Tuesday, June 19, 2012

State TT & Strava

I tend to be a little slow to jump onto social media (I still don't understand Twitter). But I finally joined Strava. It is a pretty cool application that I think is a better way to view ride data than the Garmin Connect site that I had been using. The problem is now that I know these benchmarks exist, I will have a hard time not chasing them. Anyway, If you want to see my profile it is here: http://app.strava.com/athletes/612424. I've been backing up my GPS files thinking that there may be some new software tool that I would want to upload my data to, so that worked out well here.

The state TT was back on the old Walnut course. Last year there was construction on a course bridge, so we went the opposite direction and it was tough. I really enjoy this course and was looking to have a good day. My time-trialling has been kind of up and down this year. I've felt good and been able to make solo attacks work in road races and crits, but somehow things have not come together in actual time trials. My time at the Hermann TT was a bit slower than in 2011, and the only 10k TT i've done (Bruce Edwards TT) was not a good time either. But I knew this course suited me and i'd been putting in some good time on the TT bike leading into the race.

The think I like most about this course is it breaks naturally into 4 about equal segments that go in all directions, neutralizing the wind a little. I was hoping to break the 54 minute barrier, but just missed out. Here is the file from the race: http://app.strava.com/rides/10993110

At the turnaround
I ended up being second fastest on the day to Bruce Tanner, but won the Cat 1/2 race as Bruce opted to do Masters.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It's taken me a few days to digest Tulsa Tough. Basically, I didn't ride very well, but the hard part was figuring out why.

Friday was really fast but generally pretty safe, because I sat at the very back end of the group and didn't bother trying to move around too much. That isn't a great course for me, there isn't much room to move around and it is very hard to get a breakaway to stick there, even more so with the caliber of field we had.

Saturday I was excited about the race, but really felt pretty bad for the first 40 minutes of the race. I had started near the back, then tried to move up about 20 minutes in which worked for a few laps, then I had no power and had had to maintain the best I could to even stay on. Finally at about 45 minutes in I started to have good legs again and the pace dropped just a little. I was having good success moving up on the start finish straight and in the section after corner 2. Then this happened:

I was ok, just some scrapes and tire burn, but had broken handle bars. Fortunately, Mat Ankeny had some replacement bars for me. I'll say it again, the SRAM folks will keep me coming back for their support of racers.

Sunday morning I was in a bit of a rush having to track down the new bars, install them, check out of the hotel and get down to the race site. Things were close, but it worked out. I had a descent start to the race and felt like things were going good. But I was also having problems with the big corner of the day. First I overcooked it and nearly went over the curb into the grass. Then I got some serious sweat or something in my eyes causing them to burn and get blurry making this corner even worse. This meant I kept losing positions being tentative. So I ended up at the back of the field again, which meant it was only a matter of time before a bunch of us got shelled off the back. That was about 45 mins in.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

State RR

Justin and I headed north of Manhattan to the Olsburg RR to compete for the state RR title. For the last few years, the race had been held in Arma, which was a fine course but was a little flat for my tastes (and usually very hot, ~105 by the finish last year) So it was nice to mix it up a bit.

The Olsburg course was really cool, with good pavement and some nice climbs on the second half of the course, plus a tough 500m pitch about 10k from the finish line that served as the KOM point. The Tall Grass Stage Race the week before had also used this RR course, in reverse, which would have also been awesome I think.

Unfortunately, only 3 of us came out for the Cat 1/2 race, which was probably due to 3 other races going on over the weekend and no payouts whatsoever. Anyway, Jack Mason was the other competitor in our field. He has been riding very well this season, so I was interested to see how things would play out. The first few miles were pretty mild, Jack started to take some short digs prior to getting to the climbs. So I countered just to see what would happen, and got a minute gap very quickly. So I just held things at a minute and watched to see how things were playing out behind. Jack was chasing pretty well, and Justin was pulling through too, which made me think he was also feeling pretty good, so after the first lap I sat up and let them back on. Jack knew what was going down at this point. We rode steadily until we got back to the climbs. Over the KOM JB and I just kept upping the pace until we dropped Jack. At the top I drilled it over the flat section before we descended and then just kept the gas on all the way through the finish line. We had a pretty good gap, probably over a minute, but I didn't want to have Jack come back up to us, so I stayed at the front for most of the first half of the last lap as well. We made it back to the climbs on the last lap and were finally able to relax a bit and just go steady through the hills. We got Justin some water at the feed zone and cruised in to go 1-2 for the race.Poor Jack ended up having a really bad day and bonking big time on the last lap.