Cast of characters
Teammates: Mike Schaller, David Puglia in 35+ B's. Darrel Brokeshoulder, Matt McNamara, Mark Kurashige in the 35+ A's. Friendly rivals Curt Ferguson, Juan Ortiz, Mark from EMC, Mark and Murray Swanson(?) from PenVelo in 35+ B's, Jeremy Ferguson, Joel Shaffer in the Juniors, Keith, Antonio, Channing and Gregg Machaz in the C's.
Was sick since Santa Cruz Crit so didn't ride much or was "well rested" coming into this race. Course was flat. Two sets of barriers. Pilarcitos up'ed the race time from last years' thirty minutes to forty minutes this year. Juan said he had been standing for the past two days at Interbike and hadn't ridden in while. I got there early and this year Pilarcitos opened registration early so the thirty minute line of last year was not repeated, thank goodness. Got in two easy laps and two hot laps of the course, the main difficulty was there were two very big holes that could knock you off your bike if you were unaware of their presence ( this eliminated Mark from PenVelo as he was solo in the lead on the first lap and hit one of them and broke off one of his STI levers in the ensuing carnage), a couple of turns on loose stuff that had a very high entry speed and a five foot hill after the second set of barriers and two five foot hills separated by about ten feet of riding including a 135 degree turn. About twenty feet of elevation change per lap so my kind of course. Chose to use the slightly higher geared 44/34 12/25 bike with 60 PSI in the Ritchey Excavaders. Juan was on the front for the start, invited me up there but I didn't think it would matter that much but I was wrong as the course was too narrow by modern standards and did not permit passing very easily in many spots. Mike got to the start late and was in the back row behind about forty guys. Did not see Juan again after the first lap, he finished up two minutes ahead of me. Mike was behind me until the next to last lap when I let a fellow knock me over in one of the many narrow sections of the course. I almost caught up to Mike at the end, 2 seconds back, but ran out of room, waited too long to try to catch up. I thought I was suffering pretty badly after the first lap and pretty much each lap afterwards was hoping to hear a lap countdown while passing through the start finish. When we got it, I was expecting the bell but heard three laps to go. For whatever reason I was doing better in the off road sections that many of the other people around me but they put the hurt on me in the long pavement section, which was the opposite of what I was expecting given my tire pressures - perhaps the tread is better for loose stuff? The course deteriorated and turned to a very sandy loam in many spots, I fell once on my own in each of the last two laps. I felt better about this when I watched the Master A's race and many of them fell at various points during their race. Channing (I think) caught me after just five minutes even though he staged 30 seconds back, and young Jeremy caught me after 18 minutes after spotting me one minute. Ran into Mark Kurashige at the end of my race. He had left his shoes and helmet at home (I like to bring two pairs of shoes to each race for some reason) and raced back home to get them and missed our 35+ B start and chose to race the 35+ A race with three different national champions instead.
The average and normalized power were both much lower than I expected as I know I can do much more than that, even accounting for the fact that the running is not included in the power data. I hope it's just the aftereffects of the cold/flu as I felt I was pushing as much as I could. And my quads and hamstrings felt a little sore afterwards, I thought this was pretty unusual as there were only two dismounts per lap for a total of fourteen x five yards of running, and my legs never get sore even after really hard bike rides. Some of the fast guys I saw were running the two hill junction and were running farther after the first set of barriers but this may have been due to the course deteriorating under the load of hundreds of guys doing lap after lap. On the plus side no mechanical issues for me as I saw plenty of others quit due to mechanicals which was somewhat surprising on a flat, nontechnical course.
M: 70 kg ( got down to 68 last week but then got sick so may stick around here for a while...)
D: 9.34 miles