09 October 2005

Sacramento CX - Granite Beach

Some folks in the club were complaining about the commute time, so for the record it took me 2:15 to get there and 2:30 to get back. There is a seven dollar parking fee but I could not figure out how to do this with self service so I skipped this - later in the day the entrance is manned. There were bathrooms as the race flyer was so proud of but the toilet in the one I used functioned as a bidet - it spit water out laterally about three feet. I was going to do the C's at 9:45 and the B race at 12:45 but the C race took me about forty five minutes to complete instead of the scheduled thirty so I got my entry fee's worth in right there. Tried doing a few efforts after finishing the C's and eating and hydrating to see if I could do anything but had nothing left in the legs so decided not to race the B's. I'm kinda glad because the rider that Curt and I refer to as the worst bike handler in NorCal showed up to race the B's on his touring bike.

Category: C
Friendly rivals: Jeremy Ferguson in the Junior B's, Curt Ferguson in the B's, Blake Anton in the Junior A's and the Junior B's. Juan said he was going to show up but apparently bailed.
Results: 12/18 5:18 behind the winner. After racing in the C's, Master B's, Master A's, and the B's, always seem to be about a minute per lap down on the winner. I am nothing if not consistent.
Needed arm warmers in the shade but overheated quickly after doing a hot lap of the course. This temperature held well into the afternoon. It was tricky to find the maximum speed in some of the turns with a lot of sand. Went with the 44/34 bike with the Excavaders at 60PSI. Never used the small ring. The course was about two miles long and mostly flat. It started with four hundred meters of pavement, a slight turn up hill then onto double track with a bottleneck two feet wide made by a couple of thousand pound boulders, then a slight singletrack descent that was very sandy and twisty into doubletrack on an open field that led into the first sand trap of about ten yards length leading to a road with a slight incline for about five hundred meters, then a 180 turn into a single track descent that led into the fifteen meter sand pit, a few twists, then a descent down to the beach and back to the sidewalk surrounding the beach for a long 400 meters or so of very wide sidewalk, then a short double track section into the double barriers and back to the start finish. Lots of running in sand. On the first lap was with everyone else until the twisty descent when I lost my never and let a gap open. This gap got bigger on the first sand pit as I just grinded my way through when it was faster to get off and run. Had trouble motivating myself to push hard when I saw the gap, either that or my ride yesterday killed my legs. Fell a couple times in sandy sections on the first couple of laps and learned to follow the shallow lines in the sandy areas instead of the deep ruts pretty quickly. After that I was mostly solo with a few riders catching me or me catching a rider. This made the race harder than it needed to be as there were several four hundred to six hundred meter sections on the road or a hard running surface that would have been much easier with a wheel to suck. On the last lap I could see a couple of guys that passed me earlier, managed to outrun one guy during the longer sand pit so he must have been really tired, then after the double barriers, had a 30 meter gap behind the other guy. I sprinted with all I had and came up a wheel short (about 13 w/kg), he didn't know I was there until he heard my labored breathing after the finish line... My average and normalized power are pretty dang low. Had trouble motivating myself when I was solo in those long paved/hardpack sections. Need to pace myself with the power meter or something just to make myself go hard enough, and run more instead of grinding slowly in the sand.

P: 148
NP: 177
D: 10.33
S: 13.4
T: 46:something

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