600km And Rising -- Log
Yes..by some freak chance, i've put on about 600km since Friday...holy crap.
The last few days have looked a little something like this:
Sun - BSide ride. Plan was to take it easy. I felt surprisingly spry (after doing 5.5hrs/160km on Sat), and jumped in a few sprints, and chased-down a few attacks. It was funny tho, i'd sprint to catch whoever was ahead, then they'd pull off to let me do a pull, and i'd be like "sorry, i was just in it for the sprint!"- hahaha.. I *did* end up taking it easy for the last third of the ride tho, thank Jeebus.
Mon - riding out to the track, i was actually really starting to feel the last few days..i toasted my slow-twitch muscles on Saturday, then fried whatever fast-twitch i had on Sunday, which left me with an arsenal of no-twitch muscles on Monday. =)The miles are really starting to sink in now tho..actually feeling kinda tired. Tonite are the Madison's at the track, it prolly won't be too exhausting. I'm likely to take Friday off, then a couple group rides on the weekend.
Which was fine, we did Flying Laps, which is a full circuit of our 333m track. One guy (Smitz!) actually got within' a second of the track record (19.5 seconds or so..) Not so fast with me, landing a 23.29. Didn't pick up much speed, 55.5kph in the effort.
Tue - did a 2.5hr solo EM ride, felt pretty good, except one portion, where i was near the water.. The cool air didn't work with me, and i had trouble keeping my HR up, it was weird...once i got a little more inland, my HR went back up nicely, and i felt great again. I find i feel the best in a nice, dry heat... Also averaged nearly 32kph on this ride...yikes..
Wed - ROAD RACE! Yay, my second road race, i rode the 'B' category again. This time the course was Caleb Pike, and Kevin, Sarah and i got there nice and early to ride it a few times. This is the last 'crit' style league race of the year.
Much more flat than Newton Heights, tho there is one big hill which you can coast most of the way up. There are two corners, but braking is minimal for both.
The young Oak Bay rider was there, and i marked his wheel... (He actually did some work this race, including bridging a big gap. Props to ya buddy!)
The race started fairly slowly.. The first lap went by and people started picking up a little speed at the front, but no one really made any serious break attempts. Sarah and i were working together, sticking close. A few people would break off the front, and i'd jump in with them, but a real break never occured.
I also initiated a couple breaks, but when i'd pull off the front, whoever was on my wheel wouldn't carry through. Pretty lame. After a few more laps, and not seeing that anyone in the pack was a real threat, or likely to succeed in a break, i took it easy and mainly sat in.
We hit the final lap (12 total, ~2.5km course), and a couple guys got off the front. I was a tired from pursuing a break on the hill, but luckily Sarah stepped-up, and bridged that gap.
Alex, a guy i'd met on a Burnside ride, did a really cool thing then. He said 'get on my wheel, i'll pull you up' - and he did! Lead me through the fast section, and kept me close to the front of the pack, i got a good recovery there.
Unfortunately, the final climb resulted in some bunching, and several guys in front of me slowed-up, blocking me in. I had to dig deep to get around them, and then pursue the two Oak Bay guys (the youngin', and Adrian, who comes to the track.) I think i used up about half my sprint in that effort...... (Oh, and did i mention i totally hammered my shoulders in a workout yesterday, and my chest and back today? I had very little upper-body strength that night..)
Oddly enough, the 'A' group was just ahead of us at this point..if we didn't pull off the course, we would have caught them..!
We cruised down the hill, and i was in a good position for the final sprint. Too bad i got sapped... The OB super-twins initiated the sprint, and a few wheels (including old Dave from the track) got ahead of me. I sat on Dave's wheel for a few seconds, then saw the line coming up..! I peeled out of the saddle and gave'er! Got ahead of Dave, and was riding neck and neck with a woman from Team AdventureBound. Ahead were the two OB wonderboys, no chance of catching them... I dig deep and with a few pedal strokes cleared by AdventureBound, and crossed the line 3rd! Woohoo! (I think Dave got 6th, and Sarah came in 7th. This was her first road race, and she rode very well!)
Brutal sprint tho, it was slightly uphill, and i'd gone into too big a gear... I think if i'd stayed seated, and had my RPM a little higher, i might have been able to get a lot closer to the young'uns, and not had to worry about other riders quite so much. Also, my form in out-of-saddle sprints really sucks...i *never* practice, since it's not that useful on the track. I guess that's something i'll have to focus more on over the winter.
Overall, i'm pretty happy with my performance, i didn't work as much this race, and rode pretty smart...just gotta maintain that through the *end*! Gotta remember to get near the front at the end of the final lap on this course.. Also, team strategies would go a long way in this....no one else works together, and 3-4 coordinating riders could devastate this course, there are great opportunities for breaks almost everywhere. I'll be working with Kevin to improve in this area.
Got a few funny links: two video clips from the Daily Show with Jon Steward on the Tour:
And a neat article in WIRED about the efforts people use competing in the Tour:
Looking forward to the Madison's tonite, should be a hoot! =)