Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
In spite of gray skies and a chance of rain, a large field turned out for the first Covered Bridge Race of 2009. This course was last used in 2007. The race was canceled in 2008 due to bad road conditions. There were at least 30 riders in the 4/5 field and several teams were well represented, particularly Stark Velo, Snakebite, and CRC which had Al, Mike, Chris, Max, and me. The temperature at start time was in the low to mid 50s and there was no noticeable wind.
The Ira road course is a little more than 5 miles around. It climbs sharply at the northwest corner, then gradually descends to parallel the river. Since the road is open to traffic, the yellow line rule was in effect. That severely limits the opportunities to move up in the field. It was only possible to move up on the corners, or to cheat along the left or right side of the field.
The race rolled out with a neutral start from the school parking lot to the start/finish line near the first sharp climb. I was lined up near the front of the field and followed my typical westlake warmup schedule. I did an easy lap around the course prior to the race which got the blood flowing, and then did a hard effort at the beginning of the race to get my heart going at race pace. I went over the first climb at a decent pace, chasing after one of the young riders from RGF. I pushed the pace over the second climb, but didn't intend to sit on the front.
A small group had formed after the hard left turn at the bottom of the hill, and I was feeling the pressure of the race! It looked like the field might split permanently and I was hanging on for dear life at the back of the first group as we descended toward the river. The group reformed again and the pace moderated a little.
There was a prime on the first lap. A rider went clear and nobody seemed eager to chase. The field settled down to a sane pace for the second lap. I basically yo-yoed as we went around the course. I'd drift back over the top of the hill, then work my way back to the front on the rest of the course.
On the third (or was it the fourth?) lap, a rider from Stark Velo either broke his chain or dropped it. I was following Al up the right side of the field, and the guy with the chain problem was just on our left. We squirted around without incident. Somehow, riders on the left of the field scattered away from the chain problem, and a crash took out a few people, including Chris. I only saw the crash out of the corner of my eye. Later, I heard Max say that Chris had crashed. We saw him by the side of the road as we came around for the next lap. Luckily he only suffered minor cuts and scrapes, though his bike seems to have sustained some damage. Unfortunately, one rider left in an ambulance with a likely broken collar bone. (Best wishes for a quick recovery!)
On the bell lap, I pushed too hard to get toward the front of the field as we hit the climb and blew up hugely. I wasn't able to chase back on and just soft pedaled to the finish. Al and Max continued on with the field. I was toast! Next week, I'll have to take it a little easier on the climb, even if I slip back in the field a little. I also need to work on my descending skills. I was a little too nervous on the descent to the turn. I think I'll need to adjust my saddle position so my weight is more evenly balanced on the bike. I feel a little unstable.
All in all, I can't complain about the race. It was a tough fitness test. It's clear that I'm closer to being able to compete more comfortably in a race with some climbing and very hard anaerobic efforts.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
- lose 1 pound a week, with a target weight of 205 pounds in the mid summer;
- Average 400W for the Leroy TT course;
- Do a 40 mph sprint.