28 June 2010

June 27-28 Chico Stage Race

CTL: 118
TSB: 6

Paskenta Road Race
This course is interesting, not really a flat section anywhere. Starts off with some very gentle grades going up/down for a good hour at race pace, then enters a roller coaster section similar to Madera, then a right turn, and more rollers but longer, and at the thirty mile point, a gravel road section that consists of more rollers for five miles! This section ends with about three miles of road to go, with a couple of gentle climbs, the last one ending about 700 meters from the finish. But the most difficult part of the day was the heat, even if it was a dry heat, at 10AM it was 85, and by the end of our race it was 107.

Field of 33 and pretty spirited start with lots of attacks, even I spent five minutes off the front testing the legs. This happens every race because we're all fresh, but this was also the least challenging part of the course for those unaware of what was coming. When we hit the roller coaster section the field split up immediately. Was sitting about tenth going up the second hill when my front wheel felt deflated, just like my chances in the overall were about to be. Luckily I had placed wheels in our follow vehicle. It took a minute for the vehicle to reach me since our field was so shattered, and I started a pursuit of the pack. Caught ten riders, then Jeff from Chico confirmed that the neutral feedzone was closed and we might have to do the last 17 miles without additional water. Kept on pushing until I threw up, then I had to settle down and nurse my last half bottle of hot energy drink for the rest of the race, only able to catch a glimpse of some other riders on the last hills ahead, at least I was able to flag down some vehicles to get some much needed hydration for survival.

T: 2:24
S: 30.0
C: 88
Pavg: 138 (with pack for about an hour before the flat, didn't go much harder after the flat)
Pnorm: 174
H: 173 (minus the missing parts - looks like when I stopped to change wheels the HRM transmitted stopped getting enough perspiration to work)
Chico Stage Race, Paskenta Road Race

Agua Frias 10 Mile TT
Since I technically didn't go that hard yesterday except for the heat stress, had high hopes for doing well in the TT. Placed 20 minutes back of the lead pack so only racing for pride today in this stage. Have a decent outbound leg, get close to my threshold power, but completely blow the inbound leg, fool myself with the high average speed and barely break into L3 territory. Either that or the bag of ice I slipped into my skinsuit was super effective until it melted away.

Outbound into wind
S: 40.3
Pavg: 232
Inbound with tailwind
S: 41.0
Pavg: 207

T: 23:50
S: 40.7
C: 86
Pavg: 219
Pnorm: 224
Chico Stage Race, Agua Frias 10 mile TT

Chico Downtown Criterium
Same course as last year's separate criterium event, going around the fountain and plaza in downtown Chico. The fountain is very refreshing, though it's disconcerting how quickly the water evaporates from your bare skin in the 100+ degree heat.

First six laps attack after attack, sometimes including me. I take a break for the next six, but stay close to the front. Jeff from Chico goes off the front, I briefly consider joining him but decide to let him have his hometown glory. Another rider joins him and by the time I think I should have gone, too, he's already almost up to Jeff. They get a sizeable gap that stabilizes at 30 seconds according to the announcer. I work to bring this back, I have a teammate Josh in the pack so it won't be in vain if we catch. With about eight to go, Jeff starts fading back to the pack but the lead isn't falling quickly enough. Soon it's just me, Josh and Mike working and that guy off the front is earning a well deserved victory because we can't close the gap from 25 seconds, and with three to go I decide to save it for the sprint.

With two to go, Josh and two others get a small gap, so I soft pedal on a straight, others pick this up pretty quickly and chase back, I made a tactical error here, should have countered right away, instead just slot in at about tenth which is way too far back on the course - the finish is only 150 meters from the last turn. This is what happens when you think about surviving a race instead of trying to do as well as possible. End up staying there until the last turn and I moved up to seventh in the field sprint.

T: 43:51
S: 39.3
C: 90
H: 177
Pavg: 170
Pnorm: 181
Chico Stage Race, Chico Downtown Criterium

June 20 - CCCX MTB XC #6

CTL: 119
TSB: -6

35-44 Beginner (or cat 3 as NORBA calls it now...)
Hadn't raced in a while, and after not doing Pescadero because I didn't want to risk showing up and not being able to get in needlessly (100 pre reg no shows!), looked at the calendar late on Saturday night and saw this race and decided to do it on the spur of the moment.

For once my strength is climbing and my weakness is descending, my choice of mostly slicks might play a part in this, also, riding the MTB only once a month. About 600 feet of climbing and descending per lap. Since the lap is six miles, decide to not carry the tool kit and camelbak, and just ride the bike and quit if I get a mechanical, the start finish is centrally located. This works out, because nothing went wrong with the bike.

Pretty easily able to keep up with the front runners on the first lap, until one rider passes me before the single track descending section. A huge gap opens up in front of him by the end of it and we can't see any of the leaders, I pass but am only skilled/motivated enough to try to keep ahead of the riders near me. Spent the rest of the race duking it out with them, closing gaps on the climbs and seeing them vanish by the descent to finish 7/13.

T: 1:13:35
S: 20.6
C: 80
Pavg: 182
Pnorm: 216

June 6 - AT&T Pacific Grove Butterfly Criterium

CTL: 118
TSB: 8

Missed this race due to a scheduling conflict and now that I've done it once, sorry to have missed it. A challenging, technical course, hills, high speed descents, and my favorite, and uphill sprint into the wind.

First up is the 35+ 4/5 race. We have about 40 entrants. This is the borderline number where the race can be really negative - where it's easy to sit in because someone is chasing down every single break, even if they have no teammates or no sprint, or it can be a positive race where it is strung out and we're shedding people every lap. Several people put in attacks early. I go with a few. Nothing sticks. Then Josh from LGBRC goes solo as we reel in another break, and gets a huge gap initially. Since I don't have teammates I figure if he wins solo he deserves it and just wait. He stays out there for about ten laps! but finally he comes back and then pace eases significantly. I just try to move up and avoiding the riders with suspect pack handling skills, with two to go I am about fifteen back working my way to ten, when there is a crash out of the last corner, going uphill. See a gap between crash victims and try to squeeze through but a rider that is going down falls over onto my front wheel as I pass. This tacos the front wheel so I can't even turn it or try to ride to my spare wheel only 200 meters away, decide to call it a race, regroup for the E4 race.
T: 35:18
S: 37.2
C: 101
H: 172
Pavg: 183
Pnorm: 231
butterfly criterium master 4/5

After the debacle that was the 35+ 4/5 race (for me), decided to string things out no matter what, even if I get dropped, to keep it safer. Unlike the first race, after I pull over, multiple people are willing to share the load, even though we have a smaller field. By the half way point we had dropped more than half the pack. I was barely hanging on and had to resort to motivating myself by saying just one more lap, just one more corner. Then there was a pause for a lap, I could see the eventual winner and his teammate start moving up, and the attacks started up again and this split up the field even more - there were three or four riders up the road, and the other ten of us trying to catch back up. We got closer, and closer, and closer until the last two laps when individuals were able to split our group up, on the last time up the finish straight, the four in my group could see the seven ahead sprinting for the line as we started our sprint, ended up getting ninth.

We had less riders doing the work and we ended up going a full mile an hour faster.
T: 38:59
S: 38.5
C: 107
H: 181
Pavg: 193
Pnorm: 238
butterfly criterium e4

07 June 2010

June 4 - Friday Night Hellyer Track

CTL: 118
TSB: 6
Mounted video camera on road bike, didn't feel like moving it back, so no video this time, but I did remember to changing my gearing from 50x15 to 51x15 so I would spin *less*. Temperatures are about 40 degrees warmer than the last Friday night race so finally no arm warmers required.

P123 40 lap scratch
For a simple race this felt pretty hard, I was in the main pack until seven laps to go and could not close a gap after a rider in front of me got dropped (I have to stop doing this...) and got lapped on the last lap. Using the OLH unit of measurement about the same difficulty as OLH in 22 minutes but just for 19 minutes. The bigger gear did seem to help.
T: 18:49
S: 45.2
C: 105
H: 184
Pavg: 246
Pnorm: 260

P123 50 lap points race
This race felt harder but it wasn't, my perceived exertion meter is way off. Since it felt difficult I didn't try to score points, just maintain contact with the pack and was able to hang in there until the finish. No points but didn't get lapped. Using OLH units, this race was equivalent to doing OLH, if one surged and eased up all the time.
T: 22:30
S: 46.2
C: 107
H: 185
Pavg: 233
Pnorm: 248
June 4 Friday Night Track racing

06 June 2010

May 29 - Get Ready for Summer Series #4 Hellyer

CTL: 117
TSB: 4

I barely wake up in time for the 1:00 PM race start so I have to use the keirin heat as a warmup, get dropped when the speed hits 58kph but I eeked out a placing over Ben Stern who sat up in the last 100 meters.

T: 4:44
S: 47.5
C: 111
H: 183
Pavg: 278
2/3/4 scratch race - Not a spinner so a bit undergeared when the average speed is almost 30 miles an hour. A gap opened up in front of one of the riders in front of me and spent the last four laps or so trying to close it. Fun but not in position to sprint at the end.

May 29 Get Ready For Summer Hellyer Track Scratch 2/3/4 10 laps from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

30 lap 2/3/4 points race.
Moral victory, don't think I got lapped, but not much else accomplished. Still thinking about gearing up for next weeks' racing. Well, haven't done much track racing this year so have to pay my dues in specficity now, hope for better results down the road.

T: 13:55
S: 43.1
C: 101
Pavg: 237
Pnorm: 254

May 29 Get Ready For Summer Hellyer #4 30 Lap 1/2/3 Points Race from Steven Woo on Vimeo.

GRFS Hellyer #4

May 23 - Panoche Valley Road Race

TSB: -8
CTL: 117

I did a lot better than last year, but I would have been hard pressed to do worse. Still got dropped on the one hill longer than four minutes. One fellow dropped his chain at the bottom and I stopped behind and once we caught back up was redlining it, and had to soft pedal for a minute to recover. Weird because the effort by itself was not harder than some intervals, but it was at a much higher cadence, either need to do my intervals at that cadence or be more careful about gearing up for these vo2max length hills during races.

OTB with a few other guys and we each have different strengths and mainly succeed in tiring each other out by surging on different parts of the course, until the three strongest guys leave us behind at the feedzone on the way back. There was a serious crash in another field so everyone had to stop three kilometers from the finish to permit the helicopter to land and take off. I counted the number of riders in the main field and it was about thirty and the grouplet I was with was about ten so it didn't matter where we placed, led out the sprint for fun.
T: 2:53:11
S: 30.9
C: 87
H: 160
Pavg: 167
Pnorm: 197

2010 panoche valley rr