Can't Catch A Break

Monday, July 27, 2009

Gotta stay on the course

I've probably competed in close to 20 races since my last blog entry.

There are a lot of stories that happened in there, like me working on my TT position. But I'm too lazy to tell them all, so here's a little piece of something.

Over the course of ToAD and Superweek, I've been getting frustrated with pack finishes. I've had more than enough races where I basically sit in the pack, try to move up, lose position somewhere in the last lap, and just finish in the field. I always see opportunities to make attacks, but always talk myself out of it in some misguided attempt to save matches for the sprint. To make an awesome analogy, that's kind of like hunting for food with projectile lasagna. Wait... what?

Anyway, Saturday at Humboldt Park, my goal for the race was anything except a pack finish. First, last, DNF, breakaway, anything. I chased a few attacks early. Then I made my decisive attacks as we crossed the line with 2 to go. But turn 1 is very sharp. I thought I would make it and force the pack to regroup to chase. But I was too fast. I bailed into a fortuitously placed driveway, and watched the last few minutes of the race from there.

Mission accomplished.

Thanks to John at peloton-pix.com for the photos.


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Friday, June 26, 2009

Sheboygan ToAd

I've completed my third consecutive day of racing in the Tour of America's Dairyland. Each day has been better from the last. On the first, I didn't finish. By yesterday, I worked my way all the way up to a mediocre pack finish. But the bigger news in my opinion is I didn't feel like I was dying for the whole race. Details

I'm taking the day "off" today by going to work. That's because today's stage is another hilly road race. I can only compete in perfect conditions. Not too long, not too hot, not too hilly, and I'm there.

By tomorrow, I'll be all rested up for the weekend races, and possibly be prepared to suck even slightly less.

In other news, I just ordered a disc wheel cover for the TTs next month. I'm probably not fast enough for it to matter, but it's fun to look pro. I guess pros use real discs though. Oh well.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

The last two days were some of the hottest bike riding days I've ever experienced. The first day was the ToAD Fond du Lac road race. The less that's said about that, the better.

But the next day was the crit, on a very similar course to Manitowoc. There were four 90 degree turns and zero elevation change. The only difference was the oppressive sun and heat. Based on my perception, Fond du Lac was a much harder race. I felt I was working much harder and could never get comfortable. In comparison, Manitowoc felt pretty easy, and I was able to move around without ever suffering too badly.

But the numbers tell a different story.



My heart rate was indeed consistently higher, but my power numbers were lower across the board. Details

After the race, I drank about 6 bottles of water, and still couldn't use the bathroom until about 7 hours after the race.

I'm leaving for Sheboygan momentarily.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Waterloo Classic

Today was the Waterloo classic, the second stage of the Tour of America's Dairyland. It's a long crit course, at 1.6 miles. Long stretches with no turns kept the average speed high, but it was not a very intense race for the cat 3s. Windy conditions kept breaks from sticking.

But the race was dominated by a series of crashes which even continued after the finish line. I avoided all the crashes, but I saw several. I seemed to be unable to maintain a decent position in this race, and finished 17th out of 30 starters.

I was carrying a video camera for peleton-pix.com. Watch for that to be uploaded when it's complete.

This was my first race with the new powertap. Data:




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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sometimes you just have to sleep

I was totally going to do a hard interval workout on Tuesday, but I was tired and lazy so I slept instead.  I slept about 12 hours I think.  

Up next: Tour of America's Dairyland (I found myself in the banner on that site)

I'll be doing several races in the series, but not all of them.  Today is a ridiculous hill race.  I've got the good sense to skip that pain festival.  My first race in the series will be tomorrow in Waterloo.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sweet new crash


It's never my fault, I swear. But I crashed again.

I was on a training ride to the hills out west with three other upstanding characters. 50 miles in, we stopped to consult with the maps. One rider was feeling confident. She felt that maps were unnecessary, and opted to press onwards regardless of some academic scribblings on a piece of paper. Hence, the solo break was established. After getting rolling, I gave a few hot kicks(TM) in an effort to bridge.

However, my kicks(TM) were so hot(TM), and my quick release was so feeble, that I pulled the drive side of the skewer out of the dropout. This jammed the wheel into the stays and locked up the rear tire. I remember grabbing my bars on the way forward and having enough time to think I'd be able to save it. But milliseconds later, I was bouncing and sliding down the road.

Inventory of damage:
  • rim
  • bar tape
  • saddle
  • cables
  • helmet
  • inner tube (tire is ok somehow?)
  • skin (mine)
I got to the side of the road. Many thanks to those in cars who stopped to check and the lady whose house was near who brought the rubbing alcohol and cotton balls.

Velocity is replacing my rim for free, because of the obvious evidence on the dropout that their quick-release shifted. But I'm switching to genuine campy QRs though. And I'm going to be tightening the hell out of them.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Wheels on Willy on the square


Yesterday was WoW, which was notably not on Willy, but rather the Capitol square. There was construction on the real course, so they moved it to the square. I was concerned about the pavement condition, but apparently they patched most of the potholes during the past week. It's a 4-corner course with one off camber corner, and one shallow 2 block climb.

I showed up early to watch some of the morning racing action unfold. The weather was good, the bike racing was fast, and love was in the air.

Presently, the cat 3 race started, of which I found myself in the midst. It was a big field. Well, at the start anyway. The pace was sometimes fast, somtimes moderate, but never slow. There were a good number of attempted attacks. I put in a pull or two early to chase back some threatening ones. Ultimately two guys would stay away. After a number of crashes and abandonments, I found myself unscathed an sprinted for a mediocre 6th in what was left of the field.

The first guy across the line, from the break, was a junior who failed to perform the requisite roll out after the race. DQ'd. Sucks to be him.

After that, I started the 1/2/3 race. Either those guys are faster or I was tired. Probably both. But I was managing to hold on. At least until someone crashed in front of me in turn 4. One ripped tire, cracked handlebars, a hole in my skinsuit, and a little road rash.

Here's the finish to the 3 race:


video

Update:  Photos! A friend of mine took these.

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