PR: Flats Point Per Lap

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!)

PR: CCW down the escape route

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!

Pacific Raceways Escape Route

PR: Flats

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.

PR Flats

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

PR: Flats Point Per Lap, with the new ride!

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!

PR Flats

Pacific Raceways CCR/ER – so that’s what 90 riders looks like!

A sunny day, a 7 PM start. In theory, flats, but due to some work on the drag strip, it’d be counter-clockwise with the escape route. Should be a good hills workout, especially after all the March racing. The 1/2/3s head out… then the Masters. Huh… there’s still a lot of people about.

Over 90 people, to be exact!

It’s just a huge, huge pack. It’s actually a bit intimidating, to be honest. I’m in the middle. The first couple of laps are tough and I’m winded… I’m not bombing down the escape route as there’s tons of people. And it’s tough moving up, as the pack is fast… very fast. It’s 30 minutes, so people are taking it like a crit, and I’m having a hell of a time climbing. I get dropped after the 2nd hill, so I sit up at top for the pack to come around. When they do, I race to catch on the back… and don’t! The pack is moving at around 26-28 MPH, and I can’t catch on for the life of me. Turns out the 4/5s also passed the Masters… just a fast moving pack. I do one more lap, then I’m done. Oof!

Hill repeats. Must do hill repeats.

Pacific Raceways Escape Route