AM I NAPPING DURING THE SAFETY BRIEF??? (I'm in the Sho-Air black/red/white kit)
Cervelo Soloist (SLC) with Zipp 404's Tubular with a PowerTap.
Before last week's Roger Millikan Criterium where I placed 11th, I eased up on my weekly mileage and shortened my commutes to save my legs. In a stark contrast, my preparation for the Anger Management Criterium in Long Beach, CA included commuting the full length only twice (65 miles each way), I did some half commutes (30 miles each way) with the train ride in the middle and then a double century (194 miles with 9,000 feet) the day before the Criterium, bringing my weekly mileage to 460 miles by Saturday. On Sunday, this in-depth study revealed that the extra mileage resulted in losing only one placing in criterium racing and this week's crit yielded a 12th place finish. ;)
If you've read my last post, you know that I finished Butterfield Double Century at 5:01 p.m. on Saturday evening--good enough to be the third best time overall. We made it to bed around 9:30 p.m. and Brandy administered the dreaded "stick" massage. The alarm was going off again at 4:00 a.m. The plan was to be in Long Beach no later than 5:45 a.m. to give myself an hour to warm up on the trainer before the 7:00 a.m. race.
We arrived closer to 6:00 a.m. and by the time I registered and pre-rode the course, I didn't get much of a warm-up. But heck I did 200 miles less than 12 hours earlier. How much warm-up did I need?
The field was very sketchy, which is indicative of a Cat V field--but I have to do my time. 2 out of 10 races done. I stayed near the front in the top 10-15 places of a 50 man field. As the pace picked up for the final five laps, I felt good enough to maintain my position. On the final turn when the sprint began I had no legs to do a sprint and only eeked out a 812 watt sprint. I ran out of gas 50 meters from the line. I sat back down, spun up the cadence, got as aero as I could and FINISHED 12TH. I wasn't happy with my result at the time, but now that I have had time to reflect, 12th place in a Criterium after a third place finish in a 200 mile event the day before with a time of 10:46 is pretty darn good.
NEXT UP 400KM (252 MILES)BREVET WITH APPROX 15,000 FEET OF CLIMBING.
SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG. I WILL BE RACING ALMOST EVERY WEEKEND THIS YEAR.
Saturday was the first double century of the California Triple Crown Series. I have done the right preparation for the limited time that I have to train. I felt good during the event. I came in with the third fastest time 10:46. I had good energy but lost the power in my legs around Mile 155. I had worked hard all day off the front with one or two other riders and paid I for it. Additionally, I had done 260 miles of commuting during the week before the double century and that was also something I would pay for on the course. However, in the annual plan, this was just a training event with Everest Challenge and Furnace Creek 508 being goal events.
I rode the Cervelo Soloist SL--Sasha. I wanted to ride the SLC-SL because of the long miles that I would ride solo. I expected to be dropped by the lead pack so I also put clip-on aero bars. I used the Profile Design Sonic CSX because they are very low profile. They rest right on top of the handlebars, they are light at 280 grams because of their full carbon construction. I ended up being the lead pack all day and used the aerobars when it was my turn to pull in the paceline and when I got dropped a couple of times and maintained my third place position during the last 50 miles.
The NITERIDER MINEWT.X2 DUAL LIGHTING SYSTEM is a very lightweight system with a small battery pack and two very bright headlights. The benefit of the dual headlights is you can point them in different directions to make a broader beam pattern, or "stack" them to create a longer beam pattern i.e. one shining close to your front wheel and one overlapping but shining further ahead to allow more time to react to debris on the road. My only gripe with this light is that it appears to use the same battery pack as the MiNewt which is only one headlight hence the burn time is cut in half to 1:45 hours on High and 3:30 hours on low since you have to the draw of two headlights on the MiNewt.X2. ON THE OTHER HAND, you are getting twice the light as the MiNewt which is really nice when you are in rural sections of your double century. I would accept the weight penalty for longer burn times on the MiNewt.X2 Dual if the battery pack was bigger. Currently, the battery pack fits underneath a stem length of 90mm or longer. Very neat and clean installation!!! I strongly recommend the Niterider MiNewt.X2 Dual if you expect to finish within three hours of sunset in your double century efforts. If you need more burn time GET THE MINEWT IT IS LIGHTER, AND THE BURN TIME IS LONGER. The MiNewt is a fantastic light choice for commuting!
The route was very urban, subsequently there were way too many traffic signals and stop signs as we meandered from Irvine (start) to the coast, "inland" and then back to the coast again. We started as a HUGE group and during the first stretch I took the time to coach Brandy on her pack riding skills. The traffic signals kept the pack together as we did the rollers. The ride finally started to move and pick up the pace as we got back on the coast at Crown Valley Pkwy and headed South through Dana Point and San Clemente. By the time we reached the San Onofre Campground we were down to seven riders in the lead pack.
MILE 54.7 I was in and out of the first rest stop in two minutes or less. I went out on my own and got caught by David "Mudcat" Holt about 1.5 miles before getting off the I5 southbound freeway. About 1 mile from the off ramp a paceline of six riders caught me.
MILE 66.2 We took the exit off the I5 freeway and Max tells me someone flatted behind us. I knew there were eight of us in the paceline and now it's just the two of us, so I figured a few riders had stopped so Max and I rolled on. When I pulled into the lunch stop I find out that Keith Brodsky had crashed. After the event I found out he fractured his clavicle. I wish him a speedy recovery he is nice guy and fierce competitor. I'll miss chasing him for the next 6 weeks. From the 5 Freeway to lunch it was just Max, another rider and I off the front.
MILE 84.7 Max, another rider and I pulled into the lunch stop together but I didn't stay long. I checked in, said thank you to Phil Thomas for volunteering, said hello to Jon S. and I was off in two minutes again. I knew Max was stronger than me. I thought if I took-off ahead of him he would chase me and hopefully each time he had to chase me it would wear him down. Remember, I left out of the first CP first and they had to chase and catch me for 12 miles. But Max didn't stay too long and he was on my wheel half-way up the Circle R Rd. climb. We chatted for a little bit and then he said we needed to keep the tempo up otherwise the tandem would catch us on the second half of the course. And with that, Max accelerated his pace and I couldn't keep up. I was dropped and he was gone. I WAS NOW RUNNING IN SECOND PLACE.
MILE 100.4 I was alone for the next 15 miles and just as I was about to make the left turn on to Reche Rd off of the 395, I was caught by Dan and Phil. That is where I had my "defining moment". Their pace was faster than mine and they were working together climbing a roller. I got dropped. I knew that the roller came down to the entrance of Live Oak Park (Fallbrook). If I didn't get on their wheel now I could possibly lose them and going West on the Oceanside bike path would slow me down even more. I made a huge effort to catch them. They were about 100 meters away. I dug deep and was able to make contact just as I blew up. I recovered on the downhill and since they were larger riders I was able to recover and draft off of them until my turn came to pull. It was a gamble and it paid off because I was able to ride with them until mile 155.5.
MILE 155.5 The left turn onto Antonio Pkwy was where I started falling apart. Dan and Phil dropped me on the "endless climb up Antonio Pkwy." I was fine as far as nutrition but I had no legs left. I was slowing and slowing and kept looking back but no one was coming. I WAS NOW RUNNING THIRD
MILE 167.5 CP#4 Trabuco Oaks General Store I was caught by a pack of 7-10 riders. I was in and out in about 2 minutes again. Lee was there volunteering and I told him that I was hurting. It was 3:30pm.
I left the rest stop as quickly as possible and didn't see anyone chasing me except David "Mudcat" Holt. He caught me on one of the rollers exiting Live Oak. My feet were really starting to hurt. I WAS NOW RUNNING FOURTH
MILE 171.7 Right turn Santiago Canyon Rd. My right foot hurt so bad I had to take my shoe off and pedal with my foot on top of the pedal. I hadn't had "hot foot" this bad since I was training for the 508 back in 2006 and I would go out on 150 training rides. I mean I was so close to pulling over but I didn't want to get caught and so slow and steady I moved through Santiago Canyon. I pedalled like that for a good 5 miles and finally my foot felt better and I put my shoe back on. When I finished putting my shoe on I looked behind me and saw the tandem of Craig Robertson and Graham Pollack. I knew this was going to be a fast chase because we were on a slight downhill. I timed my acceleration just right and jumped on the tandem's wheel. I stayed on the tandem for the last 10 miles in to the finish. On the way we picked up David "Mudcat" Holt. I WAS NOW RUNNING THIRD AGAIN. The positioned remained unchanged until the finish.
I finished at 5:01pm
This was very important because the very next day at 7:00 a.m. I was doing the CBR Anger Management Criterium in Long Beach. I immediately took my Recover Amino capsules from Sportquest and downed a bottle of Endurox. I needed to wait for Brandy to finish before I could go home and get some sleep. As part of my recovery I immediately put on my Skins Travel and Recovery Compression tights which I would later wear to bed. My legs were sore the next morning but I know they felt better than if I didn't wear the Skins. The Skins truly helped my recovery since I only had 5.5 hours of sleep. After eating a recovery burger at the restaurant next to the hotel, I went to get the truck to double back on the course and see where Brandy was. As I pulled up to the front of the hotel I recognized her bike outside! Well, she really surprised me being there that soon...she finished 8th overall, second fastest women's time with a 12:18!! I wonder if it was her dedication to training or my superb coaching?!?!?! ;)
I forgot to post my January month end numbers so here they are.
26.......Rides 1427.....Miles 51,210...Elevation Gain in feet
Not bad considering it is January and my climbing months are not until the summer. Although I will do some climbing in March for the early season doubles like Mulholland Double Century which has almost 17,000 feet of climbing.
I Adopted the southbound I-5 Freeway...allow me to explain.
The Butterfield Double Century will be held on Saturday Feb 16, 2008. Although I don't have an official route sheet yet I have an idea which roads the route will take. I still don't understand why Planet Ultra doesn't provide route sheets prior to the event... seems silly to me. From the Planet Ultra Butterfield website,
"From Dana Point you'll be on the coast through San Clemente, and along the bike path through San Onofre, all the way to Oceanside."
I am assuming we are taking the I-5 freeway to get from San Onofre to Oceanside. I commute a couple of times a week from Huntington Beach to Encinitas. On my commute I take the I-5 freeway southbound in the morning and northbound in the evening. This morning I decided to take note of the condition of the shoulder and the debris strewn on the road.
Generally speaking, the shoulder was clear as of 6:30 this morning. There are scattered rocks, no bigger than an average sized plum. Between mile marker 56.5 and 56.0 (bridge) there was a lot of blown tire tread that I moved from the center of the shoulder to the right-most edge.
The two most significant issues with the southbound shoulder are:
1. Just as you approach the last roller and see the sign indicating: Harbor Blvd 3/4 miles (I can't remember the mileage). There appears to be remnents of a car fire. There is glass, and burnt remains of car parts that are raised above the surface and centered in the shoulder. If you are riding solo no problem but beware if you are in a paceline. I removed most of the big pieces of blown tire tread in this section as well.
2. There is a storm drain on the exit ramp. It is closer to the white line on the left side of the shoulder but it does take a good portion of the shoulder. There are orange arrows painted on the ground that should warn you of impending danger. The drain is sunk in about 8" below the surface of the road. Once again you will see it if you are riding solo but beware if you are in a paceline.
Sunday was my first ever Criterium. I am venturing into other types of racing this year to answer one main question....."Am I good enough?" I know I am a decent Ultra Cyclist. But how will I do at short intense effort races? So this year I will be doing some Road/Crit/TT races to round out my experiences as a cyclist. I also think that it will help in my Ultras because I will pick up some intensity that I just can't get in training.
I had a few questions going into the race:
1. As stated before am I good enough?
2. How bad will I get dropped?
3. Will there be a crash and will I be involved in it?
4. Will I posses the bike handling skills required?
5. Can I finish in the pack?
1. I think I am good enough to hang but winning a race is not in my genes!
2. I didn't get dropped...this time. I stayed in the top 10-20 wheels the whole race.
3. There was a crash with 4 laps to go right in front of me. "Luckily", for me I was losing contact with the rider in front of me on the slight uphill. By time he went down there was about 20 feet gap between us. As he tumbled his bike slid into my left chainstay and knocked my rear wheel off it's line. But I regained control of the bike and continued to hammer up the slight up hill towards Turn 4.
4. I was timid in the first few laps but as the speed increased and the necessity of covering the wheel in front of me meant sitting in or getting dropped I felt more comfortable with cornering at 30 mph. BUT I know it will take many more races even years to really feel like I am good at pack riding at such high speeds.
5. I finished 11th on my first ever Crit. A lot was just luck. Avoiding the crash was huge in finishing the race. I lost about 3 places in the last 50 meters. I was out of gas. The course has a slight uphill from Turn 3 up and around Turn 4 and flattens out about 250 meters from the finish line. My legs were done -- "on both sides". My sprint was a paltry 863 Watts. I remember on the Mullholland Double Century 200 miles and 17,000 feet of climbing (most very steep over 10% grades) and 13 hours into the event I could still hit over 1100 Watts. I paused for a second and then sprinted again and threw my bike across the line. I know you are not supposed to pause on a sprint but I was done. I missed top 10 by a wheel but hey that's bike racing!!!
Brandy had the unenviable task of watching three out of our four children, taking pictures and trying to get me ready. A huge thank you to her for supporting me in my latest adventure!!
I am an Ultra Cyclist and father who completed 2- Person Race Across America (RAAM) in 2007. I have finished Furnace Creek 508 SOLO FOUR consecutive years in 2006, 2007 (Fixed Gear)2008, and 2009. I am a Trans Iowa finisher and a Super Randonneur. I am a cycling coach with clients ranging from endurance cyclists, to triathletes, to beginners just entering the sport of cycling.