Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Church Creek and Dawg Days: Race Report

Church Creek TT #2 2010

I borrowed a TT helmet.
I borrowed a pair of ridiculously light and aero wheels.
I borrowed a car for the trip.
I borrowed a heart rate monitor.
I borrowed a teammate to pin on my number and to help me pump up the tires, using the borrowed valve extender on the stripped valve stem on the borrowed front wheel.
I borrowed a skinsuit, washing it vigorously before and after my event.

I enjoyed Gatorade's new G system, following instructions precisely: downing the G1 packet 15 minutes before the event, sipping G2 during the event, and recovering with G3 after the event. I felt good, but prefer not to give credit to Gatorade for the good sensations.

My heart rate from start to kilometer 20 averaged 167 bpm. It averaged 176 bpm from there till finish. My maximum heart rate is around 190 bpm.

During the race I hit the rumble strips several times and nearly wiped out because of it. Somehow, the rumble strips caused my front brake pad to rub for several minutes. I am happy this occurred, because it provides me with an excellent excuse for not winning or placing.

I beat Sigberto by 1 second and Nathan Hakken by 2 seconds; Siggy rode with some Fredtastic Lemond aero bars that made my Performance brand clip-ons look positively wave-of-the-future. I believe he wore an NCVC-logo crushed velvet tracksuit and a cowboy hat as well. In short, he employed a piss-poor aerodynamic setup, equipment-wise.

But let me not gloat. I lost to several riders by more than five minutes. An ABRT rider passed me at kilometer 25. I remained within 50 yards of him until the final 5 kilometers when my brake pad began to rub.

The Dutchman lost time riding in circles trying to find his Garmin, which fell off mid-race.

I recovered from my effort by sitting in traffic for four hours.

Dawg Days of Summer 3/4 35+ and 1/2/3

From Logan Circle to Bowie, Maryland is 27 miles. You can ride much of the way on trails and paths.

Since I was road-guarding at 7:15, I started my ride at 5:45am. In my bag I carried boiled eggs, coffee and an oatmeal / coconut milk gruel for day-long sustenance. I had written directions on the back of an envelope.

Surprisingly, the directions worked.

The rain came hard during my shift, which included the women's Cat 4 race and the 45+ men. Evelyn of Artemis was nice enough to loan me a monstrous umbrella (mine is a drugstore toy) and BJ Basham stowed my bag in his van. I watched the race, sipping coffee and oatmeal coconut gruel.

I determined to help Chas and Seth in the 35+ 3/4. That's what I would do, I said to myself. Before the race I let everyone know this was my plan: provide a leadout train.

Five or six laps in, I chucked all that and rolled off the front solo. It didn't make any sense then, and thinking about it in retrospect doesn't make it any more sensible. It was just stupid.

I stayed away for about twelve laps, getting at one point a gap of about 30 seconds. The field caught me with about a lap and a half to go. And that was my race.

The numbers are decent--I sustained a higher pace than I had at Church Creek, for example--but I can't shake the feeling that I let my teammates down, that we could have won the race had I been more patient and stuck to the plan. It's good to feel on-form, and it's good to dish out pain, but it's even better to do it with purpose. The previous day I had borrowed half my "aero weaponry" from teammates; and here in this race I'd ignored what I owed others. What a dufus.

The 1/2/3 was a mass of water, fast attacks, and near wipouts. Siggy has written an excellent report, which I can't beat, even with technological help.

I rode home afterwards to the sound of my filthy drivetrain and carrying a wet bag of gear, half-eaten gruel and boiled eggs.


Grant said...

Oatmeal + coconut milk = awesomeness

Sigberto said...

Ha! Thanks for the shoutouts, and yeah, my aerobars are about as aero as a cowboy hat, but for $20 I'm not complaining. Heck we both beat a lot of guys with heavy investments in aeroness.

The velvet skinsuit, though, I'm telling you, the fuzz is wicking and breaks air turbulence. Totally aero.

Church creek needs a hill. Or two. Or just a different course entirely.

qualia said...

aero wheels and you would've held it. that's the true lesson here, not the bromides about selflessness and sacrifice.