Megan, George, Ruben, Elias and I went up to the Skagit Valley on Saturday morning (4/18) to see what we could see. We did our typical 30 mile route, (shown here) down through Conway, and back to La Conner for lunch.
The day started out cold, but it was really wonderful. No rain, not too hot, not too cold. Ruben rode with Elias on on the Tandem. He is apparently *much* stronger than last year. Not only are his size 36 shoes now too small, we had to raise up his seat by about 1.5 inches!
Our ride time was amazingly 2hrs 12 minutes – total time with lunch just over 4 hours. Take a look at the colorful pictures.
A week later I found myself doing the Escape Route again. Stuck with the pack (again). This time, I had told Max, the junior on our team, to get behind me on the final lap, and I’ll blast him down the descent so he can climb to victory.
That was just how it happened.. well the blast down. I sprinted to the front of the pack on the last lap, Max behind me, bombed down the descent, and then was done costing up the hill. Somebody was on my wheel, Max followed… and then the pack got us. I rolled it in on a pack finish, my job done. But, finished with the pack again… guess those legs have improved!
My third season of racing, I finally had a free Thursday night to head over to the twilight Seward crit. There are three races: 5:30, 6:00, and 7:00. I decided to try the 5:30, and felt good but tired after finishing the hills race Tuesday. The race started off slowly for a crit, with maybe 60 people in the field. I only had one lap to warm up on the course, but went the wrong way. So, time to figure things out on the fly.
The toughest bit on the map is the 140′ corner, but what I was having trouble with was staying on a line fast in the downhill. Basically, the clockwise route is a flat just after the corner, then a slight descent, then a faster descent around the loop. Then a quick hill back to the corner. I took the descent on the brakes the first few laps, as I wasn’t sure how well the pack would hold their lines (nor how well I could hold mine). After 8 or 9 of 15, the pack got away on the hill. As I finished the 14th the pack lapped me for the uphill finish. Fun crit, but woof! Certainly different than PR.
My first PR hills route… fun. Felt good. Started the race towards the front, and made it a goal to lead the pack on the descent. We did 7-ish laps (need to look at my stats), and I was on the dfront on the downhill for at least three of them. I’d extend a gap, make it up about 1/3 of the hill, and then be caught. Stuck with the pack on the first preme, which is usually when I lose them. Second to last lap was the second preme (bastard). So 2 spirited laps… but I held. Didn’t try and contest the finish, just stuck with people and rolled over the line with the pack (think I was dead last in the pack, but hey, pack finish is a pack finish!). Think this is my first finish on the hill… least first that I can remember!
A nice day out at PR, flats again. I went in to mix it up and see if I couldn’t do some sprints well. Wasn’t in the cards… gassed myself getting towards the front on one of the earlier laps. The pack was pretty spirited and moved quickly, so it was a lot just to hold on this time. Pack finish towards the front.