open topic, for anything cycling related.
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5 laps - 4.2km per lap and a turd of a hill.
Perfect weather at about 24 or 25C and dead calm.
The warm up :
Now I know why the others were saying they'll be drafting behind me (in red/orange), I look huge in the photo but the guy third back is bigger. Must be my wide shoulders and big chest.
There's a 43 year age difference between the oldest and youngest in this photo and we're in the same grade - isn't cycling a great sport.
Here's the start :
A little bit after the start :
The two out front are a young boy (finished 6th) and my daughter (finished 8th), too much energy for my liking. Megan realised the error in the first few hundred metres and dropped back but the boy keep out in front until the hill about 3.5km away.
That's Mt Elliot in the background, it's about 1.2km high but luckily there are no roads up it so it's not on our racing calendar
Here's a rare photo of me on the drops but not aerodynamic (that would be an even rarer photo) :
It was a mixed bunch today. There were at least 2, maybe 3, who have dropped down from C grade, 2 juniors coming up, a few regular D graders and a few new riders.
We all stayed together for the first lap then the hill and the pace broke us into two groups. Megan did really well to keep up with us in the fast pack but got dropped after two laps then had to do almost an entire lap waiting for the slower group to catch up with her. She ended up third in that second group. In our group (5) was the ex C graders, a new girl and myself. All this extra training is paying off as I can keep up with the ex C graders. At the start of the year I would have been fighting it out in the second group.
Luckily my hill climbing has improved dramatically. You can really see the difference weight makes to hill climbing when riding with lighter women. They were going up the hill easily (and I was keeping up with them - A special thanks to LuckyPierre I think it was who sent me the hill pedalling technique guide) and the other two guys were dropping back.
Coming up the final hill the ladies were leading the bunch but slowed the pace which annoyed me because I wanted to get a break on the two guys. We were all bunched together and three wide on a narrow country road were we couldn't cross the imagery centre line. I was closest to the centre and didn't want a DQ that close to the finish so I dropped to the back. As usual the other two guys dropped off on the big hill climb and I was third coming down the final little hill before the finish and I could see the shadow of one of the guys behind me. He decided to go but he went too early and was slow to pass. I went to change to the biggest chain ring and out sprint him but messed up the gear change and I lost his draft, looked behind me and fifth place was way back so I sat up and took it easy and settled for yet another 4th place.
It wasn't a fast average at 31.2km/h but considering that hill slowed us to about 20km/h it wasn't a bad average. While not on the hill we were averaging about 34-35 km/h and over 40 along the front straight. Explains why we dropped the others so early. I'm a long way off comparing myself to C graders as I checked their results and they did 7 laps at an average of 35km/h however I'm sure they get it easier because there's a lot more of them so more chances for resting in the pack.
I was the hardest race I've done having never done 5 laps of that circuit and going up against ex C graders. Overall I was happy with my effort and found how to pedal without exhausting my legs. I must have put in a big effort because I was knacked for the rest of the day and was in bed and asleep by 9:30 and slept though to after 7am the next morning.
My only mistake was that gear change. I probably shouldn't have done that and since the guy went too early I should have kept the same gear and dropped in behind him then tried to surge past him closer to the line. He did end up 2nd so he could have even drafted me to third even if I couldn't get past him. Yet another lesson learned. After the race he told me I out sprinted him last race so he wanted to get revenge well next race it's my turn for revenge.
How many ride in C grade? You may supprise yourself that you can hang in a large bunch at those speeds.
Burn plenty of Glycogen
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A helmet saved my life
I don't have the link anymore. It was in a PM which I deleted. I've uploaded it to my website so you can download it.
I think it all came together for me on Sunday when it counted and it was so much easier. I seemed to forget it until on the hill and leading up to the hill. I still need more practice or concentration.
I should point out this hill is not a even gradient slope. It dips down over a flood way then goes up and it gets steeper as it goes up then has a 90 degree turn at the bottom before another gentle rise so there isn't much time to rest after the peak. It's like an exponential curve.
19 raced in C grade compared to our 11 of which we were really a group of 6 after the first lap and only 5 after the second lap.
Maybe later in the season I'll give it a go. I'd like to at least try it with a few riders from my current grade then at least when I'm dropped I'll have someone to ride with.
Cheers, it was a great read
I might jump on the exercise bike and try and get the mental imagery going before getting on the roadie...
Exactly how I started learning it. You'll know you're doing it right when specific muscles get tired quickly. Keep working at it, the hard work WILL pay off.
I got dropped by the higher graders today because they're getting ready for the 'Tour of the Tablelands' this weekend so us dropped D graders did hill climbs. I actually found all but the first steep climb relatively easy (compared to earlier in the year) using this technique.
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