Yeah the tape they mark out the course with... Been bloody windy lately so it blows into your riding lines... Usually breaks if you tangle up in it!.
Anyway already planning tomorrow hehe... Been down stairs and fitted new front brake cables... Was severely kinked after the crash.
Also new rear wheel, plus as it is bucketing it down outside so have fitted the big knobbies on for slushy grass banks.
Plus new hanger... Lucky I have a hanger tool as the frame isn't very straight down there ( after a big chain suck a couple of years back )... Have to bend the new hanger a fair bit to line it up!.
So maybe I will race tomorrow ... Will wait to see how I feel... Pretty trashed now, supposed to rain for a few days, so racing is a good way to get motivated to get out the door.
Tomorrows track is nasty though ... Eek
Vets Old Fed Graded - A, 49km, 699m, 37.2kmh.
8 starters with a couple of new guys I hadn't seen on roadies before (mtb before that). We start off at a steady pace and share turns fairly evenly out to the first turnaround. Reasonable headwind, but no dramas. Coming back, sone of my mates accelerates a little and I go with him and sit in. I come around and take a turn and just crank out a good cadence. I am actually working on this aspect of my riding at the moment. I think I have historically ridden a gear or two bigger than necessary and went for a quicker, smoother cadence. It was just easier.
Within two minutes of sitting on the front, my mate says "they're off the back", which is a surprise to me. We decide to keep going and I dig in. We take a few turns, but then I am asked to back off a touch so my co-break can come around for a turn. We continue towards the second turn point down a long hill into a nasty headwind and at the turn, our chasers are much closer than I anticipated. There is a big climb back to the next turn with a 3km descent, and then it is one more lap of the same. I pull out some time and lose my co break who goes back to the chasers.
At the turn, the gap is significant. One lap to go. I put my head down and spin. I had no gels or bars and was feeling a bit sore. Coming down to the turn again was really tough. The wind was, I find out later, gusting well over 55kmh straight into my face. At the turn, I have a good gap and I feel confident I can hold them at bay on the final climb. At the top, they are nowhere in sight, so I power down to the finish and take the flag. Felt good. The higher cadence seems to work for me. I am not talking a dramatic difference, but I intentionally rode a gear lower and felt quicker. Fun race.
Handicap Race - 28 km graded E
Never raced before so didnt know what to expect really. Was quite nervous about it all and what my capabilities were.
Started off and our "group" quickly caught the grade before us. From then on we sort of rode as a bunch with surges here and there from different people but no real "train" going. Half way through the first lap I gave it a bit and surged ahead from all the others, wanted to see what the others had I guess. I ended up pulling it back and let the bunch catch me. Halfway through the second lap 3 D graders caught us and the racing became a bit more serious. An train of sorts started and we all took turns.
My mistake, due to keenness I guess, was that I stayed in my turns for too long most times. I felt ok at the time, but looking back after the race I realised that it was a mistake on my behalf, especially into the headwind sections.
With the last lap it was just 3 of us really that were in contention. In the straight just before the last corner to the finish line we had a decent head wind. I was feeling it by this stage. The lead rider had got a small gap on me, I had a guy on rear wheel and when I called out to take a turn the reply I got back was "I've got nothing in my legs" so I stupidly kept going. We make the last turn and the guy on my wheel gets up out of the saddle and gives it his all, he certainly had plenty in his legs lol. He ended up winning.
I ended up rolling over for third place which I was pretty happy with given it was my first race.
Analysis of the ride:
- Dont stay in "turns" too long, make others work for you
- someone on your wheel says they have nothing, sit up and bleed speed off to force them before you, especially if it is just before the finish
- pace myself despite being "keen"
- train harder on my commuting rides
Yep that was my experience. Working out how to prevent leeches from attaching to my wheel is top on my agenda. I am thinking that making a move early enough to force them to take turns is the ticket. Then they know they are blowing up on the breakaway for no reward if they dont help. 3rd place is fantastic work.
Would be worth throwing in A couple intervals in the commute, it does help, but just riding the commute faster is pointless. You are probably riding at a speed that is at the limit of safe. Best to add short HARD efforts when it is safe.
Yeah thats what I have started doing actually (from this morning)...am aimimg for an average of 30+ for my commute...but breaking it up into sections where I go hard then back off
previously I was just riding my commute...now it is going to be interval type riding
Breakaways aren't really my thing. Hanging on for grim death is more like it, or hanging off the back trying not to lose. Being a big guy myself, I am a leech/schniveller attractant. Slowing down is the best and easiest way to do it, although that purely depends on your break and the willingness or lack of of your opponent. Slowing down so much that you're caught isn't productive. If you're a bigger guy like me with a smaller rear wheel attachment, then attacking into a headwind almost always works. I find it far easier than smaller guys in a headwind, and if I can break the draft by changing line and a small sprint, then it is a great tactic.
I was working with a clubmate during last week's club race to try catch our grade riders who had attached onto A grade and to also stay away from a small bunch behind. For our first season race we all start together to try and determine if some riders can go up/down grades. We were working really well together. We caught one rider who had dropped off and then proceeded to schnivel his way through almost 10km. We couldn't slow down or the group behind would catch, so my mate and I just kept swapping off. My mate was showing clear signs of unhappiness towards our freeloading companion. He attacked us on an uphill on the second last lap. I was pretty stuffed but not spent, but was unable to counter. My mate went with him, but used up some serious bikkies doing so. I managed to use my size on the downhill to pull them back. My mate was spent and had dropped off, and I caught our schnivelling companion. So for the last lap I just sat in. No turns from me and the group behing all seemed to blow up in one go a few laps ago, so they weren't a threat any more. He didn't attack on the uphill again, which was his wrong move, rather he attacked on a flat just before the final corner. Easy to counter and once around the corner I laid on the power and he had nothing to counter.
Since racing I found out the culprit was a new recruit from mtb. So I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the first race.
Wyong B Grade CCCC
Good turnout for our Friday evening crit. A much harder race than usual as we had some aggressive riders in the bunch and I decided to be at the front of the race. Covered several moves, had a little dig myself. At one stage I was riding behind a very aggressive giant rider and compared my chicken legs with his muscle trunks. The difference was unbelievable. The hammer went down quite a few times but nobody could stay away for long, not even our gentle giant. In the end it came down to a sprint and after some hairy moments the gentle giant –deservedly- took it out. Turns out that he had done the crocodile trophy mountain bike race just before. So no wonder he’s build as he is, and cleaned up. Finished in the bunch.
Kooragang B Grade – Not all B grades are equal
Hunter Valley Masters
Decided to try one of the Kooragang races this Sunday, and got talked into riding B. I’ve never done Kooragang before, and we arrived just in time to register. No warming up and no idea of the course was maybe a recipe for disaster. We had 25 riders in B. Off we go and there was an attack straight away.
A bit of looking around and shaking heads in disbelief, but then we started the chase : It was on for young and old. Not warming up and not knowing what to expect does not help, but I struggled from the start, let’s throw a hairpin in for good measure and we have a problem. After 1 lap I let the bunch go. B grade Wyong is definitely different than B at Kooragang. For the rest of the race I sat at the back of C grade. By then I had learned where the surges would happen and was prepared for them. Fun racing though on wide roads. Next time C for me, or may be i'll give B another crack.
SKCC D-Grade Crit
avg. 39.1kph, 32km
Was a wet start to the race and, despite the weather, 47 people showed up as the biggest field size of any grade on the day.
Pace was fairly consistent throughout the race. We had a rider go down mid pack due to the slippery conditions about 10 laps in which temporarily threw a spanner in the works... I cleared the crash ok, only to see some idiot attacking the crash and sprinting away! A few of us set tempo to not let him get too much ground and allowed the others to catch on before ramping up the pace to a normal level again.
It all settled down and was back together again a few laps later. The track had now dried out and the field started to slow, so I rolled off the front to bring the pace back up, but no-one followed... I gave it a little push, but decided to not give it too much effort as I suck at long solo efforts and still had half the race to go - so they hung me out there for 4 laps by myself before pulling me back into the bunch again.
The race then basically stayed together until the end, with the pace picking up over the last 3 laps before the sprint. I was 5th wheel coming into final corner and didn't get a great wheel to follow, so two of us ended up trying to squeeze in behind one guy inside the final 100m, elbow-to-elbow. We both left our kick a little late as the guy behind us gave a good kick and past us for the win and so it went to a throw at the line for 2nd and 3rd. Thought I might have got 2nd, but lost out by maybe 1/4 of a wheel and coming in 3/4 of a length behind the winner.
Was my 2nd podium from 4 races this season and was promptly told at the line to go up a grade (& shave my legs)! woohoo! Bit bummed I didn't get to take a win in D before promotion, but am now looking forward to the relative safety of C-grade for the upcoming Christmas 'Super Crit'! Not so sure about shaving the legs though...
Sorry, but lift. This is the race report thread, not the weather report thread.
Waratahs C grade
A much better structured race for me, tactically pretty much on the money but final execution was pretty terrible. I resolved to use the brains of another rider who had proven they were smarter than me, so I held their wheel despite small attacks early in the race and a bit of cut and thrust made sure that these didn't affect my overall plan. I wanted to take the win and Prime if possible, but certainly the prime was first on the list because I figured I would attempt a break and the prime gives me a chance to test the sprint.
So, after a lift in pace before the straight and some interest in moving forward after a cruisy start we get the prime called, and I surge to make sure I don't get some ugly wheels. Running down the hill with perhaps 6 guys, then we lifted pace and coming up the final bend then straight it was only me and another. I hung him out to dry then pumped past. He didn't have the legs so I motored across with plenty of space. Job done.
Somehow the pair of us pick up another rider who has bridged the gap and we're suddenly in a breakaway with 250m on the bunch. I suggest we make it stick and we proceed to charge around at a punishing pace; I'd done quite a bit to take prime and I was struggling to stay with them. I figured we had 2 laps to go and I sat up, just couldn't keep it up. Mistake 1. I should have asked them to slow the pace a touch to ensure we kept the 3 men to the end. They might have said no, that's racing. A good opportunity came up, and I tried hard to capitalise on it.
So I drift back and allow James to break the air for the next two laps, he was grinding away at the front and setting a solid pace, but it was never going to catch the break. I faded into the bunch for a bit so I try to rest up and see if I can find some energy for the bell lap. Mistake 2. My wheel I followed early in the race was exactly where I thought, in a great spot on the final climb, so I let him take the front so I could get pace up the final straight (very very hard to make that gap without some matches to burn, and I used a lot up in the break). We come onto the second last turn and I tell someone on a different race line "cmon let's go" because he clearly had the legs to attack with me. Mistake 3. We are standing and pouring on the power, he might have drifted a touch but I wasn't positioned to respond to the change and I've touched his wheel and lost control, bam. I went down just before the final bend and another rider got tangled up. Once we determined that I wasn't in need of an ambulance, he basically rode off absolutely filthy. I wasn't going to jump up and offer huge apologies because when you've got the red mist in your eyes, you don't like that kind of consideration. "don't make me crash" is the response. So his bike was OK, he rode off to make sure he didn't shout expletives and other madness. Good on him, because it was the right thing to do.
I get patched up by a brilliant first aider, bike assessment is broken RD hanger, four front spokes, and a DNF against my name. Can't believe it was such a serious crash from riding in a straight line.
The gent who crashed into me was much calmer while he was getting patched up, I offered many apologies, and asked as many people as possible what went wrong because I want to see the signs before it happens again - I think these incidents are somewhat famous in the lower grades because we get tired and can't control things quite as well, and you're revving up the pace no end as well, so errors occur and accidents happen.
Many mistakes made, hopefully a few lessons learnt. Normalised power was 320W for the ride, including the commute cruise. Yikes. I think my pacing was better this time, my timing was good, strategy was solid, and I had the legs to achieve 90% of the plan but failed BADLY to look after the last 10%. Disappointed that I stuffed things up for other people, and in serious need of bike handling practice. If anyone knows where I can better at it, I'm all ears.
Now you're a real rider Xplora!
Put it down to a learning experience but what did others say about what they saw of the accident?
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
You are onto something mike10... i absolutely hate the uncertainty of dirt, but that's probably poor handling skills trying to avoid a challenge. Feels like I've got a dozen wheels right now, a CX tyre wouldn't go astray.
foo, the impression I got was that I was unfortunate - it really was a bad time to have a moment. A couple bits of wisdom like "you're responsible for your front wheel" have hit home; I am feeling like I've got the horsepower to race C grade easy enough, but not close to the "smarts". The bell rings, and the blinkers go on, it looks like. I think I haven't taken the risk of racing seriously enough... it is inevitable if you allow bad situations to happen that it will bite you.
Your introduction to Mr. Tarmac is fortuitous. He teaches his lessons with an even hand. You won’t touch wheels again, but equally you now realise it doesn’t hurt – lastingly. So you will now race both more confidently and more cautiously – a paradox it’s true.
My forlorn hope is that beneath the scabs, a humble inner monologue forms. Good luck…
I'm enjoying your reports xplora, just as you are obviously enjoying your racing. I hope today's incident doesn't take away the appeal.
I saw you getting patched up while warming up for B grade. We heard that there'd been a crash and it was a relief to see that you were sitting up.
I remember when I moved to C grade, Kerry at Marconi told me it was called "kamikaze grade". Hmmm.
2010 Charge Plug, 2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL
Sorry to hear of your crash! I saw you on the side of the road as I was warming up. Good to see you are taking the positives from the race... 320 watts is solid - good stuff!
B grade wasn't a whole lotta fun - racing the last half in the rain was a nailbiting stuff; especially hurtling down the hill with 20 or so others.
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Yeh just read Dave Jacobs report on strava .. Glad I had to work and missed it!!
Btw 320w is strava caculating the weighted power.. Real average was only 214w..
If xplora had a real average of 320w he would be smoking a grade..
Doing alright ...
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