PR: Clockwise up the S-Curve

Clockwise up the S Turn.

The toughest course Pacific Raceways has to offer.

And with a thin crowd on a slightly cold June night.

I’m back from Methow, the knee and back feel fine. Bike looks good. Time to roll.

Clockwise up the S-Curve is the toughest race because there’s a bit of a rise going into either the Escape Route or S-Curve. When going up the Escape Route, the hill just starts a bit before and the momentum carries you up to where the route ends and the normal course begins, so it’s not as much of a huff. With the S-Curve, the length of the curve kills all the momentum, so it’s a slog up that hill. Every lap.

Well, I’m not a climber, but I do it, and surprisingly I’m feeling good the first few laps. I try to lead on the descent, similar to the last time I did clockwise, and that works. I adjust my pedaling going up and try to lead more with my ankles to force my glutes into action. The pack also seems to like to attack right after the hill on the flats, but I’m able to keep up and recover. However, around lap 5, they ring a bell for the first preme. I try to stick on, but as the pack rounds the corner, I’m dropped on the hill. I try and chase back on, but there’s nobody to hop on with. At the beginning of the race, Rory, who runs it, says that after 3 laps it’s confetti – a big pack and sprinkles following behind. Not today… there was just fat ol’ me. Well, and 1-2 other guys, but that’s hardly confetti and not enough to chase. I link up with a Starbucks guy, and we’re chasing on the next lap. We’re passed by the 1/2/3s, and we sprint so we can catch the 4/5s when they get neutralized by the 1/2/3s… but it isn’t happening, and we see it. I do a few more laps solo, then get called on the last 4/5 lap (the pack is about to do it). I head off on the main course, see the 4/5s coming up, and hop into the back for the final lap. I’m able to see Jamie and Kevin from Wines leading it. However, they’re not able to let anyone else work, and as soon as the descent comes, everyone blows by them too quickly. I stick with. Jamie gets ahead, Kevin is struggling. Up the hill, I’m there with him giving him encouragement and trying to get him to push more with his ankles (and glutes!). We make it to the top, exhausted, but done. We link up with Harry, and do a cool-down lap and give some tips on better hill climbing. An exhausting day, but fun. And I felt good…. all things considered!

PR S-curve

PR: Clockwise w/ the Escape Route

Well, with the new ride and wheel good to go, it’s back to PR. This time, clockwise up the escape route, which means a twisty descent followed by a big uphill sprint. My strategy: get out front on the descent, take the best lines, and huff it up the hill so I can catch on when everyone passes me. This works great for the first 4 laps… then, the preme, and I just can’t catch back on the lap after the preme. So I sit out for a lap, and then hop back in the end to at least do the hill repeats. I end up getting dropped again up the hill towards the end… the gas isn’t there. Alas! But it’s a good ride, and I’m loving the new bike. Still gotta figure out the shifting however… it’s rubbing far too much.

Pacific Raceways Escape Route