PR: Flats

2011 Pacific Raceways started with threatening skies… so what else is new? Flats, with a decent number of Bikesale guys riding Masters (David, Alan, Gordy, Barry, Laura, and I). However, we were completely unorganized. We rode around, and I got myself in position for a go at the first preme. However, as I swooped around the corner, I saw 2 KR guys with a nice lead-out going for it. I sat up and hopped in the chase, but they had the preme.

A few laps later, second preme… 3 guys were off the front, and I and a KR guy moved to chase. We drug the pack to them, and swallowed them up. The pack slowed up at the end of the drag strip, so I made a half-hearted attempt to go for the second preme. However, didn’t have that much gas, and a bunch of others did. I ducked in the back for the rest of the laps until the 2nd to last. At this point, moved up a bit, but saw the train for KR again, and nothing really for us. Half-sprinted to the end, but was tired and just rolled it in.

Good workout, but no teamwork… just lots of individual efforts. In 2 weeks, we’ll have to try and be a bit more organized; for example, putting together a lead-out train or two on the premes / final.

2011 Sequim #2

A forecast of partly sunny skies, no Mason #3 on Sunday… and it’s time for Sequim #2! This time, we had 11 folks in the field of 89. Plenty of fresh legs, plenty of water (some with electolytes), and we’re good to go! For whatever reason though, this race was sketchier than last week. Lots of “slowing!” and the occasional bumping, although no crashes the four laps (although a decent number in the day, esp on the womens fields; more on that later). The first lap, Andrew (on and an Apex guy took off to the end, but couldn’t hold things. We caught them at the beginning of the first lap. Second lap wasn’t too exciting, although we saw an ambulance at the bottom of the second hill. I heard that 4 women were sent to the hospital in the AM – not good. Third lap, a bunch of us realized we best get to the front, and I managed to get myself in prime position among the top 6 or so people to start the fourth lap. Then, up the hill, I let people on the left and right swallow me, and before I know it, I’m back in the middle, fighting to get ahead. By this time, we were on the straightaway on Woodcock, with a light headwind. The pack was cruising about 20, as Eric Spring (another guy was being blocked on the front. He was keeping a slow pace, but nobody was getting impatient. Eventually an IJM guy did and stretched things out so some of us could move ahead, but too little too late. We rounded the final corner, most of us had crap position, and we semi-sprinted in among the traffic.

Top 20? 30? Well, once we got the results, I found out top 52! Ugh. Ah well, another pack finish.

My neighbor Brian was racing in the Masters AB, so while he did that, his wife Re, daughter, and Laura came up. We watched the first couple of laps, then we went to the Olympic Game Farm that’s in the center of the course. Wow – totally cool. A driving tour gets llamas, yaks, and elk coming up to the car for some bread. But even cooler are the animals behind the fences. There’s a lion, bengal tiger, siberian tiger, some timber wolves, a coyote, and about 20 bears – kodiak and black! Pretty impressive.

We came back to see the end of the Masters AB, but just saw the aftermath of the Women’s 1-2. Three women went down about the 200m mark, and there were 2 ambulances and 2 paramedics. Report was some road rash on one, but someone else was pretty beat up on her face, unfortunately. Oof…. the rough nature of bike racing.

Next week, blowing off IVRR and getting a rest week in time for OVRR the week after – another flat race for people like me!

2011 Sequim #1

MB Tour de DungMy 2011 season started with Sequim #1. In Seattle, it was raining… a lot. Forecast called for 80% chance of rain. Driving up at 6:30 (yay day before daylight savings time), drove through… rain. then, we get within 15 miles of Sequim… and the rain stops, the roads are dry, the grass on the side of the roads is brown… we’re in the rain shadow. I arrive at the start line, and it’s cold, overcast, and dry. Awesome. I love Sequim.

The line for the 4s and 5s race (separate races) was huge, so I got to work on the bike. Still racing this year on my Trek Madone. New this year is a Quarq CinQo Saturn power meter on VCRC Ceramic Bearings. I’m running some Zipp 303 tubies I picked up at the end of last year, with a new 11-23 SRAM RED cassette. I also picked up a Ritchey Carbon Streem bars for fun. Got it all set up, got checked in, and started warming up. The wheels felt heavy… for some reason they do – perhaps it’s the chip-seal. But otherwise, we’re good to go. I saw the 3s lining up, so hopped in right behind them so I and the rest of could start in the front. It’s not the most important thing in Sequim, as there’s plenty of room to move, but it’s better to be in front than behind.

The race began, and after a short neutral, the lead car honked the horn. I was in 4th position, and Kirby, another guy, was with me. As soon as we were no longer neutral, this big guy – 348 (which puts him as a cat 3… weird) goes. Um, ok… so we all chase him up the hill. Punchy, but not clear what he’s doing. He and a few others launch off a few attacks on the first two laps, and nothing’s going. People are content to let one person go… two or more, the pack chases.

I rest up on the 3rd lap in the first third / middle. On the fourth, I move up to the front. I’m cornering well (Zipps are doing great for that), doing well up the rollers (lifting during the off-season seems to have worked), so good to go. We get past the rumble strip and into the final 2km. I move to the front and try to duck in, but there are 3 JL Velo guys in front with 348 in 4th. After fighting a bit with 348 for 4th wheel, I let him take it and move into 4th, then we’re swallowed by the pack. I keep up, and as we corner, I’ve got good position. We’re riding 3 abreast, I’m 3rd row back – basically #7 if the first 9 are arranged like a phone keypad. Some bumping up the straightaway, but people were cool. We hit 200m… go time! Full on sprint. However, I’m cramping at the legs – both legs at the calves. I’m spinning as much as I can, but I can’t get the gear up and hold a top 10. I end up with 14th – not bad, but not what I wanted. But that’s OK – there’s always Sequim #2!