Sunday, August 30, 2009

State Road Race

View the power dataI competed in my final race of 2009 yesterday - the SC state road race, which was held near Greenville. I lined up for the 40-49 race with about 50 or so others, including PV teammates Rich, Ken and Lang. We raced 4 laps of a hilly 13 mile loop. I kind of screwed up and missed the from the gun move by Eric C, despite the fact that I knew it was going to happen. I was boxed in initially, though I could have jumped across to it before it got out of reach, but I didn't make the move. That hesitation was a big mistake and almost cost me any chance of contesting the race.

I attacked once to get across to the four man break, but got pulled back in. After that I just started taking pulls on the front, trying to encourage a chase. Ken and Rich helped me and a few others, including Tom S. took turns, but we really weren't making progress. Following Rich, I took a long pull up and over the new climb, which lined out the field. Shortly after that I took another pull through the right turn before the downhill that went by the river. Pat McCallion jumped and I followed him along with a Van Dessel rider. The 3 of us rode hard for the next couple of miles and got within about 30 seconds of the leaders as we passed the start/finish. The Van Dessel rider, who had a man in the break, dropped back, shortly after saying that the field was closing in on us. I didn't look back. At this point I was committed to either getting to the break or blowing up. It took several more miles, but Pat and I made it across on the 2nd lap, before the steep climb. At this point I had just done 322 watts average for over 25 minutes.

I was in the 6 man break, but had used a ton of energy to be there. I took my pulls in the break, but didn't attack. Eric and Pat were looking strong, so I waited. The break worked well even after we were 4 minutes ahead. About 1 mile out, Pat attacked hard up the hill. Eric and I followed, but we lost the others. From there I sat behind Eric in 3rd wheel. Pat went again, but we followed. I jumped on a little rise about 200 meters from the finish, but Eric was able to cover and come by me, so I ended up finishing 2nd. I had a pretty good sprint, 846 watts for 18 seconds, during a final 2:16 @463 watts, but it wasn't enough to beat a good sprinter like Eric. Oh well. I know I gave it my best effort and got beat by someone faster. That's bike racing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Long Saturday Ride

I did another long training ride over the weekend. That makes three weeks in a row of getting in a 4 hour ride. That is unusual for me this time of year, since its hot, and I don't have the patience to stay outside that long.

It was a typical fast paceline ride, heading north up Hwy 21 past Ridgeway, over to White Oak via Camp Welfare Rd, eventually heading down Jackson Creek to 269 to Peach and finally back down Hwy 21. I settled in for the first 2.5 hours or so and tried to stay at or below threshold when I was on the front. There were still plenty of short climbs where I was way over threshold just following others.

I pulled the 5 minute climb on Jackson Creek at a steady 335 watts. Then a few minutes later I had to do a 567 watt 30 sec effort to stay on James' wheel on the steep hill on Peach after crossing 321. I took a pull right after that for about 3 minutes. A little later I was on the front going up the hill into Ridgeway pretty hard.

About 76 miles in the fun started. Steve R. met us near Ridgeway riding LL's scooter. From there I rode behind LL and the scooter for a blazing fast 42 minutes back to Wildewood at 279w NP.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long Saturday Ride

This morning I rode the exact same 88 mile ride as last Saturday. I left my house a little late for the 5 mile ride to Food Lion and the group had already departed. James and I caught up in Ridgeway while they stopped to wait for us. It was a strong group and we cruised along at about 23 mph for 3+ hours.

With 9 guys riding a paceline taking long pulls, I didn't spend much time on the front, so when I got up there I took some hard pulls. I rested yesterday and didn't spend much time outside in the heat either. I felt much better today than last week. 70 miles into the ride, going into Ridgeway, I got on the front and did 8 minutes at 367 watts, with the final 5 minutes climbing at 382 watts. James and LL were still on my wheel, and James jumped and took the mountain points.

Coming back from Ridgeway, we were kind of taking it easy, until LL's scooter, piloted by Steve, arrived to moto pace him back to his house. I followed along for 6 minutes until they turned off, averaging 30 mph. That was fun.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hot Weekend Riding

I'm still here and still riding, even though I've gotten lazy and haven't blogged in a while. Saturday I rode with a fast 8 man group leaving from Blythewood, riding what has become the standard loop around Fairfield County. We had a bit of a scare about 10 minutes into the ride on Hwy 21, when a pickup truck loaded with cardboard boxes and assorted loose pieces of cardboard passed us, then while still on the other side of the yellow line, a large box flew out and landed on the road. Another truck pulling a large trailer began to pass us just as the box was flying out of the truck. Thankfully the driver stayed left and ran directly into the box, and we proceeded unharmed. What kind of idiot drives down the highway at 55+ mph with a bunch of loose cardboard piled up in their pickup?

After that scare the ride was great except for the building heat. I tried to hold back some early on and I forced myself to drink 2 full bottles before the one store stop. At the stop I drank at least 20 ounces of gatorade and water, and refilled the two bottles. It still wasn't enough. I struggled in the last hour of the ride. Instead of kicking up the pace like I usually do, I was resigned to just sitting in and trying to get home. LL, James, & Kevin had other ideas, so that last few miles was a bitch.

The IF of .74 doesn't really reflect how hard it is to ride 4 hours in South Carolina in August. Sunday I went out by myself and rode a nice steady pace for 2 hours...about the same average power(199w), but only .64 IF, and I finished before it got super hot.