Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Stage Race!

Hey there little shavers,

Well, that was exciting! Last weekend i went over to Vancouver for my first real road racing experience, the finale of the dEVo Spring Series, their stage race consisting of a crit, TT and road race (circuit).

First tho, let's catch up...from last we heard, it was Operation Overkill a week from last Saturday. On the Sunday, i went out to Newton Heights to watch and cheer the 2nd VCL race. (Speaking of VCL, if you're on Facebook, join the group!) Rode longer than i really wanted, back into town with Shailie, Cory and Simon, but hey... TSS for the week was 981 - a new record!! I burned over 8,600kJ of energy, and 375km in 12hr45mins of riding.. *phew*

Tue & Thu were pretty easy days, i think 3hrs between them. I also went for a climb, checked out all the new routes (about 8), fun!! Cleaned several, some gave me some grief!

And then it was Friday... Chatted with Roland, debating whether or not to go. Also chatting with my friend and tv/movie star Stephanie Belding, who's leaving Van to go back to the T-Dot. Wanted to visit her before taking off, and this weekend seemed perfect (and she's into bike racing to boot!) Weather was looking like crap, so i finally decided to commit, and i'd head over, and if it rained, i'd just not race, and watch instead.

Saturday (Apr 3rd) - Crit - 5:30am, alarm goes off. 5:45am - Roland is early. Yip. 6:30, nice and early for the ferry, roads wet but the sky opening up. 9am, on the mainland, roads totally dry. I start to realize that i might be racing...!

We get to Abbotsford and the race course..still dry! Damn, this is it. Sign up, i'm #381 in the B race. Get geared's COLD! Saw Alex Pope, chatted for a bit. Didn't recognize most of the people there... Did a few warm-up laps, legs felt kinda blobby.. They were completely hammered the prior week, and than this week did NOTHING. Far from ideal prep...ahh well. Course was good, one tight turn, the rest of no concern. Very strong wind tho.

Went through staging, the race begins..nothing much to report except it's the typical BC crit. Everyone brakes in the corner, and sprints out. No smoothness. Looking at my power file, i crest 900w over 30 times in 60mins. 600w is peaked nearly 3x that. Gaah. I was fine tho. Made a little attack with 10 laps to go, just as it started to sprinkle. Wanted to see if anyone would make a move, but when i pulled off, the group just recollected itself. Not much fun. I sat back in, practiced getting to the front a few more times, and then dropped back on the final lap to let them duke it out - i had no intention of contesting the sprint on a rainy day..

Result: maybe 20th? About 15 must have been shelled.. Roland finished behind me as well.

Garmin file:


Nothing too exciting to report, average speed just under 40kph, 50mins..NP was 262w, but didn't feel particularly maxed out.

Saturday (Apr 3rd) - TT - 4pm, TT out in Fort Langley, lovely countryside.

Course was L shaped. Flat course, nice. Windy as hell tho. You head out in a cross wind, turn right directly into it....then turn-around, and back. My plan was to go hard to the corner, then bury it to the turn-around, try to recover a bit in the tailwind, and then hammer the final section.

And that's what i did! My goal was to average close to 300w.

So - ride to corner: 292w. Ride to turn-around: 301w. Ride back to corner: 280w. Final stretch: 305w. Managed to hold 341w for the final minute as well. Total average was 295w - a new PB for that length of time! Yay - i'm stronger!

Not bad...wish i'd put out a bit more just before the turn-around, but otherwise that was well-ridden. Unfortunately, my time and result did not reflect this.

Time was 18:53, average speed of 38.7kph, which put me, in the B's, in 22nd. !!!! This is insane!

Even looking at the C's, i wouldn't scratch the Top 10. 19th if i raced A. WTF?

All i can blame it on is aerodynamics. Typically in the Sidney Velo TT, on an ideal day, i'd end up 30 seconds behind Peter Lawless (Tripleshot), and Roland would finish 30 seconds behind me. On this day, Peter was ahead by a minute, and Roland was ahead by 30 seconds. The difference being that i didn't use an aero helmet or front wheel (never have for rear wheel.) I also chose a more 'comfortable' position for my aero bars, rather than lower.. Rollie and Pete both had helmets and wheels (and full TT bikes..but i'm used to competing with them on a road bike.)

Spoke with the A winner, Mike Sidic (H&R Block) - he finished with a 15:31 - insane! Over 3mins faster. Now get this - his average power was 380w - 85w higher than me. It's not really *that* much. Yet it made 3min difference over 12km. I really think it must have been aerodynamics, because that's fairly decent output..

Anyway, that's that. =P

The wattage is included in the Crit file, and here's the Garmin data:

Sunday - Road (Circuit) Race - Actually felt pretty good. Course was tough. 10 laps, just over 10km per lap. Wind. Lots more wind. And a climb from hell, called 'Snake'. For Victoria people, imagine doing the main steep section on Newton Heights, then there's a steeper switchback that connects to the south side of King George Terrace. BROOOOOOTAL.

This course required something i haven't been working on at all..being able to punch it (400w in my case) for over a minute to speed up the climb.

I held on for 3 laps, but then fell off. After the hill was a long section that slowly descended, then the 'drop', and back to the flats. That descent was about the only place there was no headwind. Hurray.

So yeah, i was off, caught a few other shelled folk, and we worked together. Some others came and went..ended it with one lap to go, no point in doing another lap. I was pretty fried by the end, did a lot of work. Fun to chat with Rachel Canning for a bit, who i haven't seen in a long time (we won a Bronze medal together in the '08 Track Provincial Championships in the Open Madison. ;)

I was rather disappointed with that, but when i got home and looked at the numbers, i wasn't so sad. I got a new 1hr PB: 257w (up from 253w). The Normalized Power for that hour was 284w. WOWWIE. (My threshold is at 265w.) Looking at the file, there wasn't much coasting...and that include the last lap i hung in with the pack, and then was solo/chasing for the rest of the time. 2hr wattage was a PB as well, at 240w (up 4w.) NP was 268w. That's pretty freaking big for me, next highest is about 246w NP over 2hrs. If the hill were a bit shorter, i prolly wouldn't have had any trouble hanging in until the finish. It was jamming 400w for a minute that got me..but i'll have that in my toolbelt later this summer..

So, overall happy with my performance!

Results: unsure, maybe around 15th? Looked like a LOT of people dropped out.



Got a lift back into town with Chris Hillier (Colavita), thanks again for the ride. =)

Alright, it's getting late, will report on Tuesday's ride later, some neat info to come there.

Join the VCL page (linked above) if you're in Vic! =)


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    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    Oh my! How About a Little Update?

    Wow - i can't believe i've neglected my blog this long!!

    In general, things have been quite good. The snow has made riding difficult, but i also picked up a Niner RIP9 full suspension 29er mountain bike, which has been a BLAST! It handles well in the snow as well. ;)

    My training is starting up for 2009, i've got two basic focuses for the year: sprinting and time trial power. That's it! I plan to improve both...if i'm not training one, i should be training the other. My sprinting is probably one of my biggest strengths, so of course it makes sense to improve on that even more. My biggest weakness appears to be my TT power...i can hold a decent amount of wattage over 5-6mins, but after that, i get diminishing that needs to change. There's no reason i shouldn't be able to hold that for 30+mins!! (Well, other than not having trained it at all for the last couple years!) So, that's the groundwork for me for 2009 - feel free to comment/discuss this in the comments section. =)

    And yes, i'm seriously considering a few cross country mountain bike races for 2009 as well!

    I should also include a recap and highlights for the past few months:

    * tied for 2nd overall (with futurestar Jacob Schwingboth) in the Trackfest Madison series, won a snazzy jersey for that
    * won the overall in the GVVA weekly points league

    Overall i was pretty happy with my track riding. Unfortunately, the year ended prematurely due to conflicts with the WSPRS as they closed down the track for specious reasons, as they wanted to build a stadium ON TOP of the velodrome (yes, fill it in.) Luckily, it appears they've changed gears, and no longer wish to do this, and it's looking promising that we'll have a track for 2009.

    * finished 3rd in Cat4 at Bastion Square (didn't trust my legs, waited too long to sprint)
    * finished 3rd overall in the A's in the Victoria Cycling League (ha!)

    I hardly did much on the road this year, the VCL final was a fluke, i had a few opportunistic events, if it wasn't for some TT's, low attendences on the road, and of course my strength on the track, i wouldn't have factored in at all. The roadies definitely fair better on their terrain, in great part due to the hilly courses, which slaughter me. The rare flat crits are much preferred. ;)

    * Whirly Whirl World Champion ;)
    * finished 12th overall Inermediate in the 'Cross on the Rock series after 6 events

    It was a fun 'cross season, with the Wed night races, and the excellent series by Norm and Wendy. While my general 'cross skills are pretty solid (cornering, barriers), what kills me in these events is the need for TT power. I can stick with the leaders for the first lap, but of course, i blow up shortly there-after. This will change for 2009, so look out. ;)

    Best event for me was the Juan de Fuca 'cross event - unfortunately there were no laps on the velodrome, but there was a nasty-ass run-up that was HUGE, and each lap while i'd catch people on the flats, they'd all pass me on the run-up. Very frustrating....but in the final lap i managed to pace myself just right, and maintained my lead in the run-up, and even made some ground by the finish...i think this is the only event i managed to finish ahead of Roland in!

    The final event was also a bit of a success for me, i decided to start off more 'easy', instead of gunning it and trying to stick with the leaders. This worked out well, as i ended up actually racing (instead of on my own) with a small group, and managed to work my way up, passing one fellow (who fought HARD), and got close to another, but couldn't quite close the gap at the end. It was sweet actually duking it out tho. =)

    Our club had a *fantastic* year, and here's a highlight of all our amazing members:

    Too much to highlight, but i'm very proud of all our competing members - you all kick ass!! =)

    (Our club is looking for sponsors for 2009, fire me a note if you'd be keen to alighn with the OrganicAthlete Victoria chapter!)

    Alright, that's the breakdown for the last few months, i'll try and post a bit more frequently - happy 2009 all! =)

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    Monday, May 19, 2008

    OA Vic Duathlon and OBB Crit

    Wow, super-busy weekend!

    On Saturday was the First Annual OrganicAthlete Victoria Track and Trail Sprint Duathlon. Say that once fast. ;)

    This is the first event organized by our group, and i thought it was tremendous success! The only low point was that there were very few participants, but otherwise it went smashingly. You can read my event report here. (No, i didn't race it, since it was a duathlon! Dave don't run. Or dance.) I did MC the event, which was pretty fun. There are also photos of the event from the first link.

    Sunday had a race on my favorite crit course, OBB organized another Windsor Park crit. Can it be more perfect? It's just a few blocks from my house, has wonderful corners which you can generally pedal through, and is PANCAKE FLAT! Love it!!!

    I hadn't ridden at all Saturday, so i wasn't feeling particularly spicy, but i got in with the A's, and rode a strong race. Sat in most of the time, about 20mins to go, there were some big attacks, and at the time i was a bit further back in the pack, so had to do some work to keep it together, and i stayed in. Felt good and strong, tho after that bigger efforts reminded me my breakfast was still in my stomach (why was the race so early!!)

    I felt quite confident in the bunch, had no problems keeping whatever wheel i wanted, or taking a wheel. I guess those Keirins have helped in this respect. ;)

    I was near the front almost the entire race - it's where i'd go if i were feeling tired, since there's very little yo-yoing there. I positioned myself well with 4 laps to go. With 2 to go, Emile shot off, and i smiled. I turned to Bob Cameron and said 'hey, he rode a 5'06 4km Pursuit yesterday', Bob cursed and picked up the pace. ;)

    Emile thought he'd won the race, but we both missed that two riders (Hugh and Alistar) had snuck away when we were further back, and they were goooone. Still, a valiant effort on his part to get away and stay away. I finished 9th in the charging pack, sitting in and not sprinting, and 12th in the end. I believe there were close to 20 starters.

    In the B race, Kevin and Gillian (OA Vic's newest racer!) rode very well! Last year Kevin had a very hard time with this course, but was totally in the pack this year. Same with Gill. They both finished strong, 5th for Gill and 7th for Kevin. (Technically 1st for Gill in the Women's field, and 6th for Kevin.) Nice riding!!

    Hugh has a nice account of the race from the front. I should mention Don Gillmore started the race, but about halfway though had a technical with his chain. Needless to say, after this warm-up, he destroyed the competition in the BC Masters race in the afternoon.

    Click here for all the photos i've collected, a few select ones below:

    From 2008-05-18 - ...

    From 2008-05-18 - ...

    From 2008-05-18 - ...

    From 2008-05-18 - ...

    And here's my PowerTap output for the crit:

    From PowerTapFiles

    That's about all for now sports fans!

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    Monday, March 24, 2008

    First Race of the Year - Caleb Pike

    The race season begun on the island on Sunday, with a jaunt along Caleb Pike, a hilly 2km circuit RR. My specialty..haha

    My course description: It starts on a relative flat, with a bit of a false ascent, then a short little glide uphill, into a right corner which begins to go downhill, then full-on downhill, and then full-on uphill, where you can coast/soft-pedal about 2/3rds of the way up, and then generally get out of the saddle to get to the top of. Then it flattens a little bit, and another short ascent, then downhill directly into the other right turn, which brings you back to where this started.

    I decided to race A, to try and capture some Victoria Cycling League points (they'll be including track races each month again this year, yay!) despite having done no intensity, and sucking at climbing. ;)

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    It started out pretty reasonable, with nine of us. I hung in for the first few laps, but the resistance from my fenders (the weather was pretty crappy when we left home, and i still wasn't even sure i wanted to race, but got decent by the time the race started) and the lack of going anywhere near my 'red line' in my training this year so far made keeping up on the climbs a challenge for me, so around lap five i started to fall off the back of the pack.

    And it ended up with me riding solo for pretty much the rest of the the time the pack caught me again, i tagged in for a lap, but was a bit drained from having ridden solo for so long. The next time they'd all busted into a few pairs.. I was lapped by the two leaders three times, and the rest two times...better than last year! Though in some ways last year was better, having Wendy Simms to ride and work with for several laps...ahh well.

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    Another mistake was not bringing any food. I'd assumed this was the 'regular' distance, which took about 45mins to complete, but this was the 'Sunday' edition, and i was out for 1hr 50mins..!! Without any food or energy drink, with about 20mins to go, i was on the verge of bonking... Thanks to Nick from AviaWest for handing me my energy drink, and to Kevin for the gel near the end. =)

    So i finished 6th of 6, three A's had DNF'd. A good start to the season..heh.. Here's my PowerTap output, you can see i held a pretty steady effort until the last six or so laps...bleh...

    From PowerTapFiles

    Click on the image to view a larger version.. I did manage to tie or break my wattage PB's by a few points in the 120min, 60min and 30min ranges, so i'm in good form overall, once i start picking up the intensity, i should be looking good!

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    Me coming in for the finish..haha..

    This was also the first race of the year for Marty and Kevin, and it's great to have a team out representing! In the B's, Kevin finished 8th, and Marty was about 11th - great work guys!! It was really encouraging to see more green on the roads. =)

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    From 2008-03-23 - ...

    From 2008-03-23 - ...
    Go OrganicAthlete Victoria!!

    Thanks to Katie Rabien for most of the shots, the full gallery of pics can be found here, and Katie's gallery site of the race with tons of shots of everyone is here.

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    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Weekend of Racing

    Yay, i survived last weekend!! Two days of hell, one great day, how's that for racing?


    Last Friday night was the inaugural Bear Mountain Hill Climb. 3km of 'up'. Not terribly steep, except for a few portions. Fastest guy (Marcel Arden i believe) did it in 7:47. Helps being 135lbs i bet. ;)

    Me, i slogged it off in 10:28. Beefcake!! Strange for me, since i can do 3km on the flats in 4mins..haha..

    From 07-09-15 - Hi...
    I'm not a hill climber. At least i did it faster than my fellow trackies..tee hee!! I was happy to have some team mates tho, both Kevin and Casey were out, and rode impressive times!!

    One good thing is that i got a new 10min power PB, held 330w, previous was 313w. Here's the file:

    From PowerTapFiles
    Pretty steady. I was careful, knowing that just over 300w was all i could handle, so didn't go out hard at all. I'm not sure if i could have held much more than that. I remained seated for all but the final steep climb to the line...i'm curious if i would have done significantly better if i stood on either of the other steep bits...or would i have just leached it from my final effort..?


    This morning was the Oak Bay Crit, i raced in the huge B field, with ~45 starters, from Cat 3 to Cat 5 and unlicensed. I really love this course, it's pancake flat!!

    From 07-09-15 - Hi...
    I made a few strong attacks early on, but no one came along, and being full aware that i'm no TT rider, i didn't opt to ride solo. ;)

    Finished 6th after Brad Smith (who's raced on the track!) launched off the front early, and stayed away. I was just a few inches away from 5th. Casey and Kevin didn't fare as well, but for Kevin, it was his first time racing in a bunch, so it was quite different for him. He'll do a lot better next year i'm sure!

    Here's my power file for this event, i wasn't at all over-extended at any point, which was good for the confidence:

    From PowerTapFiles

    It was feared the Bastion Square crit would be rainy, and it was. Normally, i'd opt to sit out, but figured 'what the hell'. I hadn't raced in the rain before, and i doubt i will again. =P

    From 07-09-16 - Ba...
    In the Cat 4 race, about 18 riders started. The course was awful. All four corners had numerous spots where you could slip or slide out...but crash corner (Yates & Wharf) was the worst. There was a crash about 9 laps in, and a few of us sped by. Then i got on the front, took us around crash corner, and ZIP! My wheel goes out (rear i think), and down i go. Luckily, not too hard.

    I'm back on my feet as the last rider zips by, and i get back on and start to chase....i'm ~20' back..bleh.. Whoever is at the front is keeping up the pace, and from this point i continue to lose ground. Crap.

    From 07-09-16 - Ba...
    So, i chase for about 25 laps, fun race. Mike Elkink (who also races at the track!) was the clear winner, nearly lapping the field (i'm pretty sure he could have, but stayed just behind the pack to avoid any crashes), caught me with about 15 to go, and i sat on his wheel for several laps..i was kind tired from chasing for so long, so didn't hold on too long. He was also a superior rider in the corners, and despite trying to follow his line, my tires were doing whatever it was his were, so i lost time each lap, and eventually he was gone.

    Shortly after that, i caught Chris A, and with a few laps remaining, caught another rider.... Near the end, i come around the corner to the finish line, and everyone is staring! They're all waiting for Mike - so i take my moment, and blow everyone kisses:

    From 07-09-16 - Ba...
    hahaha... Although i didn't win the race, i certainly won the hearts of the spectators...hahahha

    I'm currently listed as finishing 10th, but i believe they've made a mistake (and at least one has already been admitted), and i *believe* i may have actually finished 8th, but 9th for sure. 10 or 11 finished.

    I learned shortly after finishing that when you crash in a crit, you're supposed to go to the pit, where they ensure your bike is safe, and then push you back into the pack (again, where i was sitting at the front). I'm not sure if i'd really want to be back in the pack tho, riding solo in the rain is bad enough, having a wheel splashing you in the face for 30mins seems even less appealing..

    From 07-09-16 - Ba...
    So that was my race weekend, reminder why i usually don't compete on the road... I didn't complain about the hill on the Bastion course at least. ;)

    Here's my PT file for Bastion:

    From PowerTapFiles
    On to 'cross season! I've already swapped the tires on my wheels, and went out for an hour today, playing on the bike, getting used to how it handles, etc.. I'm really liking my Salsa, feels awesome, tho today i sort of injured my quads - i'm still waiting for a non-set-back seatpost, and shorter cranks (currently borrowing 175's), i need to move much more forward, and shrink the cranks, this set-up is screwing with my musculature!! I'll practice skills for now, rather than going on extended rides...

    Get out there and enjoy the 'cross season too!

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