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.