Another week, another point per lap race. In addition, the course was slightly modified with a new earlier turn, due to a sand pit being added at the end of the dragstrip on the far west end. Anyway, we had one neutral lap, where I noticed the cornering was actually nicer than the previous route… banked well, new pavement. Cool. So, on the first real lap, I was in the lead, so I pushed it a bit to see what others thought of the new corner… and found myself way out ahead of the pack in front. I pushed a bit, challenging the pack… and they let me go! So, I settled in to an aggressive tempo… if they chased, they’d easily get me. And around the end of the drag strip they did, but I was by myself for quite a while.
5th or 6th lap I did the same thing with another guy, and this time we got away! The two of us had a huge gap on the pack. The other guy seemed to be content to do most of the work… in that he wasn’t pulling off. I passed him once, then he passed me back on the final curve… and then I just attacked off him for the win. He didn’t really contest, so I rolled over the line for my first PPL win! 2 points! And man, was I exhausted! Luckily, the Masters were there for me… I was struggling in the pack, but as we rounded the first corner into the drag strip we were neutralized for the Masters to pass us. Yay! We basically mailed it in on that lap and then back to game on. Woof! Thanks for the recovery!
I sorta contested another lap or two, but otherwise, took my 2 points and was done. Good enough for a tie for 5th place. Still no season points though. But we’re getting closer!
This week brought another points per lap race. Craig and Michael were there… Michael wanted to try and shred the field, so we were going to let whomever contested get lap 1, and then attack right after that sprint, and try to keep up the counter-attacking every other lap or so. Well, as we rounded the corner for lap 1 (well, first point lap), nobody was attacking… so I did! Full on sprint, and someone came with and then pulled ahead by a few inches to beat me again like the week previous. Blast!
I spent the rest of the race recovering, actually. Michael contested a number and I think placed in the race, but overall not much happened. There was a stiff headwind coming from the west, so every sprint was right into it, and every counter attack was right into it… which really put the brakes on that kind of thing.
Pack finish, but got another PPL point (ok, no season points yet… still working up to that!)
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.
The 2009 Pacific Raceways season is off! I headed down there to secure my totally useless number, 39, and got it. This way I’ll have some spares! Anyway, we did flats, and it was wet (but not raining). 30-ish people, and about lap 5 I was dying. I got dropped, stopped half-way through, and adjusted my rear brake. Seems I was rubbing; need to check the power to see, as flats at PR is the race you can sit in at 30 with sub-100 watts. I was pushing 300 just to keep up, and we were only going 23 MPH or so.
Anyway, I hopped back in, the pedaling was much easier, and finished with the pack. No crashes, OK sprint from the back. Good workout.
Time to true that wheel. 😉
Well, I finally took out the new bike today – a nice shiny yellow 2008 Trek Madone 5.5 Pro, outfitted with SRAM Force components and my PowerTap wheel. Well, long story short… 7 laps into the flats, and there’s something horribly wrong with the bike. Turns out, the PowerTap wheel isn’t all that true, and it’s getting worse… causing the brakes to rub and really squeal. So I stop, try to adjust the brakes… nope. My bad for trying to true the wheel up the day before. So much for the maiden voyage!
Next day, I drop it off at the new CounterBalance bike shop, which is where the old TiCycles used to be on the Burke Gilman trail. $20 later and a new spoke, good as new. We’ll get ’em next time!