27 November 2005

CCCX #4 Prunedale 27 November

70 kg
Went with a bit lower pressure after reading the back and forth on tire pressures, about 38 front and back with the 42mm wide Ritcheys. Felt a bit wobbly in the rear on the paved hill but no pinch flats.
Teammates: Chris Pearson, Dino in 45+B, Chris D, Darrel B in 35A, Joe Fabris, Steve Stewart in 45A.
Friendly rivals: Andrew in juniors, Travis in C's, Murray and Erik in 35B/45B, Jason in the B's.

P: 159
S: 12.2

I felt like I was really slow but this was faster than I went at Surf City Watsonville or Clark Natwick and I still came in next to last! I think it was much easier to go faster here because the fields were smaller and there was plenty of room to pass. Got lapped on the last lap so I got to do one less lap than most of the other folks. I tried to not go too hard at the start and could not help myself and pulled off a typical crit start and sprinted for the heck of it at the end of the race since three B's had lapped me.

20 November 2005

Clark Natwick CX at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

34/43 finishers
teammates - Michael Schaller in 35B's, Chris Daugherty and Darrel Brokeshoulder in 35A's, Joe Fabris in 45A

friendly rivals - (so many folks at this race I probably forgot someone) Mark and Murray, Curt Ferguson, Darryl Smith, Jeremy, Cody and Marcus in the juniors, Gregg in the C's, Alden and Channing in the B's, Cece's better half in 45B's, Eric in singlespeed, Ruben in 35A's. Finally saw Juan Ortiz, haven't seen him since the first race, his back went out during the second and he had to end his season.

I only bothered to bring one bike up, the Litespeed with the 42mm wide Zed front and rear and pumped up the tires to 40 psi again, cause it felt awfully hard and that pinch flat yesterday had to be a fluke, and I did not want to leave a bike unattended in a pit in the city. My legs were still sore from racing yesterday( and for only 30 minutes, too)so I considered not showing up but one of the benefits or drawbacks of preregistering is that one has already invested in the entry fee so it gives one additional motivation to show up and race. I felt better after we started, though.

Cool day, had to keep arm warmers and knee warmers on for the race, and almost needed another layer like a undershirt. Very long course, with lots and lots of singletrack, one set of barriers, one twenty yard long hill that was faster for me to run, loose soil in the corners that got looser as more people rode the course and lots of roots to knock your handlebars out from under you. Started off rubbing shoulders with Curt on one side and someone else on the other side. We all sprinted to the sharp right hand turn at the end of the raised running track so we could come to a complete stop and rush to get the hole shot on the next corner... The stuff that was fast and fun during the warmup was somewhat nerve wracking during the race, never sure if the guy in front of you was going to fall down or what during the technical sections or over a root, and then when they did having to either jump off and run or somehow stay on and manuever around them. It seemed like there were too many places to get stuck behind someone and not enough areas to pass them. On the first long pavement section I was behind Curt who was behind someone else who was getting weaker so I jumped, hoping Curt would come along but he didn't bite. Then after two laps or twenty minutes I blew up (hey, we only raced for about twenty minutes during the track racing nights) had to ease up and cut my losses on the third lap and hola, a guy in my race passed me in the beginning of the fourth and final lap so I had someone to race against again. So I passed him back before the single track and held him off and caught another guy with mechanical issues and a guy who crashed but the guy who crashed made a strong move to pass me in the last single track section and that's where we ended finishing. I didn't see anyone behind me so I eased up on the final straight and Gregg still managed to almost catch me at the end (his group started one minute after us). At least today I made different mistakes in different places each lap.

19 November 2005

Surf City #3, Watsonville 19 November

35+ B's
P:146 average

Teammates: Chris Pearson and Michael Schaller, Dino in 45B, Steve Stewart and Joe Fabris in 45A, Chris Daugherty and Darrel Brokeshoulder in 35A
friendly rivals Mark in 35B, Eric in 45B, Curt in 35B, Jeremy and Joel in the junior Bs, Ruben in 35A

Rode a lap on the 40-12/25 bike and felt overgeared when trying to ride the climbs and switched to the 44/35-12/25 bike with 42mm tires and felt much better but with some tire slippage on the steep bits. Should have let more air out of the tires and adjusted my riding style but went with the 40 psi I put in beforehand.

Arm warmers and knee warmers necessary for the warmup, stripped down to shorts and jersey by race time. Showed up early enough to get in a couple of laps before the race started. Have to remember to not be so stubborn and to not listen to Chris' advice, especially when he is drunk. :) Kept making the same mistake every lap in the same places - trying to ride every hill. During the race I carried too much speed into the hills and hit or came close to hitting someone on each of the two smaller hills and on the second longest hill I fell over while trying to ride up it and on the long run up I rode up it partway then a guy walking swung his bike into my head to force me off and then as I ran past him I managed to get my handlebars entangled in his wheel... And that was just the first lap. On the small hill every time I either rode into or came very close to Curt or someone else. Each time I thought he was going to make but he lost traction at just the wrong time. :( Next race I am going to have to be more flexible and prepared to jump off and run, even if it hurts more. On my second trip up the big run up, Jeremy rode up, making it look easy. On the third time up, I fell down again and Mikey scampered past me. Maybe I should just commit to running it next time... On the last time, the smaller junior from Sacramento that Curt introduced to me passed both Curt and me on that big run up but we had the satisfaction of passing him back on the flats before the finish. I was able to draft off of Curt and pass someone else at the line for a little satisfaction but I think that is the most times I have fallen off of my cross bike in a race. Afterwards my front tire went flat - I had a pinch flat during the race but the Specialized Airlock innertube covered a 4mm long slash to make it a slow leak so it was rideable and I didn't really notice during the race. Then I took the spare bike to watch and cheer on the other racers and got two more flats, both in Specialized Airlock innertubes. The Airlock inner tubes work for quite a few small punctures but I pulled about thirty goathead thorns out of the front tire and eight goathead thorns out of the rear which was too much for them to handle. I was able to inflate the rear but the front was a lost cause. So next time, no riding off of the course for me at Watsonville.

After watching the elite men and women I felt better about falling off as both the elite women and men had riders near the front not cleaning several sections of the course their first time through.

06 November 2005

FIAC National CX Championships, Watsonville

Woke up late, throat was scratchy, bed was warm, outside was freezing but mapquest said it was only fifty one minutes so I had to give it a go.

Teammates: Michael Schaller, someone else in the under 35 B's, Joe Fabris in the 45 A's. Steve Stewart and Chris Daugherty showed up and both decided not to race.
Friendly rivals: Mark from PenVelo, Curt Ferguson and son Jeremy in the juniors.

The course was mostly flat but not totally flat. One uphill runup took me twenty seconds and the bigger runup took about thirty seconds. Two barrier sections on flat parts of the course to force dismounts and one four foot wide set of stairs with eight steps to run up. Showed up an hour early and the laps were so long I only had time to do two slow warmup laps. Did a lap on the bike with the 35mm Ritchey SpeedMax and one lap on the bike with 42mm Ritchey Zed's mounted. At race speed it took me about ten minutes per lap.

Took it easy at the start and was almost last, right where I needed to be!, going in the first 180 and started picking off riders including Mike who went wide at the first 180 and was getting thrown around by the bumpy surface hidden by the grass. Caught some riders at the first barriers shortly after that. Then we went into the chicane in between a few shipping containers where I lost my nerve and had to brake, doh. Then a long grass section, barriers, 180 turn to a gravel rolling section, 180 turn to a gravel downhill, 90 turn on grass to uphill, barriers, twenty second run up, short gravel road to a loop of a rodeo arena on dirt to a short set of stairs!, sweeping left turn, then a sweeping downhill right turn onto grass, then uphill then 180 downhill, then a 90 left to the in and out around the stables to a zig zag until the thirty second runup with a six inch barrier at the bottom, then a longer grass section, 180 left then a last set of barriers, then sixty meters to the finish line. One really wanted to have company on the long flat section around the rodeo track. I was able catch then hang with Curt and the Steelman guy for the most of the first lap, lost them on a 180 downhill turn on gravel, then caught and passed them on the long run up, then they passed me back. The next lap I was able to ride with Curt again, this time for most of the rest of the lap, passing him on the run up. This time the Steelman fellow caught me after I passed the start finish and I could not reel him in, seeing him a short distance ahead. During this lap I thought my front wheel was losing air or something was loose - it was my headset, and this jostled the PowerTap CPU loose so this is why I only had 2.5 laps of the race recorded.

I did really well on the longer uphill runups as I was able to catch and pass folks but that probably killed my legs for a good time duration as it took quite a while to get up to speed after each of them.