Archive for September, 2009
I won a Mountain Bike Race last year and I wanted to win a road race this year. I never made it happen, but I did manage to score a Victory on the Track.
I went to the San Diego Velodrome for my first night of Tuesday Night Racing in May. I had nerves like no-one’s business during the warm-up, but they faded once we rolled off. Category C was racing first that night and we were doing an 8-lap point-a -lap. The first to cross the line each lap got 1 point and the racer with the most would win. I sat in at first to get my bearings, and I realized the sprints were getting slower as the laps ticked by. With 4 to go I attacked hard right after the sprint and had a straightaway gap at the line so I put my head down and stayed away ’till the end to claim the most points and the “W”.
I stayed in the C’s for 3 weeks and got a bunch of top 3’s but no more wins. I moved up to the B’s and left California before I could get any placings against the faster fields.
Racing on the track is great because there are so many formats that you never do the same race twice in a night of racing. It also teaches the importance of positioning with brutal honesty, which I am slowly learning. I’m looking forward to doing more track racing next season.
I was looking back and realized I hadn’t wrote anything about my first successful 40km time trial. I did one a year ago, but it was nothing to talk about with a time of 1:08.xx.
The California State TT Championships were held in late May on a rectangular course that was actually only 37-38km (I don’t remember exactly) because of the rectangle. We arrived the night before and were up early to get to the course. My warm-up was short because the line for registration was long and slow. I question how hard it could be to process pre-regged people, but it must be harder than it looks. In the end, a short warm-up for an hour TT isn’t the end of the world because I would use the first 5 minutes to get heated up. I had borrowed a disc wheel and a deep front, so I was rolling in a much style as you can get on a road bike with clip on TT bars.
I started and settled down into a rhythm, I didn’t have a bike computer, so I was tracking progress with my stopwatch and the course markings. The front stretch was a mostly flat 6-7 mile ribbon of asphalt in the Ca. dessert, it was also directly into a headwind. I was caught and passed inside the first 5 minutes, but it was Thurlow Rodgers, a local legend and racing in a different class. A check of the watch at the first turn and some quick math showed a promising result if I could keep the pace.
The backstretch had the only hill, but it was shallow and was a nice break from the aero bars. With the wind at my back I was alternating between the 13 and 14 cogs at my customary 100+ TT cadence. It was FAST. When I got to the front stretch for a my trip to the finish line I knew I was going to have a good race as long as I didn’t bog down in the headwind.
I crossed the line somewhere in the 56:15 range, had the course been 40km I would have finished a few seconds under 1 hour. I was very pleased with the way I rode, and I was thrilled to have my first “hour”.
Road Worlds are over, the team is headed home today, and there is nothing between now and the racing in Manchester. It is truly time to get down to business. Training here has been going as well as it can. I do not have access to the recovery resources here that I do at the Olympic Training Center and I can tell. I still feel like I’m making progress, I have felt really good about most of my workouts. I had one day that I didn’t feel that fast, but those are just a part of the process.