22 July 2006

Watsonville Crit

Teammates:Chris P., Jun, David P., Daniel H.
Conditions:85 and humid
Used 50x34 with a 12/25 cassette. Tried 11/23 during the warmup but never felt very good in the 50x21 by myself on the hill so played it conservative and went with 12/25.

Arrived a couple of hours early so I could get a long warmup and eat lunch as my race started at 12:50. Traffic was bumper to bumper on 17 even before 10:00. Ran into Chris P and he said he was switching to a Santa Cruz club because he lived in Santa Cruz, made sense. The course starts on a gentle hill with a slight right then a short steep downhill into a 120 right, short straight into the wind, 100 left, longer straight with a truck on the left side, 90 right, maybe 20 meters with a truck on the left side, 90 right, long straight into the wind, then back to the finishing hill. Ran into Jun and he asked for advice and I told him to be careful of pedal strikes because almost every corner ended up being off camber because of the crown of the road. Funny thing is I ended up hitting my pedal in every corner once and actually sliding for a bit on the pedal one time. It was so hot at the start that parts of the asphalt were starting to melt. Done this race twice before and been pulled twice so my first goal was to finish and if possible do something at the end. For the first third of the race I fought for position at the front and this felt hard but it really wasn't according to the data. So for the next third of the race, settled in at the middle of the pack. With about ten laps to go, sitting mid pack, it looked like a lot of guys were trying to squeeze into a small space in one of the turns onto a straight with a truck parked in it, possibly razoring each other, so I started slowing rapidly in anticipation, then the two guys directly in front of me touched bars and started going down so I slowed a bit more and started sliding my rear tire and then lifting the rear due to a lot of front brake action, stopped braking, and barely maneuvered around them. Took a couple of laps to regain my composure and started moving back up the pack. Each of the last six laps got faster and faster but I felt pretty comfortable just moving up on the hill and defending that. With one to go I got up to about fifteen position and held that onto the final straight. What I should have done was sprint all the way from *before* the last corner since the front straight took fifteen seconds total, however I paused so I could draft off the guys in front of me on the front stretch who both stalled and then blocked me. I attempted to split the two guys in front of me but right as I went between them one of them started rocking his bike back and forth. We touched handlebars a couple of times and I started wobbling due to the impact but recovered, but didn't make up any more ground. That was my totally fault for trying to go through a hole that was not there, so afterwards I apologized and he was a good sport about it.

On the one hand, happy to have finished with the front of the group, on the other hand, really frustrating because I felt I left a lot in the tank and could have done better - that is exactly what the data shows - not that much harder than just sitting in during a flat crit. It can be hard to stop enjoying the draft sometimes and do some work. This felt hard possibly due to the heat and the strong coastal wind on a couple of the straights that strung the pack out.

T: 40:29
S: 38.3
C: 77
Pavg: 192

place: ~15/64

This is the shirt. Did not win this but sometimes if you officiate at a race you can get some schwag. At first I was trying to figure out why the person on the bike is wearing lederhosen but on further examination the picture is apparently of an old time rider.

16 July 2006

Hellyer sprints and TTs 16 July

Don't get to ride as much as I would like at the track so I did the afternoon Hellyer sprint/TT day even though my preparation for this was to have 1200 TSS in the preceding seven days with a 300 TSS ride on the prior day and 130 TSS in the morning. (100 TSS is the equivalent stress on the body of doing a single one hour all out time trial.) Had to be at the track anyways to assist Steve during the junior portion but Kevin Worley and Richard Brockie kindly took on most of our normal junior training duties. On the other side of the ledger was that I never really got any good sprints in since last Thursday so the optimist in me hoped for something better today.

Switched to the ghetto disk wheel with the plastic cover and Michelin Pro Race 2 tires with 50x15 gearing.

200 meter flying time trial:

Slowest time for me this year, but ballpark timewise to other efforts, and a super low peak power, so got the most out of what I had. One of our juniors is now within one second so I better watch out for him next year!
T:13.55 seconds

500 meter time trial:
Technically only women and men over age 50 and under age 17 have the 500 meter time trial as an event but I know that the 1 kilometer event targets my weakness as a cyclist so there's no real point in me doing a 1 kilometer time trial, the 500 is closer to a timed effort that I might do OK at and my only other timed 500 meter was at ADT when I was doing a kilo and I heard Roger say 38 for my first half split. I also am too lazy to bring both a time trial bike for the kilo and a sprint bike to the track. Weird thing is my average power over 38 seconds and 14 seconds is about the same.

T:40.1 seconds

14 July 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 14 July

Cat 3
Field:10 riders?
Teammates: Jun, Erik, SteveO
Came in with really sore legs from a different taper on Thursday with a mix of L5/L6/L7 efforts, will probably cut out the L6 next time cause that really hurt in all sorts of ways. Did not do any good L7/sprint efforts during the racing, though got in a few good L6, L5, L4 so somehow managed to lose my high end snap without changing my aerobic/anaerobic performance. On the plus side I remembered to bring some coffee. Slightly different mix of riders with the absence of Jon and Brian and addition of the Arizona rider and Jun. It seems that with Brian and Jon out, everyone else is more equally matched, and that really changed the dynamics of the racing, though I think the Arizona rider won two of three events.

8 Lap win and out:
Tried a initial effort and ended up dragging the field around for two laps, rested for one, and tried again and dragged the field around for two laps. Felt like I did not get good jumps but the overall effort for the race was pretty good. Then waited for the end game. Got on the front and started upping the tempo with two and a half to go when the Arizona rider jumped, no one responded, and that really was the end of the race for first. Bided my time until the last bell when I could see four riders ahead, and two gave up. Mary was on my wheel so I just tried to razor her and just edged her out for fifth.
T: 5:04
S: 42.3
C: 101
H: 181
Pavg: 320
Pnorm: 342

Miss and out:
Since the Masters were cut and they were running ahead of schedule, they told us every other lap a rider would be pulled after the bell was rung to make our race last longer. At the very beginning Elliot and I were vying for position to go over the top of the pack. I could only manage a weak sprint to attempt to box him in but he was able to overpower me and pass first. As I was coming into the finish line I could see the only two riders I could possibly eliminate were Jun and Erik so I soft pedaled to save the effort for another race. Erik was able to score points so that was good, and Mary put in an inspired effort to win.
T: 1:03
S: 38.3
C: 91
H: 170
P: 397

10 Lap point a lap:
This was competitive for everyone in the field as it seemed riders would gap the pack but only by a little bit and we would drag people back. With 4 to go I attacked after a sprint and got about a third of lap lead on the pack. I was able to get three points uncontested and then had to work hard for the 1 to go sprint but the Arizona guy and Elliot easily caught me on the last lap, and Mary nipped me on the line.
T: 5:00
S: 43.5
C: 104
H: 182
Pavg: 318
Pnorm: 337

40 lap all hands points race:
Additional teammates: Rick Adams, Jim Ryan
I could see a teammate (varying) in a break of four to six riders for the first 25 laps of the race so I was content to hang in the back as there was never enough horsepower for a break to lap the field. With 15 to go the pack was about to catch the last break so I worked my way up to near the front. Another teammate attacked for this sprint, didn't really want to contest this against them, so then with 12 to go I slipped in front of Jim and signalled for him to follow and was able to lead him out for the 10 to go sprint but he cramped ( did not know it at the time), still he squeezed out a fourth. We hooked up again with 4 to go, and I signalled Jim again as I passed him. Unfortunately his cramp really started acting up and he was not able to follow to the end but I gave a nice leadout to Giovanni and Gen! :)
T: 18:23
S: 43.2
C: 102
H: 179
Pavg: 227
Pnorm: 266


09 July 2006

Lafayette Crit, 9 July

35+ 4/5
Field: ~50
Teammates: (the other) Mark D
Friendly rivals: Eric P, others

50/34 in front and 11/23 in back, and only used the 50 and four gears in back.

The course is roughly a triangle with the start finish straight being all uphill (yay), a short 90 downhill turn to the left, and another 90 but level turn to the left, and a long meandering back stretch to an almost hairpin to the left. I skipped doing this race the first time they held it last year because it was hilly but Juan said it was not that hard and gave me grief about not doing it so I had to try it this year. I am really surprised the promoter is able to do this race as the course cuts off access by car to several stores and a McDonald's for half of the day - that really had to hurt those businesses as downtown Lafayette has a lot of car traffic - probably more than where I live near San Jose. Warming up was kind of tricky as I have never been here before, and as far as I explored, the roads were narrow, shoulderless, full of cars, and hilly, but I was able to find one, more isolated hill that took a good four minutes to crest at the top.

The 4's were doing laps in about 1:25 and we ended up with the same sort of lap times.

There was an accident in the 4's that knocked one rider silly and two ambulances were required to cart the victims away. This delay shortened our race by five minutes and the sight of that always seems to make one more vigilant about safety.

A small group of riders went off the front about halfway through and eventually only one rider was left out there at about fifteen seconds. This was enough time to be out of sight of the pack and effectively ended any chasing. The one downhill corner meant anyone not in the front was braking and the one hairpin going up meant everyone not in the front might be braking as well. At one point Eric P asked me if I felt this was hard and I said no, but looked around and realized we were both at the back of the pack and told Eric to not worry about it as it only hurt on the uphill and he soon was at the front of the pack. Got a bit complacent about position and enjoying the draft too much. Thought about attacking a few times but every time I was on the verge of hitting it hard on the hill there was a prime announced and the pack surged, making it kind of hard to get any separation. The race seemed harder to me than Vacaville but the numbers point it out as easier. With three to go I resigned myself to a sprint finish and jockeyed for position. Each of the last three laps were among the fastest of the race, at one point someone seemed a little too aggressive for 25th position so I backed off and lost my concentration. This was the last lap and most folks were starting from the base of the hill at the hairpin - I think I waited a bit too long thinking it might be advantageous to use other peoples drafts instead of going all out. It is only about a 30 second effort so need to remember that for next year.

Mid pack placing for a mid pack effort.

This was easier than Vacaville and Santa Cruz for me even though I perceived it as hard, not sure if the heat had anything to do with that.

picture of the pack, courtesy of Matt Davis

Pavg: 191
Pnorm: 236
C: 92
S: 40.5
T: 33:44

07 July 2006

Hellyer Friday Night 7 July

Teammates: Erik O and Steve M
No placings
Field: 11
Started the day off by getting out of bed, stepping on a blanket, slipping, and falling on my butt and kicking the bed frame, stubbing my toe. This made it hurt every time I walked but I could still ride a bike without too much pain so I committed myself to racing. Today Peter Allen showed up and Scott Rodamaker skipped out so we were lost a sprinter and gained an all rounder.

10 lap to win and out
Attacked four times in attempts to get away but every one was wise to me and followed me, the last time I just sat up and let the field pass me.
T: 5:55
S: 41.5
C: 99
H: 187
Pavg: 302

10 lap snowball
There was a $20 prime for the 5th lap. Elliot jumped right away so I jumped as well and after two laps of chasing I was thinking of committing everything to the last twenty meter gap but I saw a group of three closing on me so I let up. Unfortunately those guys had one of Elliot's teammates and the other two were not so intent on catching Elliot, so Elliot got the prime and then blew. At this point I got kind of lazy and let the people in front of me dictate the race when I should have pushed harder instead of just drafting, this cost me a lot of positions.

T: 4:16
S: 44.0
C: 105
H: 190
P: 311
get a np of 360 when including the 45 seconds after the race was over.

15 lap points race 5 sprints
At the beginning of the race I was goofing off behind the pack, then a loud metallic clang rang out. I slowed immediately trying to figure out what happen when Erik pulled off. It turned out he broke a spoke. Meanwhile a quarter lap gap opened up to the rest of the pack, this took me three laps to close just as the bell rang... Now I had to pick off the nine riders in front of me and I repeated the mistake of drafting too long instead and getting too rested instead of just pushing the pace to catch people. There was another $20 prime with six laps to go that caused one more surge but I was finally closing in on the top five but ran out of time and only got up to sixth.
T: 6:31
S: 43.2
C: 103
H: 190
Pavg: 301
Pnorm: 319

05 July 2006


I complain about my team shorts every year, they make my bum look big but these take the cake (beautiful women, horrible shorts):

02 July 2006

Vacaville Grand Prix, 2 July

35+ 4/5
Field: ~25
Teammates: None
Friendly rivals: Erik Salander, possibly others

Brought the lighter bike with 50/34 12/25 gearing and afterwards kind of wished I had brought the aero wheels with the 11/23 gearing in back.

Had a heavy training week with 1000 TSS in the prior seven days, chasing Steve Stewart, Darrel, Chris and Randy Denton around on my road bike on Saturday probably did not help my freshness much, either, as I was literally wheezing to get in enough air just to keep up on one of the longer hills on Saturday.

Woke up late and rushed to get everything together for the 75 minute drive to Vacaville. This tardiness did not matter because when I got there I had time to register and change clothes and take a few laps while they did course setup as it looked like they were putting last minute touches on a course that has not been used in a while. The two laps revealed a technical, twisty, and sometimes narrow and sometimes wide open course with one small hill that could easily be ridden in the big ring while in a group.

Got a nice schwag bag with a bottle, Jelly Belly sampler, coupon for Pearl Izumi and a frisbee just for showing up.
The hill did not feel bad to this non climber, especially since the race flyer said it was bigger than the hill at Santa Cruz - it felt a tiny bit longer than the finishing straight hill at Santa Cruz and much shallower - the descent was a little tricky as there was a 90 corner at the bottom leading to a road that had a very high crown that led to a bit of reverse camber when turning with a nice apex.

Laps for the first race of 4/5's were taking about three minutes so this mean our race was going to be about 51 minutes but since the 4/5 start was delayed about 20 minutes they started taking one lap out of events to get back on schedule.

Think there were about six Owens Health riders in different color jerseys. This is important because when one got away, some of the riders blocking for him were wearing different jerseys.

On the first lap I found myself off the front at the gun with only a few pedal strokes. Got to the base of the hill and no one seemed interested so I hit it hard and opened up the gap quite a bit, on a flat course someone usually covers first lap attacks quickly but no one budged. I was more interested in trying lines while having the freedom to choose them from the front of the pack. Softpedaled a bit after the descent and the group caught me quickly on the front stretch. Nothing interesting happened for the first half of the race and the pace up the hill felt hard but doable, and it *seemed* like many people were struggling or at least slowly pedaling a big gear while I thought I was spinning a smaller gear.

At one point a rider that was tenth wheel to my inside on a corner leading to the hill, suddenly countersteered (when no one else in front of him required this) and he forced me to either brake hard to avoid hitting him, hit him, or go off the course outside the hay bales and I chose to go outside the hay bales, and we exchanged a few choice words. I had enough of that and stomped on the pedals a few times and got to the front by the top of the hill and stayed near the front for a bit.

Erik and one other rider slipped off the front only ten to twenty meters away. From my vantage point it appeared as though they were increasing their lead with every turn. I didn't want to chase Erik down, but he was dropped with three to go and the Owens rider was solo off the front by about thirty seconds and out of sight. At that point, there was no way we were going to bring him back so we were racing for second place. With two to go, since I thought I was much stronger than most riders on the hill, I attacked on the hill and got about five seconds on the pack. Not much but there did not seem to be a concerted chase so I put the hammer down. I knew in the technical spots I would have an advantage over a larger uncoordinated group, unfortunately, these occurred after the finish line and before the hill so I only could use them for one lap. The next time by the hill the pack was the same distance behind and going up the hill that felt easy when I was in the pack felt like a slog while I was time trialing by myself - the data reveals I was in a bigger gear the last time up and really should have downshifted instead of grinding a bigger gear that was good for the solo flat parts. Thought of giving up, but every time I looked back I could see a gap, growing smaller with time. Did not have anything in me to sprint and was caught on the line by the first four riders in the field.

T: 48:13
Pavg: 192
S: 37.7
C: 81

last five minutes of race, including attack on hill with 1.5 laps to go:
On the one hand, I'm slightly disappointed as my five minute max is higher than Pnorm, on the other hand it was like doing a VO2max interval at the end of the equivalent of the Dunlap TT.

In any case it really hurt at the end but I should have pushed through that - and I can't wait to try it again.

T: 5:01
Pavg: 297
Pnorm: 330
S: 40.1
C: 85

Result: 6/23 - T-shirt!