16 November 2008

2008 November 16 CCCX Fort Ord (DOD) C

CTL: 112
TSB: 0
Legs didn't feel like TSB 0, but much smaller field today, a few faces from yesterday so no excuses.

Hillier today versus yesterday but not really hilly. Reverse of the course from the last time we raced here.

Lap 1:

2008 Nov 16 CCCX Fort Ord cyclocross Lap 1 of 4, C race from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2:

2008 Nov 16 CCCX Fort Ord (DOD) Lap 2 of 4 C race from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3:

2008 Nov 16 CCCX Fort Ord (DOD) lap 3 of 4, C race from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 37:28
S: 23.5
C: 82
H: 183
Pavg: 177
Pnorm: 206


2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Sierra Point Cyclocross

CTL: 112
TSB: -2

You know you're lazy when all you're doing is posting links to video, and you think eight is too many...

Started towards the end of the eighty strong field. Managed to pass about thirty people to end up twenty eighth, though I probably passed most people in the first two laps.

Lap 1:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross C Race Lap 1 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross C Lap 2 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos Cyclocross Sierra Point lap 3 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4:

2008 nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point Lap 4 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 5:

2008 nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point lap 5 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 6:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point Lap 6 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 7:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point Lap 7 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 8:

2008 Nov 15 Pilarcitos BASPS Cyclocross Sierra Point Lap 8 of 8 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 43:14
S: 21.3
Pavg: 178
Pnorm: 190
C: 80
H: 188

I wish my heartrate was higher since there was about a one to one ratio there between that and watts...

04 November 2008

2008 Nov 2 Pilarcitos BASPS CX #2, Candlestick

TSB: 8
CTL: 102

The good news is ice cream every day doesn't change my results. The bad news is my results don't change.

Lap 1:

Pilarcitos BASPS Candlestick Cyclocross Lap 1 of 6 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2:

Pilarcitos BASPS Candlestick Cyclocross Lap 2 of 6 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3:

Pilarcitos BASPS Candlestick Cyclocross Lap 3 of 6 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4:

Pilarcitos BASPS Candlestick Cyclocross Lap 4 of 6 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 5:

Lap 6:

T: 47:29
NP: 176
AP: 192
S: 18.3khp
H: 189

29 October 2008

2008 Oct 26 Velo Bella Spirit of Surf City Soquel CX

CTL: 102
TSB: 4
Too busy to write much.
I never go hard enough during cross races...

Lap 1:
One rider flats then crashes twice before he realizes his rear tire is pretty low in the first half of the lap.

2008 October 26 Surf City CX C Soquel Lap 1 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2
Almost run into some guys warming up on the course near the start.

2008 October 26 Surf City Velo Bella CX Lap 2 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 3:

2008 October 26 Surf City Velo Bella CX Lap 3 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 4:

2008 October 26 Surf City Velo Bella CX Lap 4 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 30:35
S: 19.2
H: 182
Pavg: 177
Pnorm: 213


19 October 2008

2008 October 19 Pilarcitos #1 McLaren Park

CTL: 104
ATL: 4

I have to remember to bring my mountain bike next time...

The major feature of this course is an extended climb of about 90 seconds.

I can sort of describe my race by listing my time for climbing it each lap:


or use some video:

Lap 1: 8:21 - 78 riders with about forty in front at the start line.

Pilarcitos CX #1, C, Lap 1 of 5, McLaren Park, San Francisco from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2: 7:56

Pilarcitos CX #1, C, Lap 2 of 5, McLaren Park, San Francisco from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3: 8:20 - starting to feel the six hours on the road bike yesterday about now

Pilarcitos CX #1, C, Lap 3 of 5, McLaren Park, San Francisco from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4: 8:47 - really not feeling the bike love right about now

Pilarcitos CX #1, C, Lap 4 of 5 McLaren Park, San Francisco from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 5: 8:24

2008 October 19 Pilarcitos #1 C race CX Lap 5 of 5, McLaren Park, San Francisco from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 41:46
C: 70
H: 178
Pavg: 160
Pnorm: 216

2008 pilarcitos1

12 October 2008

2008 October 12, CCCX #3, Laguna Seca

CTL: 108
TSB: 9

Lap 1:
Get a callup by virtual of stubbornness - show up to every race. Seven of the guys who finish in front of me either don't do the first two races or have already upgraded to B's so I am seventh overall despite my best finish being thirteen.

I start, then my chain stops working! Stop for twenty seconds while I try not to get run over and fix the problem (I just want to give everyone a head start...), a friendly push on my restart helps a bit but now my chain skips in every gear I want to use. Eventually I figure out I can only use 12,13,14,15,17 without skipping.

2008 October 12, CCCX #3, C, Lap 1 of 4, Laguna Seca from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 2:

2008 October 12, CCCX #3, C, Lap 2 of 4, Laguna Seca from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 3:

2008 October 12 CCCX #3, C, Lap 3 of 4, Laguna Seca from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4: crash with about two minutes to go when I drift in a corner, hit some gravel on off camber hardpack, correct, and lose traction on the front wheel

2008 October 12 CCCX #3, C, Laguna Seca, Lap 4 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

In spite of gearing issues, about the same effort as the other cross races this year so really can't blame mechanical for results...
T: 35:56
S: 18.9 kph
C: 78
H: 178
Pavg 167
Pnorm: 216

05 October 2008

2008 Sacramento CX #2, Vacaville

CTL: 105
TSB: 9

They took out the stupid hill so this course would be a lot more interesting. For some reason the C field was much bigger than CCCX, and the women's fields were smaller. I really liked the new course, more places to pass or be passed.

My main objectives were to not fall on my leg where I was growing new skin from my crash on Wednesday and to not knock over the two kids in our field and become infamous...as W says, "mission acc..."

Lap 1:

2008 Sacramento Cyclocross #2 Lap 1 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 2:

2008 Sacramento Cyclocross #2, C, Lap 2 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 3:

2008 Sacramento CX #2, C, Lap 3 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4:

2008 Sacramento CX #2, C, Lap 4 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Pavg: 212
Pnorm: 178
H: 184 (apparently I have the heart of a hummingbird...)


28 September 2008

2008 28 Sept CCCX #2, Fort Ord, Day Camp

Lap 1, Gary in yellow passes me on the downhill near the 4:45 and crashes on the gully:

2008 CCCX #2 Fort Ord (Day Camp) Lap 1 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Lap 2:
I crash at about 8:15, just slide out so nothing dramatic.

2008 CCCX #2 Fort Ord (Day Camp) Lap 2 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3 crash at 8:30

2008 CCCX #2 Fort Ord (Day Camp) Lap 3 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4:

2008 CCCX #2 Fort Ord (Day Camp) September 28 Lap 4 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Due to a few folks upgrading out of C's to B's and some no shows, manage to move up five places from last week. Not really getting any better, yet...

Pavg: 163
Pnorm: 196
H: 182
T: 40:05
S: 20.6 kph
C: 91

22 September 2008

2008 September 21, CCCX #1, Fort Ord

(photo courtesy of Rick Rasmussen and Dusty Downs)
CTL: 110
TSB: 18

Not trying to peak, just no time to ride anymore, and riding fast in the dark is kind of scary.

Stay up a bit late and miss my wake up call by an hour, make it to the race venue with twenty minutes to spare, register and get ready and don't have time for a warmup lap.

Feel better than during the Friday night track racing.

This lasts about two minutes.
Lap 1:

2008 CCCX #1, Sept 21, Fort Ord, C Lap 1 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

I think I pretty much solidified my 20th position out of 25 on this lap.
Lap 2:

2008 Sept 21, CCCX, Fort Ord, C Race Lap 2 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 3:

2008 CCCX #1 Lap 3 of 4 Fort Ord from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Lap 4:

2008 CCCX #1 Lap 4 of 4 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

My laps times were consistent and slow. :)

T: 44:54
S: 22.2
C: 86
H: 179


2008 September 19 Friday Night Track Racing

TSB: 18
CTL: 111

Haven't been riding much on weekdays, too much work, but want to see if I can get any track race video. It turns out once the lights go on, it's too dark for this video camera to capture anything useful but I get the first race that happens before sunset.

40+ 123 Scratch

40+ 123 Scratch Race start from Steven Woo on Vimeo.
Go at the gun, get in a small group, get caught after five laps, get caught, get dropped at I think ten laps. Even though I am rested, don't have the snap one needs to do well at track racing, haven't done this longer, high intensity in a while.

T: 5:00
C: 101
S: 42.3
H: 184

P123 Scratch
Ride at the back and hang in for fifteen laps
T: 7:45
C: 103
S: 43.2
H: 181
Pavg: 237
Pnorm: 273

Match Sprint with Brian Peterson and Daniel Holloway
I draw third position and attack when Daniel wants to track stand at the quarter lap mark, but I waited a little too long as the chief ref called for a restart. I try the same thing again on our retry, but the first jump took all the snap out of my legs and we only had about sixty seconds to recover.

P123 Win and Out
Ride near the back and watch the race unfold from there, but manage to finish a race for once...
T: 6:00
S: 41.4
H: 186
Pavg: 253
Pnorm: 278
C: 99

2008 Sept 19 Track racing

07 September 2008

Benicia Town Race

CTL: 112
TSB: 20

Throat feels better after doing the time trial. Go figure...

E4 Race

Had illusions of going for a prime or two, but was never close enough to the front to go for it. The video camera malfunctioned or I messed up turning it on/off so no video.

Was pretty far back with two to go and had to sprint pretty hard with one to go to move up from there to mid pack on the hills.

On the last lap, the normal mushrooming of the field happened where no one wants to go on the front but lots of riders want to be near the front. Here with the hill combined with both lanes of the road open make it easy to move up so I put in an attack, and make it up to about fifth wheel. Was kind of surprised to not get farther up, so have to settle for the field sprint. Go into the finish straight about fifth, and manage to pull a ninth place out of that...

T: 42:30 (without the neutral lap)
S: 40.1 kph
D: 28.4 km
H: 176
C: 104
Pavg: 189
Pnorm: 230

35+ 4/5 Race
Was not feeling so hot after doing the E4 race so decided to conserve and just sit in until the end game started. Pretty much every lap I try to think of an excuse to quit, it seems really hard.

Video of the race, mostly of me wheelsucking as much as possible. If you want to skip over that, go to the last video for just the last two laps.

Somewhere around here, Derrick and I both look back and we see that we are at the back of the pack and some thirty plus riders have been dropped.

Last two laps

By four inches (that aero front wheel was a good choice! )
Benicia Town Race Sept 7 141

Gio with first by a mile

Jason back from injury with second

T: 38:53 (without the neutral lap)
S: 39.7 kph
D: 25.7 km
H: 174
C: 103
Pavg: 183
Pnorm: 233

P.S. For every one that's been asking, I now have thirteen upgrade points, ten from San Ardo, and three from today.

06 September 2008

2008 Warnerville Individual Time Trial

CTL: 112
TSB: 23

Not trying to peak for this, just been trying to shake a sore throat ever since the University Road Race two weeks ago and feeling a little worse after the Giro last week, trying to not push myself into a hole and getting sicker.

So I am really well *rested* coming into this from a lot less riding, but five pounds heavier than last week because I haven't bothered changing my diet...

Wasn't sure I was even doing this until I woke up and my sore throat wasn't as bad as it was yesterday.

Rick said this will probably be a road race next year in the spring, to avoid conflicts with farming schedules.

One of the four riders who signed up for my category did not show up, and I start last, this gives me a three minute man, and a one minute man. The course is continuously rolling with very good pavement with the exception of maybe ten to twenty potholes marked by cones. Due to the rolling hills, often times cannot see anyone who is more than two minutes ahead.

The course starts with a big downhill, and I hit 45 mph and decide that crashing in the first turn would look pretty silly and get on the brake levers just in case. I remind myself to save a little bit for this hill at the end.

After the excitement of competition wears off, try to go a little above threshold on the uphills and a little below threshold on the downhills ( by the end, I am coasting on the downhills). After ten minutes I catch my three minute man, but the one minute man is nowhere to be seen. He beat me by about a minute at the Mt Diablo Hill climb so he is a better climber than I am, but I have a few more aerodynamic pieces of equipment compared to him and I am a midget compared to him so I have to push those advantages to the hilt to even things out on this course.

Fifteen minutes I think I can see my one minute man. I put my head down as I put in a little extra effort and then I hit a pothole really hard and think I have broken my front wheel but it turns out my chain has come off my one chainring setup and is making a heck of a lot of noise. I stop, check the front wheel ( did I break a spoke? no) and put the chain back on in thirty seconds and start rolling again.

Twenty six minutes later I reach the turnaround, my one minute man tantalizingly close. We must have had a slight partial tailwind going out because it is much harder coming back.

I spot my rabbit, Roland, every so often, cresting hills ahead of me. There is a bridge we traversed on the way out that is one lane where a CHP officer is stationed and this time through I stay on the aerobars but manage to hit an expansion joint so hard that my chain goes flying off again. Attempt to put it on by hand, but come closer to chopping off my fingers as the chain goes from outside to the chainstay, so I stop, put it back on, and start my pursuit again after wasting a minute with the chain.

To add to the list of things going wrong, the dry conditions mean my throat is parched and my thirst is driving me a little crazy. But I am still sweating so haven't reached dehydration.

At this point figure I should save some for the crit tomorrow, and try to ride just threshold on the uphills, and whatever I can manage on the downhills. VeloPromo has helpfully provided miles to go signs starting at five, and I spot my one minute man way off in the distance cresting a hill, he is so far away that I can't see his legs moving, but I know it's not a mirage because he's not there when I get to that hill top. I might yet have a chance at this, just need to finish within a minute of him to win, not catch him, screw the crit tomorrow!

I push myself over threshold on the uphills again, just to not lose any ground, and threshold on the downhills. (My average power for the end of the races keeps rising above threshold for the last five miles). With each passing mile marker I can see Roland get larger and larger. I don't know if it's closer than a minute so I have to keep pushing. The last long hill is cruelly hard on a time trial bike with only a big ring. I pedal so hard that I don't notice I am drifting off the road and onto a shoulder made of quarter size rocks until it's too late and start my cross season a little early, but I don't panic and steer back onto the road. Then I blow, and the crest of the final hill and the finish line is still out of sight.

Haven't driven this far to quit. I just make myself ignore the searing lungs and demons telling me to quit and sprint the last part of the hill and win by the tiny margin of ~ten seconds after almost an hour of racing.

Most time trials around here start the riders by alphabetical order of last name, in larger fields this is disadvantage because with enough riders, there is enough passage of time for winds to pick up, but today with a small field it turns the race into something akin to a really, really long pursuit for me, and it's a huge advantage to be able to see the rider in front of me.

T: 56:37
D: 36.1 km
C: 90
S: 38.3
H: 184
Pavg: 227
Pnorm: 237


02 September 2008

2008 Giro di San Francisco

CTL: 116
TSB: 6

Felt a bit sick with a sore throat after University and took it easy this week, sort of backsliding into cyclocross season.

Got better then as CD says, shot myself in the foot with a six hour ride on Saturday... :)

Signed up for two races, not feeling so good at the start so stuck it in the small ring for half the race, then used the big ring for the second half of both races.

Went on a few attacks early, of course including the first one..., nothing stuck after six laps so hid in the pack for a while. Video tells rest of the story:

Almost deja vu except for the part where I blow early...

Weird, my only excuse is maybe I am sick. Anyways manage 6 w/kg for the last 1:20 (from bottom of hill to finish), and 5 w/kg for last five minutes. The last five minutes is similar to but not quite as hard the 92 sprint leadout for the Spectrum or the end of the Sunday social ride when I am trying to drop the CX racers...

T: 44:18
S: 39.5 kph
C: 97
H: 177
Pnorm:241 ( sort of like going up OLH twice at twenty four minute pace )


Was all tuckered out for the cat four race, could only suck wheels, cramped really late in race, recovered tried to move up but legs would not cooperate, mostly video of the backside of other racers if you're into that and there's an accident in there somewhere:

T: 44:07
S: 39.7 kph
C: 99
H: 179
Pavg: 177
Pnorm: 221

24 August 2008

2008 University Road Race 35+ 4/5

CTL: 118
TSB -4

I've always wanted to do this race.

It's not a good sign when I cramp during my easy warmup spin.

Not much to report, lasted two laps with the group, four laps with the laughing group and three laps solo, got lapped on my ninth lap.

It didn't seem that bad, maybe if I was fresh and peaking for this race I could have done better, but that will have to wait for some other year.

First fourteen minutes of the race just in case you haven't seen the course.

I think I beat at least two people! :)

Gradually went from 5.5 minute times up the hill to 8 minutes up the hill the last full climb.

T: 1:22:53
D: 39.0 km 9/10 laps
S: 28.2 kph
C: 89
H: 160
Pavg: 182
Pnorm: 232

university 2008

23 August 2008

2008 35+ 4 San Ardo Road Race

CTL: 116
TSB: 11

Went back to going below threshold the days before a road race, tempting as track racing on Friday nights is.

The 3:30 wake up really puts a crimp in my already sleep deprived life. Preregistration makes you do strange things, paid for it, gotta go...

Temperatures are much cooler than in past years, this bodes well for my cramping problems.

The course has about 900 feet of elevation gain with most of it right after the start in a series of small rolling hills that go on for about half a lap, then it's flat leading back to the start. The pace is sedate, so much so that David (RPS) and I are able to talk about how the race played out last year with a breakaway.

We start going down the rollers and the group does the typical mushroom because no one wants to go to the front after using the draft of the lead riders so I roll off a few times on the descents to see if anybody is paying attention, and someone is always on my wheel right away, so they are. Still it's fun to be on the front on the descents, and hopefully it keeps things a little safer so not a wasted effort.

When we hit the flat parts I try to start or join a breakway intermittently for about fifteen minutes, going off the front hard, easing up to TT pace and reassessing the situation. Due to the number of riders with teammates who chase down the breaks, nothing works, either solo or with one or two other riders, although a Z Team rider gives a valiant effort and we are off for a few minutes but I can see a couple of teams with larger riders on the front, working steadily to close the gap so I advise my breakmate to ease up, a rider with only one other teammate proudly announces his presence when he pulls the pack up. I decide to draft for a bit and wait to try again.

Nothing major changes on the second lap though the hills except a few riders are dropped, since I am recovering from the break attempts right when we start the hills, I am almost dropped, too, and find myself on the back of the pack, trying to do the minimal work necessary to stay in the draft.

By the time we crest the final hill, about six miles from town, I have weaseled my way back to the front again. One rider goes up the road and builds a seventy five meter gap. Then Michael (Mintie) goes and gets fifty meters, and I figure this is as likely as any other break to go so I jump, too. I go out, find I am not closing the gap, and jump again, just a little too hard ( possibly my best sprint of 2008...) and feel quite blown by the time I get to his wheel, and I cry uncle and wait for the warm embrace of the womb of the pack.

Of course what happens is some organization takes hold in the pack, and we reel in the break, but the counter goes and this has four riders and starts putting in serious distance between us and them. They are aided a little by the fact that we are neutralized while the P12 group passes us - it takes the P12s longer to pass a bigger group. By the time we reach the start area, the breakway is barely recognizable as bicyclists in front of us. This could be a repeat of 2006 where the break stays away for half the race, so I have to decide whether or not I will be satisfied with letting the big teams work on chasing this down. I might as well try, because it didn't hurt my results last year and we didn't catch the break, but I am still recovering from my last breakaway attempt. In fact we are going so fast on the flat section that just drafting seems really hard and quitting passes my mind as we approach the parking lot.

When I do start moving up to the front my right calf cramps, and I have to go into survival mode, pedaling as little as possible even uphill by repeatedly doing a few short efforts followed by coasting and stretching. I considering turning around and going to the parking lot because it is so close and downhill from here and it looks like we are not going to chase down the break. Finally the cramp relaxes a bit and Todd and Jonathan (SJBC) have done yeoman work and brought the break close and Todd has enough left to join the break.

When the pack gets within fifty meters, it senses blood and there's another surge, naturally my calf cramps again and I have to conserve and massage for what seems like forever til we get to the shallow rollers leading to the flat section and I can relax a bit, and turn on the camera and gradually work my way from back of the pack to the front in five parts of video:

Finally mid pack of forty riders. This is not the best spot for a non sprinter in a field full of sprinters so I need to move up some more. Move up, relax, lose some spots, repeat.

Still in fifteenth place two minutes out from the finish. On the one hand, this doesn't look good. On the other hand, always tell the juniors at the track to never give up if one is still in the hunt, would be kind of silly if I could not follow my own advice.

Added higher quality version of blurry video to here.

T: 3:02:12
S: 36.9 kph
D: 112 km
C: 95
H: 161
Pavg: 152
Pnorm: 211

17 August 2008

2008 August 17 Suisun Crit 35+ 3/4/5

CTL: 120
TSB: 4

I feel much better than I did yesterday when I was fresher. Weird.

Signed up for this race because the field size was limited to fifty, and several teammates said they were going to do it. The small field size will make it easier to move up if the urge arises, despite the very short course ( about one minute to do one lap). I would have done the cat four race, too, but that one only ends ten minutes before this one. Decide to put all my eggs in one basket.

None of my teammates makes it. So I am flying solo today. Since I am not much of a sprinter will just have to see if I can make this as hard a race as possible for me, just to get a good workout. I have trouble doing that on a flat course because it's so easy to just suck wheel and fool one self into thinking one is going hard when one is not.

Apparently 1/4 of the field is a no show, and we have to wait ten minutes for some riders that were on the wait list get signed and waivered/lawyered up. Since any warmup benefit has been lost, just decide to go at the gun.

The winner takes off about four or five minutes into the race, and we never see him again.

Have the entire race on video, so enough writing, already!

part 1:

part 2:

part 3:

part 4:

Had fun and got a good workout, lost my concentration for a couple of minutes at the end so no notable results. Next time!

T: 38:30
D: 26.0 km
C: 92
S: 40.6 kph
H: 177

Pnorm:240 ( highest I have ever gone in a flat crit, usually I am too lazy to work this hard )
Pavg: 220

16 August 2008

2008 August 16 Winters Road Race 35+ 4

CTL: 120
TSB: 14

Short version: I sucked. This was a lot less than I have done in other races this year.

Only went hard during the race for less than fifteen minutes, six minutes on the biggest climb or set of rollers, then less than three minutes on the steep part, then five minutes during a concerted chase to catch the group. Otherwise the race felt hard to me but it was not according to the data. Puzzling. Maybe it was due to lack of motivation after I got dropped?

Did change up workouts this week due to a lack of time, did some shorter, harder L6 intervals on Thursday, will go back to what I have been doing with L4 intervals this week to see if it makes any difference.

Was with the group until the top of Cantelouw and figured I don't need to try that hard - I can see everybody ahead of me, at that point the women P12 caught us, and after a few minutes they eased up, a big group of racers in my race was still ahead of the women and a smaller group including me was behind. I worked with four guys and we caught and passed the women, and then the other guys started dropping like flies. We could see the field in front of us - I put in one last effort to catch them and got within a hundred meters or so but just blew at that point. Maybe I should have gone a bit easier and just taken a longer time to catch them, or maybe that's all I had in the legs today.

Rode another lap with the other two riders until we got to the big hill and they dropped off, the women caught me again, and I just rode in solo to get some miles in for the day.

I felt really fresh after the race and only had a little bit of cramping problem when I was in TT mode with the other racers on the flat section, eased up for a few minutes and the tightness went away.

T: 2:22:45
D: 79.6 km
S: 33.5 kph
C: 91
H: 170
Pavg: 177
Pnorm: 210
2008 Winters Road Race 35+ 4

09 August 2008

Esparto Time Trial

CTL: 119
TSB: -3

Hurt my neck last week so had to raise the bars a bit to compensate. As long as I don't have to use my arms or head I can ride my bike, and it wasn't a factor at Patterson Pass yesterday.

I did this in 2004 on my road bike and managed a 50:41, I think I can do 43:00 on the time trial bike *if* I can go out at a little above threshold.

Not much to write about except after five minutes I couldn't keep pedaling as hard as I wanted to, and thought about just quitting but didn't want to waste the drive out there, so just kept on going. Then on the way back I had trouble just soft pedaling but it turns out there was more wind on the return trip.

On the bright side, I could walk and sit down after the race, probably because of the new saddle. On the down side, this was about twenty percent less power than I have generated for this length of time this year.

T: 44:35
S: 39.7 kph
D: 29.5 km
H: 182
C: 92
Pavg: 233
Pnorm: 237

Patterson Pass Road Race 35+ 4/5

CTL: 122
TSB: 12

Not trying to taper for this, just too much work, not enough riding.

Last year was with the group until we mixed up with a different field on the descent of the big hill and lost contact with the field.

Hope to improve up on that this year. Same weight and FTP, and lower fitness so we'll have to take what we can get.

This year we go much harder up the big climb that doesn't matter because AFAIK very few people get dropped here in our group. Where people start getting shredded is on Flynn, it only lasts about ten minutes but the steeper climbs start to make a difference. It seems we drop thirty riders here. I am about to get dropped, then figure, I can just catch up on the descent when I almost highside it into the 90 lefthander on Flynn, lost my composure and just couldn't close the gap.

After crossing the freeway, have to enter time trial mode which is exactly what I do not want to do the day before a time trial race... briefly consider calling it day after one lap, and saving it for the time trial but then a group of five or six riders catches me.

This makes life so much easier. The only problem is that on the descents when the group sort of mushrooms across the road, I just pull into the wind to go to the front and try and get the others to go a bit faster but only Matt is willing to play, and the other guys are mostly satisfied with just following. This is kind of surprising because most of them are bigger than me and I assumed they would descend faster than me. I keep probing until we get to the last hill and Bill (I think) goes to the front on the climb and keeps the pace high.

Last time up the big climb it feels like it's hard (but it's actually not) and we all stay together until about a kilometer from the top when Erik puts in an attack and quickly distances the remaing six of us. I assume there's no way that's going to work but he makes it stick!

Anyways on the descent, Matt and I trade pulls, I want it strung out just to keep things safe. The last time up Flynn it feels hard, but once again, the data shows we took it pretty easy.

Once we get into the high speed rollers after the overpass, I keep rolling off the front an I keep getting reeled in, by the time we get to the last part on Midway I give up and reset for a sprint finish. I don't know how I got a reputation as a sprinter, cause whenever I race at the track I get spanked ( and I don't mean that in the good S&M/Nancy Botwin way, either) if there is a sprint, but Matt is telling his teammate Brad to watch out for my sprint!

Anyways my assessment after looking around is that most of these guys are bigger than me so I need to drop them, cause the final part of the race is downhill then a short 200 meter flat section.

The Z Team rider goes off the front early on Midway and we slowly bring him back. Then we get to the last hill and there are now only five of us. Brad puts in a attack and only I can respond. The other three riders are close and I am just biding my time, and Brad asks me to take a pull so I take a really short one right into the last two corners and Brad goes back to the front. I shift into the gear I want to use and when I hear Brad start shifting out of the last corner, I attack and take the coveted 25th place or whatever the heck for which we were sprinting.

T: 2:22:56
S: 30.1 kph
C: 91
D: 71.7 km
H: 177
Pavg: 192
Pnorm: 231


03 August 2008

Timpani Crit - Cat 4

TSB: -3
CTL: 120

Field: 80+

Hoped to work out the kinks with the video camera today, and got a little more video, but not as much as a I can get on training rides for some reason. I think my knee or hand is hitting the shutter button inadvertantly.

Not much to report, start at the back, work my way to the front, get swarmed, start moving up, repeat about six times.

With four to go, give it one more shot. Work my way up and with two to go am second wheel. The rider in front of me is on the front for about ten seconds when he starts to slow, and I hesitate to pass. This was the end of the race for me because we got swarmed and I could not move up safely again. Should have just gone for it then. On the last lap am about fortieth an the field balloons across the backstretch and slows. The inevitable crash happens in front of me and thinking of Burlingame I slow enough to let the tumbling riders come to a rest and can only watch as forty riders keep on going.

Was just going to soft pedal it in but Anthony passed me so I *had* to pass him back. :)

For me this was kind of hard for a flat crit, I probably worked a lot more than I ordinarily would, trying to get different stuff on video that didn't come out...

S: 42.6 kph
C: 99
Pavg: 195
Pnorm: 230

01 August 2008

Fort Ord Road Race 35+ 4/5

CTL: 118
TSB: 10

Field ~35

The last couple of times I have done this race, spent too much time in the wind and in the big ring and then getting dropped on the only long climb ( about 400 feet of elevation gain in 3.25 minutes...) so this year I decide to make myself use the small ring as long as possible and suck wheel as long as possible.

This makes the race much more manageable.

I brought along the video camera but I managed to turn it off as we were starting so only got footage of the guys in front of me when we staged for the start. :(

The course changed a bit this year with two out and back sections versus one last year. Still lots of small rollers with 1000 feet of elevation gain per ten mile lap.

On the first lap it's pretty uneventful except for a crash on an uphill roller near the finish. One of the riders involved managed to catch back on after a long chase but he is dropped on the next lap. We really only go hard for an extended period on the long hill, about 5 watts per kilogram. Since I have been spinning, this is hard but doable the first three times. Each lap we lose five to ten riders on this section and I enjoy using the big ring for a few minutes on the rollers to the finish line.

On the last lap, my faithful companion the calf cramp raises its head. I spend the rest of the race either coasting and stretching, cramping, or pedaling in alternating patterns. There is a small hill for the feed zone, about five minutes before the big hill, and I accelerate a bit to get into a good position for a bottle and feel really good and just move up close to the front when my calves start cramping again so I have to drift to the back and hope for the best.

At the bottom of the last hill there are about fifteen of us left. I have to let the other riders go and slowly ramp up my effort, unsure of if or when I am going to cramp, and continue stretching every once in a while. Find a way to pass four riders on the way up.

When we crest the top I can see a long thin line of riders, this time, it took me twenty seconds longer than the first three ascents, and this is enough of a gap that I have to make a decision - should I risk cramping or just work with the riders behind me, and I go conservative and trade pulls with the riders I just passed. We are not making progress on the riders ahead of us until one fellow gives up on the small but steep rollers leading to the finish. Then another rider is on the side of the road putting his chain back on but he catches on and now after a bit of shuffling of riders we are four.

With about two kilometers to go I am on the front, and no one wants to get in front of me - I also really want to catch the two riders I see ahead of us but I don't want to pull these guys up and then cramp, and I don't know who among is has legs and who doesn't at this point. End up just waiting for the end game, speeding up, watching everyone follow, slowing down, everyone sits behind, repeat a few times.

The sprint is uphill for about three hundred meters, so I decide to go for it when I can see the two hundred meter sign ahead. Surprisingly no one responds ( or did I miscount, I thought we were going for tenth place). This works out well for me because I cramp up really bad after about thirty seconds and have to coast for the last thirty or so meters.

not including neutral bit
T: 1:53:38
C: 98
S: 32.3 kph
PAvg: 170
PNorm: 236
This was sort of like a crit in terms of power, but about twice as long.

P.S. I am a legend in my own mind, official results show me as 15th, not close to tenth! :(

26 July 2008

2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge

Zayante, where for are thou?
Punch to the solar plexus
Ka pow ow, ow, ow

Wasn't planning on doing the time trial, but these guys made me do it...
T: 25:05
S: 11.3 kph

Full ride
T: 7:38
D: 165 km ( went off course a few times )
C: 73
S: 21.6 kph
Pav: 132
Pnorm: 173

13 July 2008

2008 July 13 Spring Hill Road Race

aka Two Rock Road Race

35+ 4/5 AKA the gang that couldn't ride straight

CTL: 119
TSB: 3

Had to work again last night so had to skip R's birthday bash and the alcohol loading again...

This race has not been held in a long time, I remember doing it when I was not so fit and getting dropped on the first hill, catching, and getting dropped for good on the next hill, which happens within the first two miles or three miles. I also remember a lot of short hills which is good for my correspondingly short attention span.

Park on a side road of the finish hill and find the hill to be really short, and only a little steep. I decide after a second viewing that since our races are pretty negative that I should just enjoy the two laps and fight for position and go all out from the bottom - the climb is very similar to the climb on Sand Hill from Whiskey Hill to the summit overlooking 280 in terms of length, and I can usually can put the hammer down on Sand Hill after even a ride to the coast.

The first lap is pretty uneventful and the first hill is not a problem for me. One of the hard parts of the course is the continuous string of little rollers but none lasts for more than two minutes, and the hardest is the second that occurs after the finish hill. Since I am just sitting in the first lap it really feels like there is more downhill than uphill. The first lap is most useful for identifying riders that one would not want to ride with given any other choice - i.e. riders who swerve violently without looking, riders whose front wheels are oscillating because they are hanging onto the bars too tight, and some riders who given the choice between riding the one foot to the left of myself and the yellow line and the six feet on the right of me that is empty of riders, insist on saying left and continue on their predetermined path...

I find myself surfing the back of the front group for most of the race with a SJBC rider and he is super strong, too. I make childish, snarky remarks about everyone in front of us and he finds me amusing. At one point we have to turn onto a highway and ride the shoulder and a gap opens and he puts his head down and closes it by himself, and I am all too happy to accept the free ride.

On our second time up the finish hill I am feeling really good so I test out my legs and easily get up to the front of the group. This is probably a mistake, but I stay up there until we descend from the next hill - we are down to about fifteen but ten riders catch on during the long descent. On the next roller my calves are starting to cramp so I massage them and consciously start using a smaller gear, which possibly is a bigger mistake.

The next few hills start to make my hamstrings sting a bit, which seems really odd to me as this has never happened to me during a race. But the front of the group starts to pass a splintered women's group and a couple of them entangle with the women and I come to a complete stop and forget about everything else except catching the front group again. I catch before the summit and we are still about twenty five strong in the peleton.

Marked a few landmarks on the first lap and note the last signficant hill before the two turns onto the finish straight, about five miles out, at which point I want to start moving up. So I do, and the first thing that happens is my hamstring seizes up. I signal so the other riders behind me are not impeded, and immediately start massaging the muscle. This is harder to do while riding versus the calves. I am also rapidly losing ground on the field. Do a bit of calculus and figure that I have to catch now or lose them on the descent/flats to follow or the leg will seize up again and the race will be over in either case. The leg cooperates until I get to the top and it tightens again, but I am able to coast/soft pedal for a long time while I massage it. The SJBC rider is kind enough to offer some water/food but I really need a break in the action! :)

The next three and a half miles is fight for survival against the cramp and the field dropping me. We still have twenty five at this point and reach the two kilometer to go sign at the base of the hill. Once we start going uphill, I really, really, really wanted to go for it but my leg is not cooperating at all. The SJBC rider bolts up the right side of the road and everyone responds. I don't have much of a jump, but am able to sustain a decent effort to the top. Can only pass the riders that blow up, the other riders ahead of me are just too strong for me at this point to catch and pass, and when we turn the final corner I think I see at least ten riders already across the line so there's no point to doing much more and I look behind and don't see anyone, including the riders that we dropped on the hill so I soft pedal the final straight.

The SJBC rider won the race, deservedly so.

Close for me, and yet so far. Need to consciously remember to stretch/rest during the race no matter how strong I feel...


T: 2:04
D: 73.6 km
S: 35.6 kph
Pavg: 162
Pnorm: 222
H: 167
C: 96

Spring Hill Road Race 35+ 4/5

12 July 2008

Coyote Creek Circuit Race 2008

CTL: 117
TSB: 17

Due to way too much work and the injured knee from Burlingame still bothering me a little, didn't ride that much or that hard this week and didn't get to alcohol load for this race. This teetotalling is going to kill me.

Like this race because it is so close, and has a significant hill.

Signed up for the 4 and the 35+ 4/5 but due to the knee wasn't sure if I was going to do both. Felt great during the warmup for the 4 race and was third wheel going into the second turn on the downhill when my rear wheel slipped out from under me a bit, corrected and kept it up right, but was wondering what the heck was going on here. Looked down and my rear tire was going flat so I pulled out and had to consider either not racing the later race or sucking it up and waiting around for 2.5 hours, decided to do the second race.

Drank four water bottles in the mean time and probably still managed to lose weight in the heat.

Fixed the flat and got ready for the old and slow guys race, and told my teammates to just follow me on the last lap. Found myself midpack when the bell started ringing for the primes, one every lap (about five minutes) for four laps. Tried using the small ring on the first few laps but the pack was so big I was able to benefit from the draft and ride up the hill without too much strain in the big ring. It took me three laps to get close enough to the front to consider going for it on the final one. Had to get out in the wind on the left on the flat backstretch to move up, as the pack congregated on the right side, and from near the front launched as soon as we exited the last turn. After a hundred meters I looked back and only one rider had responded. Tried to work as little as possible to keep ahead of him and claim the last prime.

Now I kind of felt like quitting but managed to stay in the race. There were only four laps left on the lap cards on our next summit of the hill so I justified it as only twenty more minutes.

Gradually moved up again to about tenth with two to go, then a rider went slightly off course and knocked some cones into the field and I dropped back to fifteenth with one to go.

Tried to be patient and move with the surges on the last lap and surf wheels, got to the second row of riders when there was a pause, for a second I considered going and probably should have since my sprint isn't so great, then Allen from Alto Velo went. Quite a few riders responded so I jumped on the left, unsheltered from the wind from about four hundred meters out. I could tell I did not have a teammate on my wheel but can't do anything about it now.

This drag race went on until the finish, Allen ran out of gas about a hundred meters out, then someone started pushing me with their hand from behind to the left. Now I had to concentrate on sprinting and trying to go in a straight line, finally the other rider pushed me far enough over that I had to slow a bit to avoid hitting the rider to my left and three or four riders passed me with ten meters to go, leaving me in eighth. Then I noticed my rear tire feeling really soft again...

On the plus side, the knee is in good shape, had my best sprint of the year for the prime (still down 15% from last year), and managed to finish the race on a slow leak. On the minus side, my sprint during the finale sucked. Maybe I used it all up for the prime. Oddly, I went harder overall this year for the masters than last year, but did much better last year, but had to conserve in the masters race last year after doing the entire cat 4 race earlier in the day.

Pnorm: 257
Pavg: 182
H: 180
C: 104
S: 38.8 kph


06 July 2008

2008 July 6, Vacaville Crit

CTL: 121
TSB: -7

Rode a bit too hard on the Fourth of July, started off with an easy ride to test out the injured knee and kept going farther and farther and farther... Topped it off with another easy but overly long ride on Saturday so come into this race with tired legs. Sometimes I like riding too much to sacrifice a good ride in order to rest for a race. But can't really use it as an excuse today because plenty of people did Leesville on the day prior to this. Work commitments kept me from getting a prerace hangover, have to make up for this next week.

During the warmup my legs were sore which is not a good sign. Due to some odd starting circumstances, we start really crammed together shoulder to shoulder. Since the course starts off with a technical left, then right, decide to gun it from the start just to string things out and keep it safe.

Two other guys have the same idea so I concede the lead for the first one and a half laps, take a pull or two, and sit back in about tenth for the first prime. On the next prime lap I am sixth wheel and move to the front on the hill, take a look around and decide to see if my sore legs have any jump for this prime.

It turns out only a tiny jump is available which gets about thirty meters on the hill. When I check after the next two turns, the field is about twenty meters behind. Disappointly for me, two riders catch me before the line. I am not feeling that great at this point and pull out, reload for the next race. Using a big ring the whole race with my current legs was probably mistake, vow to remedy that on my next attempt. Didn't really go that hard because I have done this sort of effort for forty plus minutes on the track, so fatigue is a factor for me. Have to reset expectations for the next race.

T: 8:21
S: 41.1
C: 98
H: 183

This time at the start take it pretty conservatively and sit mid pack for about thirty some minutes and use the small ring for most of the race. With five to go start moving up, with the field strung out, just a few efforts here and there and sitting on the right wheel makes this pretty easy even with tired legs.

More people than last year, but not any organized leadouts so it's a cluster even at the front. Get in the top ten on the last lap. When we hit the hill my legs don't respond so well so I just sit tight... An AV rider and Paul from Pen Velo are the first to strike, I respond but the acceleration is pretty puny and I can only manage to be fifth on the descent. At this point my legs are complaining mightily and a small gap opens in front of me. I always hate it when other people do this to me in a sprint... Someone behind me tells me to keep going, so I give my last bit of effort to pull them as close as we can get to the lead group and can only watch as the top ten riders sprint madly for the line.

This race was really easy compared to last years' data, but I can only blame myself for the results...


T: 46:50
S: 39.8
C: 102
H: 179
Pavg: 182
Pnorm: 236