Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ravensdale/Joe Bar Road Race 2010

We were only doing five 9-mile laps in this "Joe Bar/Native Plant Road Race", and the plan was to attack on the beginning of the last lap. (And then win of course)

Started in the back, and stayed there for the first two laps, watched a group of 5-6 go up the road briefly but they came back. The course wasn't as hilly as billed I thought, but a big pothole (4x2') on the right side of the road on the backside of the course surprised a few riders each lap, causing a few flats and more than a few surprises.

It was hard to move up, with 68 starters and some sections with no shoulder, just one country lane. Last lap comes and just as I'm about to attack we get neutralized (p/1/2 break passing), damn.. then on the other side of the course we got neutralized, again, as the p/1/2 pack passed us.

On The Edge

In the last few miles of the race I was trying to move up (as most of us were) and got stuck on the left side, just (barely) to the right of the yellow line - which is actually two yellow lines, with reflectors on each side, dividing the lanes of the road. The "yellow line rule" was in effect, meaning you can't cross the line or else you will be DQ'd. Only exception to that is if you have to go around a wreck, or if it's the last 200m of the race.

So I was kind of riding on the reflectors more or less, but not on the line or to the left of the reflectors. I knew it was close to being a violation of the rule, and every once in a while I'd be pushed out over the line - but there was nowhere to go, it wasn't exactly easy to hold this position, and there was nowhere to go. So I stuck it out, bouncing over reflectors and just waiting for the final sprint.


A crash happened just in front of me and to the right - someone later said the guy just kind of leaned into the rider next to him, and that they both went down. And then some people next to them went down, and I came really close to getting taken out myself. It seems so random, like you can be taken out at any time.. but then again there are usually some "sketchy" riders that I just try to stay in front of.

Anyway after that I had to chase a little bit, only for a 10 seconds or so, but the last thing I wanted to do right before the uphill-ish last 1k to the finish was to chase. After coming out of the last (hard) corner, there was a bigger gap than I was expecting, as who ever was in front probably jammed it right out of the turn while I didn't even get through it until a second or two later. That can be a long two seconds!

Caught up to the group at the base of the finish climb and looked forward to see more people up there than I'd expected, maybe about 30. So much for the plans, now just charge on and see if I can squeeze out a top 10 from this, or more who knows. Maintained contact on the climb, which was a stair-step of sorts, and thought more about attacking. I can't sprint all that well, so that might have to be the way to go for me to get a win.

After the first step of the climb the group seemed to take a collective breath and slowed up a bit, and I did too. Resting before the final sprint. I thought about initiating the jump there, but I was already at 187 bpm or so (95% Max HR), and the thought of going hard from that point for a minute plus was not appealing. So I rested as well, and hit the 200m sign in the pack. Here we go again... a field sprint, though there were only 20 or so of us at this point, we'd thinned out a good deal since the beginning.

Lit up a sprint with the pack, though the legs were cooked from previous efforts, and I probably only got off a few revolutions before I had to sit down and grind it out from there. It was kind of crowded (I should have jumped in the other lane, duh) and I had to ease off in the last 100m and pretty much give up, it wasn't worth pushing on for what I thought was 10th place, but I ended up coming in 18th overall. Not bad considering 68 starters, but not a win or even a top 10, I'll just have to chalk it up to decent training and another race without a DNF.

Lesson learned: next time, attack before you think you need to attack! Or if you get neutralized, attack shortly after that. And get further up before the sprint, no point in trying to pick your way through a crowd of riders.


Joe Bar/Market Street RR Cat 4:
Duration: 1:59:08
Work: 1267 kJ
TSS: 132.5 (intensity factor 0.817)
Norm Power: 237
VI: 1.34
Distance: 47.014 mi
Elevation Gain: 3600 ft
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 989 177 watts
Heart Rate: 119 192 158 bpm
Cadence: 17 128 75 rpm
Speed: 0.9 65.2 23.6 mph
Crank Torque: 0 1744 196 lb-in

Final 1.1 miles (341 watts/187bpm) - "why didn't I just go faster?"
Duration: 2:56
Work: 60 kJ
TSS: 8 (intensity factor 1.282)
Distance: 1.135 mi
Elevation Gain: 170 ft
Grade: 2.4 % (143 ft)
Min Max Avg
Power: 0 740 341 watts
Heart Rate: 170 193 187 bpm
Cadence: 38 114 79 rpm
Speed: 2.8 32 23.4 mph
Crank Torque: 0 791 375 lb-in


Found some photos from the early morning races and some of the afternoon races as well, though not many of our pack: on SmugMug. I was hiding in the pack pretty much all day so not expecting any great shots from this one..

Note: thanks to the vast resources of Recycled Cycles Racing, I was able to acquire a Raleigh Supercourse frame for a nice price. Rolling again! Might repair the other Raleigh later, we'll see.

No comments: