31 May 2008

2008 31 May ICCC Dash for Cash

CTL: 124
TSB: 3

Flat, four corner crit, usually really windy so 4/5 fields tend to stay together. There is some incentive to try and lap the field but only a reward for one rider and basically five cash premes.

On the second lap there is a bell rung by someone on the side of the course and several riders mistake this for a preme. I jump in behind them, and put in a little attack on the front stretch, but no one else wants to play so I dangle out there for the straightaway and tuck in and recover when the pack catches me.

The rest of the race is uneventful as I sit in and resign myself to the field sprint. Since I am doing a time trial tomorrow this works out better too, just use this to get a short but intense workout.

There is a small incident with three to go when Shane meets the curb on turn four but he is not hurt and gets back in the race.

With two laps to go I am near the back of the pack when someone in front of me starts moving up so instinctively I wheel suck. I continue this with different riders and end up about twenty fifth with two corners to go. To have any chance of doing well I needed to move up before the last turn but hesitated and got swarmed, so had to wait for the exit of turn four. I sprinted for the heck of it, and moved up ten positions, then saw there were only about fifteen riders ahead of me and I kept sprinting and made it up to eleventh. Usually I don't fare so well in flat crits but surprise myself.

T: 39:52
D: 28.1 km
C: 99
H: 163
Pavg 187
Pnorm 235


30 May 2008

2008 30 May Friday Night Track Racing

CTL: 124
TSB: 5

Haven't done any VO2max intervals for a few weeks and it's much easier to get motivated for these when there are people in front of you and behind you so I am going to sample a bit of every category tonight and see what happens.

My pre-race nutrition consists of beef brisquet, potato salad, and beans, so this will be another test of intestinal fortitude.

40+ 25 Lap scratch race

We roll out pretty slow and Hernando tells us we need to start racing so when there is a huge alley at the sprinters lane, I jump from the back of the pack to off the front when the whistle is blown. Amazingly, someone else is crazy as me and joins me after a lap and we work together. After five laps, we get half a lap and I start getting crazy ideas, but the lead is partly due to Vance riding tempo at the front and no one passing him. When the other riders get serious, they catch us in two and a half laps. Try to rest a bit for the ensuing counter but when we get caught and the counter goes, I don't have enough in the tank to catch up so when the group catches me again I call it a race and pull off the track.
pAvg: 286
Pnorm: 345
H: 176
C: 98
S: 41.2

P123 30 lap scratch race:
Done a bunch of 50 lap P123 scratch races so I know I can finish but my sprint is pretty lame compared to most of these guys so I plan on doing half the race for a warmup. It's not that hard to *draft* at the back and we are going super fast. After having to pass lapped riders a couple of times I decide to leave the race to the sprinters and pull out.
T: 5:52
Pnorm: 277
Pavg: 261
H: 171
C: 113
S: 47.2

3/4 25 lap scratch race
Go off the front a few times, but nothing sticks so I save it for the end. There are eight of us in the lead group. There is a point with three to go where I probably should have attacked but the little demons of self doubt crept into my mind and I just hung out in the pack and it came down to a sprint finish and I just rode in seventh.
T: 12:03
Pnorm: 306
Pavg: 269
H: 180
S: 42.9

3/4 12 lap snowball
I consider going for the low point laps but one rider immediately goes off the front so I try to be patient and wait for someone else to reel him in, but it takes three laps. Shortly after we catch$, two riders go off the front and get four or five laps of points. When we get close to catching them I decide to go for it, but I have to pass seven riders. I think for sure this leaves enough time for Andrew to get on my wheel but he doesn't. But as I approach the line, I hear Hernando announce that is going to be close so I give a tiny burst of speed and it's enough to hold Andrew off but he has such a head of steam that he immediately gains thirty meters and this kills my confidence. Then Aaron catches and passes me leaving a small gap. I almost give up but put everything into catching back on when I see there is a big gap to the field. Aaron pulls me around for most the rest of the race, I was thinking about telling him to pull up but it felt so much better being in the draft, and if we don't catch Andrew, our finishing order doesn't matter. Aaron pulls up after Hernando tells him I'm on his wheel, and boy, was that half lap hard, maybe I could not have helped Aaron after all. Anyways, we get closer but we don't catch Andrew.

Pavg: 311
H: 181
C: 107
S: 44.9

30 May 2008 Friday night track racing

26 May 2008

26 May 2008, Memorial Day Crit

CTL: 126
TSB: -6
Feel surprisingly good so hope for the best.

The course is a three corner square with the third corner being a sweeping turn. Not much to report except lots of people think sucking wheel is more important than good position for a turn so for the three 90 degree right hand turns, a lot of the time there are a lot of people entering the turn from the far right side, hugging the curb. This leads to a lot of braking, contact, and general mayhem. This problem is exacerbated on turn two where the road is *only* two lanes, but the left side has a raised median so at times people will be braking hard on the inside because they rode all the way to the corner on the right and are cut off by everyone else, and then sometimes people on the left side getting pushed into the median when people let the people on the far right in. Then there are people trying to pass everyone on the right hand gutter and failing and stopping when they get to the corner.

On the third lap someone partially passes me on the start finish line, then drifts over and his hip is starting to steer my bike for a while and this freaks me out a bit but I recover.

There is a lot of surging as we go fast, slow, fast, slow, more than is necessary it seems. A couple of times I go to the front by going up the side facing the wind but am only able to stay there half a lap as I am just too tired to defend the position. On one preme I go for it from tenth wheel the same time as someone closer to the front does, I catch him at the half lap mark, want to keep on going but find the legs not there, which is a recurring theme for today.

On the next preme I move up to the front after the lull. Once I am off the front, folks are all too happy to work hard enough to catch me but content to just sit there.

Decide to wait for the end in the comfort of the pack. On the last lap am pretty close to the back of the 60+ riders left. Follow riders up the left side of the pack until we get to the full road portion of the course between turns three and four and am up to fifteenth. I decide to go for it about the same time as half the field in front of me does, and the amount of close calls I see is enough for me to call it a day and I just roll in, happy to be intact.

T: 39:29
C: 103
S: 42.9

This race is a combined 35+ 4/5 and 45+ 4/5 with the groups picked separately for the finish. I hope the age factor makes folks more conservative and that there will not be so much surging.

It doesn't work out this way.

Actually have teammates in this race with Erik, Sean, and Greg.

At the start line find myself near the far right, since I don't want to be like the people I write about in my cat 4 report, I attack at the whistle, get clear of the other riders and enter the turn from the middle of the road. Lead the pack for most of the first lap, and slot in close to the front on the second. Get bored after a minute and attack again and only dangle out there for half a lap.

Compared to this, it's just so easy to sit in the pack, that I fall for the siren's song and slide right to the back of the pack. After a few primes I get in position to try and go for one. From near tenth I work my way up, but have to spend a lot of time in the wind, get up to second but just can't pedal any more and fade to fourth at the line. I think stage five of my three day weekend is starting to catch up to me now...

Rest for a few laps. There was one rider who seemed a bit wobbly, finally loses it in in turn four. He is right in front of me and he makes contact with another rider, and I am not sure if either of them is going to make it and not sure which direction either of them is going to carom off into. As I slow, the rider next to me keeps his momementum going and rides right into the second rider and the rider that was next to me goes down. This only takes a coupl$e of seconds because the pack only gains about fifty meters on us and those of us behind the crash and the two who got up close and personal, we easily make it back to the pack.

I think on the very next corner I hear something bad emanating from the pack in front of me, brakes squealing in front of me and smell burning rubber then the riders in front of me part like the Red Sea and I see a rider tumbling on the ground. Because they want to make sure he is not seriously injured, and the EMT's arrive to check him out, we are told to ride the next two or three laps neutral. When they restart us, we have five laps to go. I don't feel like taking any chances with our group so I just sit in back until the last lap. Someone else wants to move up into the wind so I just ride his wheel halfway there, then ride someone elses wheel to fifth on the left hand column, while there is a column of four riders on the far right side of the road. I know it only takes about 35 seconds to get to the finish so I go for it.

What I normally can do for a minute and a half, I can only do for ten seconds so it's a pretty weak effort but enough for me to draw even with the right hand column. Someone behind me tells me to go for it but I tell them that's all I got. Erik attacks now from three riders back of me and gets a great gap into the last corner. I just try to not delay anyone behind me at this point.

Erik wins his 45+ 4/5 group and comes in second overall.

What's interesting to me is that my best one minute today is close to my best five minutes this season, and my best twenty minutes today is close to my best eighty minutes. So even if I am performing poorly, it's possible to hang in a flat crit. Doing anything worthwhile is a different matter. I can sprint for about five seconds when I am really tired (did my max for the year in one attack) but need to go hard for about thirty seconds or longer in a race to do something positive.

12th/35 ( I have a weird streak going on here, my third 12th of the season)

T: 46:49
C: 101
S: 40.5 (42.1 race only)

25 May 2008

25 May 2008, Mt Hamilton Road Race, short course


Stage 3 of my personal Tour of California.

My preparation for this race this week was to not ride as much and gain five pounds. This still put me six pounds under the weight for the last time I have data for this race in 2006.

The temps are very mild in stark contrast to most years so will not need as much liquid this year. The race starts off with a bang as Doug (hunny) and a couple of other riders attack on the first hill. Another rider joins them. I chase a bit and consider joining but then settle in at my own pace, there are so many riders I'm certain someone will pull them back in and this happens after about two more hills.

We take the descents faster than I want to with current company. I can remember several crashes in front of me on the same turns the past two years, so I take it at my pace and am able to catch the group pretty easily on the hill after each downhill.

The race feels really easy to me, barring the first five minutes.

One rider attacks near the last hill before Junction and gets a 10 second gap, and dangles out there. We swallow him up on the hill after junction. This still feels really easy compared to the past two years. It's only when we get close to the top that I am under pressure, this felt hard, but when I look at the data it's well under what I can do for the time period in terms of average or normalized power, not sure what's going on there. Anyways, there are about twenty riders ahead. I make myself keep going, and regroup with the a few guys about fifty meters behind the main bunch.

On the next short hill I am dropped again. But I force myself to go up it hard and catch a Santa Cruz guy I caught on the prior hill. We work together for three miles and finally catch a Wells Fargo rider who looks like he's given up hope. But now we are three and we get a paceline going. For a mile I am thinking this is futile but after a few twists and turns we see the main pack. There are less than twenty riders left, they look like they are just cruising, and there are still eighteen miles to go. The carrot makes the riding much easier and we catch them within four or five pulls.

Wow, I am with the lead group of twenty riders, but it's huge for our field. Anthony and Wild Bill are here, too. I recover in the back.

If we have twenty left at the end, the sprint will be pretty ugly.

We reach the 35-40 mph downhill sweeping turns and I have a serious mechanical problem. My brake levers are bottoming out and I almost run into the rider in front of me due to the accordian effect in the turn, by myself I would not need to brake but at the back I need to have the same or better braking power as those in front of me. Not strong enough to go to the front so I decide to hang back a bit to leave myself room to slow.

This is not a problem for the first five miles. Then we get to the last little uphill and I am a bit too far back out of the draft when Bill attacks. I can't get onto the group as they all accelerate away with about two miles to go.

This race felt really easy except for a couple of moments, once on the big hill where I got dropped and for the last acceleration where I got dropped again, and it looks like I didn't try that hard in either case compared to historical data...

Disappointed but can't blame anyone but myself and looking forward to the next race, felt so fresh at the end I ride back to my car at the start and get to cheer on all the folks who started after me and enjoy a rare ride on the East side of Mt Ham in perfect weather (until the rain starts).

In spite of the logistics, the race is extremely well done from registration to past the finish when there is free food and water for all.

I also kept my PowerTap CPU unlike last year so that is a huge positive.

T: 1:43:20
S: 34.8 kph
C: 93
H: 154


24 May 2008

24 May 2008 Beat The Clock Canada Time Trial

CTL: 121
TSB: 8

Was worried that my sole skinsuit would still be wet from washing it last night but didn't need to worry because it was raining a bit when I rode from my car to the registration so got wet anyways.

Thought about taking it easy but I was the one minute man for a cat 2, Jeff and started just before another cat 2 so that kept me honest. Was never passed and passed three riders. My minute man was within 30 seconds at the turn around but he never passed me for some reason(it turns out he was my two minute man and he was about to pass me at the end!)

Set a personal best (out of three tries), faster, and higher average power (taking into the account the SRM/PowerTap difference), plus this is the first time I used the pursuit bike on this course. On a couple of the little climbs actually started cramping a bit in the quad because never really go that hard in the aero position on a climb for that long and I only have a big ring. About ten percent less power than I've done for the same time period on the track bike or road bike on a long climb.
19/50 Men
T: 25:17
S: 38.4
C: 93

23 May 2008

23 May 2008, Friday Night Track Racing

CTL: 123
TSB: 10

Not so much quality training due to getting slightly dehydrated at Panoche and cramping and the comcomitant leg issues this week but get to race for four consecutive days due to the alignment of the planets and the holiday weekend. Am eligible for every race except the women's but only plan on doing two events for about twenty minutes of racing since I have to get up early and do a time trial tomorrow morning.

In a test of intestinal fortitude, ate one of the free hot dogs and didn't throw it up during the races.

cat 3/4 10 Lap win and out, one rider out each lap:
I think there are three guys in our races who normally race in the P12 group on the road so this should be fun. There are a bunch of attacks early and even I throw in one but nothing sticks so it comes down to four to go when two very strong riders go off the front and I am just hanging in there for dear life. Bells go off and I am not able to move up but I *think* I heard the last bell so our little group of four riders have the chance to place for pride. Mark Franklin is on the front and goes at the same time that I go from third position, and I get on his wheel in turn three and come around him in turn four for sixth or seventh.

cat 3/4 25 Lap unknown points race
I can't resist going to the front when a few strong riders pull through, then I fade to the back too far when another attack happens early. The rider in front hesitates and can't hold their wheels and by the time I realize I need to do something the gap is too big for me to close a. I try anyways with his help for a few laps and Tim from CRC but we get lapped and we finish just behind the lead group of four riders or so on the final lap.
Pavg: 285
Pnorm: 291



21 May 2008

Panoche Pass Road Race

TSS: 10
CTL: 124
T: 2:59
TSS: 177
S:29.9 kph

Got in an actual warmup and rode the twelve mile 10-12 boys/10-14 girls district road race. Katrina Howard attacked after about fifty yards, and there were four mentors for five riders so we split up the duties and I escorted the third place boy from the time the group split up until the finish line.

It's about 95 degrees and very dry by the time we start the cat 4 race. The pace feels pretty easy, much easier than Berkeley Hills or Wente, until we hit the one big hill. Even then, I underperformed, maybe I am just not ready for racing in this sort of heat and dryness but everyone has to race in the same conditions. Got dropped and the front thirty or so riders rode away. Weird because some of my training rides are harder than this. This was at the twelve mile point so there was still plenty of riding left to do. Got together with a few other riders in my group and we started working until we reached the summit at the nineteen mile point. The descent was fun - until this was one blind corner, I was in the middle of the lane figuring that had to be safe when a few riders from a different pack came along in the opposite direction into the wrong lane and I had to brake hard, then jump hard to get back onto our group. After this, never really felt like pushing on the downhill and got dropped by my companions on the rest of the long fast descent to the flatter sections.

Even so, the wind was at my back and I started enjoying the 30mph mostly flat trip to the turnaround. As I counted down the miles, wondered where the group was or the groupetto I was in was at. A few riders had caught me from behind, one blew and the other attacked, I responded, and my legs would not turn over after I sprinted to get in his draft so I had to recover.

Within 1 KM of the turnaround I could see our group. So close. Only 1:10 to get here. Then within 200 meters of the turnaround was the groupetto I was with until the descent. Rode with one other rider for a couple of miles when he gave up, so it was just me for the next fifteen miles. Finally another rider caught me and we worked together for a couple of miles when my inner thigh cramped. This is difficult to massage out so I had to stop pedaling for a few minutes and let the other rider go.
With ten miles to go am considering getting off the bike and into the shade. Every time I swallow, it feels like the headwind has dried out my mouth and throat so I have to take a swig of water periodically. Then I notice I am not sweating anymore which is a pretty bad sign so I throttle it back even more and limp into the finish, and immediately my calves start cramping up and turning into rocks - on the plus side this didnt happen while I was riding. It took 1:50 to get back from the turn around so riding solo was ridiculously slow for me.

Will have to set goals a little lower for next week and change my race category from the 63 mile road race to the 38 mile road race...

T: 2:59
D: 89.4 km
C: 89
S: 29.9

11 May 2008

Berkeley Hills Road Race

CTL: 126
TSB: 11
Finally recovered from being sick so hope for better results than last year where I got dropped the first time up a big hill. Try something different to address the cramping issues, no caffeine in the water bottles, start with two full bottles and just shorts and jersey and underjersey and arm warmers to minimize overheating.

I settle in at the back as we go at a brisk pace down Bear Creek Road and do the turn onto the hilly back roads. What strikes me is how hard we go up the little hills, which is something I would not do at my own pace. But we do not drop anybody AFAIK and get to the base of the first big hill and then it gets a little hard. When I look down at my powermeter I know I can't sustain this for long but figure I should do whatever I can do to hang onto the group. Surprisingly, I do. Mindful of prior cramping episodes I take the opportunity to stretch on every downhill and pause even when going uphill to stretch the legs.
The finish hill is a little too much for me, but at this point I have a lot of company including teammate Mike Simos, so we work together to try and catch the main pack. Luckily for us, the pack is taking it easy on Bear Creek Road and we have time to rest a little. I am able to hang in the group until we get to the Momma bear for a second trip and I can only last two minutes when I blow a gasket and have to ease up. Keep pedaling and eventually reel in a few riders by the finish hill. Flandria and Denin are graciously spending the morning feeding us so I take another water bottle and now have two full bottles with a lap to go. My legs muscles are starting to move by themselves so I use someones advice to pour cold liquid on them in attempt to stave off cramps, the negative impact being that the liquid is PowerAde so my legs are sticky but on the positive side I can always lick my legs if I need more energy. On the descent we see the remnants of an accident with one guy balled up on the side of the road being attended to by a volunteer, that takes away some motivation right there, I can see the pack ahead but it's hard to get that image out of your head. One of our teammates was in the accident but was not hurt much at all but his bike and fork took one for the team.

Am able to help the chase on Bear Creek Road but as soon as we go up the first steep little hill I shoot out the back, my legs saying no mas.

Finish the race a little bit behind my companions in the chase group.

My time was more than ten minutes faster than last year, and I lasted 1.6 laps instead of .6 laps so those are pretty nice improvements, the power numbers are almost equivalent so not sure if the race was that much different this year, rider+bike about five pounds lighter than last year at the same time.
It felt really good to not be cramping in every leg muscle compared to Wente or this race last year.

W: 1786kJ

10 May 2008

2008 May 10, EBC/Infovista Criterium

TSB: 12
CTL: 124
This is my last bit of *taper* before the Berkeley Hills Road Race. Lots of familiar faces with around 80 geezers in the field.

A little preview of the course reveals that there is probably less than one hundred meters to the line from the last corner so have to be close to the front on any key moves. There is a sweeping right hander in turn one and the rest of the corners are standard 90 degree right turns.

Start off near the front and things sort out after a lap and Jonathan from SJBC takes a flyer on the second lap and I follow. He pulls off after half a lap and I give it a go for a full lap, turn around and much to my surprised to see that I am not capable of dropping eighty guys and see I have the entire pack behind me but no one willing to take a pull so I ease up and out of the way. Spend ten minutes recovering when a prime is announced and I am way too far back to do anything about it so I have to bide my time.

The next prime comes up and I am about twentieth wheel. I am moving up when a rider attacks into turn two. Due to crowding I have to wait until after turn two to accelerate and get to within twenty meters after half a lap but the breakaway rider has done a good job of full committing to his winning move so I back off again and recover midpack.

With six or so laps to go another prime is announced. Two riders have attacked before turn two and have about twenty meters. I have learned from my prior mistakes and am able to hit turn two at full speed. I am slowly gaining, look back and don't see anyone. The two of them are trying to size each other up. They hit turn three and I am a little closer and I put in a sprint to get on their wheel after half the straightaway. Now I can rest for a few seconds while we head into the final turn and I start sprinting into the turn, pull even with one rider, then the rider in the lead and he starts upshifting, and I feel undergeared but spin it out and able to nip him at the line for the prime. Boy, that hurt.

Try to keep tempo up after the sprint to see if I can stay away but the pack has none of that and swallows us up again.

With three to go I am follow wheels back to the front when a rider moves laterally six feet coming out of turn three for no apparent reason but luckily every one avoids him, including his trailing teammate. Having seen enough but not sure of the legs, I move to the front but find I have nothing left in the tank after getting there (that prime was a little too close to the end of the race for me ) and drop out the back and finish just behind the pack.

74/85 riders, 1 prime

T: 41:27
S: 42.4
C: 93
Pavg: 193
H: 170

EBC Crit 35+ 4

04 May 2008

Get Ready for Summer Track Racing

Promised someone that I would pre-ride Mt Hamilton with them in the morning so my warmup for this race is probably not optimal but it's lots of fun.


I don't get to do a lot of keirins since I mostly did Friday nights only for the past three years and it would be mostly pointless for me to race against sprint specialists and other cat 1/2's in those races but today I get to race against just cat 3/4 track riders ( one of them won Cat's Hill in the cat 3's yesterday) so it would not be so lopsided. Still, unless Gen Kogure or Gary Yokota show up, I am the smallest guy on the track.

Six riders including me start this. I draw a number in the middle. Four riders form a paceline behind the motor and a fifth rides on the hip of leader rider above the sprinters lane, I just ride in the back and take it easy. I wait until two laps to go to start my move and try to time my attack with the moto moving off but I mistime it a bit and have to back off then go again which of course makes me a bit slower than I want to be going so the field easily passes me and I only manage a fourth.

Keirin Heat
T: 2:29

Six riders again. This time three riders get behind the motor and the other two float slightly above but I am still last. This time I time my attack just right and am passing just as the moto is pulling off ( passing the motor is an instant DQ ) and hold it for the 500 meters to the line for the win.

Keirin Repechage
T: 2:26
c: 101
SMax: 55kph

This time we have eight riders and I draw the top position. I sprint for the motor but Keiran Cox gets there a little before me so I give up and have to pull up track to wait for everyone else to get in line and find my usual spot tailgunning. Passing seven riders instead of five is a bit different, it's funny how much practice one needs for such a short event to get it just right. I repeat the same tactic from the first two heats and mistime it again. This time it only draws me even with Keiran on the lead and he starts to razor me. At this point I should have fully commited to passing but I eased up a bit and that was the end for me as I can only manage sixth.

Keirin final
T: 2:20
c: 103
SMax: 56

A few riders go off in ones and twos but we manage to always catch them. My legs feel awfully sore from pulling fence posts from the ground yesterday and today's efforts so I just sit in the back.

Towards the end there is the mushrooming and hesitation that happens when one is in a race when a lot of people want to sprint. I do not want the race to come down to a sprint so when we hesitate with two laps to go I move up to the rail and when we come out of the next corner I use the banking to attack and get clear of the group and hold off the pack for third behind the two riders off the front.

24 lap Scratch Race

Usually I just like to sit on the front and razor the rest of the field but since there are fifteen other riders and lots of them are probably stronger than me it's going to be a bit difficult to pull off.

I get the hole shot at the whistle. One rider's chain immediately comes off but he is in the sprinter's lane and is successful at safely pulling off track. This didn't affect anyone elses race AFAIK.

After six laps on the front I can see a rider accelerating to pass me and I speed up just a bit but he was fully committed and I was not so he easily takes the lead and I slot in about four riders back. Here I should have immediately gotten out of the lane as quickly as possible but I was so disappointed at losing the lead I made a mistake an was easily boxed in and eliminated two laps later.

Miss and Out

Usually this race has a breakaway with two to four riders, that's enough to get away, and they will get the lion's share of the points.

If my legs were sore during the scratch race, they are screaming in pain now before the race starts. Since I don't know what my legs can do at this point I attack at the gun and am chased down after half a lap. Wow. Then the pack slows immediately and I am bored so I attack again. This time when I am caught someone counters and the race splinters. A group of four, the magic number that means the whole race is in front of us and the rest of us don't count, get away. We start chasing but only one rider from that group is dropped and the other three stay away and lap us by the end. I stay with the main group until the end.
30 Lap Points
t: 16:33

Since there are so many riders and I did not ride that consistently in the points I think I only manage a sixth place out of sixteen.
ride totals
T: 2:14
Pnorm: 253
TSS: 230
D: 50 km


2008 Cat's Hill


Started building up fitness again after catching the bug that seems to be going around the office and the area last month, rode a lot but so fresh after not riding hard the prior week just can't build too much fitness in one week, so not as fit or light as I could be but have to make lemonade.

Entered the E4 race because the other option would require working four hours beforehand and after having done that for a few years, wanted to try going into a race fresher.

Warmed up by taking a lot of photos and talking to folks along the course and riding a little bit, probably should ride a lot and taking a little bit of photos next time, at least pre-race.

Get a nice start courtesy of home field advantage, knock handlebars a bit with George, my bad!

Matt Abdullah guns it from the start and leads the first couple of laps up the hill. I try to race a bit differently and hold back on the steepest part of the hill and find I can make up ground after the stop sign and even on the flat part around the park.

After four laps I relax a bit too much and drop from tenth to fiftieth. Maintain this position for the next four laps, each time up the hill seems ridiculously hard, but I know it's mostly in my head. Start moving up with four to go when there is an accident on the hill. Riders start going down to the left and right and I start slowing and losing precious momentum to avoid running into people, but then there's a hole own the middle and I go through. This still leaves a gap of about fifty meters to the lead group.

Put my head down and start accelerating as hard as I can and look around for help after the crest and a small group of riders pass me and we work to catch back up to the group after about one and a half laps, this leaves three laps to *rest* up for the finish.

Sometimes think about quitting after the halfway point because it feels difficult to just move up the hill, but don't want to disappoint all those folks cheering for me!

I get up to about thirtieth on the last lap and am conflicted about moving up as I am not sure I can get up there safely, sprint up but can't advance at the end of the park, and decide to just hang in back and finish with the tail end of this group for about 30/100 riders.

T: 27:56
S: 37.9 kph
C: 95
H: 178
Pavg: 205

Cats Hill Cat 4