well, last year I rode across the country and didn’t race much due to being injured in the spring and being away all summer. Last fall I did a few races, with mixed results:
race in riverhead: 4th place
After catching the break, teaching them how to paceline effectively, getting dropped, and time-trialing it 9 miles to the finish (that’s a long time in the wind). I had no telemetry, because the PowerTap was in for service, and the HRM was stolen from the GPs house.
Blueberry bicicletta (Jersey) with Alex Cheng: finished off the back.
They cancelled bear mtn at the last minute, so Alex and I found a race in jersey to do. it was flat (bad for us skinny climbers) and rather uninteresting for most of the race. We had a fun weekend of it, but alex crashed (he’s still apparently a glutton for punishment), and I fell off the back when the people went nutty towards the finish and started knocking over barrels. Call me a coward, but I’d rather keep the rubber to the road than try my chances in a field sprint that I’m not really meant for.
Pink slipper: 2nd on handicap? (these things are rather unofficial)
Armed with speed weaponry, I was hoping to clinch the second most coveted trophy in cycling: the birkenstock. Well, the young gun in a yellow slicker held together with duct tape got me on the climb up snyder. Apparently he’d been training like a fiend all summer. There are no certain things in life, or in racing.
This year, I tried my hand in one race so far, and due to bad planning, it went pretty south. It was so cold I was forced to withdraw. oh well.
So, the goals:
- keep the rubber side down. I’m a chicken, I admit it. I don’t particularly want to get nasty road rash or dislocate a clavicle again. But if you want to do well in a race, that means staying in the appropriate spot in the pack and being somewhat aggressive. Or time-trialing it off the front. I prefer the second method, which maximizes the use of my talents.
- lay down some power. I can put out 200w for an hour right now, at 70% output. that’s 3.57 W/kg, sustainable. I’d like to lay down 250w+ for 1hr (70%). By May.
- Be more strategic in races. Road racing is not a solo sport, and in cat4, people are pretty disorganized. If I can get some people (jose, Brendan, Christophe), to band together, damage can be done. Blasting off the front is often suicide, because no one comes with, or they can’t paceline, or they die. Not useful.
- Enjoy riding hard. I’ve been too easy too long. there’s something about knowing you’ve worked hard that feels good. ohh hurts so good. Moving to the north shore and doing that hill in the 39×23 ought to increase muscle fiber density and increase VO2max.
- thick wicking shirt (Giordana long sleeve jersey)
- Pertex (like Gore Tex) jacket
- shortsleeve jersey (for pockets and looks
- beanie hat (Garneau hat with windtex front)
- ear warmer headband (Garneau windtex)
- zipp shorts
- Pearl Izumi windblocker fleece lined tights
- neoprene fleece lined booties
- double layer coolmax socks (WrightSock)
- toe warmer chemical heat packs
- Chiba magic comfortemp gloves
Getting to the start and check in, there were reports of ice on the hill at the north end of the park. And it was cold out there. I didn’t have enough insulation to stay warm out there and was shivering uncontrollably in the starting grid. I suffer from Raynaud’s syndrme, so my hands freeze quite easily. The chiba magic gloves weren’t enough and my hands were frozen and numb, and all the while the officials debated to shorten the couirse to avoid the ice.
The race started and I was in fair position. My frozen hands made it impossible to use the brakes or shifters, or really hold on to the bars… so that made it hard to race effectively. Coming through the decreasing road-width turn on the park traverse, I fell off the back of the pack. Without a proper warmup, my legs refused to respond with enough power to bridge and I couldn’t catch up. In the morning sun, I saw Peter and Julie’s building and then the 72nd street ramp. Field discretion prevailed, and I bailed the race.
I’m a little disappointed in that poor planning led to the abandonment of the first race of the season. I would have preferred a pack finish or anything to a DNF, but frostnip/frostbite is no laughing matter, and to keep going would have been an exercise in futility and humiliation.
P.S. my hands still hurt.
Well, that makes sense. Either he was in an altered state, he was mentally ill, or he and his circle pulled off one of the most successful hoaxes in history. Yes, I am a skeptic, and I think that’s healthy. Faith is a dangerous thing. The last line of that story is pretty alarming: "We have to fear not for the fate of the biblical Moses, but for the fate of science." Science operates on the principle of facts, if you make a statement, it had better be backed up with evidence.
If someone came up to you and said "I am the messiah!" you would probably think "this guy just escaped from Bellvue", and not "this guy is the messiah". As they say, when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras (well, except in africa).
So, keep questioning, be glad Huckabee isn’t going to be president except under the most unusual circumstances (he gets the VP spot from McCain, who then goes down like in The Manchurian Candidate).