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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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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Monday, May 11, 2009

Is it racing season already?

That was rhetorical, because yes, yes it is.  

I've got 10 races in so far including the following things.  Here is my 2009 racing season in aggregate, but not mutually exclusive groups:
  • 7 cold races
  • 5 rainy races
  • 9 crits
  • 1 road race
  • 0 crashes
  • 1 DNF
I've learned that I still suck at hills, my DNF being from the hilly road race, in which I got popped on the first hint of climb.  Other than that though, I've been pretty consistently top 10.   It makes it easier to be top 10 when only 10 people show because of crappy weather.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Superweek is done

I'm done with Superweek too. I guess it's been over for a few days now. My interest was fading towards the end. Personally, it was a terrible series for me. Here is a selected list of race outcomes that I experienced in the 3s this year:

Flatted out, DNF
Unaware of rubbing brake, OTB, DNF
Ate wrong lunch with much dairy, lack of fitness, OTB, DNF
Went for track wheel prime, narrowly lost, OTB, DNF
Crash, DNF
Crash, DNF
Difficulty breathing due to previous crash, DNF
17th place

Pretty horrible all around. I'm out two helmets and one carbon frame. I've gained $25. (minus $300 for registration) There was an astounding amount of crashing going on in the 3s during the whole series. I can't wait until I can race masters.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

I've mellowed.

Sorry to the dude I hit, whoever you are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfs55TB9srg
http://flickr.com/photos/margaretandjeff/sets/72157606284078252/

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some public service announcements

I've removed the original post. It was posted as soon as I got home, and definitely does not represent how I feel.

Guilty parties shouldn't point fingers.

I hope everyone heals up fast.

I've got a PSA for myself: Goal #1 in bike racing is the safety of all of the riders.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Ripon

One of my favorite things about bike racing is that almost everybody loses. Oh boy, you can tell this is going to be a good one. Compared to most sports where half the participants win, the vast majority are losers in bicycle racing. Everyone comes out and tries as hard as they possibly can, and most fail. And there was plenty of losing to go around at Ripon.

The course was shorted from 1.6 to 0.6 miles. And even though we were on time, for no reason that I could determine, the 3 race was shortened from 35 to 20 miles. The new course was a real bear, with climbs out of 3 out of 4 corners.

It was a family affair, with the whole crew out to spectate, and my brother entering his first USAC criterium.

He finished OTB, but at least he finished.

That race was the closest I've ever come to riding-induced vomiting. I could taste it. I deviated from my standard strictly PBJ pre-race diet. Last time I do that. Also I had my heavy wheels, because the good ones are broken, and possibly dead. Blah blah excuses. I got tons of them. But the important thing is I had fun. As long as we keep our sense of perspective about the whole thing and realize it's all in fun, everybody goes home happy.

Gotcha! Just kidding!

The import thing is I tried and failed abjectly. And it's delightful.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Humboldt Park

I was all like "This is hard". I quit. Then I saw that I broke a spoke and my brake was rubbing hard.

Saving it for tommorrow.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

A flat and a check

And superweek has begun. Three of us drove down to Chi from the Ill Mill. We had an Endeavour team car for the weekend. It's a Honda Element from a sponsoring dealership with magnets on it that say Endeavour Cycling Team Car.

Blue Island:
We had four riders in Saturday's Race in Blue Island. From the start it was clear that it would be a different caliber of race from a run-of-the-mill WCA race. Despite being almost twice as long as most crits in the rest of the calendar, competition for positions was fierce from lap one. It was a long rectangular course with a little broken pavement and some slightly dusty corners. Four guys got away halfway through the race. Endeavour's Chris Arndt tried to bridge but could not make it go.

I noticed my rear bottle cage was loose. I tossed my front half empty bottle and swapped the the other bottle to the front cage. Messing with that nonsense immediately cost me half the field. I was able to move back up eventually, but it was costing me. With two to go, someone took a weird line through the back stretch, leading the pack through some debris. I flatted. Damn. I tried to gently coast down on the inside before the corner. I almost took out teammate James Pradun who thought I was swinging out to bring him to the front. And that was it for me.

James went on to win the field sprint for 5th overall. And Endeavour's Chris Arndt took 9th overall. The field averaged 26mph. And the break had half a lap.

Photos

Meanwhile, it's dawning on me that I have a flat tubular and no spare wheel for the next day. I didn't bring spare wheels down because the races have neutral support, but they won't cover you if you show up with a flat tire. Luckily teammate Nick Newton was coming down the next day with a spare Ksyrium Campy 10s wheel.

Ryan Law and I watched the delayed Tour coverage in our hotel room and went to sleep.

Olympia Fields:
Sunday was Olympia Fields. This course had some sketchy elements. The asphalt was an inch lower than the cement gutters. All the way around. Turn 3, in addition to the lips of death, was sharp, narrow, dusty, and at the fastest point on the half mile course. Turn 1 had a raised manhole cover on the inside.

On lap one, someone came screaming up the inside to turn 3 and fishtailed into the corner. Nice. That would set the tone for the day.

I started in the back of the 70 rider field and it took me half the race to make any progress moving up, even though it seemed like I was constantly passing riders. The acceleration out of turn 3 at the back was tremendous. Eventually I made it up, and the announcer even called me out one lap. Riders were still fighting for positions every lap, but now I was able to stay toward the front. The pack was frequently came through turn 1 too wide. At one point, I had to hop the gutter lip and ride up the curb to keep it upright. In that case, it was my fault for taking that line through the corner. But it would prove to be a foreshadowing of things to come. I heard there's a video floating around somewhere. I'm going to track that down for you, my loyal readers.

With 3 laps to go, the carnage started. Apparently everyone realized it was their last chance and simultaneously tried to move to the front. In the same place at turn 1, someone to the outside went wide, and rather than going off the course, sharply corrected. I would never swerve that sharply in a race unless it's to avoid a collision, because it's likely to cause one. Which is exactly what happened. Next lap. A rider two in front of me slightly left went down. Touched a wheel perhaps. Chris Arndt got caught and flipped. His rear wheel flipped up seemingly right in front of my face before his whole bike conveniently veered to the left. That cost me a few spots. Final lap. Single file in turn 3. The guy in front of me clipped a pedal hard, but managed to stay up. He lost a lot of speed in the process, and I was still stuck behind him. I sprinted and managed to salvage a spot in the money. 17th.

Tomasz Boba soloed off the front with 12 to go for the win. Once again James Pradun won the field sprint, and is now tied for the overall points lead.

There was another crash after the line. Someone got pushed into a barrier. Casualties from the race included a broken arm, collarbone, some guy hit a pole, plenty of road rash.

No one liked this course.

In P/1/2 news they actually had a conference to discuss cancelling the event. In the end, they did not, but offered refunds to riders that did not like the course. Over 100 riders covered almost half the 0.5 mile course. We didn't stay to see the exciting conclusion, but after two days of racing, Rock was controlling all the jerseys.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Superweek is underway

Quick update from the weekend race hotel headquarters:

I flatted out of the race yesterday with a lap and a half to go.

Super weak.

And I saw the Rock Racing Escalade. More later.

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Whitewater

Two races this weekend and neither of them were crits. That's a rarity. First up:

Whitewater road race:
Nine 5.5 mile laps. One moderate climb, one small climb, some nasty pavement, and a very quick downhill tailwind to the start-finish. The 1/2 race was scheduled to start at 4:00, and my race, the 3s, was to start at 4:05. They were both late, but somehow there was significantly less than 5 minutes between us. We caught them at the beginning of lap 2, and thenceforth there was much shifting around. One popular trick from both fields when they were behind was to sprint past the other field just before a corner in the hopes that the pack would get stuck behind the other pack.

We rode around some more. I don't know when, but in the middle of the race a break got away that I must have thought were 1/2 guys. I knew my teammate Jason would try to go during the last lap. He tried to go at the beginning of the climb, but the pack was on him. I got on his wheel and before the top, he went again. I did not respond. That meant anyone who wanted to go with him had to match his acceleration plus come around me and close the gap. Three did it.

Their group wasn't going very fast, but neither was mine. If you're not too concerned about your own result, it can be fun to frustrate a chase effort. And that's what I did. Always second wheel, never pulling through. Adding to my mistaken impression that they were in the lead was the pace car staying just in front of the group.

Then we came down the hill and sprinted. A get a grip guy edged me out at the line. I thought I had 6th, but only then did I hear about the original break of 4. So, 10th.

Recovery:
After the race, HipCycler (the biggest name in Milwaukee radio) invited me to his lavish estate for a recovery Rolling Rock. And a bratwurst. Or 3. We traded stories about the race. He'd done the masters 4/5 earlier in the day. I watched the fireworks from the vintage boat on the lake. It turns out that's the only way to really watch them. Except maybe a helicopter, but that's probably just disappointing.

Whitewater time trial:
The only races I can really compete in are the ones where I can hide from the wind behind stronger people so I don't have to work so hard. Or when the weather is so bad that everyone else abandons. This wasn't really like that. But that doesn't stop me from doing them.

I got moderately aero. Aero bars, skin suit, shoe covers. No aero helmet. I removed the bottle cages, which is when I discovered that my frame is cracked. I'm not sure what to do about that. I still raced it anyway, but that's something that will have to be addressed somehow before superweek. (next week?!)

There's not much to write about the actual race. 11.8 miles of rolling hills and high wind. It was my first race of the season with any kind of computer. I got passed once. I passed once. Here's a graph of some data. No power though. :( I didn't stay for results.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Elm Grove

I showed up early. Being and Endeavour(tm) race, I volunteered on the course before my race. I was marshaling on corner 4, the nastiest of all the corners. I did not see, but heard the worst crash of the day. Cat 4 dude I think. He devastated his bike and his face. On a mailbox. His front wheel buckled in and his frame was broken in several places. His head was largely en-bandaged.

The race was to be 60 minutes plus two laps. I opted to bring only a single bottle. It wasn't so sunny any more. And they shortened it to 50 at the start out of scheduling concerns. Good. The shorter the better. "Riders Ready. Go!"

My goal for this race was to watchBring it nature! the lap cards. I did pretty well, catching it on most laps. And the clouds en-darkened. Maybe 10 minutes in the first drops of rain fell. Within a lap and a half, the heavens were rent asunder and the apocalypse was upon us. The sky got very dark. Rain was coming down HARD. It actually felt like hail, but that could have just been the pine cones flying in the insane gusts. I can handle wind, but these gusts were crazy. I actually *saw* one coming at me across a lawn. It hit me like a punch and almost took me down. There were branches falling and brush in the road. I threw my glasses in a yard because I couldn't see through them. Of course, it's also hard to see when you're getting sprayed in the face with wet sand. Or maybe my eyes just hadn't adjusted to the lightning. But I didn't think that far ahead.

Oh, and in case I didn't mention it yet, it got SLICK. A rider next to me (outside, luckily) went down on the UPHILL corner. That's not good. The pack was definitely cautious around corner 4. The danger corner.

"2 laps to go"

What? We're not even 30 minutes in! They had shortened the race due to the impending end-of-days. Gaps were starting to form all over. I don't know if it was due to caution or pace, but I felt good, so I got myself to the front. Prior to the race, I had decided with some teammates that the race would essentially be decided at the top of the rise on the back. In the last lap, I was in about 8th position coming up to that point. I saw my teammate Jason making a move, and jumped on it. He got the front by turn 3, and I was right on that wheel. Brian Kaker came through and got to the front with some impressive speed considering the condition of corner 4. So it was Brian, Jason, me out of the final turn. We all jumped as soon as we had the pedal clearance to do it, and that's how it stayed until the line. 3rd for me.

I left my fuzzy slippers, my only civilian footwear out in the sun, and subsequently rain. I had no dry footwear, except some fancy socks I happen to accidentally leave in my car. Thank you novelty dress socks.

(Thanks to JohnWilkes for the photos)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Two For One: Grafton and Sheboygan

Hello dear readers. Let me tell to you the story of woe, adulation, and intrigue that is the Wisonsin Cycling Series. (aka Giro d' Grafton and d' Sheboygan)

Prologue:
It starts with some preliminary drama. Bam! My room mate has my car parked in. I called him all over, but his cell phone was home. Just like his car and motor cycle were. Luckily he left the window open. My other room mate and I shifted it into neutral and rolled it out of the way. The motorcycle was a little more challenging. I'm still sore from that.

But I got the car out, picked up a racing dude, and we were off. And then 94 was down to one lane because of some dumb nature conditions. "Flooding" or whatever. But with perseverance, we prevailed over all that crap.

Grafton:
Awesome race. The plan was that Ryan and I would go for all the early primes, and then block for Jason's break with four to go. I got the first prime. It was a massage prime, so I don't think people were feeling too motivated. I wasn't feeling nearly as good for the next one, $50. Despite being denominated in US dollars, there was still significant interest in this prize. I was nowhere.

Deep in the middle of the race, I found myself behind a Baraboo Shark way on the inside of the final and sharpest turn. He clipped a pedal hard and went down. I rolled over his arm or something. I think it put a wobble in my precious front wheel. I hesitated for half a second and spent the next 500m trying to catch up to the group in front of the split that had been created. It shortly all came back together anyway.

The laps kept ticking by. With all the turns in the course, I figured a small group might be able to make it. No one could get away, although plenty of people tried. Final lap, final turn: I was maybe 15th wheel. Way too far back after coming out of the corner. My sprint was feeling good though. Unfortunately, two up-sitters converged on my location from each side. I had to drop ~5mph, move around them, and try to salvage what I could. 12th in the 3s. That paid $25. These are some well paying races.

Note to self: Move up earlier

I stayed overnight in Milwaukee, because the next day was

Sheboygan:
A totally flat long skinny rectangle of a course. This probably has the longest straights of any crit course I've ever seen.

The streets were just drying out as we started. At some point during the race, I think it started raining again, but I didn't really notice. It's funny how much I dread rain before the race, but can't even notice in when it's in progress.

In the first half, Jason made an epic bridge to a 3 man break that I knew would stay away. At that point, Endeavour, GDVC, and B&B totally shut down the pack. The break quickly gained a half lap advantage. Geargrinder and shark attacks came frequently, but they never worked together.

It came down to a sprint for 5th. Wait, what lap is it? Oh yeah, last lap. I waited for the firetruck sign and jumped. I got out in front of the Shark train suspiciously easily. Here's a picture of my confusion. Of course, it was actually one lap to go. Damn! At least I messed up the Shark train. Supposedly Chris and Ryan went to the front on the back stretch, but I was busy paying back that oxygen. I was maybe 10th in the pack at the final corner and turned in a modest sprint to pick up a few places to net 10th overall, good for $50.

At least I followed my advice from yesterday and got to the front early. Still needs a little tweaking.

Note to self: Practice watching lap cards every lap.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Race Registration (phat cash stacks)

I just dropped >$400 in the last 24 hours registering for races in June and July. That's probably nothing for some Ironman registering guy, but that buys a lot of $25 to $30 race registrations. And that's still not counting the four additional races I'm planning to do before the end of July that don't offer pre-registration.

I hope I win some money back.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WI Crit Championship

Saturday was the state crit championship in Ripon. I drove there with two dudes, what with gasoline being what it is. My car was crammed to the brim with bike racing nonsense.

On the way there, we encountered water flowing over the road on highway 26. We saw some cranes and and some fish swimming across the road.

The weather was great. Sun and wind. The course was nice with interesting turns and this little jog maneuver. And one short steep climb. If you could maintain speed through the corner, you could get at least halfway up the hill. That's the kind of hill I can get up.

Halfway through the cat 3 race, my teammate and current Wiconsin cup points leader rolled off the front solo. I did some weak blocking-like maneuvers, but the pack really didn't even seem to take notice. Eventually a total of 4 dudes were in the break, and the real chase started, but they already had a 20 second advantage. By two to go, it looked like they might be in striking distance, but the catch never came.

I wasn't feeling very agressive all day. I wasn't in very good position in the last lap, and failed to move up. I rolled across the line in 13th. But it was a fun race. And my teammate in the break won the sprint, the race, and the cat 3 Wisconsin crit champion jersey.



In other news, my powertap's working again. Apparently alkaline batteries are not so good in there. Silver oxide is what you need.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Cold windy practice crit

Yesterday, I raced in the weekly practice crit. The forecast called for rain, and if it had been correct, I would have bailed. Rainy crits make me nervous. But it didn't and I didn't.

There are two races. First the 'B' race, then the 'A'. The organizers are always looking for racers to help corner guard the course. Since the whole thing is a volunteer effort, I organized traffic at corner 2 during the B race. That means I didn't warm up at all. After sitting in the cold wind, I did one lap, and it was time to race.

There were a lot of break attempts. I didn't initiate any, but I attempted a few ill-fated bridges. There were primes, but I couldn't go for any. On the last lap, I was in the pack. There were a few riders in a break. With half a lap to go, the pack inexplicably slowed down. If it was a real race, I would have waited it out, knowing that I'm weak at long finishes. But I seized the opportunity and went for it. I'm not sure if I ever got a gap or not, but I was giving it what I had. But by the final turn I was getting swarmed. I put my head down and held on for 9th or so.

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Sussex

Saturday, I went on a longer ride. Essentially the HHH 100k route. I felt the burn. I chased a turkey. I used all my gears.

Sunday, I raced at Sussex. Surprisingly, the legs still felt fresh after the punishment of Saturday. It was pleasant course with smooth pavement and wide roads. There was one shallow but long (for a crit) climb to the finish. I went for a few KOM sprints, and managed to get second in one.

Ryan Law pulled off a 4 lap solo flyer. He got totally out of sight. At some hilarious point a LAPT guy was pulling the pack and no one would coming through. Thanks to the terriffic Endeavour blocking. LAPT pulled way off to the left and succinctly explained the blocking conspiracy to the rest of the field. Good stuff.

The last KOM sprint was with 3 laps to go. There were two riders up the road. I decided to sit in to the finish. My hypothesis was that people were going to sprint too early and burn out. So I was going to wait until halfway up the hill and then unleash the fury. I started from 12th or so, which could have been better. Then I went at the appointed time. And sprinted for the wrong line. The KOM line was like 20 meters ahead of the actual finish line. Oops. Still, I got 8th.

It was a hot race. In temperature. I drank a lot before the race. And about 40oz of non-malt-liquor afterwards. I think I like hot races.

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Willy. Wheels. They are on it.

After the debacle yesterday called me trying to climb a hill, it was nice to be back on (relatively) flat land. Today was the Wheels on Willy criterium. I did the category 3 race. I think there were about 60 in the field. I rolled up in the back of the field.

The race got under way. I started moving up the pack. I wasn't feeling that great, but I didn't have any trouble moving up, especially when the pack got narrow out of corners. Brian Rach (I think) took an early solo flyer off the front for 5 laps or so. I think he took a couple of primes in the process. There were quite a few primes. There was a two place prime called that I was in excellent position for, but during the course of a single lap, I forgot about the prime, so I sat up. I believe I heard the announcer mention my awesome tactics.

Next time I was in a position to contest a prime, I made sure to remember. I took it by the throw. Thanks for the photo to JohnWilkes.

So, some more people tried to get away. No one could do it. Which is exactly how I like it. Breaks are cool and everything, but I just love sprints. Which is pretty much the opposite sentiment from anyone I've ever talked to who has an opinion on the subject.

Final lap: Everyone's together. I had good position until turn 1. I got squeezed out of position and lost position by turn 2. The next straight was fast, and I was able to move up the side to 10th or so. After turn 3, there was a mysterious slow-down and bunch-up. I was in the second row of a relatively slow four wide pack. By turn four, people started moving. I started in too high a gear, but I got on top of it. In the final straight, I think I took two or three places, to finish 7th. Money was 8 deep. Booya.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Denzer is delightful.

Today was the Denzer road race. I drove there via the Merrimac ferry. It was scenic. The windows were open.


But anyway, let me tell you how I suck at climbing. The cat 3 race consists of 4 laps off 11.5 miles including this hill. I warmed up with one lap It was windy. I felt ok. I saw Randy, another Endeavour dude who had just finished his race. Then it was racing time. I think it got even windier. It's about a mile from the start to the climb. All into the wind, but people were riding easy, anticipating the climb to come. So we hit the hill. For a while, I actually thought I was in good shape. A few hundred meters from the top, I lost contact with the group, as Randy was passing on his way home, observing my moment of weakness. More like day of weakness. Anyway, I got together with a couple other stragglers, and we caught the group in 5 miles or so.

I hung at the back until climb came around again. Basically, it was hard. And then I gave up. Arguably, it's because I'm saving up for Wheels on Willy tomorrow. How long could I have hung on? I'll never know. Well, I do know I couldn't have placed well in the race under any circumstances.

A nice flat crit will cheer me up.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Muskego Park

Today I raced twice. Actually more like one and a half times. I did start two races though.

The first was the cat 3 race. My job was to mark this one dude. I did that for about the first 15 minutes. After that, I couldn't stay with him much. I was hurting. At the end, I didn't have any pop, and came across the line in the pack for 17th.

Then I did the 1/2/3 race. Or 30 minutes of it. The 3s race just took too much out of me.

On the bright side though, I navigated all the turns successfully. That's progress.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Can't ride, might as well start a blog

I pulled off a pretty stupid maneuver on Saturday in the Whitnall Park race. I got to the front of the pack, and actually forgot there was a turn. I just got to the front and started motoring with no regard for the upcoming corner. I don't remember how I went down, but I know I hit my right hand and right ass. I bounced up and walked over to my bike. People cheered when I got on it. That's cool. It's kind of like winning, except with more pity. I took a free lap. For the next 35 minutes, I just hung in the pack. Using the drops hurt and downshifting hurt. I tried not to do either one of those. I finished 11th.

I got an xray later where they found the hairline fracture. I may be on aero bars for the next 4 weeks. Like a triathlete. :(

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