Sunday, May 13, 2012

how to lose a sprint in six easy steps

I knew it would come down to a field sprint at RATL so I barely even tried to make something happen during the race. That is relatively unlike me in a cat 4 race. But, I wasn't feeling the greatest ever and apparently everyone else was as nothing reached more than ten inches off the front off the field. So I figured why waste my energy? Coming into the field sprint I wasn't confident or cocky, I just got antsy so I went too far out. And in turn got punked in the last thirty feet or so. Ooops. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

i am the 99% 7%

Ok time to document the last month, plus some.
I signed up for strava classic climbing challenge not realizing northeastern ohio is very flat compared to the rest of the exotic places strava users do their rides. Technically, I only had to do 2241ft of climbing a day for 47 straight days. But after three off days (total) in three weeks (that is a lot in strava users minds') I was literally looking at an uphill battle the last few weeks of the challenge. I think I remember telling JawnP with over three weeks out I needed to average a little over 3,000ft a day. He said it would be easy as long as that includes rest days. Here is the thing: That didn't include rest days. I ended up only taking one day off in all of April and that was the 30th. This was after I could go to sleep knowing I had knocked out this challenge. But how did I finish the challenge without flying to somewhere with hills? I rode a lot.
Like over 80 hours in April, a lot. I also tacked on hill repeats in either my development (98ft) or the block over that has a 302ft climb every, single, day. Ooof.
I also rode a good chunk over spring break even though the weather was crap. I decided one day when I woke up when I was to do the CVNP Death Ride. It was 34° and sleeting, so I bundled up and just went out riding for six and half hours. When I was scribbling down notes on where to go, I also tacked on an extra hill, not too mention riding an eight miles to and from the start. . . so I would officially call that the 15 hill challenge. It was also my first century and first time climbing 6,000 and 7,000ft in a day. I was so motivated with my iPod it was awesome. I wanted to get the average under 3,000ft a day but got it just around 1,000m a day (3,280ft) with two weeks remaining.

I started just riding up and down developments and calling it rides. Two days in a row it was over thirty mile an hour winds (sustained with fifty mph gusts, seriously) so I rode up and down my driveway for over two hours. It is too bad it is only a little over a half mile long, up and down total! So I confirmed my neighbors thinking I was insane by riding past 66 times that day. Nothing could stop me. I eventually did finish the challenge, along with near 700 other riders, of nearly 10,000 who started. I felt like I finally did something in cycling. 

Then I fought off my mild swine flu while taking an easy rest week. I did my first and second race of the season May 5th. I was so into the climbing challenge I totally forgot you can race people in real life, not just virtually! It was the third RATL and I am still a cat 4. I rode pretty aggressively but it came back together in the end. . . but this time I attacked about 300m out and won the race. It was a twenty second pop at 821w. I know no one does 20s power but I'd be curious if that is ok for a cat 4, 160 pounder, on the hoods, saving his legs for the mountain bike race that night. But whatever it still says cat 4 on my license and I hate it. I want to make it change as fast as possible.

Anyway, later that day I went to the knob and almost got tko'd by some of the downhills. The course seems way faster than before and my skills seem way less present. It could be my fitness is nearly expert and my skills are still stuck at beginner pace but I crashed four times and lost the lead on the start of a downhill second lap (of two, I did sport because I have beginner skills) So I got second in sport under 19, which I also believe was second overall sport. My lap times were pretty crappy compared to any expert but if I didn't spend multiple minutes each lap on the ground, who knows, I may have not been last in expert.

Then yesterday I made it out to my first westlake of the year, and the second of the season. I am still trying to figure out how our team missed the break as it was just barely ahead of the spin team ride field, but we did. Even though Chernosky was in the field, it still seemed like team tactically we should pull it back for any chance at a result. So that is what we worked at, except it took us probably 14 of the 18 laps. It was just a bit too far for one of us to "solo" (with three spin guys/ chernosky glued to you) up so Dad, JawnP, Chris, Vanooch, and myself started taking hard pulls. We never quite lined up but whenever the pace dropped for more than a minute, one of us would go up and pull the pace until we crapped out, recover, repeat. With two to go, a fellow spin rider contributed to the chase, then I pulled through as hard as I could for half a lap. I determined if the field could see the break through the S-turn with less than three miles left we would all be together in the bunch gallop. I was semi-correct as I peeled off, Carbon and Spin guys started attacking each other left and right even though their teammates still had probably ten seconds. Aaron Cruikshank lead out Batke from about 1k out but then Brian attacked with two turns to go and held it to the line, probably going 34 or so the last mile. Then in the sprint Bob Martin was leading out Chernosky, with me glued to his wheel, when Shawn Adams got a bikelength and held on for the Carbon 1,2. Chernosky kicked and I was on it but he had to swing extra wide to go around Bob so I in turn started heading towards the yellow line with Aussie Rob tucked onto me. We both said we were going to pass Dave (Chernosky) for once but kind of got a little boxed. Either way, it probably ended the way it would have if Dave gassed it to the max. So I got 4th with I believe Aussie taking 5th. Not too bad, but next time we shall try to make the break and really let it turn into a group ride. Here are some more StravaScreenshots since I don't have any real pictures.