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