections with about a 20 mph headwind, I was off the back after one lap, and I had one or two guys in front of me but just could never catch them, I would make up some time on the downhill, but they would drop me again in the fields. I was going into the second to last lap and could hear them announcing that the leaders were coming down the hill just after I had crossed the line, so for the first time this weekend I would be getting lapped, but I would try my best to hold them off. I made it all the way to the run-up before getting caught, so I let the first 2 guys go by before descending for the final time. In a way I was relieved to get lapped because I would have been the last one out on course and was not looking forward to another lap in that wind. I finished in 45th place on the day, so my worst finish of the weekend, but still a decent showing.

Looking back I now know what 3 days of racing feels like, and I know what I will have to do before next year to get ready for it, also I realized that I am a very good technical rider, and I need to work on the fast flat sections so I can be an all around better rider, and maybe next year I will have more consistant finishes. So that brings an end to the 2009 race season, pictures will be up at Angy's Photo's shortly.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cross Season Updates

Well this year has not gone as planned thats for sure. Sugarbottom ended up getting cancelled, so that shot my chances of winning the IMBCS Series again, instead I ended up in 2nd Place for the Cat 2 Open class. Since that weekend I have been fighting a cold on and off, and finally all of my sinuses have started draining, so that is a good thing, and I can finally get back on the bike and salvage the rest of this season.

October 11th was my first race of the season, and also being our 12th Wedding Anniversary my wife also decided to race as her first race ever. She did great coming in 3rd place in the Beginner Women's race, and she now knows how much pain cross involves when you are trying to go all out for as long as you can. I did the 3/4 race which was right after her race, so while I was running around trying to take pictures, it didn't give me much time to warm up. Oh well I lined up and was ready to go, got a decent start, and was in the pack for the first lap or so, but then started sliding back towards the back of the field and would just stay there for the rest of the race. I was able to catch and pass a couple people, but not making up any ground quickly. I think I ended up finishing around 14th or so out of 17. Was a great day though as we had cupcakes, and the wife and I dressed up, she had altered a dress and had her headpiece attached to her helmet, and I had a dress shirt we modified with a corsage on it, so we had a lot of fun with it.

2 weeks later would find us back in the Quad Cities for the second race in the Dice Series, and even though I was the only one racing today I decided to do the Masters 30+ race, one for the 60 minute race time for more training, and we didn't have to get up as early. We had gotten a bit of rain the week before, and there was one section that was sloppy, but for the most part it was fast and dry. I wanted to get a good start because in the earlier race the first corner claimed a few riders as it was a slick 90 degree left hander. I know going into this race I would be towards the back, and after 2 laps I was off the back of the 30+ and was back with some of the 40 and 50 guys, so I had people to ride with. I set out to just ride my own race, and not worry about position. I was finally feeling decent on the bike, so was able to put some power down to the pedals. Was a great day for a race, temps in the 50's and sunny, here is a video of me at the one barrier section

This past weekend was the first time I was able to get back on the bike and feel somewhat normal, I am still feeling the effects of being sick, trying to get rid of this before Jingle Cross Thanksgiving weekend. There are 2 races between now and then, and I will hopefully get updates up here sooner then 2 weeks.

As always pictures can be found here

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

24 Hours of Seven Oaks

Once again it is that time of the year, time to have the most fun you can have on a bike in 24 hours, well that is the theory. I did have a good time again, was a lot tougher then last year but still fun. Our first hurdle was not being able to find a 4th for our team, so we ended up doing it as a 3 man 24 hour team, good and bad. Good because the 3 of us are pretty evenly matched when it comes to how we ride and lap times, but bad because less rest between laps.

Once again this year I would start us off, I had no problems with that, gave me the opportunity to get us into a decent position after the first lap. Le Mans style start (lay your bike down and run to it) and I was the first to my bike, was able to get through the traffic, get on my bike and be first out to the gravel road. From there it is a long 1/2 mile climb up to the campground where we would drop into the singletrack and work our way down to the start finish area and begin the real lap from there. First lap went fairly routinely as I was 5th or so into the woods, and really the front guys are going to usually be your fastest anyways so I wasn't too worried about being stuck behind anybody. I was with 2 other guys for a little bit, one who had never ridden the trails here before and when he bobbled one of the switchback climbs I was able to get around him, which he used to his advantage so he could follow my lines as I have ridden many laps here in the past year. We get back down to the bottom and go into the chute for the exchange to the next rider, get Tom on his way and I can go rest. Look down and notice I did the first lap in under 45 minutes, sweet that is a crazy fast time considering at the XC race 2 weeks before I was doing 45 minute laps, and they were 1/2 mile shorter laps.

Now it was time to sit back and rest a little while Tom and Chris would each ride their first laps, so I sat down ate some food, and watched others race. We were keeping track of who was coming through, how fast they were doing laps, and also what place we were in overall. Watching as the first 3 teams would jockey back and forth depending on who was riding. My turn came up and I would head out for another lap, and this one had less traffic so I was able to just set my own pace and go for it. This lap would be about a minute slower then my previous one, but still a respectable time. So now we are 4 laps into it, and can see we are sitting in 3rd place for the overall, sweet. Next couple laps go by and we are behind by a few minutes, and a few minutes ahead of the next closest team, so as long as we can keep up the pace we were going at we would be fine. Chris was turning some really great lap times in the low 40 minute range, so that was helping us out. I went out for my next lap and saw the one guy from the 2nd place team come running back with his chain in his hand, oops, but that just put us back into second. I was able to match my previous lap time of just over 45 minutes keeping us where we were at. By now it was time to sit down eat some dinner which was some chicken and rice, and rest before heading back out for what would be my last lap before nightfall.

After 7pm you are required to take your lights with you whether you use them or not they have to be there. So I get my bike all setup for night racing and go wait for the exchange. I got going just before 7, and knew the sun would be setting soon, so I had to bust out another good lap to make it back before dark, wanted to conserve light if I could. It did start to get a little dark in the woods for the last mile, but I was able to make it through without the use of my lights, and still had a good lap time. Now that night had fallen I knew that both fatigue and the fact that I don't have the greatest lights would slow me down a little bit for the next few times. Got out on my first night lap right around 10pm and it was dark. I was out running my lights on the downhill sections, not good, and trying to get them pointed where I wanted was costing me a little time. I did slow down some on that lap, down to 53 minutes as I was really starting to get tired, so when I got back I went and layed down for a little to try and rest. My next lap was up just before midnight, and not having slept yet and with the cool temps it was hard to get the legs going. It was a full moon 2 nights before, so when you got to an open area the moon was very bright and helped being able to see some. That lap I was in at 56 minutes and needed some sleep.

Now here is where we went wrong, we didn't switch to 2 laps each to allow some rest time, we kept going on a 1 lap rotation like we had been, and that proved to be a problem. I did get about 30 minutes of sleep this time, and knew going back out I would be able to still do a lap, just not as fast. I got back on the bike and was just all over the place by now, and tried the best I could to keep moving forward and not stop. Now that is was 3 in the morning most guys had stopped racing, or something because there was hardly anyone out in the woods, was peaceful and all, but had no one in front or behind be to judge my lap times off. This lap I slowed a little and was just over 57 minutes, back to try and catch some sleep.

30 more minutes of sleep and mt alarm goes off, it is now 5:40am, and I know Chris is coming around soon, so I just up get dressed, grab my light off the charger and run over to the finish line to wait. Hmm no Chris, ok there are a few guys coming in, so I go and check out the lap board to see that we are a lap or 2 down now from 3rd place, damn. So I talked with the couple people that were still there, and someone asked if that was the updated numbers and they said yes, but wait the last completed lap by our team was at 3:30ish which would have been my last lap, did they miss Tom, I know I heard Chris get up to do his lap, hmm we will deal with that soon. Fast forward to 6am now and I can see what I believe is Chris coming down the hill, quite foggy hard to see. Indeed it was Chris, he comes across the line, tells me that Tom had quit 1/2 way through his lap, he was going to hit the shower and sleep, he was done. Crap what do I do, I got up, I might as well go do a lap so we don't fall too far behind, so I head out for what would be my slowest lap of the race. I never got off the bike to walk any of the hills, I would just sit and spin at 2 mph on some of them and keep making forward progress. Got back with a lap time of 1hour 2 minutes, and decided it was time to lay down, the sun had started coming up on this last lap, I watched the sunrise on top of the hill, and looked into the valley to a fog covered ski area, was a very nice view, but at that point I was too tired to admire it.

I never fell back asleep, but did hear Chris wake up at about 8 so I decided to get up and see what he was feeling like and what his plans were. He figured by now we were so far out of contention we should probably just pack it in and call it a day, since I now had my coffee in hand, and the wife started the grill for pancakes, we headed over to look at the scoreboard. Wow we were still sitting in 5th place overall and 2nd place in the 3 man team's. So we didn't want to lose those places and we did see guys still turning out laps, so we decided to both turn in one more lap a piece since the team that was winning was 3 laps ahead of us, and they had that many done just after 7am, even if we did 3 we couldn't catch them, and to do 4 with just under 4 hours would have been impossible with how we felt. Chris decided to fore go breakfast and head out for an easy lap, he said even if it was an hour and 10 minutes he was doing it, so I ate and waited for a little to get dressed. At around the 55 minute mark or so someone said they saw Chris at the top of the hill, at that point I had about 4 minutes to get dressed and back on the bike, not a problem, he only had to wait about 2 minutes for me over at the exchange area. I was back on the bike, full of caffeine and pancakes, and ready to rock. I had yet to ride a clean lap without putting a foot down all weekend, and was starting to get pissed about that, so that was my goal for this lap. I got to the top of the hill for the last time, looked down and noticed, hey I am only about 6 minutes off my day time laps from the previous day, hmm do I have enough for one more lap??? Well by this time the other team in first place caught on that we were riding more laps, so they sent a guy out to chase us down so we didn't pull off a sneak attack late in the race. I stopped by and grabbed a Coke from the tent on my way by, and headed out for one last lap. This lap would be about 3 minutes slower then my other one, but did it feel good to be that strong after not sleeping and racing so much. I am happy to report that both of those laps were ridden cleanly with the only time I stopped was to fill my bottle.

Some stats from the weekend,
5th Place Overall
2nd Place 3 man 24 Hour
10 laps of Boone
8hours 39 minutes of racing
81 miles
8000+ feet of climbing

I need to thank all the people that made this possible this weekend including my wonderful wife who made food for us, and we wouldn't have eaten as well if not for her. Chris's dad for coming out and helping with setup and tear down of our camp. My kids for being there to cheer on our team as well as most of the other guys that we now know from doing races, and all the people involved in making this race happen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IMBCS #8 Seven Oaks

I am not sure what it is about this place, but it seems like I can not catch a break when it comes to racing here. Read on and you will see what I am talking about.

Got to the race with plenty of time to head up and do a couple miles in the woods to get a feel for the tight technical course that has the most climbing of any race in the area. Chris Reed, Rob McKillip and John Peters all from the HBA Team had shown up to race, good to see some more guys out there doing the mountain bike racing this year. Lined up, and with the combined start of Cat 2 and Single Speeder's there was 46 of us, and once again being in the front was the spot to be. We take off in a grass field, heading towards the turn point at the ski lift, was in 3rd place at this point and held that place when we hit the singletrack. I was keeping no more then 10-15 feet between the 2 guys in front of me, and me, and not sure who was behind me or where, but didn't look back, kept going. First lap is always hectic as everyone is fighting for position on the 7+ mile loop since there isn't much passing once you get in there. Made it up the back hill and back down into the valley to start climbing the backside of the main hill for the first of many times, and the guy in 1st bobbles on one of the skinny bridges, fell off and took the guy in 2nd with him, I was able to get by, and didn't look back. So now we are about 2 miles into the race, and 4 of us have about a minute gap over the field. I was starting to hurt from the high pace and turned it down slightly, and was sitting on 4th place with still a good gap. Thats the nice thing about this race is you can see alot of the course, so you can keep an eye on others. Then it happened, I was cruising along just flowing through the corners, go into a right-hander a little too fast, and wash out. Well when that happened I turned the bars at a 90 degree angle and ended up tacoing my front wheel, DAMN not another bad time at this race. I sit there for a few seconds, look around and noone is caught up to me yet, but I can see them coming, so I see if I can ride it a little bit, and yes it is rideable since it is bent away from my fork it isn't rubbing, all is ok. Going straight isn't bad, the faster I went it got easier to ride, and turning right wasn't and issue, but left turns it just wanted to wash out, not good. So I am going slower now, but still going. I do let Chris, Nick, Rick and a few others go by me, and then when I get to where my wife was taking pictures I stopped and let about 10 guys go by me, not sure if I was going to continue or abandon. I decided after about 20 seconds I would try and ride it for as long as I could. I am sure when I came down the hill going into the second lap I was getting some strange looks from spectators, but I wasn't going to quit.

Started the second lap feeling pretty good, just had to focus and work a little harder to keep the wheel straight. I could start seeing that I was reeling in a few guys now, one of them was Nick, and the other was Chris. I would catch Nick on the descent into the valley, and just pace myself off him for a little while. The 2 of us kept hitting it pretty hard on the spots we could, and eventually caught up to Chris, so the three of us were now riding together. We hit a flatter section, and I was feeling really good, so I got around Nick and was now riding Chris's wheel, he was carrying too much speed going into a corner, and had the wrong line, and I was able to get around him at that point. Made it through the corner I had crashed on during the first lap and just never looked back. I had begun to catch up to one of the Experts that started 5 minutes ahead of us, and was able to get around him, so now I was at a point where I knew I had 2 guys right behind me, but not sure where the guys in front were at. I made it back to the top part of the course, and just pushed as hard as I could to finish.

Came across the line in 9th Place overall and 5th Place in the Cat 2 Open, and furthering my lead in the series. The one thing I have noticed about that is I have yet to win a race, but I have been consistant and have been participating in all the events which is really what has kept me in the lead. Coming up next is the 24 Hour's of Seven Oaks in 2 weeks, and we still only have a 3 man team, so hopefully we can find a 4th before then, if not we will still have fun with it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 9th Lake Ahquabi

Heading into this weeks race I have been off the bike for almost the entire week due to being oncall for work, which the riding I did amounted to a total of 50 minutes on the rollers. I was heading down there just to get more points for the IMBCS Series, so showing up and finishing were my main objectives for the day.

The course was a 7.5 mile loop with roughly 700 feet of climbing per lap, all of which came in about 3 climbs that were good length and then shot you right back down the other side. 22.5 miles in total of double track with absolutely no technical sections, so not a course that suits me at all. I got down early enough to get a lap in, and took that at a leisurely pace and still managed to do it in around 40 minutes.

The start was different as it was a mass start for all categories, so we had Experts, Sport, Single Speed, and Beginners all lined up and ready to go. Was not on the front line as most of the Experts had made there way up there, and also since it wasn't a huge deal to get to the single track first, since there was none, second row was fine. We start rolling and get to the first climb which came about 1/4 mile in and that would be where the separation would begin, I was still up in the mix with some Experts, and some of the faster Sport guys catching up. Still going at probably a higher pace then what I wanted to be at, but at one time I looked down and we were rolling along at 20mph or so. I had made the decision to back it off a bit so I could finish at the very least know that I would not be in contention for a good placing this week. Heading into the long paved climb on the back section of the course I was probably sitting in the top 5 or so in the Sport class, so that was good for me. I was able to keep my position on the hills and not loose any places there, but was getting killed on the flats.

Started the second lap and had found a rhythm that was working for me at that point, had one of the other guys catch up to me that I have been beating this year at the other races, and at that point I was just trying to keep up with him, I was starting to feel the fatigue setting in and still had 14+ miles of racing to go. More of the same on this lap, would loose some spots on the flat fast sections, but almost make up some of it on the climbs. By the time that lap was over I knew I was still in the top 10, but was out of the top 3 for my class. So I would just keep powering on though the next lap and see what that brought me.

Third and final lap I was starting to cramp up a little bit, and was taking on as much water as I could, when I could. I had really no one in front of me, or behind me that I could see at this point, so kind of stuck in no mans land just making my way towards the finish, but a lot slower this lap. We got to about the half way mark and I could see 2 guys behind me in the distance, one being Nick from Geoff's Bike and Ski and 2nd Place in the Sport Open for the Series, so I knew I couldn't let him get too much of a gap on me. When he caught up we chatted for a little bit, he told me had had a mechanical on the first lap and had only one chainring bolt left on his little ring, ouch. So he got by me and I just tried to keep him in my sights as long as possible. After the next section he was gone, and I had one more guy coming up pretty quickly. I did my best to hold him off as long as possible, and just before the end he was right on my wheel. The finish for this race was on the final lap you took a sharp left hander and headed straight up this grassy climb back to the lodge. So with him right on my wheel, and a couple people cheering I dropped it down about 3 gears, put my head down and just powered up the hill.

Came across the line 13th overall, and 5th Place Sport Open. Still a respectable result for not riding all week, and being on a course that was not my thing, I think I got 5th here last year. Next race on the calendar is Seven Oaks in two weeks, and I have some redemption with that race as that is where I had double flatted last year and finished the race on my front rim and flat rear.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 1st and 2nd Camp Ingawanis

Another 2 day mountain bike race weekend, this time a Time Trial on Saturday followed by the XC race in Sunday. Really sweet thing was the TT course was the same as the XC course, so I was able to do a good amount of scouting out the trail beforehand.

Saturdays TT wasn't well attended, only 11 people racing, but some very strong competition. We started off in 2 minute incriments, so we would be spaced out and not on top of each other the whole time. I was 3rd to register so not too many people for me to chase in the woods. I got off to a good start and was pacing myself pretty well, knowing where I had to be at what times to do a good lap. Came across the line with a time of 22:49 which was almost 2 minutes off my pre-ride times, but only good enough for 8th overall.

Sunday brought on the XC race, 3 laps of the 4.6 mile course for the Cat 2's with a long gravel road start to try and break us up some. Got to the line and was in the front row, knowing the holeshot once again would be crucial, and got on it from the gun. Was the first one in the woods and had a teammate and another guy right on my wheel. Bobbled one corner and took it too wide and got passed. Sitting in second place now with Chris Reed behind me helping push me along, took another corner too fast and it was full of sand and went down, popped right back up and kept going. Got to a spot where it had opened up and let Chris go around me as he was feeling way stronger then me at this point. I would hold his wheel as long as I could before getting passed by one of the singlespeed guys. Going into lap 2 I was in 4th and about 15 seconds behind the lead 3.

Second lap I was starting to feel a bit better, but had no climbing legs, and while there wasn't a hole lot of climbing there was enough to make it hurt. Ended up catching up to the guys in fromt of me in one technical section and was right on their wheel again, stayed there for a bit until it opened up and the other 2 guys went around Chris and me and him were 3-4 at this point. He let me pass after a little bit, and I knew there was another group of guys coming up fast. At the end of this lap I was in 5th or so coming across for one final lap.

Final lap started with me and another guy right behind me, he would get by me soon after the first section, but I could still hear Chris back there yelling at me to keep going. I pushed as hard as I could, and all was going well till I hit the few little climbs and my legs were just shot by this point. I had the one junior behind me, and the guy that is in second overall for the points series right behind him, so I could not give up any room at this point. Knowing we were less then 10 minutes to the finish line I was going as hard as I could. I was able to keep them back about 10 seconds up till the last 1/4 mile. At this point I put in one last acceleration and was able to put almost 30 seconds on the 2 of them. Came across the line in 7th overall, and 3rd place in the Sport Open.

Waited around for results and prizes, ended up getting some Ergon grips, might give them a try since everyone that has them raves about them. The best thing was they were having a raffle for a Surly Karate Monkey Frameset, and Chris had just won a long sleeve jersey, and said if I won the bike he would trade me, and before I oculd answer him the pulled my name out of the box! So I am getting a new 29er frameset for free :) Awesome weekend.

Here is a link to pictures. From now on that will be the site for all our pictures, and there is a link in the upper right of the blog.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 18th and 19th Sco Co Pa Frenzy and Chase

This past weekend was a 2 day event in the Quad Cities area which consisted on a Short Track race on Saturday and a Cross Country race on Sunday. Sundays race counted towards the IMBCS series overall, and that would be the day I would hope to do well at.

Saturday showed up and got registered with plenty of time to spare so we walked the course to see for good spots for pictures and get a feel for it. I was able to get a couple warm-up laps in to get familiar with the corners. For the Cat 2 race it was 12 miles of basically a flat fast course with many corners, and only one small climb. Got to the line looked around and saw about 10 or so riders, so a small turnout, but still some good competition. Got the holeshot going into the woods and already had a small gap. First couple laps went fairly routine with a couple guys pretty close, and one guy on a single speed sitting right on my wheel by now. I would bobble one of the corners and put my inside pedal down and spin out, so now I was starting to feel some pressure to keep the speed up. I would stay in front for now, but another poor corner after a few laps and I was in second. By this point we are at least 20 or so seconds ahead of the rest of the group, and I am down around 10 seconds, and could not bring the gap back. Being this was a short track we started to lap people by now and getting behind some lapped traffic at the wrong point put me down a little farther. By the final lap I was about 15 seconds off the lead and would settle in for a second place finish. Pretty fun event, something I would do again, wish it was a little shorter being the day before a longer race, but was still fun.

Sunday brought us to the XC race. 19.5 miles of mainly all singletrack, with very tight turns, lots of trees on the sides of the trails, and a little bit of short climbs, but nothing major. Got on the front line of the race, there were 62 starters today, and the start would be very important as it was close to 300 yards to the singletrack with a 180 degree right hander into it from the field. Got the holeshot again, and didn't look back, the first section was the same course they used for the short track so I was just moving at that point. The course had a bunch of switchbacks and places where you can see the riders behind you. I was holding on to about a 10 second lead the entire way through the first lap, and feeling pretty good. Starting the second lap a guy was able to get up to me, but that was a good feeling because I had someone there to help push me along so we kept up a solid pace. Still with a good lead we hit one section where they cut out a tree and I hear the guy behind me go down, and find out after the race he flatted the front tire and went over the bars, so I was alone again. Starting the final lap I had about a 30 second lead, but the guys were coming fast, and I was starting to feel it in my legs. I drank when I could but my legs were cramping up pretty bad, and by the first 2 miles into the lap I was caught. Was able to keep in front for a short time, but once it opened up I let the pass as they were alot faster then I was at this point. I get into the final 2 mile loop in 4th place with still a decent gap over the rest of the field, but fading fast. I get about 1/2 mile from the finish and I have a rear flat, damn, so I try and push the bike up the hills and ride it on the flats and downhills, but about 1/4 mile my tire came off the rim and the tube wrapped around the rear hub so I had to stop and take the wheel off to get it rolling again. Knowing if I try and replace it now I would loose more time and just decide to run it the final section. While running I had a couple more people pass me and I lost a good 2 minutes or so messing with the tube. Ended up coming across the line with lots of people cheering and finished in 18th place out of 55 finishers. Looking back if I would have just ran it from when I first saw the flat I might have had a few more places, but I made a different decision and that is what it was.

Racing picks up again in 2 weeks with 3 IMBCS Races in the month of August and lots of points available for the series which I am currently leading.

Sco Co Pa Frenzie

Sco Co Pa Chase

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Iowa State Criterium Championships

This past Sunday brought bike racing back to Cedar Rapids after being gone for a number of years. It turned out to be a great day weather wise and a great turnout for the event. The course was setup downtown as part of the Freedom Festival, and included racing across the 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave bridges.

We rolled in about 8:15 because Salem was doing the Junior 10-12 race at 9:30 and that way we could get all setup and watch him race before he headed off to Boy Scout Camp for a week. His race went well with 10 juniors showing up between the ages of 10 and 14 both boys and girls. He took 4th Place in the 10-12 age group, and ended up bringing home a Silver Medal for the age 10-12 boys race, great job.

The rest of the day also went well for the rest of the HBA racing team as we have Chris Eastburn taking home the Gold Medal in the Masters 50+ as well as a Bronze in the 40+, Rob McKillip taking the Gold in the Cat 5's, Dustin Salter with Silver in the Cat 5's, and Macklin Scheldrup with the Win and Gold Medal in the Juniors 17-18.

My race was at 2 in the afternoon, so about 1 o'clock I got ready, hopped on the trainer for a bit and warmed up. Showing up to the line I could see a great turnout for the Cat 4 race, 40 riders in all. I really had no plan as my training has been lacking this year, just hang on as long as I could really and go from there. We started of with a preem on the first lap, so that picked up the pace right away with one guy going off the front for his prize, and noone really chasing him for that, but the pace was fast from the gun. Mack try's to launch early on and I was sitting about 5th or 6th wheel and could see him go, and noone responded, probably due to it being so early in the race, so I jump out of the saddle and ride up to him bringing another HBA rider with me and we stayed out for a little bit but was caught after about a lap or so. Sat back in with the group about mid pack and figured I would just sit in and hold on now. Well about 1/2 way through the race a few attcks happened and I just was unable to keep the pace and slowly fell off the back with a few other riders. I would end up riding about 3 laps solo before finally being able to bridge up to another guy and work togther which worked out well for us. We ended getting lapped with around 7 laps to go, so we jumped on the back of the pack and tried to settle in for a bit and recover. One thing I was noticing was how poorly some of the guys were going through the corners, and not able to hold a line, pretty scary when you have a group of 30+ riders. So I stayed to the inside of the corners, tried staying out of the wind and hung on till one lap to go. I was off the back again, as were others, and good thing because the second to last corner there was a pretty good crash and unfortunatly it took out Mack, he was ok, just a little shooken up from the crash. I was able to come across the line in 30th place out of 34 finishers.

If I learned anything from this race it is to sit in as long as you can, and that is what I have a hard time doing. Oh well that is all part of racing, so now other then a few more Night at the Oval races I am hanging up my road bike and looking forward to finishing up the IMBCS mountain bike series and then into cross season.

Gold Pointe Fitness Club Criterium 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Night at the Oval

I guess I can do a short write up on this one. We showed up and I could see guys I have not seen at the Oval before, but I knew who most of them were, and that means tonights A race would be that much harder.

First race was a 12 lap scratch race, and after 5 laps I was off the back and ended up getting lapped. Then we did a 13 lap points race, and sprints for points every lap, after about 7 laps I had a go for some points, and that didn't work out for me, so I just tried to not get lapped, but that didn't happen either. Next we had an 8 lap scratch race, and the pace wasn't quite as high, and I don't think I got shot off the back for this one and finished at the back of the pack. Then we did some team time trail races, we ended up winning, but my legs were shot and I couldn't do much at the pace of the other guys. Finished the night off with a Big Gear race which I was in about 4th place coming into the last corner, and I cross wheels with a teammate at about 20 mph, and almost went down, so that was it for me, and then a granny gear race which I did well in, maybe top 5 on that one, with a max cadance of 170 rpm's.

Night at the Oval

Monday, June 1, 2009

IMBCS #3 Summerset Shootout

Yesterday brought the next mountain bike race in the series, and after my performance last weekend I wasn't sure how it would go. I know I still haven't nailed down any structure in my training this year, so heres how it goes.

Headed down there early because they had a kids race, so the boys were very excited about that, and I wanted to get a lap in before their race, but I would have to wait till after, but I had 2 hours before I raced. The first 2 miles of trails were very technical, with some steep drops that shot you right back up the other side, some loose climbs, and a lot of tight off camber sections, so the start would be important. After that you hit about a half mile road section before the next singletrack, which was nice to get some water into you and keep a high pace. The next section of trails were basically flat, some sand sections, and lots of tight turns, but nothing too hard.

Lined up after they started the experts, and I was on the front line, good place to be, look back to see roughly 40-50 others, and knowing it was a local race for more than half of them I would be in trouble if I let some of them get ahead of me. From the start line there is about 1/4 mile road section before getting into the woods. Locked out the fork, was in the big ring, they give is the go, and just hammered it. I was able to get the holeshot, and enter the woods first, good because right after entering the woods there was a log crossing, and then a really tight tree section which if you had wide bars you wouldn't fit. Also knowing the first 2 miles wouldn't allow any passing I was sitting good. I did have a guy pretty close, and I just kept going as hard as I could. I made it through most of the first lap without too many issues, other than the one I had to run up since you come down, take a more than 90 degree turn, and then straight up a short 50 foot or so climb that was pretty loose. By the time we hit the road section I got caught by another guy, and we kinda took turns drafting each other and made some good time making to the next section, he got a better line in a few corners, and was ahead of me by about 20 seconds at the end of that lap.

Second lap I entered the woods following a Singlespeeder that had a mechanical, and he was gone, but I just kept at it. I was caught by the one junior in the sport race about halfway through the first section, and I bobbled a climb, and had to get off, and he got by me. We did ride together for a little bit, but he was able to pull away after a couple more stupid moves on my part. Just before getting out of the woods we ended up passing the guy that was in the lead due to a mechanical. Onto the road section and I knew I couldn't bridge up to him, so I just tried to maintain the gap. Came out of the wood section, and didn't see him on the next road, so I knew he pulled away some. Got through my feed zone and grabbed a bottle for the final lap.

Third and final lap and I am sitting in 2nd place at the moment, and I am starting to feel it in the legs on every little climb. By this lap I had figured out what gear to be in for certain sections and was able to ride the entire first section cleanly. I did hear some guys coming up from behind me, look back a section and see what I thought was 2 guys, but must have only been one because within the next couple minutes he was closing in on me. Got to one of the loose climbs and I mis-shifted and sent my chain over the top of my cassette, and I stopped to make sure it didn't get stuck and break, which allowed him to pass me. So I get right back on and try to hold his wheel, but didn't happen, so he was gone by the time we got to the road. I looked back and saw nobody, until I was about 1/4 mile out onto the road and someone popped out of the woods, so it was go time for every last little bit I had in me. Thankfully I was able to get some second wind and keep up a good pace through the last wood section. I didn't see him gaining, and once back on the pavement heading to the finish line, it was big ring time, and just hammer it home.

Came across the line in 3rd Place overall for the Sport Class, a really good finish despite how I felt beforehand, and I was very pleased with how the 29er handled the tight stuff.

IMBCS #3 Summerset

Monday, May 25, 2009

Melon City Crit 5-24-09

Next race for the weekend was in Muscatine, it is a mile long course which includes a screaming downhill, a speed hump at the bottom, and a climb back up to the top of the park.  Me and Mac somehow got our registration in about the same time as he was #1 and I was #2, which was nice because that got us on the front line.  Picked a spot on the right side so I could be on the outside of the first turn, a 90 degree left hander which many of people either hit the curb, or drop a pedal on the ground.  

We start and me and the guy next to me take off, and are one two through the corner, safely, and it was all downhill from there.  I did loose a couple spots on the descent, but still up in the front of the pack going over the speed hump, safely again, and then start climbing.  The next couple laps were about the same, but I did find I was able to pick up as many as 5-10 spots going downhill as guys were grabbing for their brakes, and I would just fill the gaps they left.  I would turn around and lose those spots climbing though as my legs were really starting to feel Snake Alley from the day before.  By the 5th lap I was at the back of the pack, and an attack on the right side caused an acceleration that I just couldn't hold onto.  So off the back I went.  

Now I was stuck in no mans land all by myself, couldn't get back to the group, and the guys behind me weren't catching up. I only had about 10 seconds on them and one was a teammate, so I waited for them so we could work together and try and stay in the race.  We did well taking turns pulling, and a few laps later we did pick up a 4th guy.  One time up the hill one guy put in a harder effort which I was able to hang onto, but my teammate didn't get on so we had lost him at that point.  2 more laps and we could see there was only 4 to go and the USCF official pulled the 4 of us.  Kinda pissed us off because there were 2 guys we were catching up to about 15 seconds up the road that didn't get pulled, at least on that lap, and we were still a good minute before we got lapped, but I understand on a course like this you don't want people getting in the way.

So next weekend brings the return of mountain bike racing down in the Des Moines area, hopefully that goes better for me....

Melon City Crit

Snake Alley Crit 5-23-09

Memorial Day weekend, and the biggest weekend of racing in Iowa. Saturdays race is a killer, having to climb Snake Alley which consists of 7 switchbacks, and it is all brick, a must race for anyone in the midwest. Forecast was for a chance of showers in the afternoon, and with my race being at 1 I figure there should be no issues. It did sprinkle a little as I was warming up, but stopped before the race started, it did get really humid after that, but it was dry.

Staging I was able to get into the 3rd row and on the left side, which is pretty much where you want to be going into the first corner before starting the climb. First time up I was sitting pretty good in about top 10 or so, and descending you don't usually lose too many positions. Next time up I did get passed by quite a few guys, but still in the pack. As the laps went on I did slip farther back, but finally settled into a pace that I could hold for a while. After the fifth or so time up I was off the back, and fighting to keep from dropping back much farther. I was with a teammate and another guy for the next few laps, and about the 8th time around I did put in a big effort on the climb to try and lose them, and that did work out, except when I got to the top I felt everything I ate that morning coming back up so I had to let off, which hurt me quite a bit because the legs were feeling ok climbing.

I did get caught by the leaders with 3 laps to go, so I got out of their way on the climb, and was caught back up to by the other guy I had dropped earlier. So we basically rode together the last couple laps. He did get away a little on the last time up the hill, but I was able to push it on the downhills and get back onto his wheel going into the final straight, and was able to out sprint him to the line. Came across in 36th place out of 59 starters, and only 39 finishers.

Snake Alley HBA

Snake Alley (other racers)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Old Capitol Crit

Decisions, Decisions. That is what last night was all about, should I wake up and see what the weather is going to bring and race, or have another Guinness and sleep the morning away. Well the need to race got the better of me and up at 7:00 to see what the radar showed, and it looked clear for at least the next few hours. So packed up the car and off to Iowa City we went. Just after we got there and registered the skies opened up and the rain started, a quick check of the weather and it showed a passing shower, and within 10 minutes it had stopped. But would make for an interesting race now.

Got lined up and was in the second row, with the rain still making the roads wet we were cautioned by the officials that we should take it easy for the first lap till we get a feel for how to safely take the 90 degree corner at the bottom of the hill. First lap safely through it and start to climb the hill on the other side back up, was in the back end of the main field, but that was a good spot to be at this point, wasn't last so if the front group went I would be able to stay on. 2nd lap and was in the same place up the hill, and then on the 3rd lap it happened. Going down the hill a guy in about 10th place or so took the inside line, went down and took 3 others with him, but I was behind them and almost had to stop to get around them. By this time the main field was gone and I did my best to try and get back on but that wasn't happening. I worked my way back up to a group on the road of 3 guys and one of them happened to be a teammate, so we were able to work together for a little bit. By the 10th lap we had the follow motorcycle come up and tell us we are about to get lapped and if we could stay off to the side and let them go by. So we did that and were able to jump on the back of the group for a little bit, but just when we did they were going for a preme, so that strung them out and shot us off the back. I got off a few times, and got back on. By the time it was almost over we would end up getting lapped again with 2 to go, so one last time around. I tried teh best I could to hang on again, but was falling off fast. So I just made my way back to teh finish line to cross in 20th place.

Old Capitol Crit

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sylvan Island

Ahh the first race of the 2009 IMBCS Series, and it would prove to be an experience. The forecast called for scattered showers, and with the weather being so nice lately the guys that pre-rode yesterday said it was dry and fast. That would change quickly as we were driving down there we got about 20 minutes out and it was raining, and it wasn't looking like it would stop. A quick check of the radar confirmed that and it was going to be a fun muddy race. I haven't really been on the bike at all in the past 2 weeks due to some personal issues and wasn't sure how my legs were going to do today.

Got to the start line about 5 minutes to go and noone was lined up yet so I shifted to a gear I would be able to get a good start in and locked out the fork and tried that out with a few starts from a stop. Guys started to roll in so I jumped right on the front line in the middle. She blows the whistle and we are off, I was in the big ring and just flipping through gears one at a time, the starting stretch is probably 600 yards before hitting the single track and I knew from last year you needed to be up front to do good here. I was unaware until after the race someone in about 4th or 5th position crashed and took out a group with him, including Landon from the Bike Tech Racing Team and he ended up being taken out on a stretcher. Into the first couple tight sections and I was still in front, but had small group behind me. When the trail opened up 2 guys were able to get past me, so I was sitting 3rd. Another guy got by me at a less than desirable spot that caused us both to have to put a foot down. So now I was in 4th and would be there for sometime.

Second lap and I was sitting in a great spot and was just trying to push, but could see one guy coming up fast. He got behind me about 1/2 way through the lap and we rode that way for quite sometime. By now the skies had opened up quite a bit and it was raining hard. Puddles were getting bigger and some sections were getting sloppy. The guy that had caught me and was able to get around when it opened up. I was starting to feel going out so hard at the start in my legs, but as long as I kept drinking I knew I would be able to avoid cramping.

Start of the 3rd and final lap I was in 5th place and there was a group of 3 coming up fast behind me. I would get caught by the first one pretty quickly and he got by me. I had the other 2 guys in front of me one section up and just couldn't shut down the gap. They were maybe 15 seconds, and I could see them alot, but now able to make up the ground. The other 2 guys caught me at just past the 1/2 way point and one got by but not both of them. I was able to hold him off for a few more sections, but once it opened up he got by me. I was digging as deep as possible and was able to get back onto his wheel by the last section but had no way to get around. Final straight going to the finish line and it was down to a sprint, but since he was already out in front I was basically riding his wheel and no way to get around.

I came across the line in 8th Place in Sport Men overall, and 3rd Place Sport Men 30-39. Good start to the season and hopefully I can find some time to train in the next couple weeks and continue to have a great MTB season.

Sylvan Island IMBCS #1

Thursday, April 9, 2009

4-07-09 Night at the Oval

First race of the year, and those are always a good way to see how your winter training has paid off. Well to say the least mine needs more work. It was about 40 degrees out witha strong NW wind which meant the back stretch would be killer.

First up was a 15 lap scratch race, and since there was only 14 of us there wan no splitting up into 2 groups.everyone raced at the same time. I did the same as last year with going out to hard on the 2nd lap instead of just sitting in an got shelled by the 3rd lap. Thankfully I had another guy fall off with me and we just took turns pulling each other around for the next 10 or so laps.

2Nd race they split us up in 3 groups divided by age. Being in the young group has its advantages but also some disadvantages. We were the 3rd and final group to go so we could watch what everyone else did and not make the same mistakes. Finally it was our turn for a 3 lap lead out race, so out timestarted when the first person crossed starting the last lap and ended when the first guy finished that lap. We led out Mac to what ended up being the fastest time by almost 2 seconds.

3rd and final race was another 12 lap race, and this time I was determined to stay with the pack. First couple laps and so far so good, I am able to sit in and even spend short bursts at the front. Then at about the halfway mark it happens, I got shelled again, this time was my own fault, we were into the headwind and I miss judged why was the last guy in the group and they shot by me like I was standing still. So knowing I was OTB and no hope of getting back on I rode the next 4 laps like a time trial just doing what I could to not get lapped. I did however get lapped because the 3 lead guys were putting down a blistering pace, so I saw that and just sat up and let them finish.

Next race is on the 19th, and that is a MTB race in the Quad Citites, hopefully I do better offroad than on.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Frost Buster Roller Race

The final race in a 7 race series for a State Championship title. I had only done 2 others, so doing today would qualify me for possibly getting a place in the Cat 4's. Seeing how all the other guys were doing at previous races I knew I had to run about a 6:20 to get into 3rd overall, as long as noone bested their times today. Well it was apparent that the other guys had also brought their A game and weren't letting anything back. I had watched a bunch of races and knew when I had to ride, so I got dressed about 45 minutes before my run to start getting warmed up.

I got up on the rollers and Vern asked if I had a goal for the day, and my only goal was to finish, seemed reasonable. I went out at a pace of just under 6 minutes, knowing I more then likely couldn't hold that for the entire 2 miles I just kept giving it all I had. I got to the half way point and started to really feel it in my legs, I backed of just a tiny bit, and was on track for a 6:30 which I would have been totallt happy with. I pushed as hard as I could through the middle, got to the one minute to go mark and just laid it all out there. I was able to turn a time of 6:22.3 which at that point had me in 3rd for the day and .3 seconds out of 3rd for a medal, so that hope was gone. Only one Cat 4 left to go so we hung around and waited to see him go, and of course he ended up doing a sub 6 minute run so that knocked me out of 3rd, but oh well.

I did set some personal records today, one of them being my time of 6:22.3 (21 seconds faster than my previous best) and a new Max heart rate of 211. Here is the power file from todays race

Final Roller Race

Friday, February 13, 2009

New MTB Bike Day

Well the day finally came, got enough money set aside to get my new ride.  I have been eyeing this bike for quite some time at the bike store, and today we went in to pick it up.  It is a 2009 Cannondale 29'r F2.  Nicely speced bike with disc brakes, now I know you are thinking they have been around for quite some time, but this is the first bike I have had with them.  I have not gotten to do a good test ride yet since it is snowing out now, and the local trails are quite sloppy from all the melting snow, but soon enough I will be able to report on how it rides.  Here are a few pictures I took before the snow started really coming down.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

45 degrees in January "Carpe diem"

When translated it means to "seize the day" and that is exactly what I did.  I just couldn't pass up riding outside today, temps were warm, wind wasn't too bad, and even though there was still ice in spots, and run off from the melting snow I had a really good time.  I forgot to bring the camera but did get a couple pics with my phone, I will add them here in a minute.  Rode for 1:35 and got in just over 25 miles, chose to do a flat route since I didn't feel like hills today, but tomorrow I plan on getting out again for a bit and will probably hit up some hills just to see how my early season workouts have been treating me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bikes 2 U Roller Race

Today found us traveling to Grinnell for the next Roller Race in the series.  4 of us from the team headed that way to represent from HBA, myself, Vern, Chris, and Jason.  We showed up just after 11 and got signed in, the nice thing is you can basically choose which rollers you want to ride on, and in what order you want to go.  I decided to get in early and get it over with along with Vern, and Chris and Jason took some later runs.

Vern was up first, and he was doing a good job, up until the guy on the other rollers fell off, hit the bar and took out Vern, so both of them were off and needed to get the belts back on which cost them alot of time.

Next was my turn.  Last time I did it in my big ring, and that seemed like if I needed to switch gears I was putting myself into some hurt, so I tried this week in my little ring, and wow that made a difference.  Starting off I knew my legs were starting to feel a little week from all the intetsity training I have been doing the past couple weeks (looking forward to a rest week) and I thought maybe using the little ring I could drop my time to a 6:30.  Started off pretty strong, but I quickly realized I couldn't keep that pace, so I just found a pace that worked for me.  At the halfway point I was at about the same pace as last week, and knew I had to hold it if I could.  I gave it one last push towards the end and came in with a 6:46, so a couple seconds off last weeks time.  Still in the end was good enough for a 2nd Place finish in the Cat 4's.

Jason was up next and was hoping to put down an under 7 minute run, but come up a little shot of his goal.  Chris went a couple after Jason, and was able to put in a run of 6:17, which was also just a couple seconds off his time last weekend.  We had all notced that and commeneted on how ths week seemed so much harder and times were slower for just about everyone that raced.  It was another good weekend for HBA, no pictures as the wife and kids didn't come, but they will be there for the next one.

Here is my power meter reading from today

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rollin' the Rapids

Today was the Rollin' the Rapids Roller Race held at Gold Pointe Fitness Center in Cedar Rapids.  Having never done a roller race before I wasn't sure what to expect.  The setup is Kreitler Rollers with a Killer Headwind unit attatched for some major resistance, and you race for 2 miles just like a Time Trial.  At our training ride the other night I did try doing it on the exact setup and had a time of just under 7 minutes.  

Got there shortly after registration opened, found a spot to setup my rollers so I could warmup, and got signed in.  Was 15th on the list to ride, so I had sometime to hangout, talk with some of the other guys and watch the other races.   There was a good turnout from the HBA Team, with Jason up first, he set a good time of just over 7 minutes due to having to stop because his front tire hit the one belt and it came off and had to be reset.  Next up was Vern, and he put down a personal best of just over 7 minutes.  Ian was up shortly after and threw down an impressive sub 6 minute ride.

I was up next, and the guy I was next to is the current state record holder for fastest time, so I knew I had no chance of keeping up with him.  We got the signal to start, and I went out a little to hard at first and had to tone it back some.  It does show your estimated time on the computer screen, so I was trying to get a check of that every once in a while, and saw it kinda hovering around the 6:45 mark.  When I did the ride the other night I was on my wheels with a 12-25 cassette so I was able to use the big ring, well today I had my other wheels with an 11-23 on it, and used the big ring, but looking back I should have been in my little ring and used a gear that if I needed to change it would only be a 1 tooth difference, not a 2 tooth one, so now I know for next time.  One mile into it and I was really feeling it, and had to try and settle in for another mile of suffering.  Got to about .2 left and gave it all I had, and posted a time of 6:43.00.  Which was good enough for a second place in the Cat 4's.

Chris was up about an hour later and put down an impressive run with a time of 6:15.9.  Also Tom the newest member to HBA did just a shade over 6 minutes.

Rollin' the Rapids