30 October 2005

Surf City #2 Soquel

Field: 35+ B

used the 44/34 12-25 bike with the 35mm wide Ritchey Excavaders inflated to 55 front and back. The Excavaders are about 3mm narrower than the 35mm Ritchey Speedmax, apparently Ritchey is measuring from outside knob to outside knob. For the first time this year during a race I used the small ring, at the beginning there was so much traffic that some guys had to stop and I downshifted so I could keep pedaling in the first sandy climb.
Teammates: Mike Schaller, Chris Pearson in the 35+ B's. Scott Dino in the 45+ B's, Chris D and Darrel Brokeshoulder in the 35+ A's, Joe Fabris in the 45+ A's. Friendly rivals : Murray and Mark from Pen Velo, Troy Boone and a bunch of guys I recognized from podiums in past years in 35+ B's, and Antonio Diaz and X-Men Eric Balfus, fellow cat 3 from the track in the C's.

Only got the first ten minutes as the PowerTap CPU flew off on an uphill(only about five vertical feet!) rough section after a long pavement/sidewalk. Started thinking, geez I'm an idiot to use a two hundred dollar bike computer during a cyclocross race, plus, I almost lost it once during a mtb race the same way. Thank goodness it's bright yellow as I saw it two laps later and picked it up after the race was over. Need to remember to use packing tape or something like that to hold that sucker on there tight.
S: 13.5
P: 191
W: 70 kg
I felt really fresh after finishing so I obviously did not push myself hard enough, again. They were still setting up the course after the race was scheduled to start so our start was delayed by ten minutes. The race started with a very short forty meter straightaway - not up to UCI/USCF spec dang it, then a 30 yard long climb in sand to a miniloop of the school, then a few hairpin turns until the graveyard, and a 300 meter pavement section that ended with a curb jump that had a short, 5 inch drop (they delayed the start to add in some planks to eliminate the need to do a jump but a jump would be smoothest here), then a short rise, then the traditional Soquel long off camber left into the tennis courts into the only run up. Ten minutes before start time they put a barrier here. The elevation change was about fifteen feet onto the wide trail parallel to the running track onto the paved section behind the sports field onto the ten foot rise onto the baseball diamond, a big loop around this field, a short fast descent onto the sports field with a hairpin turn into the double barriers then a short climb back to the baseball field level with a short sharp descending corner back to the lower sports field, around the sports field to the start finish. The main technical difficulties were in the transitions from fields at different levels as some of these ascents and descents were also hairpin corners or very off camber. Very fast course considering how little pavement there is. On the last lap Mike Schaller caught me (again!) and I followed him and was going to pass him at the line but the other two guys drafting him almost knocked each other over so I had to delay my move. I thought I didn't pip him but I got credit for being ahead of him in the official results. On the bright side I beat some folks that were ahead of me earlier this year and was closer to Troy timewise. Even though this had much more changes in elevation and less pavement than either of the races at Monster Park in San Francisco, the average speed for me was much greater. I think this is due to the fact that one could actually coast and keep one's speed up pretty high on the most of the course and the rough grass and sand sections were much shorter.

Joe Fabris had a cool GPS gadget that also was a HRM so he could download his races and overlay his progress on a topo map or compare his times and progress to others who did the same course with the GPS.

At one point in the race Eric Balfus (Eric Baijos in the results) came flying past me then came to an abrupt halt, a couple of times withing view of me in front of me. It turns out one of his brake pads on his cantilevers in the rear came loose and lodged itself underneath the rim. He had to stop and disabled his rear brake so he could continue.

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