30 June 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 30 June

Elite 3
Teammates: Erik O, Steve M
Field: 12

Was grateful for the long sleeve skinsuit as the temperatures dipped into the 60's as the sun went down, had to put on an undershirt to keep from shivering. Big change from the 80's last week.

There was a little bit of excitement before the racing as one of the portable bike stands blew over with Dean, DanHolla, and Jim's bikes falling to the ground. Jim began his warm up and the damage to his bike became apparent on his last effort as his carbon fiber bars broke in two near one of the curves where the STI levers would go. Apparently the impact with the ground cracked it. Fortunately Jim did not go down but had to withdraw from the racing.

8 lap scratch:
T: 3:32
P: 352
S: 45.9
C: 110
H: 186
Attack at the gun, get the whole pack for a tail, pull up after 2 laps, Elliot goes in the next lap and we watch and wait. With three to go the whole pack eases up, and pulls up to the stayer's line or higher so I pull into the lane and attempt to bridge. With one and a half laps to go I ease up a bit so I can time my slingshot over Elliot, then Elliot unexpectedly gives up and swings up track with one to go. I was hoping I could get him to get on my wheel and hold off the pack but this throws a wrench into my tactics as I see his teammate Brian over my shoulder start a counterattack for the last lap on the home stretch. Doh. Oh well, at least got a decent effort in with a couple of attacks in 8 laps.

Miss and out:
T: 3:23
P: 343
S: 42.1
C: 100
H: 183
With 11 riders we will ride ten laps. This is a bit harder to do solo but what the heck, must go for it anyways. When we start going fast after the start, every one moves below the stayer's line, opening up half the track for passing, I accelerate over the top and see Matias in the lane and Steve M on his shoulder while I go over so I hope Steve can get on my shoulder and pin Matias there when they catch up. After four laps on the front I am dying, and find Matias in on my shoulder. Ooops. The next lap Matias ups the pace and I cannot match it so I find myself on his wheel after he pulls ahead and slots into the lane and I am boxed in - feeling somewhat relieved that I don't have to kill myself but then wishing I was not boxed in at the bottom of the track. I last two more laps and am the last rider pulled before we score points so a whole lot of work for no placing.

15 lap points race, sprint every 3:
T: 7:00
Pavg: 292
Pnorm: 306
S: 44.6
C: 106
H: 183
Since this will take about 7.5 minutes at about 30 seconds per lap, I decide to *not* attack on the first lap since I do am pretty sure that I can not hold off the pack for that long. I hope to score points in the later sprints. What happens is I find myself behind a long line of folks, feeling somewhat comfortable just sitting in and having trouble finding motivation to exert myself to move up with four riders a bit off the front, those four scoring all the points. Finally with six to go we catch them and other riders score points. At this point we slow a bit, I consider attacking then the pace picks up again. After the sprint at 3 laps we ease up signficantly and everyone in front of me pulls up past the stayer's line. Saved too much in the tank as I accelerate and pull away from the pack and stay about a half lap away for the last three laps. Winning a sprint is nice but with five sprints, I did not think it was enough to matter in the ranking but I got 4th in this race.

There was a crash in the keirin final where Don Langley and Gen Kogure appeared to touch handlebars and both went tumbling to the track, thankfully early in the event when the speeds are lower. Both got up under their own power but only Gen continued to race the keirin restart and the last event.

30 lap points race, cat 1/2/3, field 35:
T: 14:28
Pavg: 240
Pnorm: 250
S: 44.3
C: 105
H: 180
After witnessing the keirin crash and with 35 people in this particular race, decided to play this a bit conservatively and surf the back. They said they were probably not going to pull anybody but they should have, some people who were lapped multiple times were kind of careless and not looking when they were turning to get on what they thought was the back of the pack and hooking folks. Anyways, only felt I had to work a couple of times to stay in the group. There was an immediate separation at the start of the race and Larry Nolan was in the back group, and I could see him go to bridge, and amazingly, the people behind him did not react. The one thing I know about racing with Larry is that when if you are behind him when he goes, you go, or your race is over and that was pretty much the end of it for everyone in the second part of the pack. We eventually caught the main group but this was after Larry initiated a move to catch the break that lapped the field(edit, thanks for correction AJM). I think there were only about 25 people left at the end. I perceived this to be hard but the data shows it was not - have done much harder efforts in other races. It was definitely harder than the 40 lap scratch race last week. The first half of the race was easy after the split occurred and I was tempted to pull the second pack up to the first half of the field but the second half of the race was a bit more like TT pace, and still DanHolla, Steve P, AJM, and Brian were able to lap us in the second half of the race.

Placing: 7/12
Total riding time: 2:10
Total TSS: 171
Total NP:218

23 June 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 23 June

Cat 3
Teammates: Erik O.
M: 67kg
Michelin Pro race 2 Hed 3 front and back

Got to the track early, brought dinner and ate it, got in a good long warmup, almost threw up dinner while waiting for our first event. Went into this with a short day on Thursday with a few sprints for technique practice and a really long 225 TSS day with 60 minutes of L4 on Wednesday as a change of pace from previous ATL prior to Friday night track racing. I am not sure if this or a longer warmup or the two cups of coffee ( I am not going to sleep for a while...) was key to better performance.

8 Lap Win and Out:
Accelerated slowly at the whistle, and no one wanted to come with me. Quickly got a quarter lap and figured I would go for it. After a few more laps got up to half a lap and made it a goal to keep it there. Gio made a comment about the Deaf Games cyclists before the race - about how one should go much harder on the track than on the road when attacking, then soft pedal to recover, I tried to put this into action by going hard into the headwind section after turn 1 and before turn 4 and backing off a little bit on the other half of the course, keeping an eye on the group and keeping the gap at one half a lap. I thought Gio could not possibly be right but it worked so I was wrong. Amazingly there were only a few attacks from the group but nothing got organized so I was able to keep a gap and salute the crowd at the finish when I won.

Garrett Lau took this picture of me during the race:

Looks a lot like the blogger profile pic, sadly no pics of the finish line fist pumping.

T: 3:49
P: 352
H: 186
C: 103
S: 43.1 kph

Miss and out:
Since there were only eight of us, one only had to last 5 laps to get into the final 3. I thought I might be able to hold the front for at least that long. Started at the back of the group and when the whistle blew the pack went down to the stayer's line or lower so put in a big jump to pass over the top, looked back, and went to into the lane to lead the group around. Every single lap I was expecting to be passed, but was able to hold off everyone until it was down to Nick in the lead, Scott on his hip, and Alden in the lane and me. On the next lap, Alden was still in the bad spot and I was able to go over the top and past him to make into the final 3. Nick was still leading and Scott and I followed during the safe lap. On turn 4, Nick picked it up, then jumped really hard into the final lap. I did not even contest this and rolled in behind them, perhaps I should have tried, but have yet to beat Scott or Nick in a sprint of any kind.

Set a clear two minute power max average during the start and equalled my one minute max average on the road (thought I was holding something back, but good thing I wasn't), however here the power is stochastic, when I usually do L6 intervals on the road, I am holding power constant - probably need to mix it up during training, on the other hand motivation is always higher during races.
T: 3:32
P: 331
H: 189
C: 100
S: 42.1 kph

10 lap point a lap:
Mary said she wanted to play a bit during this race so I agreed to help. I jumped hard after the whistle and looked back and I had everyone on my wheel after a lap, then Jon jumped with Mary on his wheel. I stayed on her wheel and then they started sprinting for the points and since I really could not do anything for myself (only one point to the winner of each lap) or Mary from here I got out of the way and eased up and let the other folks try to bring them back - the sprint caused a 10 meter gap which is small but with the scoring of the race can make for interesting tactics where no one wants to do any work with riders off the front. I could see that Jon was not really cooperating with Mary and taking all the points but still not much I could do about it without bringing other riders with me as I shot a wad at the start of the race. Elliot then jumped hard enough that he was able to get up there, past the gap, and soon Jon and Elliot dropped Mary. Possibly I should have caught her quicker here and told her to rest but hesitated and took a few laps to catch up. Since most of the points were split between just two riders, final placings would be determined by order of finish on the last lap so I worked to pass Jon and finished just behind Erik O.
T: 4:29
P: 310
H: 184
C: 109
S: 45.8 kph

40 lap all hands scratch race:
23 riders P/1/2/3
Teammates: BB, Erik O.
I wasn't sure how I would fare in this race so set my goal pretty low of just finishing since they said they would pulled lapped riders. There were only a few times where I felt I had to work hard as I surfed the back of the pack to stay out of the way of the folks who would be contending for money as this was paying out four or five deep cash just for this race. Surprisingly McCook (who really must love the track because he drove back from Tour De Nez to race and I complain about the half hour drive in rush hour traffic) and DanHolla were back here for quite some time, too, and I could see some cat 3's working at the front of the pack. One time I got gapped and DanHolla was on my wheel so I worked a tiny bit so I could pull him up and not negatively affect his race. Dan and I talked a bit about our blogs and he wanted to try the SRM and I told him I wasn't racing on the track in August and I could rent it to him for that month. Towards the end I felt fresh and was thinking I should do something but with about 18 riders still left in the pack it was pretty hard to pass anyone without running into someone's butt. Should have attacked with about six or seven laps to go just to get a hard effort in as my output was not really that big, more like a L3 or low L4 effort - the 10 lap point a lap with just eight riders was faster. Next time! Need to learn to adjust goals on the fly. On the plus side, I met my initial goal. I think the order of finish was DanHolla, BB, Gio, McCook so staying at the back would have been a good strategy *until* the last half where I could not muster the courage to start moving up.
T: 17:55
Pavg: 201
Pnorm: 218
H: 177
C: 104
S: 43.9 kph

Finished 2/8 in the omnium. Felt good about doing well, but wished some of the other heavy hitters had shown up, the next day's race at Pescadero really doesn't seem like it would draw the same riders but perhaps some of the riders are also at Tour de Nez.

18 June 2006

Hellyer Sprint Tournament

My warmup for this consisted of doing the LGBRC social ride/race up OLH and down 84 and back. Got outsprinted by our 15-16 district crit champ on Sand Hill, twice... But it did take him a good half minute to catch me on the bump on Sand Hill coming back.

22 riders did the 200 meter time trial. The temperature was 98 degrees at the start of festivities.

200 meter flying time trial
Power was low but time was good for me - 13.29 seconds. Tried to get the speed up to 52kph before I hit turn 2 but mistimed the effort a bit, found that with the high entry speed, had trouble turning the pedals over faster, may gear up next time just for the 200 or work more on my form/leg speed for the given effort.

Match Sprint versus Shawn Hatfield
A lot of feinting in the first lap where we did a track stand and continued playing until turn 2 of the last lap, I did a small jump and thought I held back (but still did 15w/kg) then Shawn committed to a real jump and that was how we finished. Mark Rodamaker kindly reminded me that I should stand when I jump from a slow speed - I ride so much on the road that my first instinct is to sit and spin to accelerate in all situations to save energy, not to go as fast as possible as soon as possible.

Match Sprint versus Gareth Spor
This played out the same way as the first one, lots of back and forth where Gareth was really good about moving behind me in the opposite direction of where I looked so I was unable to watch him the whole time, need to learn to look between my legs or under my arms. He jumped early in turn 4 of the first lap and I caught up by the back stretch, paused and then jumped again to pass and win.

Match Sprint versus Matias Elgart
Matias and I played a bit at charging at each other but never made contact. I made the mistake of playing a bit too long and letting Matias razor me at the rail when we were in turn 2 of the last lap and I could not jump enough to pass him and he dived in turn 3 and the distance between the initial jump and my response was the margin of victory.

16 June 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 16 June

Race: Cat 3
Field: 14
Teammates: Erik O, Steve M
Did a little informal rolling resistance test and found that the Vredestein tires I have been using for the past two years were bad, only a little better than the cheap Ritchey Race Slick training tires I use on my road bike. Michelin pro race 2's were tremendously better, and the Vittoria Corsa Evo CX's a little better on top of that. 20-30 watts doesn't seem like a lot but I did much better this week with the good tires than last week with the poor tires.

Got to the track a bit early. This was really good because I quickly realized I left my wallet at home. My warmup consisted of driving home and driving back, got to the track with five minutes to spare. On the plus side I remembered the heart rate transmitter during my first visit to the track, unlike last week. Next as I was trying to set the zero offset I managed to change the recording rate to 10 seconds instead of 0.5 seconds. I gave up trying to figure out how to fix it and went into the first race, and figured out how to change it back after I got the butterflies out of my system during the first race. So the first race is not in the screenshot since the SRM downloads data that is recorded at different rates in different files and I did not feel like posting two screenshots.

Attacked early, got caught after two laps, George M went, I waited a bit and attempted a bridge, saw someone on my wheel after three laps so I eased up so I didn't pull them to George as we both use pretty much the same race strategy - attack and attack until you can't attack any more - why fight each other?, and when I saw the whole field there, just let them pass me and cruised in after the field.
10 lap win and out with 10 second recording interval
T: 5:08
S: 41.9
C: 99
Pavg: 290
Pnorm: 321
H: 186

Attacked at the gun and had Jared and Specialized for company pretty quickly. Got in a rhythm and we shared the first three sprints. After about five more laps I could see Elliot bridging. Was not pulling as much but also was not getting any sprint points, we stayed away until the end and managed to get fourth.
12 lap snowball
T: 5:47
S: 44.2
C: 106
Pavg: 303
Pnorm: 323
H: 191

George attacked early and another rider bridged up. I patrolled the front to prepare to jump on anyone's wheel that attempted to bridge up, kept the pace up a bit and no one wanted to work to chase them down for a while. After three laps of this someone finally upped the pace and I spent the rest of the race on Scott R's wheel except at one point, Specialized hooked me when I was behind him and in the sprinter's lane and he was above the sprinter's lane but I just went into the blue band to avoid any issues and he later apologized, no worries. On the last lap George was only about 50 meters ahead and Scott turned on the afterburners and started his move. I do not think he realized I was on his wheel as he gave up very early after turn four and with about 10 meters to go I pulled even but he was able to put in a micro sprint to take fourth with me fifth.

15 lap scratch
T: 6:42
S: 44.0
C: 105
Pavg: 245
Pnorm: 261
H: 186

A small group got away and I just followed wheels until 11 to go when my turn to pull what was left of the pack. I started upping the pace to see if we could get back into the race when behind me on the home stretch I heard the sound of wheel spokes breaking then the sound of bike on concrete. What I was told was someone permitted their front wheel to overlap slightly with someone elses rear wheel and when that rider in front moved a bit, it started taking out spokes in his front wheel, and he almost saved it but lost too many spokes and landed a bit hard on his knee and hip. He did not want an ambulance but I think we should have called one anyways given his difficulty in walking afterwards. Our race was neutralized and restarted after this - my legs didn't have a good start from the rail in them so I was dropped immediately and just did the 8 laps solo.
20 lap points race
before crash
T: 6:24
S: 43.8
C: 104
Pavg: 221
Pnorm: 225
H: 183
after pause for crash (solo off the back immediately. wah.)
T: 3:49
S: 41.7
C: 100
Pavg: 291
H: 181

For the evening I got in the equivalent of three vo2max intervals when I spent time off the front or off the back. No real sprint efforts except for the standing start restart of the points race. I possibly should have done more work in the scratch race at the end, and forced Scott to work more for his placing as that was purely an aerobic effort until our micro sprint, and next time I will go for more points in the snowball...

09 June 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 9 June

Cat 3 omnium
Teammates: Eric, Steven

no placings
Thought I tried pretty hard during the races but after downloading the data I find that this was not that difficult for the most part, not pushing myself hard enough, my workout on Wednesday was harder than this, possibly because in a couple of races I gave up after being caught by the group. Got an L6 effort in the miss and out and the 5 lap scratch and a low duration/low output L5 effort in the 8 lap scratch, and a long duration/OK output L5 workout in the 15 lap points race for fifteen total minutes of racing.

Since I haven't been doing a lot of track racing this season prior to this, the biggest shock is the difficulty in starting from a slow speed to get up to a fast speed in a big gear. This is the biggest difference between racing with the A's or P123 field on Wednesday versus a 3 field, in the A field, the difficulty for me is in being able to just keep up by sucking wheel and spinning with accelerations from fast to faster.

A crash in the women's field put a damper on things as a rider was taken away in an ambulance. This happens more often on the road, but at the track almost every thing that happens is seen by the audience and racers so there is the impression that racing on the track is dangerous.

8 Lap scratch:
One rider attacked early. After a few laps, managed to get to the front and started working to pull him back with a few riders, but a couple of the riders were satisified to watch each other instead of going for first so we never caught up.
T: 3:15
Pavg: 319
C: 109
S: 45.8

Miss and out:
Got in the front in the lane as soon as the race started and led for four laps, and just lost it after that and was pulled. That was a little hard for a two minute effort for me but less than what I have done on the road, and should be higher since this was measured with a SRM versus a PowerTap.
T: 1:56
Pavg: 368
S: 44.3
C: 106

15 lap points race - sprint every five laps:
Rode on the front for four laps again, was gapped after the sprint, worked with Nick for the rest of the race at the back, catching up to the field a couple of times and losing contact at the end.
T: 7:30
Pavg: 272
S: 41.2
C: 98

5 lap scratch race:
Attacked at the start, got caught with two to go, gave up at that point, should have kept on going. First two minutes was *close* to my two minute max on my PowerTap equipped road bike, but again this should be higher on a SRM equipped bike...
T: 2:28
Pavg: 353
S: 42.1
C: 101

04 June 2006

Dunlap Memorial TT

Very hot, light wind.
Flat course with some very gently rolling sections.

Field: Cat 4
Place: 7/18
Would have been 5/36 in the 35+ 4/5's. On the other hand, about half the Cat 4's were within one minute of me and the wind picked up a bit after I finished.

Used 51x15 gearing with Vittoria clincher/HED 60 in front with Michelin Pro Race 2, ghetto CH aero disk wheel in the back. At the half way point some of the electrical tape holding the rear wheel cover together came loose but it never came off fully. A few times it felt like the chain was trying to derail itself so will have to tension up the chain a bit more next time I use the bike as there is no way it's going back on during the race with a fixie.

Almost a minute faster than last year with a bit less wind this year than last year, but at least ten degrees hotter this year at 10:00 am. Did not ride the fixed gear nearly as much prior to this event as last year, went with the theory that time trial fitness is mainly aerobic fitness and only rode the fixed gear time trial bike once a week on recovery days as prep, doing most of the FTP type work on hills. Seemed to work OK. I'm not sure anything would prepare one for sitting an hour on the tip of the saddle, this started to hurt so much towards the end I found myself shifting back and forth to relieve the pressure.

Started last of eighteen riders. Caught the two folks who started in front of me but it took a really long time as our paces were pretty close, the first catch was after about twenty minutes ( and I could see him when I started) and the second one was in the last ten minutes, unfortunately at a corner so I had to slow significantly in order to not draft as we both went wide out of the corner. My pacing was a little off as I think I still had something left in the tank at the end, on the other hand, once I saw the 1 KM sign I kept thinking I'm almost done, almost done, the next sign should say 200 meters but it said 500 meters... Looking at the different sections of the course I went a bit too easy when I had the tailwind and just about right into a headwind except for the last section where I may have begun to fatigue.

Not sure how much of the improvement in time is due to the slightly higher power, which is within the precision of the measuring instrument and could be a wash, or slightly improved equipment. Used an aero LG Rocket helmet and a skinsuit this year versus the helmet with tape and the short sleeve jersey and shorts last year. The interesting thing about the Rocket is that (at least on me) it starts to whistle when I was going over 45kph. I think the only equipment improvements I can make at this point are shoe covers and a front wheel deeper than 60mm and a $1000 for a fitting session in a wind tunnel so I am going to have to work on fitness instead. :0

T: 50:41
D: 33.3 KM
C: 92
S: 39.5
H: 180
AP: 245
NP: 247

03 June 2006

Wheels of Thunder Crit

total TSS 170
Very hot, with mild winds, a break from past years where the wind was a bigger factor. The back stretch had some smallish potholes that were painted. Skipped the first track racing night of the season as a change of pace from last two years. I felt better able to respond to changes in pace better without having to recover from track racing in twelve hours.

E 4 race
Teammates: Jun ( a few no shows )
Friendly rivals: Eric P

Talked a bit to Eric on the start line and he just wanted to use this as a warmup for the 35+ race. At one point we were behind a sketchy rider so I asked Eric to pass him and he pulled me for quite a ways.

Mostly sat on wheels until about six to go when in the last corner I could hear some contact between riders behind me and finally some bikes on pavement. One of the riders could not get up on his own for a few minutes, but the race continued so we had to ride around him, on the very next lap on the straight before this corner, the lead riders in our race had some more contact in front of me and a few of them went down. At this point the lap card and the announcer were disagreeing on the laps in the race. Made my way up to Jun with two to go ( I thought it was one ), looked around and did not see Eric and figured I could at least help Jun out to get to the front so I told him to get on my wheel. We made it there in one straight away but this new location in the pack confused him so he forgot his own plans for the race, he dropped off of me and I found myself off the front by a few seconds and getting the bell for the final lap. Doh. At this point I figured I would just stay out of the other folks' way so I pulled to one side and let everyone pass me and just finished the last lap.

Have a really high five minute NP for part of this race, it's about fifteen percent higher than the level I am doing VO2max intervals right now. Five minutes is sometimes used as a proxy for VO2max power. Maybe there's room for improvement there, although NP is just an approximation of the load and less accurate for short time intervals, in this instance, I am only pedaling half the time, and it's at the end of a forty minute race as opposed to a more even measure effort with a rest period beforehand.

Really need to try attacking two laps (about four to five minutes) from the finish and seeing if I can hold off the pack.

NP: 233
AP: 178
C: 74
S: 41.8

35+ 4/5 race
Teammates: Chris P ( a few no shows )
Friendly rivals: Eric P, Ray and Travis from Pen Velo, Rob E, Bob R, Adam and Dr. X from EMC.
place:way back in the field

Finally met fellow blogger X from EMC.

There was a bad wreck in the 35+ 123 race in the final sprint for 2nd, the winner of that race was about 100 meters off the front. This delayed the start of our race by about 30 minutes but they let us race the full distance.

The usual sketchiness of the 35+ 4/5 races was obvious even compared to the straight up 4's race, though there were no crashes, it seemed worse because we never upped the pace enough to drop many people so there were about forty people sprinting for second.

Eric said for most of these 35+ 4/5 races one good attack is enough for a good result for him so he was going to let me know and offered to pull me to the finish. I told him my legs didn't feel so great. So we discussed this as leisurely is possible over the next to last and the last lap, essentially telegraphing the strategy and it still worked. Eric won by a tiny bit, holding off the pack. I hit one of the aforementioned potholes while following Eric and was entering the next to last corner at 30+ mph and was not sure if my front tire was still holding air so I had to back off a bit. Felt a bit bad for slowing the people behind me ( didn't know they were there ), not trying to block as that seems kind of dangerous to me in this situation, and a little unsure of the front tire so I didn't bother sprinting at the end.

One time through the pothole section a rider directly in front of me hit it hard enough to clang his rim and the telltale hissing of a blown tube soon started. This came to my mind when I hit the same pothole hard enough to clang something and the visions of the prior 35+ 123 crash and the Memorial day last corner slide out on video came to mind.

NP: 202
AP: 172
C: 72
S: 40.1