Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sun, Jul 31

Today on the agenda, the Foothill College Circuit Race. I did sign up for both the E4 and the 45+ category. The E4 race started 20 minutes late at 9:35am. The course, a 1.1 mile loop with a total elevation gain of 66 feet, was smooth and fast. The hill on the back of the course was fortunately short enough to not cause any issue for me; hills usually are not my terrain. As usual, I was longing for the end of the race while we were just 1/3 into the race, but then, the remainder of a race always passes by fast. I stayed mostly mid-pack, and had not the power and opportunity to move up even in the last lap. Finished 29th out of 60 starters; sounds worse than it was, as we all completed more or less in one group. The second race was the unusual 45+/55+ mix, i.e. all open, no category restriction. My felt legs felt not too bad, and the average speed was actually 0.8mph slower than in the E4 race. Towards the end of the race I started feeling weaker though but always managed to catch up before the hill. On the last lap though, the pace increased and I got dropped at the climb on the back of the course. I limped into the finish 33rd out of 42 starters. This placing is not great but I was happy to be able to finish two 40-minute races, with average speeds of 25.3mph and 24.5 mph respectively. The lesson I have to apply is to stop trying to conserve energy on the last lap, but go all out for a better placing.

As far as riding statistics are concerned: 633 miles and 30k ft of climbing for the month. Year-to-date-stats:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tue, Jul 26

Another day to forget the cycling shoes at home ... ended up driving to Canada Rd to only find out then that I just got there to say Hi and wish everyone else a good ride. Returned home to do some hill intervals instead.

Almost 7 months into the year, and I'm already at 2300 miles with close to 100 hours of cycling. 4000 miles for the year should be possible.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wed, Jul 13

Just a few days have passed since my last blog post on Feb 26 ...   Racing has been a blast and fun, with the occasional disappointing but also satisfying results.

Two races followed in March:
- CCCR #3: Worked for the team until I blew up, before limping into the finish 27th.
- Bariani: 32nd ... was in a solo breakaway until the first climbs, and lost contact soon after. Rode most of the three laps by myself until I caught and passed some stragglers in the last 4 miles before the finish.

In April, two criteriums before heading off to China:
- Santa Cruz: first race as Cat-4. Technical course, failed to clip in timely at the start, was playing catch up, but it was hard to move up. Finished 25th, but 2nd best of our club.
- Menlo Park: fast @ 25pmh average. Benefited from a crash to finish 9th.

On Apr 16, I left for China, with one of my bikes in the luggage. I got the chance to race with the Colossi Cycling Teams from HK and SZ in the Open Category in the Zhuhai Road Race (57 miles). Finished mid-pack, but was never able to obtain official results. This is China.

After my return from China in May, I slacked for a bit before picking up my training again. The first race in June was the Pescadero Classic Road Race. 46 miles, lots of climbing, which is not my specialty. Finished 61st of 73 riders.

Next up a weekend later, was the Burlingame Crit, organized by our club, Peninsula Velo. This race was to redeem myself, and I was able to finish 15th, and 2nd best of our club. Average speed: 26.0 mph.

July came, and my cycling friend Daniel Carruthers came to visit us. He's a 'semi-pro' cyclist, and we both went to race the San Rafael Twilight Crit and the Lodi Cycle Fest Crits the next day, in our respective categories. San Rafael was fast, finished 30th of 43 in E4. Right after, I tried my luck in 35+3/4 but didn't have it to hang on early on, and dropped out. Please also see Daniel's report of his day in San Rafael.

Lodi was on the plan the next day. Racing in the 35+4/5 category, I flatted early after having been in the top 5, got a new wheel from Neutral Support, and continued the race trying to catch up. Tried to move up in the last few laps, but got bumped twice to my detriment. Finished 26th of 42. Daniel's race report can be read here.

So far it's been fun and I'm happy to have not been involved in any crashes. Hope that this streak continues. So far this year I have raced 17 times this year, including the 4 Early Bird Training Crits in January.  I also hope to be a little more successful in my upcoming races; otherwise I have few regrets.