Monday, August 31, 2009

6 Hours Riding like a Mom on a Hybrid

I thought I would take it a bit easy after my last race where I flew off into the woods and landed on my back as well as headbutted a tree. As a 32 year old rookie I always create a goal so that each effort feels like a success. So for the 2009 6 Hours of John Bryan I decided to get acquainted with endurance events as well as work on my bike handling.

Unfortunately the night before did not afford me much sleep. I think I only got three and a half hours... I nearly decided against racing worried that the tight trails may cause me to make mistakes and get hurt. But you don't know what will happen unless you try, right?

I had a secret weapon though. Bridget made an initial run of some of her BJET Bars, homemade energy bars. I had a big batch of banana walnut and a smaller potent batch of chocolate coffee.

LAP 1: 1:07:05
Really shaky handling, getting used to the coarse.
Approx 5 min break
checked air pressure as back was washing out a little
LAP 2: Approx 59:56 (2:13:01)
LAP 3: 58:37 (3:11:38)
Really tried to crush it...
Hands began to kill me!
Approx 36 min break
I was kind of drained and was searching for second wind
LAP 4: Approx 1:02:53 (4:50:31)
Really rode like a mom on a hybrid trying to get feeling back in my hands.
LAP 5: 1:01:26 (5:52:05)
Dialing it in, trying to teach myself skills.
LAP 6: 59:55 (6:52:00)
Tried to bring together what I learned that day with more speed, but bonked a bit in the middle due to running out of food and water.

I'm pretty happy with my performance — I was 11th out of 28 solo male riders.

I was so impressed watching some of the elite riders pass me in technical sections. They make it look so easy. I wonder if I lack quick hand-eye coordination. Will working out my upper body help my handling? Maybe Bridget can teach me a few things. I also feel like I could use a fit on my Paragon. Even though I dropped the stem I still feel a bit on top of it. That thing is huge, and I look like a kid on top of it. But when those wheels start spinning that bike really zooms!

Things I learned:
— Need to continue working bike handling skills
— Use brakes less and conserve energy through handling
— Make more efficient pitstops in Endurance events
— Please stop making poop face

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pedal. Crash. Repeat.

I had a lot of fun at Caesar Creek on Sunday, but it also opened my eyes too! I really need to work on my bike handling! I was going along pretty well on my first lap. I got to a section where I felt a good flow and I started hammering a bit more. I felt great, like a downhill skier slaloming through the flags. OUT OF NOWHERE a sapling caught my right handlebar, I punched myself in the mouth and flew off backwards through the woods. Train of thought as follows: oh shit my tooth, I'm flying, ow!, I'm paralyzed, get up!, can't breath... I looked like an Ewok flying off a Speeder on Endor... I tried to keep riding but I pulled off and moaned in the woods for a minute while six guys passed.

After that the adrenalin was pumping and I got a bit too frantic. I started hurrying too much and got caught up in the race, but when I hurry I make mistakes and crash even more. I just kept crashing or falling. I ended up landing on my seat pushing it into an uncomfortable position, slamming headfirst into a tree, pulling my rear cable and losing the ability to use my rear derailluer. I didn't want to stop for fear of losing the places I fought to regain after my initial crash.

I limped in with only three gears, a headache and a backache. I didn't eat and was cramping... But I got tenth, two laps in two hours and nineteen minutes. I feel I can improve but I felt I did my best.

The picture says it all. I look like I am holding back a turd. This time I was lucky I wasn't hurt and didn't destroy my bike.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Anorexia in my future?

I am still battling to get that household record up Kuglar Mill. I still haven't beaten my best time since returning from the DL.

Although it seems that I trounce Bridget on rides, both in sustained efforts and sprints, she insists that her time of 7:15 is real and that "it is easier for [her] to climb since she is 12 lbs lighter" than me. She will drive me to starvation! She does have a point. My power numbers are only 20-30 watts greater than hers, but I tip the scales at 147 or so lately.

My only other option is to bribe my employer into sending me to our Geneva office for a few weeks so I can get some training in the Alps!

I do like some of the efforts and I hope they help me in cross. One ascent nearly made me puke the other day!