Sunday, April 13, 2008

Right or Left Side?

Finally I can pin on a number again. Left side?
My off the bike hiatus is over and decided to do my 1st group ride of the year on Thursday and then a TT on Saturday followed by crit on Sunday. Nothing like racing into shape. I have been on my TT bike for a few training rides to satisfy my triathlon curiousity (see Smithfield report below) but nothing that put me into race shape. It's pretty bad when your running shoes have almost as many miles as your bike does at this point in the year.
On to the race reports:
Conquer the Canal TT - Saturday. My expectations were low - don't be DFL in my CAT. I also didn't expect to beat last year's time (32:03) due to my lack of fitness. The winds blowing 10-15 SSW which is a headwind/sidewind on this course. Got to the line and clipped in and went. I'll spare the mile by mile account but the highlights of TT was eating 2 bugs on the way out and dry cotton mouth (after 2 bugs and inhaling a pound of pollen) by mile 3.
With the headwind I was happy to keep it over 22 on the way out and around 26/27 on the way back. As I had the finish line in sight (1 mile), I looked down and realized I would come close to beating my time from last year. I finished, hit the Lap button and it read 32:10. Dang - seconds off from last year. Rolled around to spin out my legs and heard someone talking about how the course was 13 miles this year (versus 12 from last year). Cool - I would have beat my time by last year by at least 2:30. Bonus! Final results posted - 18th out of 21. Goal accomplished. Offical time: 32:06

Part of the scenary along the TT course. The Dismal Swamp was part of the "Underground Railroad". More history on the canal can be found here.

Picks courtesy of Dan Gibson. Click on his link for more TT pics.

Langley Speedway Crit CAT 4 Race - Sunday. My expectations on this race was stay latched on with the pack and get a gauge on my fitness. This was only a "practice" crit for me at this stage of my training. My strategy was to help a teammate get into a break or reel any breaks in. That's kind of hard sitting in the rear of the field the majority of the race. I did manage to get into a break early on in the race but that ended quickly. It was flattering to hear someone yell out when last year's BAR Champ AJ and I took off on a breakway - "Hey watch them - don't let THEM get away." I'm sure he really meant, "Don't let AJ and whoever that wheelsucker is get too far away."
I would waste matches moving up and back on the field (by the way, my matchbook looks like the ones you find at the bottom of a washing machine at the corner Suds 'n Duds - there ain't nothin' to light). Front of the field felt safe but man that was too much work - give me the rear of the pack with the shelter of drafting off of 50+ riders. I wanted to try to be at the right spot when the prime ($100) would go off and to attempt to get on a decent break when it launched. Again being at the back of the field didn't help. $100 prime bell goes off and I'm sitting back 3rd of the field. 10-12 man break gets off the front and I'm sitting back 3rd again.
No breaks stuck today and it was down to a massive field sprint. With 2 laps left, I latch onto Amos' wheel and he pulls me on the outside up towards the front. As the bell sounds, I find where my zero base miles of training hits me. I start losing positions rapidly until I just sat up with 1/2 of a lap left not wanting to contest for a 30th spot. I got a good view of the sprint and watched Shawn pick up a 7th.

It was good to be back on the race scene again. A few more "practice" crits for me and some long training rides and I should be peaking when everyone else is burned out by July/August.

Big thanks to Jeff Craddock and the rest of the Fat Frogs team for putting together another excellent weekend of racing.

I saw K Dillard with his camera. Check out his site for some pics.


SHAWN B. said...

Good Racing this weekend. It is good to have you back. The 30+ race was flying, I managed to hang on, but it was fast.

thePeacefulWarrioR... said...

that swamp has definately got some history.........