27 October 2007

2007 October 27 - Low Key Hill Climb - 84/WOLH

CTL: 113
TSB: 21 (AKA it's too dark and cold in the morning to keep riding hard )

Teammates: Luke, Rich, Kwan, and Dan from the Saturday ride.

Can't make the cross race tomorrow so put more focus on having a long day in the saddle today. Mapquest said it was thirty miles from my door to the start and figured it would be better for me just to ride there, finish the climb and crawl back home.

Took two hours to get to the start and burned approximately 900 calories even after going super slow up OLH, had to eat most of the food I brought with me to stock back up. The roads were nice, mostly dry and in the case of 84, freshly paved with as Rich noted, a slightly narrower shoulder than before the paving. Going backwards over the course was a good reminder that it is mostly uphill from the start with lots of small undulations. Got to spend some time enjoying the views of the beach as the nearest portapotty was at the state park about one mile away on Highway 1.

Started twenty seconds behind the fellow with SPD sandals who I traded pulls with at Diablo, and forty seconds behind the woman in the Lifestyles RX kit who wanted to know where Lucia was so they could have a little head to head competition. I told her she won by default. Joked with the sandals guy (sorry no name) that he inspired me to go faster as I did not want to get beat by the guy in sandals!

Went out hard for one minute and was surprised that both of the folks in front of me were keeping pace, then against better judgement I kept a higher than threshold pace for the next eight minutes and very slowly reeled both of them in at the same time. "Sandals" caught Lifestyles just a bit before I caught them and then I passed him. Tried to not draft but since the shoulder was narrow had to balance safety with sportsmanship there, once I felt myself easing up, force myself to pass. Then he passed me back. Then I passed him. This repeated itself for the next ten minutes. Was trying to figure out how far back I should stay when Lifestyles told me in a friendly voice to not draft, and figured I'm too close so I passed again. There was an intermediate timing point at Pescadero Road so I made it there in twenty minutes and change, maybe five seconds ahead of "Sandals". We exchanged passes a couple of more times and passed a few other riders before we got to the bottom of WOLH. Here he opened up a small gap to pass a Sierra Nevada rider.

It only takes about twelve minutes to climb WOLH so I comforted myself with the short amount of suffering left. Rode it earlier this week and knew there were a couple of spots where the big ring would be useful and finishing in the big ring was a good bet. Not a few times I thought of easing up but "Sandals" was always just a little bit ahead, sometimes more than twenty seconds and sometimes less. We got to the last bit where if I was just trying to finish the climb I might use the small ring but since we were racing I kept it in the big ring and almost caught "Sandals" at the finish.

T: 50:38
PAvg: 255
PNorm: 257
C: 84
H: 177
S: 26.7 kph

2007 October 27 Low Key Hill Climb - 84/WOLH

21 October 2007

2007 Oct 21 Pilarcitos CX #2, Candlestick/Monster Park 35+ B

CTL: 115
TSB: 14
Teammates: Mikey S

Used 42mm Ritchey tires with 35 PSI

Curt was sitting this one out in order to race next week in Kentucky at the USGP with his son Jeremy, Juan came and brought the wife and kids so at least Juan and Mikey and I could push each other to go a bit harder at the back of the pack.

The start was a bit of a snafu as some 45+'s staged in our field and just sat there and we 35+'s had to thread our way through them. Juan got a really good start as I could barely see him ahead through all the riders between us. Mike was right behind me.

On the first lap a big gap opened up between Juan's group and me and I killed myself to close it on the long paved section, then I paid for this by losing contact with the group until we got to the paved section again, and then I caught up for good with Juan.

It took a couple of laps for things to thin out where you didn't have to brake all the time in the technical sections.

After a few more laps I put in an effort to pass Juan, and I could hear him for a lap but then he faded, Amy said he just blew. At this point I was thinking, I can beat my two rivals/teammates/friends. :) But then Mike blew past me on one of the rough grassy sections. I was able to keep him in sight for the last three laps. I would get close on the pavement and he would open the gap up on the bumpy stuff. With two to go he had a mechanical and dropped his chain and I passed him, then he got right back on and passed me back! With one to go I planned on catching him on the pavement, but I let him have a little too much rope and only closed to within four seconds of him. So close.

A couple of times my right foot came unclipped when I pulled up so new cleats are going on the race shoes this week.

Even though my heart rate was high, the power numbers aren't close to what I can do for forty something minutes. Probably could have gone much harder on the paved sections instead of concentrating so much on drafting, and on the grassy section right after the paved section for starters.

T: 42:56
Pavg: 177
Pnorm: 202
C: 82
H: 179
S: 20.4
Pilarcitos #2, Monster/Candlestick Park

20 October 2007

2007 Oct 20 Low Key Hill Climb - Mt Diablo

CTL: 115
TSB: 21

A lot of people use one hour as a bench mark for themselves on this particular climb, I've only done it once before on my mountain bike and it took me about 90 minutes so I had a much easier goal to meet. :)

Tons of club members for the ride and the after climb ride - Luke, Rich, Rob, Dan, Lucia, Kwan for the climb and Spike, Yvette, Garrett for the after climb ride.

I saw one guy who had so little body fat one could see the veins on the front of his legs and he also was using a $5000 pair of Lightweight brand wheels, so I was pretty sure I wasn't seeing him again after the start!

We went off in small groups, Lucia and another woman I that rode in my group at King's were in mine, plus a guy with a Everest Challenge jersey - this one little climb had to be tons easier than the Everest Challenge, but he said he was a slow rider. So of course he guns it after we pass the rough descent near the start and pulls away from everyone.

I consider being rational and pacing myself but can't help myself and go for it, and start reeling in riders from the group ahead and finally the Everest Challenge survivor. Look down at my time/average power and it's pretty good for me for 20:00 and I'm feeling good about myself when a fellow wearing a Camelbak catches and drops me easily - I dropped everything unnecessary from the race bike save one tube and the micro pump. By the one third point, the road starts to flatten out quite a bit and I regret having dropped every one else in my group. The headwinds are strong enough that a draft would probably help here. This proves out when two riders from our group catch me in the middle of this section. I satisfy myself with drafting for the most part for the next third or so of the climb.

The climbing resumes with a tortuous section exposed to the wind but the view is pretty nice to compensate. A few times even though I am working pretty hard I start to shiver uncontrollably which is a bad omen for the descent. Luke catches our group and we follow for a bit and then one by one let him go off at his own pace. There are scattered riders ahead of us and we each surge a bit trying to close the gaps and then my two companions gradually fall off the pace. I spent the last quarter of the climb going back and forth with one rider. At one point it is so cold and windy I can see his breath streaming behind him for a good four or five feet. Finally we see Camelbak, but also signs of the top so I dig really hard and close to within a few seconds of Camelbak but fall just short.

Probably should have paced the entire climb more evenly but unfamiliarity with the course makes that hard.

P.S. Checked out a creaking I heard during the warmup and there was a loose spoke and my rear wheel was rubbing on the brake! Doh.

T: 1:02:49
Pavg: 243
Pnorm: 250
C: 80
S: 17.2
D: 18.09
H: 175

2007 Oct 21 Low Key Hill Climb - Mt Diablo

13 October 2007

CCCX #3, Fort Ord, 2007 October 13

35+ B
Field: ~15-20
Teammates: Mikey S

TSB: 19
CTL: 120

New course at Fort Ord using the tiniest climbs from the district road race in reverse and lots of slightly rolling singletrack going to and from the big building where we staged for road districts. Thought about going with 30 PSI but the really long course meant a potentially long run back for pit stops so went with 35 PSI. Lots of rain in the days prior to the event meant the mostly sandy course was in great condition.

Committed to going out as hard for as long as possible for once. First time up the hills, the top ten or so guys separated slightly from the rest of us, Mikey and Grant pulled ahead, and I dug deep to catch up to the lead group. One of the riders near the lead biffed the first set of barriers and caused a bigger split. The long singletrack section was a test of traction versus horsepower, having the guys in front of me was a huge motivational factor.

Mikey and I duked it out for a couple of laps, but then he disappeared, it turned out he flatted and had to run half a lap. The fastest 55+ caught me and we went back and forth for the rest of the race. Surprisingly I was faster than the smaller rider on the uphill sections and he dusted me in the flatter, technical sections. Anyways, thought something was wrong when we got four laps to go and I had thirty minutes of racing - I better get lapped or this is going to be a long race.

It ended up being about an hour long race for me, was probably close to being lapped. Even though there was a lot more elevation change at this course, had a much faster average than at Pilarcitos #1 - probably a combination of smaller field and less technical course.

Pavg: 181
Pnorm: 219
T: 1:01:36
S: 23.2 kph
C: 86
H: 181

2007 October 13 CCCX #3 Fort Ord

06 October 2007

Pilarcitos #1, Brisbane, 2007 October 7

CTL: 120
TSB: 8

Fitness *still* fading from the road season. Biggest field of the season at about fifty. Bianchi Juan Ortiz (not the one from Pen Velo, need to remind BJO of his doppleganger), and Curt Ferguson, pere of the prodigy Jeremy, and still on Coumadin so he can't crash - ever, show up and we reminisce about when we were actually fast...

The course was mostly in one large field, going out and back several times to create a longer course. It consisted of a short paved start/finish section, a rideable, off camber seven foot hill, a steep drop back to the bottom with a 180 right hander back up the hill, which was faster for folks who ran the whole thing compared to me who rode down it, but I didn't keep the speed up well on the dismount, a meandering back to cross the start finish road, and a long out/back over a field to a series of three barriers followed by a seven foot hill (making a really long running section), down the hill, a few hundred feet, back up another hill, down the seven foot hill for a longer out and back to a different spot on the seven foot hill followed by a dip and rise that you could get big air on without trying, then down the hill again, and up it again for a long loop back to the start finish. Always a test of trying to keep speed up on the corners without washing out the tires.

Lined up near the back of the pack and most of the field walked for a minute once we reached the first dirt section until things opened up again. Lost track of Juan and Curt but it turns out Juan was just ahead of me and motivated by the sight of me behind him and Curt was just behind me and gaining on me every lap.

I never found a good rhythm on the course until late, always losing ground on the long dirt straights and making it up or holding ground on the corners. Got really close to Juan on the last lap when he and I both went hard from about 300 meters out. Need to do that a bit earlier - like the start of the last lap = to play to my strength, and not my weakness, and work on trying harder the rest of the time as the power output was closer to the effort for flat crit.

T: 46:19
S: 19.4
C: 78
H: 179
Pavg: 165
Pnorm: 187
2007 October 7 Pilarcitos #1, Brisbane, Sierra Point Marina

2007 Oct 6 Low Key Hill Climb - King's Mountain

CTL: 123
TSB: 14
Teammates: Jay (week off the bike and recovering from cold), Luke, Rich, and Saturday ride comrades Erik B and Dan

Somehow got talked into this even though I am not a climber. Started off the day by misreading the start time by an hour due to either dyslexia or dementia. Dog Gam! Anyways showed up early by time trialing to the start thinking I was late, so got a super long warmup with time for extra jibber jabber.

Based on the finish times for Luke and Rich at Montebello, decided to go with the slower group behind them. We warmed up by riding from Alpine/Portola Valley and Dan remarked that he wasn't sure why we were going so fast - most of the riders in our group were unattached and perhaps did not race that much. I didn't think it was that bad but we went so hard we caught the group ahead of us on their warmup.

This was a portent of things to come - Dan and I eventually dropped every one who started with us. We staged in on Greer with Dan and I at the rear about ten yards back of the front of the group. Usually I time from the stop sign at the bottom to the stop sign at the top so I *think* this would be a slightly longer distance from Greer to a little bit short of the stop sign at the top.

The riders at the front went really hard at the start. I just tried to follow wheels and close gaps when riders got dropped. We still had eight riders when we got close to the park entrance when I got tired of the surging and just went to the front. I didn't feel that bad but noticed our intensity for the first ten minutes was almost as hard as I do shorter five minute VO2max intervals!

At this point, it was a matter of reeling riders in front of me from other groups, go hard but not hard enough to blow. Saw lots of folks I know but could only manage a short "hey" or "hi" between gasps for breath. Pacing myself behind people or trying to catch people *seems* easier than just pacing by myself because I managed to set a new PR by about two minutes. Riding the lighter, race bike setup probably helped a lot, too.

This was a really well done event with snacks at the end and free energy gel at the start. May have to do more of these, even though it's not the best prep for cross racing the next day.


T: 25:59
S: 16.0
C: 83
H: 184
D: 6.879 km

mass: ~65kg

2007 Oct 6 Low Key Hill Climb - King's Mountain