Monday, March 31, 2008

Pinning Numbers

This weekend turned out to be pretty good. I was able to get in some good riding and pin the numbers on for the first time this season. It was also my first road races ever. The Spring Training Series has started.

After a ride on Thursday that left me soaked in rain and cold feet, the temps dropped from mid 30s to low 30's and started the snow. By Friday morning, the snow was 4" deep. Luckily, the sun came out and temps hit 40. The snow melted and roads dried. Just in time for the Waterford Hills STS.

Saturday I left in the 25F temps to ride out to Waterford/Clarkston for the race. Got there 45min before the race which left ample time for registration for the B and pre-riding the 1.7 mile race car track. It was pretty cool. The goal for this race was to stay up front and keep the intensity high.

The race started well, but slow. On the long straightaway, I just road by everyone up to the front and pulled for a lap. That was how the day went. I wanted to ride hard, not is a race. It seemed like I was out front for most of the race, which I had no problem with. Nothing was sticking, but with 3 laps to go, a guy went off and had a huge gap. I was stuck on the outside, and couldn't react. With 2 to go, I went to the front and pulled him and his 20 second gap in. Then no one would come around, finally, someone did before the finish, and I jumped on his wheel. Going around the last corner, he's drilling it, standing up half the time, while I sit there and pedal. Then he goes for the sprint a ways out, I am now out of the saddle, but he is tired and stops. People go by and I'm boxed in. I coasted in and I guess ended up 13th which was a suprise. I thought almost all 41 went by me. The it was off rding back home. Finished up with 4:45 of ride time and 92 miles.

Sunday was even better, colder/cloudier, but racing was better. With a road race under my belt, and not riding to the race, I registered for the A and B race for some good training. With a lap in on the B race, a guy is off the front with a large gap. I go to the front and peg it, and reeled him in. I looked back and saw 2 guys on my wheel and the group was gone. From there 3 of us worked while the other finally fell off. Within 15min, we had lapped the main group. We each pulled a lap at a time and worked together very well. I pulled the last lap and lost in the sprint, but it was fun. We finished just as the main group crossed the line. One more lap and they would have been double-lapped.

Then came the A race. I was just going to sit in and ride. It was fun, moving around, up front and mid-pack. About mid-way through, there was a break with 6 guys in it that were moving well. I jumped at the opportunity and went for it. I bridged the gap, but as I caught up at te top of the hill, I was somehow now in 3rd of the break. The front guy pulled off and now I'm in 2nd. Crap. I was looking for a bit of recovery. I took my pull and the moved back. We went a few quick laps before it was brought back. It was a fun race. I ended with the main pack somewhere. Ended up with 50 miles and about 2.5hrs for the day.
If your comparing, notice the speed difference between B and A. The B race(or the break) was faster than the group in the A race. But, normal power is lower due to more drafting, unlike WH and Runway B races.

Too bad it rained later. I was headed out for a 2hr gravel grinder to figure out how to ride a mountain bike again. I am 4 days short of 5 months without riding it. I was not in the mood for another cold, rainy, ride. Next up, MTBing!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Water looked calm today after turning back to liquid form
Bluebird skies on Monday
It's 5 days until the end of March, and it's the second time I have ridden without booties.
And it was only 40-45F during my ride.
Rain->Sleet->Snow tomorrow and into Friday. High 30's.
Hopefully it's not too bad. I want to race on Saturday. Maybe Sunday. I need to ride my MTB sometime too. Haven't ridden that since Nov 4. Trails might thaw out by the end of April. Snow and ice are still covering the 1-track from what I could see. PLRA is going to be muddy.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Things That Don't Happen Everyday

Exhibit A:
Riding out to Grand River on Wednesday and crest a hill before the freeway overpass. A State Trooper stops in the middle of the road on the opposite side (coming at me). He's ~100 yards ahead of me and has no lights on or anything while cars are sitting behind him. The closer I got, he waved me down. It went something like this...

Me(thinking): WTF

Me(thinking): There was no one around at that last stop sign I ran a mile ago.

Me passing the cop, taking the earbuds out and curling back.

Cop: Hey, sorry to interrupt you from your workout.

Me(thinking): damn, he called it a workout. I guess I have a purpose being out here.

Cop: I am looking for a juvenile runaway. Tall, white male, wearing a baggy white sweatshirt. Have you seen him? He should be along this road.

Me: Nope, didn't a single person. Only thing I passed was a garbage truck.

Cop: How long have you been on the road.

Me: Since Spencer Rd. (The road doesn't go very far.

Cop: So you haven't seen him.

Me: No, but I would recommend asking the guys in the garbage truck, since they have been driving through the subdivisions.

Cop: Okay, thanks. Sorry from interrupting you.

And I went on my way.

Exhibit B:

50 friggin' degrees on Friday!!! And it was sunny. And I wore knee warmers. No wool socks. One base layer and a jersey. Oh yeah, it was nice.

But, it was cloudy and cool-low 30s today.

Exhibit C:

Feels like summer even when it's winter. This house rocks. It has a long walkout in back with a lighthouse looking building attached to the back of the house. And on a lake.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Return to Normalcy

After a week+ of being sick, I am just about 100%. I took last week easy just trying to kick the bug and keep the legs spinning. Now I have to ramp it up to keep my place in the 10,000 Mile Challenge. Just out of first place now...but what will March bring. Hopefully normal temps and lots-o-miles. With the temps below normal for much of the winter, the 40's look like they might be hit and kept for a bit. That's a nice change for sure. Just think of all those great base miles in frigid and snowy conditions. They should pay off come April.

On the racing front, I have not touched my mountain bike since Iceman. After a few part changes, it should be up and running late this week. My SS is just about built up as well. Just waiting on a BB and then it is good to go. Gotta love spare frames and parts. What will flat bars, suspension, and nobby tires feel like? I can't wait. But the downside it the trails and dirt roads are going to be avoided for a few weeks. When will the first trail ride be?

My racing schedule has also changed a bit. The family is taking a trip to Colorado in early April, so I will miss the PLRA race. I was looking foreward to it, but I'll have to wait for Yankee for some MI competition. The last weekend I am there, I think I am going to head over to the Western Slope and ride in Fruita and race on the Sunday at Rabbit Valley. Hmm, Karmas or Crows? Since I have been on 700c's all winter, I am going to hit up the STS crits at the end of March to test the fitness.

Ahh, almost racin' time.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


I caught the cold that has been going around. It was so miserable, I even took a day off the bike. Still trying to get over it now, but at least I am back on the bike and spinning the legs. It's weird how the body gets used to doing things, then acts strangly when things are not happening. Example: Mondays are my off days, and I took Sunday off. That is the first time I have taken two days off in a row since the end of November. I got on the bike and my legs felt like I hadn;t ridden in a month. They were sore, but not fatigue sore. It was quite strange, but after and hour they felt a bit better. Maybe it has something to do with the cells overtaking my body. After 3 hours, I cam eback and managed a nice VO2 Max coughing session for the good part of an hour.

Last week was snow, cold, snow, cold, warm and rainy, and tonight into tomorrow is more snow!