Ride, Ride, Ride, RACE!
Spent four days on the bike, good times!
Thursday - EM w/3x O/U
Yucky, chilly and blustery day... Headed out to Sidney with the goal of doing 4x O/U intervals, but only pulled off three..blaming the cold!
Did alright on them, efforts were in the 295w range, so a success overall.
Data from WKO+ 3.0: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dgdbj3nx_25g462fhfv
And the Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26749125
First time doing these on flat ground (usually climbing up the Observatory), felt about the same..maybe the Under sections felt a bit easier as i could maintain a higher cadence...still need to work on getting it even higher tho. Doing the loops out around Sidney should be fine tho.
Friday - MTB w/Jenny Skinner
Jenny recently picked up an MTB, and i offered to take her out to the Dump and help her get going... We practiced some skills in the TTA, and then did a recon loop of the race course, it was pretty fun! It was actually snowy when we got there, and the first part of our ride was in slush...the sun was out en force tho, and it was quite nice overall.
Jenny rode really well, trying out stuff and taking a few tumbles, but no major injuries! Really great considering the adverse conditions - she'll be tearing up the trails in no time. =)
Here's the Garmin file, fun to watch the 'play' option, and all the little loops in the TTA..haha: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26807510
And here's the WKO+ 3.0 data:
As mentioned, an easy ride..not bad for a day off.
Saturday - OBB Ride Redux
Nothing fancy here, just rode out to Matticks, put in a few hard efforts, and then back into town with Scotty, kept it short as racing the next day.
Garmin data: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/26891587
And whatever WKO+ 3.0 spits out, broke down the Out and Back for shits'n'giggles:
Sunday - Island Cup XC #1
Alright, first 'big' race of the year!! Got there early, thanks for the ride from Halldor! Met Alyssa, and we went and pre-rode the course (again for me) with Raphael. Conditions were MUCH improved from Sunday! Rocks mostly dry, everything totally ridable.
I felt pretty good...haven't ridden four days in a row for a while, so was a bit nervous, but legs felt about as good as usual! Which is a good thing. =)
The loop went well, and i felt confident with the course. I must have made a wrong turn on Friday tho, the rocky double-up climb that i was concerned about wasn't on the course...good news, one less thing to worry about! It took 36mins, and that was a pretty casual pace. I was thinking i'd have to re-evaluate my guess of 30min lap-times. Definitely sub-30mins.
Pro City did an AWESOME job organizing this, the trails were exceptionally well marked - not for a moment did i wonder if i was off-course. And great selection of trails too, with a great compliment of technical terrain.
On final reflection, i think it was a pretty tough and demanding course. Typical 'Dump' riding. Lots of short, steep climbing efforts. While the overall altitude change was less than 100m, each lap ended up around 160m of climbing with all the ups and downs...and several sections were quite technical, with steep rock or protruding roots in the way much of the time. As i said, typical Hartland! I didn't really feel like there was anywhere i could really recover. My HR was pretty much around 180bpm the entire time, peaking at 192bpm a few times. It got as low as 172 for a few seconds on Shock Treatment i believe. There were no extended descents.
Anyway, so we lined up for the race:
Halldor and i bumped elbows a bit. ;)
I was in the 2nd row. Roland had gotten a prime spot at the front.. Raphael and Regan were the main people i wanted to keep an eye on. Oh, and Geoff Pendrel of course! There were nearly 40 of us lined up in Intermediate - big field! I think i was the only one in a skinsuit tho. ;)
So we were give then start, and i jumped ahead of most of the people in my line, rolled up the first rocky climb no prob, got around the first corner on the way to Pooh Corner and i was up with five riders motoring along. Felt great, we were clear of the pack.
Hit Pooh Hill, and worked our way up. I saw Raph tear away off the front, and that was the last any of us would see of him!! He ended up winning the race by a huge margin, and would have finished around 6th (behind Drew Mac) in the Expert race based on his insane lap times!
Our group chased, up and up. I had a dab on that section up to Crazy Horse, stupid root! I never ride this section either.. Finished riding up, and a sharp left turn into a tricky rocky section...had to dab again, and Geoff came TEARING by! Hello good-bye! I carried on and tried to edge back up...that was the top however, and i was about 7th overall at that point - sweet! How did i ever manage to climb so fast?!!
So the chase began, and worked my way down the trails..started to close the gap, a bit, but then got caught by Regan and another..damn.. They got away and Guy Gensey and another caught me. Funny, as we would often end up duking it out in the Cross on the Rocks races!
We stuck together up cross-over, down N-Trail, and then at the tricky rocky section at the bottom Guy biffed in the spot where all the water collects.. I tried to navigate around, and i guess i caught my rear wheel on a rock because FFFFFFFFFF! I lost a bunch of air! GAH!
I tried to roll through, but the rear end was REALLY squishy. Frack!
I stopped and worked my pump free. I had taped it to my fender..haha.. (Didn't want sticky gunk on my new frame!) Took me a minute just to get it off!! It's my mini Lezyne pump, which has the hose...i didn't really expect to have a flat! I've never burped a tire before either! (With tubeless tires, sometimes you 'burp' a tire, causing the rim and tire to separate for a second, letting out air..)
I assembled the pump, and pumped away... Disassembled the pump, and jumped back on the bike. Started to pedal...and the rear was too squishy. DAMN. Got off. Rebuilt the pump, started pumping.. By then over a dozen riders had passed, including Halldor and Roland.
I jumped back on, and got moving again. Tire was good. I had a lot of time to make-up for tho...i was off the bike for 5mins.
Caught a couple riders fairly early, rode Shock Treatment, passed another rider or two...got to the lap-point, hit the button on the Garmin - under 27mins first lap - nice! Too bad there was the 5mins stop...
I powered along, caught a couple more riders before Pooh Hill. Passed Adam Lawrence on the way up! Rode hard up to the top, nearly exploded myself! Of course, no real recovery, and carried on along Crazy Horse and Rollie Ridge..didn't see too many more people for a while.. Passed a rider just before i crossed the bridge on the beginning of Crossover, saw Alyssa there:
Checking the time stamps, i was 3mins behind Roland.. I rode and rode some more, and eventually crossed the line. Finished 16th out of 34 starters:
Checking the times, if i hadn't been delayed, my time would have been in the 55min range, and so i would have finished near Guy in 7th...oh well! I did manage to shave another minute off my time from Roland at the bridge. ;)
Raph for sure will have to move up to Expert.. I think Scott and Regan (and a few others) ought to move up as well, they would easily be in the Top 20 in Expert, possibly Top 10.
So, first big race out of the way! I'm really happy with my effort...not really sure what i could have done differently. Will bring a different pump..haha..
I rode about as strong as i could, Normalized Power was at my threshold - 264w. AP was 230w. There were LOTS of peaks, and i hit near my max wattage a few times, surprisingly (peak of 1156w). As mentioned, my HR was pinned. Second lap was a bit weaker than the first..but i held it surprisingly high! So a big improvement there (where i'd normally fade.) Lap times were about 26:30 and 29.
Here's the WKO+ 3.0 data, broke down each lap, and also the full race:
Here's the Garmin file, note that laps #3 & 4 were the actual race: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/27029692
Also, here's the pics Alyssa took, and me, mostly of the Expert event:
Okay, enough race talk! Got some other news!
First, i upgraded WKO+ - so now have the current version of 3.0. The Quadrant Analysis is kind of neat. Will be interesting to import directly from the Garmin as well...maybe drop down to one computer on the MTB..heh..
Also, i'd been looking into new pedals for the MTB and CX. I've been riding Crank Bros Egg Beaters on the MTB, and Candy SL's on the 'cross bike. I was burned by my Candy's at the Blubberburn event, when my pedal died (and so apparently did the photos i took!) It literally blew off the end, and the pedal body came off the shaft/spindle.. (It actually happened prior to the race as i was riding around.)
I decided that was the last straw. I've had some complaints about Crank Bros pedal designs for some time.. Mainly:
* difficult step-through for CX - pedal/cleat doesn't allow for a smooth step-through, unless you're really careful..so i'd just do the 'step-back', but that's slower, and i think it's what fucked-up my ankle and foot early on in the 'cross season...landing on a stopping/sliding foot at 40kph+ can't be good for it.
* difficult to unclip at some angles: such as the very top of the pedal stroke while on a steep ride-up. There've been several times where i've stalled out, and tried to unclip, and it wouldn't, and i'd take a tumble. Not fun. Happened on the day of Blubberburn actually.
* crappy bearing/friction: the pedals never seemed to 'spin' on the axle, and there's always some friction there. Oddly, they seemed to spin more with less lube. It's a poor design, imo. Easy to rebuild, but they make them so it's rather necessary.
They're great in mud and snow - doubtless there..but these factors just don't make it worthwhile, not to mention the pedal itself doesn't have a very solid engagement, and feels like you're standing on ice.
I was hoping to adopt something else, but ended up getting some Shimano XT pedals today for the MTB. I know they work well. Solid engagement. You know you're clipped in. You can feel where you clip out.
They spin SO NICELY off the top, and stay that way. Pedals are an AWFUL place to have friction, as there's so much movement/rotation there...not a place you want resistance.
It'll be nice to do step-throughs in CX as well. Not as great in the mud...but that's a fair trade-off and minimal experience compared to everything else.
Alright, those are the main details! I updated my RideCam album as well, here's the latest:
Will post more on that later. =)
Dave's Latest Twitter Updates
follow me on Twitter