Tuesday, April 20, 2010

sea oughthurt

Whereas Fontana was a good opportunity to compare last year's performance, this year's Sea Otter offered no such assessment. Instead of the more epic 35 mile, 2.5+ hr race, this year's course took us (Alice, Sean, Erik, and myself) on multiple fast laps around the Laguna Seca campus - pretty road-racey.

The only thing identical to last year was the amazing bike circus that existed at the Laguna Seca Raceway. Luckily the temperature was more reasonable, at around 75. Sean and I hung out with towels on our heads in the feed zone during Alice's race, holding bottles at the ready when she came by. She ended up 16th in her race and looked focused and strong every time she rolled up the hill through the feed zone.

In the men's race, the lineup was big and talented, with some World Cup stars making their single regular season appearance in the US. The field was somewhere around 120strong, and rolled out like a huge wobbly mob along the racetrack before cramming onto the first bumpy grass climb. The movement of the field was somewhat unpredictable on the twisty race track, even though it was wide enough for a B-52 to land on. I somehow got myself shat out too far to one side of the field just before entering the tight turn onto the dirt, and saw my relatively good position roll away in a cattle herd of 100 other riders. At that point I could only do my best to deal with the crappy situation I had put myself in, somewhere in the 60s. It was immensely frustrating, cause I knew the race was going to be short and fast, and not an easy one to ride away on a solo effort. After the first lap, Sean and I rode together most of the day in a group of around 20 riders. After last year's bonkfest, we were trying to ride more intelligently, using the draft of the group across the long pavement sections and riding to the front on the dirt. Our group swallowed some riders who were ahead, gained some who caught up from behind, and dropped others but still remained at about 18 by the last lap. Erik had, no surprise, commanded a good position through the start of the race and had been riding somehwere within the top 15 or top 20 for the first half of the race...typical remarkable form for the under-trained ET, also not much of a surprise there...but still awesome. Sean and I came by Erik as he began to fade with two or so laps to go. I spent my race concentrating on doing the best I could with the position I had put myself in at the botched start. As I saw how little was to be gained by trying to solo away for the rest of the race, I decided to stick with our group which was moving at a reasonable pace. It felt smart, albeit conservative. That's why it felt more like a road race. On the last lap I felt very focused, and positioned myself for the sprint I knew would ensue after the last paved turn. Not being much of a sprinter, I managed second in the group, taking 27th on the day. Sean had come off the front edge of the group, but was not far behind me in 35th. Erik rolled in a bit later in 56th. I feel ambivalent about my result - like I raced well, but I didn't spend the race where I should have been. Ultimately, it has me motivated for a strong performance in Texas at the end of May. Until then...Bear Springs weekend...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

some spring rides

some young-guns happenings of recent spring weekends...

dragged ol' Luke out for a wet afternoon at the Syncline awhile back

drive back to seattle

I joined the Keller Rhorback cycling team for road racing in Seattle. new neon green look

hosted Luke and some of his Bellingham friends for the Volunteer Park Crit and Olympic View RR weekend...apartment still smells like a bike shop...actually, it never didn't smell like a bike shop

Puke Lennington