Monday, November 27, 2006

CCCX #3 Prundale

All Photos By: Rick Rasmussen
And they're off!

Central Coast Cyclocross Round #3

Catagory: Elite Men

Place: 14th/ 24

Teammates: none

10 laps/ 1 Hour

This was the third round of the Central Coast Series. I did round #1 at the same venue (Manzanita Park) and then missed #2 being in L.V. for Interbike. Round #1 was my first "official" Elite race and while I enjoyed the course, I got a healthy beatin' with all the fast guys in attendance, I finished 25th place and got lapped with 2 to go by the top 3? A wee bit ego crushing.

Anyway..... Brian Rogers asked me if I wanted to carpool so I picked him up around 10:00am and we headed off. It was nice to have some company on the long drive down. There were some light sprinkles on the windshield but nothing much really. We arrived in good time, reg'ed and I got my ass out and did me some laps. I had almost no warm up last week so it was my priority to get in at least 5-6 laps under 80% HR with one being a hot lap. I managed to get that all in 43 Min's. OK not to bad. I felt reasonably good for staying out until 2am drinking with friends, gotta love the beer carbs.

The course used a lot of the same stuff as round #1 so it made it a little easier for me to get used to the layout. I really liked the super fast right hand sweeper turn by the bleachers and the triple barrier to downhill section. The long pavement start uphill, is also good for me being somewhat of a roadie/ sprinter.

I managed a good start position and we're off... I got clipped in and started to move up on the way up the hill. It bottle necked up top into a chicane, so positioning was very important. I got onto the dirt in around 12th place maybe? It was already stringing out fast, so it was hard to tell for sure.

On the rivet mid-race.

I was holding my spot pretty good until the middle of the 2nd lap when the dreaded Lactic acid "lead legs" feeling crept over me and I knew I had to back off a bit to let it clear out that's when I started to loose spots pretty quick. One here, one there one everywhere! While better than last week, I need to get a handle on the warm up process. I am still figuring out what it is "I" need to get to the start line "opened up" and ready to go...

Tackling the run up.

Finally the legs came back online and I was able to start putting it down and I found my groove on the course. I was reeling in guys here and there, finally catching Rick Hunter. We traded pulls for a few laps then started to catch a few more guys. At this point I was feeling quite strong so I set off on my own to chase down Jason Rahwles. It took me about 1.5 laps and we rode together for a bit. I was going well over the triple barrier and decided to try to gap Jason with 2 laps to go. I flew top speed into the barriers clearing all and with a one step remount, lept over my bike! I guess the rear tire bounced on the ground, kicked sideways and the seat was not where it was supposed to be! I looked up to see Jason go flying past me while on the ground. Well, after my Ninja like safety roll, I sprang up, nabbed the bike and got back on before he was 1/2 way to the baseball infields. I felt ok and put my head down to catch back. I came real close sprinting up the hill but came up short by about 4 bike lengths or 3 seconds however you want to look at it......

What a race. I liked the course better than last time here. It had more "flow" at least for me. I got to actually race and had some power left in the end to close down the gap on the final lap. When the legs protested here and there I just pictured Barry on my ass and the motivation to not get lapped was huge (thanks Barry!)

Big thanks to the Ritchey boy's (Dave, Lander, John) and others for hanging out and cheering me on. On the way home Brian and I got some food and bench raced the whole way home.... Good stuff.

Also, props to the CCCX crew. You guys put on a good race. It makes the long drive worth it! I sure hope there's beer for the final, that rocked last year!

Up Next.... Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Pilarcitos Round#5 at Coyote Point, BIG FUN...

See ya there!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pilarcitos #4 in GGP

Nice uphill drag to the finish.....

Bay Area Super Prestige Series #4 in Golden Gate Park
Category: Elite Men
Teammates: None
Place: 25/ 45
9 laps/ 1 hour

I had a terrible start to the day by over-sleeping. No alarm went off, for whatever reason and I had to rush to get down to the park and setup the Bianchi tent and it took a lot longer than I had planned. After registering and other setup stuff, I finally got around to getting out and warming up. I only got 4 laps of warm up and at this point everything that could go wrong had, so I was just wanting to get it over with and not in the best of race-moods. I hoped that my legs would be good and I could hold onto my 14th overall.
Photo: Lauren Haughey
Calm before the storm...
I got a good start position and a decent start as well. First time across the finish I heard Tom state I was in 15th. Great, I tried to maintain but the Lactic acid was building and I could see the writing on the wall already on the 2nd lap (lack of warmup). I made some bad tactial errors by not running the rooted section when in a group, twice, and it cost me a lot. About halfway into the race I started to feel better and started to work my way back up. I caught a few guys here and there.
Photo: Lauren Haughey
Up and over!

On the final lap, I got caught by the Hunter duo and let them pass on the section before the final barriers. I was feeling good for a sprint and felt, as long as I was on thier wheels coming off the final dirt portion, I could get them. Ya, no... I muffed the remount after the final barriers and they got a 3 bike length gap. I gave it all I had, but finished in the same time as Rick and B.Crum got us both by 1 sec. Very close finish. I almost threw up across the finish line, so I know I was working hard.
I was in the pain box for the whole race. My sister asked me if I saw her and the truth was I didn't see anyone except my Dad cuz he was giving me water. I did however hear her and everyone else and I thank you for the words of encouragement. It always helps. The guys yelling at the tree root section made all the difference in the world.

Great day for a race in the park!

After a cold beer and a slice of pizza (thanks Acclerade!) all was right with the world. I finished on the lead lap and retained my 14th spot overall. Off to CCCX this Sunday and the following weekend is the Pilarcitos Final. Stay tuned....

Chillin with the holmie's

Sunday, November 12, 2006

McLaren Park Reduex

Well the Surf City race in Santa Cruz was cancelled today at the last minute. I don't really know what happened but what a bummer. I know a lot of people put a lot of hard work into getting it going and I feel for you guys.

So..... I hopped on the road bike for a nice 100k ride today. Up over Mt Tam/ Alpine and around to Fairfax, quick stop at the Java Hut for some coffee and snacks and rolled home for a total time of just under 4 hours at a zone 2-3 tempo. Since there's no race to report, I thought I would post a few pic's from last weekend. GGP is coming up next weekend, so I was happy to get in some decent riding this weekend dispite no racing. Here we go...

Game face? Check!

Start and finish straight

Some of the crew R to L: Dan, Liz, Cullen, Josh and myself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pilarcitos #3 in McLaren Park

Start of the Men's Elite race.

Elite Men
Place: 20th

This last week I did a lot of strength training primarily on the left side of my body. It is notably weaker than the right and I have to address it now before things get out of hand anymore than they have. With the increased mileage and amount of racing I have done in the last 2 years recurring problems have to stop. I think I've figured out what it is and will continue to strive to fix it, although I don't know how much it's going to hamper my CX season, it might work out just fine, we'll see.

On Sat. I did a 2 hour ride out to Fairfax easy, on the CX bike and felt like crap. I mean bad, bad, bad. Scott and I stopped at the Java Hut, had some coffee and chatted with the Proman women's team who were heading out for a nice little spin to Pt. Reys. On the way home I tried to do a bit of tempo and a few sprints in an attempt to get my legs working and even on the way up to the bridge I still felt sub-par. I think all the specific workout-outs had me all out of wack and I hoped for a miracle on Sunday at this point.

I looked forward to the race on Sunday even if I went down in flames because I had committed to being there early to root on my teammates and a co-worker in the C race, help out Scott and Liz in the Acclerade booth and just try to have fun in general and revel in the race day festivities.

I did 4 laps as easy as possible on the course and then went out to Moscow St. and did 2 full sprints (the whole block uphill) to blow out the cobwebs. I think it worked for the most part as I started to feel better and I got that twitchy muscle feeling, (which is a good thing). I gathered myself together and got to the start line in good time. A second row start was mine, I stayed very focused this time and waited for the start, whistle goes and were off...

I got a decent start and slotted right in behind Jim McDonald then we run up the hill, Oi.. did it get jammed up there with the pushing and stuff, anyway single file till we get to the first steep dirt part and I followed a guy into the rough and I picked up a spot or 2. Next the uphill log, I got a fast remount but it bottlenecked bad, I rear-ended Jim with guys stalling all around and I had to dismount and run up the loamy dirt. Dam! Right before I could have had a brief respite on the downhill I had to go redline and it was a bitch. I hit the steep bumpy climb for the first time and did O.K. but all I had was the 42 X 25 and while I cruised it on the first lap I felt I was going to be lucky to not have to run it for the last 2 laps.

Well things started to settle down a bit and my dad shouted at me "16th place!" O.K. not a bad start but I knew deep down I was only going to be able to cut my losses on the day as the climbs combined with my lack of overall strength (at this point in time) and short gears were working against me. I decided to go fast where I could and conserve where I was weak. I was doing well on the barriers and remounts and the pavement was my friend. The run up big fun.

I ended up getting passed by a few guys here and there. Some I knew, some I didn't. Isaias who is a a former B like myself caught me on the bumpy climb and I waved him past me. No need to hold him up, he was riding well and it would be up to me to keep up. I then rode with Aron from Cycip for a lap or so until the final 3 to go, when Mack and I hooked up and we tried to ride together till the end and maybe bring Aron back. It was working O.K., we traded pulls and I was hoping we could have a homie sprint finish but on the last half of the last lap some guy came out of nowhere and caught us on the same bumpy climb. I guess we were sitting up a bit more than I thought. Going into the final run around the skatepark I closed up on him and knowing I was strong on the triple barrier/ remount I passed him and led into the tree section. Blocking the inside line and some sprinting in "Pinecone Alley" got me the gap I needed leading onto the pavement and I rung out the 12 to finish only 2 sec up on the chaser with Mack on his wheel.

Good course and some real racing. I really wanted to hold on to Jim but he seems to be on some good form and is riding really well. I managed a decent result and had a good time. I've improved in every race, staying on the lead lap in 2 of the 3 races so far and moving up 2 spots in the overall. My goals for the season were to not get lapped and try to break the top 15 for the overall. Constancy has always been a goal for me and as long as I have steady improvement in the upward direction I can't complain to much. I feel like I'm babbling so back to work!

Big up to Dad for the H2O and the Fusion crew for the cheers! and of course Acclerade for drinks and the grubbing pizza!

More pictures to follow...... Maybe even a dueling HR chart with Isaias ... LOL


Just for fun a HR graph for the MCL race. HR info: 173 avg/ 183 max...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rain and Political Blackness

Rain.... not alway so welcome but seeing how it cross season and I am sick of inhaling dust and blowing black snot for the last few weeks, please o' please let it rain. the race this weekend at McLaren Park will be great, even better if raining or at least damp ie: no friggn dust!

I kind of try to stick to bike racing stuff for the most part on my blog but After reading the political commentary link from Hernando's blog I am pissed off. Goddam W and his cronies are running us into the ground and the masses are too stupid to see it. Times like this I want to get the hell out of here....

I am having to much fun racing my bike I guess I'll hang out and see if the nation will come around, it's like a bad reality TV show..

Party on Wayne........