25 November 2007

2007 Nov 25 - Pilarcitos CX - Golden Gate - C men

CTL: 109
TSB: -3

Made it to stage three of the 2007 Thanksgiving hill climb/track/cyclocross omnium, firmly in first place - the only folks on the hill climb results who also ride the track did not show up on Friday at Hellyer AFAIK( Charles PW and Peter T) so I win, I think, even though both of them spanked me at the hill climb.

Since going easy the day before a cyclocross race didn't seem to help my results ( couldn't get much worse) just went out on Saturday and had a long and not so easy road ride with some off road excursions to get some active recovery from the 93 lap points race some fifteen hours prior. Also entered a lower category C race, since my laps times in previous higher category B race would have put me firmly in the middle of the C pack.

Met some of the competitors from the hill climb series in the C race, I think Michael G and I went back and forth for the last three or four so it would probably be close in this race even though it was the first for him and Joshua from AV.

The perks of being a C with an early start time are lots of time to get a parking space, and lots of pre riding time and the high pressure (ha) racing is over with early so you can goof off for the rest of the day and hang out with the wife and kids ( or Juan's wife and kids :) )

Anyways we go off and I slot into about 30th spot and pretty much stay there the whole day, passing a few riders and getting passed by a few riders here and there. Course is fast, requiring only the big ring. The hills are not very long or steep, but I do notice the one place I am passing is on the hills or straightaways and the one place I am getting passed is on the technical turns where I brake and others slide and skid their way past me. Need to get better at that! Curt and several others cheer for me so I have to keep trying, on the penultimate lap, a rider on a full sus mtb passes me on the finish straight and Curt instructs me to get on his wheel and I dig deep and follow Curt's directions. That wasn't so bad, and I assume I will be able to outsprint him on a straightaway or the finish straight. The MTB rider is pretty smart and just goes fast enough to make it hard for me to pass him on the straights and distances me a little on the turns so when we get to the last set of barriers I assume there will still be time for some sprint action but he is actually quite good and we stay even until he starts pedaling in the corner and pulls away from me to the finish straight. I think I can get him but I managed to drop my chain to the inner during my remount and am forced to spin up to him in the 34/12. Then the front derailleur engages and I am in the 44/12 and barely moving as the line comes up. Oh well, only 30th place was a stake, a good battle for one place.

One of my favorite courses this year, vying for honors with the super fast and super long Fort Ord CCCX race.

No heart rate data because apparently I am losing weight in the upper torso and putting on weight below the waist and the transmitter keeps slipping to my stomach.
T: 37:04
S: 22.3 kph
C: 81
Pavg: 180
Pnorm: 207

2007 Nov 25 Pilarcitos CX - Golden Gate

23 November 2007

2007 Nov 23 - Race the World Cups Points Race - A

CTL: 109
TSB: -1
Was running late and thought I had pre packed my arm warmers and leg warmers but found out those were MIA when I got to the track and unpacked. Well this is just for fun and supporting our Proman compatriots so no biggie.

Only five riders signed up for the B's including myself so they asked us to pick between the A and the C race and I went with A's. Switched from the 48x15 gear to the 50x15 gear and hoped for the best. Donned the warm weather gear that I had which were the winter gloves, glove liners, and Sheila Moon beanie so it wasn't too bad.

I made a mistake which is a repeat of the last time I did an A points race so this was really stupid. Did not go super hard at the start. A small gap opened up in front of me and I spent ten laps going 28 mph and not closing it and finally had to give up and go a lap down. This took a long time to recover from so ended up losing seven! laps to the lead riders, but hung in there and finished so got a decent workout.

Haven't ridden the track bike in a long time so it was fun to be out there and race and it's nice just going all out and hearing the tires sing and the wind and banking push back against you hard. Plus, who can pass up an opportunity to drool on oneself in public?

T: 45:49
S: 40.6 kph
C: 97
D: 31 km
H: 173
Pavg: 244
Pnorm: 256

2007 November 23 - Black Friday - Race the World Cups Points Race

22 November 2007

2007 November 22, Low Key Hill Climb, Mt Hamilton

CTL: 110
TSB: 10
Teammates: Jay, Lucia, Luke, Phil, Rich and Saturday ride regular Dan.

Local superannuated track star Leo and I smack talked a bit before the race and I told him my best time up from the bottom to the observatory was 2:12 and he told me he did 1:57 two years ago so now I had a target to match!

Really big turnout and not much to say other than I cracked on the first climb! Took about 29:00 on the first climb and was right at FTP for NP but got a little ahead of myself and started leading a little group of LGBRC riders to help get Lucia up the road from the other ladies. We did drop one of her competitors at this point, and put the other on the ropes. Then I overdid it a bit and lost it. This was probably the worst spot to do it because there is a descent and a long section (most of the second climb) where drafting would be of significant help that I rode a solo for a large percentage of the time.

Anyways, duked it out with Dan for the next two climbs, taking 15:00 minutes for the second climb at NP of 234 and then struggling in the last climb at 41:00 minutes for a NP of 229. Probably harder than any of the road races I have done this year, but then again, probably need to try harder during the road races.

On the plus side, set a PR by about forty five minutes, and never sprinted so hopefully will have a good kick tomorrow at the track.

Now for the turkey...

Pavg: 221
Pnorm: 233
T: 1:33:15
C: 80
S: 19.2
D: 29.9 km
H: 177

2007 November 22 Low Key Hill Climb - Mt Hamilton, East Side

19 November 2007

2007 Nov 19 - Peak Season CX #1

TSB: 7
CTL: 105

Teammates: none
Wanted to get a longer ride in after the race, and judging by the lap times of the last CCCX race (thanks Joe), I would be mid pack in the C's, so signed up for the first race of the day in the C's.

New course and venue, lots of narrow sections and a couple of tight corners on a three foot wide wooden walkway over a very fecund looking lake. One long run up with stairs with about thirty inches between steps and another equally long section that was rideable with my 34x26.

Used the Michelin Mud in the front and Jet in the rear with both at the lowest recommended pressure, 36 PSI. The grass was pretty slick from the morning dew and the fog still had not lifted when the race started.

The juniors started thirty seconds back of us and the starter Mike told us to play nice in case we were lapping or being lapped. :)

Since the field was only about twenty riders it was not too hard to stay with the fastest riders on the first lap until we hit the first technical section and the rider in front of me almost came to a stop at a hairpin and this is the last contact I had with the top four riders. It's amazing how that happens! I am just not aggressive enough...

Anyways once we have some separation, then I am in front of this next group I start having problems with the fog, can't see without my glasses and the glasses are too moist to see through so I have to slow on the long, fast sections out of self preservation and other riders make up ground on me quickly, or I am just fading after the first two laps, or a combination of the two. Finding myself close behind another rider I put my new found confidence in the low pressure of the tires in a slick corner and promptly wash out the front tire. I think I may have flatted here as well but since the tubes have sealant, the pressure goes down just a little due to lost air.

On the next to the last lap I can see one of the wee juniors giving a spirited chase in one of the loop back sections of the course so I can't give up yet! On the last lap we are separated by the same amount but now the fog has cleared up a bit more so I can use my huge weight advantage on the downhills to put a little distance on him by the finish. Mass before youth...

Ride a lap with the B racers and my low pressure front goes flat as soon as I hit a hard root on the first lap. Will have to go back to forty PSI for the next race.

I explore Watsonville for a few hours after the race, find mundane looking subdivision roads that become much more interesting and rural and rolling after a few twists and turns. I only see three other riders in three hours, one recommends Hazel Dell which I go up for ten minutes and save the rest for later. By chance I find Mt Madonna Road which I have only heard about beforehand, only have time to go to the top and back today but next time I am coming back straight here to fully enjoy all of it.

Results show only got tenth in the C's! Just nine more top tens to get an upgrade from 4 to 3.

I think this puts me first in the Low Key Hill Climb/Cyclocross omnium this week, though. Next week I am going for the Low Key Hill Climb/Track Points Race/Cyclocross omnium...

Pnorm: 221
H: 177
C: 80
S: 19.9 kph
T: 33:28

2007 November 18 Peak Season CX #1

17 November 2007

2007 Nov 18 - Low Key Hill Climb, Sierra Road

Teammates: Dan, Rich, Jay, Luke, Eric, Rob? and Dan from the Saturday ride.

TSB: 11
CTL: 106

Based on the approximate 19 minute times for the pros, gave myself a target of 30 minutes using a 50% handicap per my best time on OLH versus the pros.

For a warmup, managed to park near where we do our informal Mount Hamilton rides and had to hustle to make the start on time.

There was a huge turnout for this hill climb, forebodes well for the Tour of California when they do this climb.

Managed to gain even more weight this week so left myself plenty of room for improvement next time I do Sierra.

Met up again with Francis from the dirt Alpine hill climb and RoadBikeReview.com and he claimed it took him an hour to do this last year on his MTB. Well we went back and forth taking turns passing each other. Dan also alternating passing and getting passed with me for quite a while. We talked about this afterwards and he thought I was surging a lot, I was mostly trying to keep my power output below VO2max power so I didn't blow so I slowed up a lot on the steepest sections and went much faster on the flatter sections where some others were recovering.

The hill lived up to the description - even though I had a 34-26 low gear, this was not enough for my abilities as I struggled to just keep moving on several sections. Since I have never done this, wasn't sure of the finish, but tried to pace myself for a thirty minute effort. As the minutes added up to twenty six, twenty seven, I thought for sure the summit would be at the next crest and I would be finishing in much less than thirty minutes but was met with another riser several times. Finally I could see people at the top of yet another rise. This was not that far away and there was a dip before the final bit so put it in the big ring and went all out and someone yelled out to me that there was more to go! The top was about twenty meters after this point where the road flattened out a bit so I had to restart and go a bit more to finish.

T: 29:21
S: 12.1 kph
C: 70! Pretty low average even though I consider myself a grinder and not a spinner.
H: 182
PAvg: 266
PNorm: 273
Low Key Hill Climb - Sierra Road

11 November 2007

CCCX #4, Prunedale, November 11

Teammates: Mike S.
CTL: 105
TSB: 15

The fitness is willing but the spirit is still weak...

Switched over to thinner Michelin tires this week with a Mud 2 in the front at 40 psi and a Jet in the rear at 40 psi. The thinner, lower volume tires don't seem much different from the 42 mm Ritcheys in terms of handling and have the bonus feature of being one pound lighter. The rear slid out a bit when turning in the mud but I was going so slow it was not a problem. Never bottomed out either until I took the long sandy and sometimes rocky trail around the park.

Juan showed up so Mike and I had the usual crew for the BOP honors. The course was changed up a little bit from two months ago with the addition of a small run up, an additional few hundred meters of looping around some tape, and double barriers at the top of the course instead of the single.

Tried something different at the start and tried to keep up with the lead pack. The plan got discombobulated when we hit the small singletrack funnel at the top before the mud section and I had to stop for traffic to clear and the group dispersed. This still put me at the front of the BOP as one of the other old and slow guys behind me reminded me. On one of the next laps Juan put in a attack and pulled ahead of me and I had to dig deep to pull him back, and put in a response of my own on the hill. Probably a little too much as I spent a couple of laps recovering from this. Mike then passed me near the bottom of the course and I was able to pull him back on the hill, then he passed me back again near the bottom of the course and I could not respond this time.

Was able to close the gap a little by the finish but not enough in the tank, so this round goes to Mike with Juan a close third. Slightly longer race in terms of time than last time but pretty much the same numbers considering the slower course conditions. The longer laps also meant I was *not* lapped this time so that's an improvement!

Joe Fabris keeps passing me from the 45+ wave in a downhill section, need to learn to keep pushing all the time instead of just on the uphills, and the hardest thing for me to do - push hard into the corners instead of coasting, just so used to conserving energy in road races...

On the mechanical front - new Eggbeaters fixed the pulling out when pulling up hard problem. But got a new problem with bad shifting, probably just overdue with adjustments. Went to the big ring only on the last lap, and it felt OK, maybe should have used the big ring the whole race.

2007 November 11 - CCCX 35+ B
T: 52:57
S: 20.0 kph
C: 80
Pavg: 169
Pnorm: 212
H: 179

10 November 2007

2007 Nov 11 - Low Key Hill Climb, Alpine Dirt

Teammates: Lucia

TSB: 17
CTL: 111

Daily diet of ice cream and leftover Halloween candy finally starting to catch up with me as weight is 2 kilograms more than the last Low Key Hill Climb...

Last minute venue change from Windy Point to the Alpine fire road from the end of Alpine Road to Page Mill. Did this last month on my road bike so the cross bike seemed like a good choice, used Michelin Jet tires with 40 PSI. On the way up Alpine we formed the largest mountain bike pack I have ever been in since I've done the Sea Otter Cross Country.

The first surprise on the course was a new layer of coarse gravel on the fire road right up until the single track. The found myself at the back of the lead pack of riders, the sight of the fellow on the road bike spurred me onward. There were a couple of lines that had a thinner layer of gravel that every one gravitated towards.

By the time we reached the single track section, the group had blown up into small packs of ones and twos. Was able to pass a few riders in the single track, one of these was a cross rider that I exorted to get back on his bike, because riding the steep section was killing my legs. Once it leveled out he passed me back as I struggled to recover a bit and keep the gas on. I was not sure how much more we had to go after the single track so tried to push hard and eventually caught back up to the other cross rider, and then was passed by Dan who ran most of the singletrack, and then caught sight of Dennis P. Was thinking maybe I should begin my last ditch effort when the next turn brought on a view of the finish within 20 meters so I just sprinted with all I had. Left a bit too much in the tank especially since I went harder up King's Mountain which is much longer!

T: 18:18
S: 12.6kph
PAvg: 267
PNorm: 270
C: 73
H: 186

2007 November 10, Low Key Hill Climb, Alpine Dirt

04 November 2007

2007 Nov 4 Pilarcitos CX #3, McClaren Park 35+ B

CTL: 110
TSB: 15
Teammates: Mikey S

Got lucky and found a parking spot about fifty yards from the start line/reg tent, with the drawback that ten yards of that was vertical up a staircase. One could see the twenty foot runup from the start, but then Juan said it went up from there! When we did our warmup lap was able to see this first hand, and ride everything except the barriers. Part of it was it's not so technical if you go slow and I had 34/28 gearing and the lower profile Michelin Mud 2's. Put the pressure at 40 PSI and felt about right. Maybe should have used the mountain bike or a smaller small ring, the course was like a minature mountain bike course, considering the amount of elevation change and singletrack per lap. The only flat sections were the pavement/sidewalk used for the 300 meters or so of the finish.

Happily at the start, they made the 45's who started behind us get behind us! On the first lap, it was pretty congested so when I biffed the first little descent and my front wheel washed out it gave me and the guys behind me had a good laugh so I know we weren't trying that hard if we could do that. The first three laps I felt pretty good on the short, sharp climbs, the longest was only about thirty seconds, but they came one after another after another. At the end of this was a long descent, where for some reason I was faster than a lot of bigger people, but they killed me on the technical spots. Managed to catch and pass Juan at some point. Still had a few problems unclipping from the right shoe when pulling up hard so I guess there is probably a worn out part in my four year old Eggbeaters, will have to bite the bullet and get a new pair.

In the middle of the fourth lap I was not feeling that great at all, and I biffed the same little descent again, a combination of not clipping in and too much speed, but this time I fell and lost five spots. This caused my computer to lose the connection to the wiring harness so no data for the last three laps. The little hills that did not seem so bad early in the race, those were feeling like mountains now. Curt was there supporting his son and yelling for me and Juan so I got a sort of time check on Juan gaining on me every lap. Curt and Jonathon and Matt kept yelling for me so I had to at least put in a good effort for them. One of the last times up that hill there was a saddle from some poor fellow (turned out to be Joe Fabris who passed me easily on a slippery corner earlier in the race) in the middle of the track so I leaned over and threw it to a spectator.

When we go the two laps to go card we shortly afterwards heard the bell so Juan and I were going to get lapped. We got caught at the top of the big descent. I was able to shadow Juan to the pavement and started my last effort from the beginning of the pavement and managed to catch a rider in our group and almost unlapped myself from the second place rider, but since I wasn't sure if he was in first place at this point, did not pass him because I don't think I could have done another lap.

Found a former coworker who owned a beautiful house above the park, they said they would let me park there next time!

Time: 28:44
Pnormalized: 194
Paverage: 142
Heartrate: 179
Cadence: 79
Speed: 15.8 kph

42nd/field 55
2007 Nov 4, Pilarcitos CX #3 McClaren Park, 35+B