Sunday June 29, 2003:
I decided on Friday that I was going to race expert for the MTB race. Last year there were only 15 guys in sport masters II, and I would have a top 10 with my time, so... what the heck. At least I know who I was racing against.
I lined up behind the guys that won the road race day before... I was hoping they would drag me all the way to the finish..... was I wrong.
Lesson 1: Boy are those guys fast! They dropped me like I was standing still.
Note to self. Start this race in the big ring... I'll need it.
OK, so I'm loosing places like crazy, and we're not in the woods yet. I make a turn off the dirt road, heading into the woods, and drop my chain. It's bad enough I have to get off the bike to fix it. Hop back on, and I'm away again.
The race starts with a pretty nasty climbing section. I can pedal the whole course now, but the first climb is definitely a work out. I'm about half way up this, close to blowing up, when I over shift the rear cassette, and wedge the chain between the cassette and the spokes.
I probably lost about 5 minutes fixing this.... At this point I figured I could forget about the race, and treat it like a nice Sunday training ride. I grabbed a bite, used the bushes, then got back on the bike. I figure I lost about 10 minutes on mechanicals in total (including removing an especially annoying stick that was rubbing on my spokes, and stopping to raise my seat for a long spin up a climb) My goal now was to knock off anyone I could see in front of me, and not let anyone pass me.
I did pretty well at this. I let one guy go right when I climbed back on the bike. He sounded like he was coughing up his lungs when he went by, so I wasn't worried about him (and I was still recovering). The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. I was hammering down everything, and had real trouble applying pressure on the climbs. I figure my road race effected my legs for the MTB race a bit. I better work hard for next year.
I was just about at the end of the race, when I heard the second guy that passed me comming up.... and he flew by me. All I saw was his jersey... the guy was on the same team as the guys I was trying to follow at the beginning of the race. I think I need to find out how they are training.... I definitely need to learn something from them.
I ended up 55/64 expert male, 16/19 master II in 2:39:49. The 10 minutes or so I lost, wouldn't of made a huge difference, but it would have saved me the humiliation of that guy passing me. He finished 5 minutes in front of me. Turns out, he had 2 flats and a bike change (since it's not supported, he had to go get his other bike).
My goals for this race were not get lapped by the winners and not finish dead last. Next year, I'll add the sport road race, so I'm hoping to end up middle of the pack in both races, and no mechanicals. I think I've got to get some better training for that.
The Schwinn Biking Game
1 day ago