28 May 2009

2009 May 25 Memorial Day Criterium

CTL: 115
TSB: -6

If my legs felt sore yesterday before the two hilly crits, naturally they feel a little worse for the wear today. Since I don't have much hope for a good result, want to work on spinning in the races today since I have a bad habit of using too big a gear and mashing. In that regard the E4 race is a smashing success.

t: 37.24
s: 42.5
c: 106
pavg: 158
pnrom: 176 - it was easy but it sure didn't feel easy
d: 26.6km

one lap of the course for the two of you out there who haven't seen it


35/45+ 3/4 race
This race is a little harder, I actually stuck my nose into the wind a few times, and it's a little more strung out, even with a lot more riders in this field. No team takes control so the last few laps are chaotic with every one trying to get into a sweet spot location of close to but not on the front. A few times the field goes curb to curb over four lanes and am not feeling the the ability to move all the way to the front so resign myself to sitting in back. There is a mishap on the first corner of the bell lap, one rider goes down and I stop to avoid hitting him and immediately pull of the course so just in case that guy who hit me last time in the back is here so doesn't get a second chance! :)

t: 38:58
S: 40.9
d: 26.6km
pavg: 163
pnorm: 196
c: 101

24 May 2009

2009 May 24 Auburn Criterium

CTL: 111
TSB: 4
Should be an OK day for me to race according to PMC but my legs are still sore from track racing on Friday night. This is a new race in Auburn which is about half an hour east of Sacramento. The course has a long slightly uphill drag to start/finish line that continues uphill after the finish with a steep section that lasts about twenty seconds, sort of like the start of the finish straight at Santa Cruz before it crests and leads to a 90 degree right that is narrow due to other lane being open to traffic, this goes under a railway crossing and immediately after the crossing (about 150 feet from the last turn) it turns 90 degrees right again (narrow initially then wide) with a long headwind and slightly uphill section until one reaches the top of the course which goes over the railroad tracks on a bridge a right turn onto the bridge, and 50 feet later a right turn onto the gradual sweeping left hand turn down to the hay bale lined left 90 degree turn. It was slower than I thought as I only reached about 32 mph into this turn. Then after a block there was a 90 degree right and another 90 degree right back onto the home stretch. Enough words:

The race goes with what is called a neutral lap so that everyone can view the course once with the moto ref at the front. We are not supposed to pass the moto, it's sort of like a keirin fight for position. My legs are not cooperating at all so I just sit on the back and it's strung out single file when we get the whistle for the rolling race start. My race is pretty much over on this first lap. I am getting gapped by the railway underpass, and after the two right turns come across the aftermath of a couple of riders sprawled on the ground, both talking so they are OK, and see a small gap to the field ahead on the long back stretch. Try to catch on, blow, and after a few laps chase for the rest of the race, get lapped once. Since our field is only about thirty five, the officials are nice and let us finish the race.

t: 36:19
pnorm: 239 - this is close to just doing Montebello at threshold for me - the part where I got dropped wasn't that hard ( i.e. I went harder for longer at the track on Friday )
pavg: 181
d: 18.4 km
c 97
s: 30.3

On the positive side, I stayed attentive during the start and was on the moto's wheel or close to it for the neutral lap, but the steep section of the hill got the better of me on the first lap, and I went straight to the back of the pack. I was with the group for one lap which was a minor improvement, until we got to the steep section and I could not do it a second time at race pace. Luckily(?) the officials had mercy and let us stragglers finish even though the original field size was around fifty.

One of the course marshals told me I would go faster if I shut my mouth, the additional wind resistance from riding around with my mouth wide open is probably slowing me down! The loud breathing is a dead giveaway whenever I am catching up to people, too. I considered quitting both races early but I could hear people yelling my name or possibly a similarly named competitor and would have felt worse if I quit and someone was cheering for me, can't let the spectators down.

2009 Auburn Criterium 35+ 4/5 from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

t: 35.17
pnrom 238
pavg 182
d: 18.3 km
c: 98
s: 31.1
I want to try this race again, but I will have to skip the Friday track if I want to do well, even with one full day of rest my legs are not the same.

23 May 2009

2009 May 22 Friday Night Hellyer

TSB: -6
CTL: 115

Cat 3/4 15 lap scratch -

T: 6:57
S: 45.2 kph

match sprint with Brian Peterson and Doug Hall for *fun*

Cat 3/4 30 lap points race
T: 14:08
S: 42.3
C: 99
Pavg: 279
Pnorm: 292
first ten minutes

last ten minutes

Cat 3/4 Miss and out
T: 3:00
S: 40.3
C: 95 (clearly needed to gear down...)
Pavg: 356

All of these efforts are the maximum for the duration for me this year, clearly I need a rabbit to chase or be the rabbit to motivate myself to go this hard.


17 May 2009

2009 May 17 Panoche Valley Road Race

CTL: 115
TSB: -7

It's about ten degrees warmer than last year which turns out to be huge. Take three bottles with me but this ends up being three less bottles than I will need. About thirty minutes in we reach the first hill, and examining the data reveals we were not going hard at all but lack of fitness or the heat takes its toll and seven or eight of us are dropped including me. After another thirty minutes I recover and pass three riders by the turn around then feel much weaker in the slight headwind and have to ease up.

Running low on water, too, so have to conserve, and I countdown the kilometers until the neutral feed. I stop sweating before then, and considering stopping but there is no one around for as far as I can see, and don't want to be lost off the side of the road and at this point judgement impaired too, probably, so I keep trudging on, and there are no houses that I can mooch water off of like at Leesville. Then I get chills 4 km out from the feedzone, which is a pretty bad sign and have to slow even more. To add insult to injury my feet start cramping and I have to pedal one legged while I shake both of them out intermittently. Finally reach the neutral zone and they have one bottle of water left, for which I am very thankful, and consider drinking the 10% bleach solution they are using the clean bottles. Get on the bike again, and pick up any bottles with water on the side of the road, and still run out of water with 16 km to go! Now I would actually like to quit but the only people I see are the p12 riders who are finishing so I continue at a snail's pace to the end. My reward is a massive headache that lasts for twelve hours.

This ended up taking me 25 minutes longer than last year, survival mode for 27 miles is pretty slow...

T: 3:25:04
D: 89.4 km
S: 26.1
pnorm:157 - wow seems like I went really easy, but felt really miserable at end of the day.


2009 May 16 CCCX MTB #7

CTL: 114
TSB: -6
(standard constants)

I made the same mistakes I made last time I did this race - too much air pressure in the tires, and not going hard enough on the uphill. That's what I get for not reviewing the past race reports. :) Also, I may just be worse than everybody else at adapting to the heat, at least based on my performance the next day and descending.

The course is really hard due to the recent heat wave, was expecting some sandiness, but not nearly as much as we had during cross season on the same courses, it was mostly super hard pack so at race speed was getting a lot of vibration transmitted through the tires.

This is the most gentle pace for a mountain bike race I have ever been in, need to change that next time!

On the last lap started slowly picking off riders, just ran out of uphill. One rider went down in front of me with about 2km to go and I thought I was going to get to use my newly acquired first aid certification but he didn't consent to care (he described a leg cramp so not much to do except maybe a massage) so just moved his bike off the trail and finished up.

After the race I felt really fresh, so that kind of discounts the heat having much effect, especially since we started at 9:00, stuck around for the 11:00 start but then by the heat started to kick in and I had to get in the shade.

T: 1:13:25
D: 25.1 km
S: 20.6 kph
Pavg: 165
Pnorm: 201

13 May 2009

Goofing off - Camera equipment details

Get a lot of requests for this information, so hopefully can answer all those questions in one place and just point people right here and pay for this junk:

Manufacturer web page

basic camera

handlebar/seatpost/frame mount

NiMh AAA batteries:

and a charger - all the chargers i saw came with AA batteries and not AAA batteries...

cameras mounted on bicycle front and back
IMG_2779 Front and rear

camera mounted on chest using the head mount:
There will be blood

camera on the fork:
fork mount camera

then you need a standard 2G or 4G SD card.

10 May 2009

2009 May 10 Berkeley Hills Road Race

CTL: 108
TSB: -10

Last year I did the 4's and was in better shape and six pounds lighter and got dropped before we got to the top of the first big hill. This year I got in the 35+ 4's.

The first 37 minutes with a different field this year went exactly the same - we rode at a really easy pace to the bottom of the first big hill. Then the pace went up to a moderate level, about 4.6 w/kg for the three minutes to the top, a little easier than last year with the 4's. There was a small gap to the pack and about ten riders spread out over the road, with about six or seven between me and the pack, so I assumed I could just use the riders in front of me to get back onto the pack but this never happened. We got back within fifty meters at the base of the finish hill and then I tried to bridge up and blew. Oddly, this 0.7 of a lap was pretty easy in the big scheme of things, not sure why I could not keep up. Went harder for a longer period of time at the track on Friday - or maybe that explains things. :) Anyways did another lap chasing with various riders from my field and at the start of the last lap, hit a seam or pothole on the little bridge before the school, thought I flatted, then assumed I got lucky as I passed a couple of riders with flats, then realized my rear tire was feeling very squishy. Since this happened right next to the boat ramp/parking lot, just pulled out and saved my efforts for another day.

T: 2:01:53
S: 31.1
C: 94
Pavg: 164
Pnorm: 211
D 63.4 km
1.7 laps


2009 May 8 Hellyer Friday Night Racing

CTL: 108
TSB: -8

First time to ride the track bike in a long time so just wanted to get a good workout in and stay out of trouble.

3/4 25 lap scratch race
surfed the back of the pack until things split up, had to pass about ten folks to end up tenth at the end. Was good for six minutes then had to take it easy for the second half of the race. Sitting on the back is not so good for results. :)
T: 12:58
S: 42.4
C: 99
Pavg: 262
Pnorm: 285

2009 May 8 Hellyer 3/4 scratch race from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

Did five laps of the 123 scratch race and 123 points race to get more track time.

3/4 30 lap points race
Like the first race, had a good six minutes of vo2max and then couldn't do anymore and rode the rest at threshold, then pulled out when it was apparent I was going to be lapped, I think if I stayed in I would have been top ten!
T: 11:00
S: 41.5
C: 97
Pavg: 266
Pnorm: 280


03 May 2009

May 3 - Sonora Road Race

TSB: -2
CTL: 107

Considered driving up here the night before but figure I'm so tired from Cat's Hill volunteering I'll fall asleep early so decide to stay home and end up getting three hours of sleep, doh. On top of that, it only takes about two hours to get there, instead of the three hours that mapquest and my GPS report, and don't speed much (it's not possible on some of the two lane roads) so have some time to kill when I get there.

The course is wet from overnight sprinkles. I follow Hunny out to take a look at the finish hill before our race when we go over a set of train tracks at 45 degree angle to the road. Don't really think about it except to line up my wheels perpendicular and follow him over when the combination of wet and the steel plates surrounding the track and the track pull my front wheel right into the tracks and I go down at five miles per hour, on the bright side, it's on the side that doesn't have road rash. Get back to my car to repair things and a few other people report crashing on that set of train tracks or the next one during their warmups as well.

This makes me extra cautious during the race, probably too much so, but don't need road rash on my road rash...

Eighteen of us start. One rider almost falls in front of me on the first set of tracks and recovers. Then we get to the second set of tracks and three riders go down, I end up doing a track stand and have to unclip and walk over the tracks. The group has left us behind so I have to bridge back up after about a mile of pursuit. The next obstacles are a couple of 30-40 mph descents that end with 90 right turns on roads about as wide as WOLH. We are warned pre race about the second one, there's one lane concrete bridge immediately afterwards, but the first one seems just as bad to me. My caution leads to me getting gapped twice but I manage to pull the pack back each time. These turns would not be so bad if it were dry.

It starts raining and I back off from the group or am getting dropped, work my way back up to the group when we hit the finish hill, this is the longest hill on the course, possibly three to four minutes, and just can't keep up anymore after bridging up this last time. Contemplate quitting because the parking lot is so close but since I had to drive two hours to get here, and the riding conditions probably aren't much better back home, resign myself to a 39 mile time trial. The
course is a series of one/two/three minutes hills with not one flat section for the entire lap. Can't think of any route like this at home, I am reminded of the hilly parts of Two Rock/Spring Hill or Merco or West Lake Drive in Austin.

The second lap is pretty miserable with the rain but one has to keep going just to stay warm.

It stops raining on the third lap and I start to have fun again on the bike, plus Flandria tells me they are not that far ahead in the feed zone. Delirium probably makes me believe this so I keep pushing.

The course is dry on the fourth lap and it's my fastest lap yet. On the finish hill catch a couple of guys from my field and actually have to sprint to decide where we placed!


02 May 2009

2009 May 2 Cat's Hill 35+ 4

CTL: 108
TSB: -2

Still growing skin on my shoulder but signed up for this long ago so might as well give it a go.

Essentially we start at a 22:00 OLH pace from the gun, not that hard but more than I can do now, and I haven't been fit enough to do that since January , only managing about a 24:00 OLH right now so I explode after five laps and get pulled after eight.

On the plus side despite something like a 70% chance of rain it only sprinkled a little bit at the start and the course was dry, and no one tried to insert their bicycle into my backside today.

2009 Cat's Hill 35+ 4 rear view from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

T: 20:42
D: 11.7 km
S: 33.9 kph
Pavg: 189
Pnorm: 267

2009catshill 35 +4