Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sat, Oct 30

It's been four weeks after my second and last race this season, and three weeks since I went cycling last time, when we rode 122 miles with approximately 7000 ft ob climbing on that weekend. It feels like I have meanwhile dropped off the face of the cycling earth. A big thanks here goes to a new work project I had taken on, but which is now coming to completion. The time on weekends was spent on either watching the rain, or showing my colleagues and friends from China a bit of California. So instead of riding miles on the bike, it was driving Audi for about 900 miles while visiting Lake Tahoe and Hearst Castle. It was time well spent and everyone enjoyed the trips. Cycling will resume in a week from tomorrow when my annual, personal cycling camp in Maui begins; two weeks of "bike, eat, Mai Tai, sleep, repeat" deserved enjoyment. And once back, it is already time getting organized for the 2011 race season. My ambitions are to survive the literal Early Bird Criteriums in January, and then have fun and no crashes while attending races throughout the season. It seems it will be a busy year, juggling all the cycling activity, with my now regular trip to China, with work, and with everything and everyone else that demands my time.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sat, Oct 2: Central Coast Circuit Race Fall #3

In hindsight, I should have stayed home. But then, I would have missed getting a speeding ticket on the freeway, and a DNF on the race course.

Until two days ago, I was undecided whether to race in the E5 category (start at 8:35am) or in the Masters 45+4/5 category (start at 11:20am). The course is a 4.3 mile loop "on completely closed roads- no yellow line rule in effect. The road surface is good and the course features long straights, false flat sections, rolling hills, downhill’s, with a few twisting turns mixed in". Considering a 1 1/2 hour drive down to Fort Ord in Seaside on the Monterey Peninsula, I opted for a sleep-in and the Masters category. While you get older and wiser people in the Masters category, and therefore hopefully less crashes, you also get Cat-4 racers who will soon move up to Cat-3. In the E5 category, you get the 20-year olds who nevertheless can kick your butt. In the end, I think it's a wash. Prior to the race, I had done a reconnaissance loop on the course. While I was not concerned about the straights, false flats and twisting turns, the course has one 4% hill and several smaller hills. It would be tough. The race started out fine, and while I was slower on the hills, I could easily catch up on the descents, especially the one 7% downhill, where I reached 38mph. At the beginning of lap 2, I was in 4th or 5th place, but then the high speed and the hills cost me. On one climb/hill, I felt like hitting HRmax, and found myself last with one other rider. By the time, we turned on to the finish straight, the pack was already gone from sight. Here is where I should have slowed down, recover and pace myself through the three final laps, but instead I just stopped at the side line at the finish, and declared myself "dropped out". With an average speed of 20.1 mph over those two laps, it was a fast race, and fast over for me. Categorizing as "learning experience".


Steven Woo (Third Pillar) caught a glimpse of me.