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  1. #1
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Shelled: wet road racing

    Central Park Vets race this morning: 6:30AM start, it's still dark. 43 or so, clear, roads wet from the rains the previous night. The first thing I notice @ registration is that the crowd is less than half the previous week. This is my second race in 8+ years, and as soon as we take off I discover several things:

    • A smaller field makes the race much harder, not easier. A couple of reasons: the only people who show up to race on wet roads in the dark tend to be the hard core participants. Fewer, faster riders means when the pace gets hot and the paceline strings out, there are fewer wheels to grab before there is only empty space between you and the last man.

    • A wet road made me fearful of riding close to the wheel in front of me, particularly on descents. Combine that with the above and it's a sure recipie for getting spit out.

    • At the end of Lap 1 a crash almost takes me out. As bicycles and riders slide down the road next to me @ 25+ mph, one of them JUST missed me. Last week's close call didn't phase me. This near death experience scared the living **** out of me. I was waiting for it with the wet roads, but that didn't make it easier. All you can do in these situations as the mayhem unfolds near you is stay calm, hold your line, and don't panic. Particularly on a wet road. If that crash has your name on it you're going down. I was very lucky today.

    • This week they were chasing a breakaway. The lactic acid in my legs from Saturday's 76 mile ride reared its head: I thought it might. At mile 8 or so I wasn't so much gassed as my legs were hurting too much to put out the watts I needed to maintain the 28mph speed, the 10 yard gap became 20 yards, lights out. Had the peloton been twice as large I might have grabbed a wheel. Not this week. By the time I came off the pack was down to 25 guys or less. Very small field.

    Oh well. That's how racing can be. And of course, the 3/4 race came behind me and as they approached the lead dude screams 'SLOW RIDER!!!!'. Yeah, like, I know. Don't rub it in. Moral of the story: the next time the roads are wet, I'm going for a nice, safe 3 hour ride through the hills near home : ). And no more hard 5 hour rides the day before a race. Duh. I knew that yesterday when I did that ride. Sometimes I know this stuff, but I do it anyway. Frankly the 5 hour ride yesterday was more important to me than the race today. Never should have raced today, but I'm so psyched about racing again, I made a dumb decision. Live and learn.

    Of course any race you can walk away from wasn't all bad.

  2. #2
    Aut Vincere Aut Mori Snuffleupagus's Avatar
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    What the hell were you doing riding 5hrs/76 miles the day before a race???

  3. #3
    elitist jerk daytonian's Avatar
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    I did a big ride the day before a race last year and payed for it big time. Restraint is easier said than done esp. when the weather is perfect.
    I feel like a soiled kleenex dropped in the gutter in the red-light district of Paris.

  4. #4
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuffleupagus
    What the hell were you doing riding 5hrs/76 miles the day before a race???
    Being an idiot of course! Like I said. I should have opted to not race today for a number of reasons.

  5. #5
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    A cyclist with your experience realizing that a 5-hour ride the day before a race is not a good thing is quite the BFO.
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  6. #6
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPete
    A cyclist with your experience realizing that a 5-hour ride the day before a race is not a good thing is quite the BFO.
    The fact that I didn't friggin CARE should underscore my ambivalence about racing. And you should see the climb @ mile 70 on that Saturday ride Dr. P. It's a hill that you grind out in a 39 x 23 (or 25 if you have it, I didn't) for about a mile of its 2 mile length. It's truly the Hudson Valley Lactic Acid Festival. But it's a waste of time to combine the two. Thought I might get away with it.

    I didn't : ).

  7. #7
    Long-time Curmudgeon DrPete's Avatar
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    Hehe... we need to find you some longer races.

    By the way, I hated to add yet another acronym to the BF vernacular, but BFO was a favorite I once heard from a wise old surgeon... It means "blinding flash of the obvious."
    "Unless he was racing there was no way he could match my speed."

  8. #8
    Oh The Huge Manatee Lithuania's Avatar
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    your report sounds like how i expected my race to be today. congrats on not crashing

  9. #9
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    what was the category?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stallionforce's Avatar
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    Hey, you didn't go down, learned something. Not a bad day. I had another grind on the trainer. No fun, block training ... arg.

  11. #11
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps
    what was the category?
    Vets 35+. The boys driving THAT train tend to be 35-40 year old Cat 2/3's. It can be very fast. I did those races all through the 1990's. I think that is the first time I ever got shelled in Central Park. But I doubt it will be the last : ). I'm older and slower, they're younger and faster than 10 years ago.

    What's interesting is the Vets tend to be more tactical. Last week for example there was a 4 man break up the road with three of the major teams represented. So the chase got shut down by the team mates in the pack, and combined with dry roads and a larger field, I was able to hang in there. Last Sunday 3/4's caught our field (2 minute gap between fields) after about 18 miles or so, which illustrates how the pace in our race slowed down for tactical reasons (the break stayed away by 45 secs or so). I can assure you that if the Vets maintained that velocity today the 3/4's wouldn't have caught them. The tactical aspect of Vets racing does make it very interesting.

    If you're not @ the back getting shelled I mean : ).

    Oh yeah. That ride Saturday did a number on me. I rode 10 miles this morning and my legs are STILL sore from yesterday. More Advil. And a REAL easy spin tomorrow.

  12. #12
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    p-cad- where in the Hudson Valley are you/ is this hill of which you speak? I'm probably a little further north than you (eastern Columbia County), but am always looking for a good one to grind up.

  13. #13
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walleye
    p-cad- where in the Hudson Valley are you/ is this hill of which you speak? I'm probably a little further north than you (eastern Columbia County), but am always looking for a good one to grind up.
    The locals call it Gate Hill Road, but it's not REALLY Gate Hill, that road has some other name which I can't recall. I think it's Cty Rte. 98 or something like that. It's the one road that goes west from Stony Point in Rockland Cty and climbs the ridge into Harriman State Park. Brutal hill. Maybe 1.7 miles long, but the steep part is about a mile that probably averages 12%, but it's very strange. The hill doesn't LOOK that steep, except when you descend it you hit 50mph if you don't tap the brakes, and going up your eyes/legs are in disagreement, with the hill not looking so bad, but your legs telling you different. It eases up and the Harriman Park sign but keeps going up for another .7 miles or so. The top of the hill is about 1 mile from the Orange Cty/Rockland Cty line. I live in Orange Cty. I park my car in Tuxedo (park and ride @17A/17 junction) some Saturdays and ride 30 miles south to my old haunts (Bergen Cty), do a ride out of the shop in Park Ridge, NJ and then ride back to the car afterwards. Lots of climbing, nice 20 mile jam with some racing guys in the middle and then the ride back. I enjoy it. 75 miles or so with some a couple of nice 2-3 mile climbs.

    I'm sure you have nastier/bigger climbs up in Columbia County. The climb described above isn't the longest one around here, but it is one of the nastiest. It's tougher on that ride because it comes @ mile 70 or so. I've been doing that ride for the past couple of years and I've come to love it. from mid may to mid July when I have enough daylight I can leave my house @ 5AM and do the same route - but that way it's 110 miles round trip. I did that longer version 3-4x last season.

    I really like that long distance solo ride through the hills stuff. And once I get used to the longer rides (I'm not there yet this year) I feel great after 5+ hours on the bike. I suppose that's how all those miles piled up last year (13K +). I'll ride less this year, but I would guess that I'll still log 11-12K mi. Beats getting old and fat. This way I just get old, skinny and slow. But I look good in my suits : ).

  14. #14
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    Oh well. That's how racing can be. And of course, the 3/4 race came behind me and as they approached the lead dude screams 'SLOW RIDER!!!!'. Yeah, like, I know. Don't rub it in.
    Many apologies...that was most likely me yelling. Definitely didn't mean anything towards you by that, just calling you out for all the maniacs on my wheel blindly hurtling along through the damp darkness. I've been there before and doubtless will be again.

    That was a pretty tough one today, I think we dropped most of the field in the first two laps, and the majority of the riders didn't finish.

    How dirty were you when you got home? I walked into my landlord's store on the ground floor of my building to ask if I could borrow the hose to wash down my bike...after a few seconds I realized all of the customers were staring at me and my landlord just asked "WHERE have you BEEN?" I was little dumbfounded until I went upstairs, saw myself in the mirror and realized I was coated head to toe in road grime and horsesh*t.
    Last edited by popdelusions; 03-11-07 at 08:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Peloton Dog patentcad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popdelusions
    Many apologies...that was me yelling. Definitely didn't mean anything towards you by that, just calling you out for all the maniacs on my wheel blindly hurtling along through the damp darkness. That was a pretty tough one today, I think we dropped most of the field in the first two laps, and the majority of the riders didn't finish.

    How dirty were you when you got home? I walked into my landlord's store on the ground floor of my building to ask if I could borrow the hose to wash down my bike...after a few seconds I realized all of the customers were staring at me and my landlord just asked "WHERE have you BEEN?" I was little dumbfounded until I went upstairs, saw myself in the mirror and realized I was coated head to toe in road grime and horsesh*t.
    Apologies? You were doing everybody a service. Not necessary at all. I'm really kidding, I was spinning down and was startled by the cry, and then I realized that there were three races going on, maybe it was better to get out of the way rather than take a leisurely lap or two around the still dark Central Park roadway. More my bad for not being more aware that I might be a potential road hazard for the remaining racers. Very glad you guys caught me on a wider part of the park road. I immediately thought of the narrower parts of that course and figured it would be safer for all concerned if I went back to my car.

    I was a bit surprised by how Spring-Classiqued my bike and clothing were from 7 miles on the wet roads of CP. You boys did appear to be HAMMERING. That descent past the skating rink before the climb is very dicey @ 30+mph when the road is wet. And my race went up the climb on the first lap like it was the Tour of friggin Flanders : ). I came off right before you guys passed me on the flats in the low 90's. Like I said today it was total LAM (Lactic Acid Meltdown). Stick that in the acronym vault Dr. P.

    Impressed again by how cool the race scene in NYC is. I wish the park employees had opened the bathrooms this morning. But I did find a nice portajohn right up the road from the museum.

    Did the 3/4 race ever catch the Vets today? Both races were rather ballistic.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Bullseye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popdelusions
    How dirty were you when you got home? I walked into my landlord's store on the ground floor of my building to ask if I could borrow the hose to wash down my bike...after a few seconds I realized all of the customers were staring at me and my landlord just asked "WHERE have you BEEN?" I was little dumbfounded until I went upstairs, saw myself in the mirror and realized I was coated head to toe in road grime and horsesh*t.
    This is priceless. Oh how I cannot wait to race in the rain...

    -Bullseye

  17. #17
    it's your bicycle bells popdelusions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patentcad
    Apologies? You were doing everybody a service. Not necessary at all. I'm really kidding, I was spinning down and was startled by the cry, and then I realized that there were three races going on, maybe it was better to get out of the way rather than take a leisurely lap or two around the still dark Central Park roadway. More my bad for not being more aware that I might be a potential road hazard for the remaining racers. Very glad you guys caught me on a wider part of the park road. I immediately thought of the narrower parts of that course and figured it would be safer for all concerned if I went back to my car.

    I was a bit surprised by how Spring-Classiqued my bike and clothing were from 7 miles on the wet roads of CP. You boys did appear to be HAMMERING. That descent past the skating rink before the climb is very dicey @ 30+mph when the road is wet. And my race went up the climb on the first lap like it was the Tour of friggin Flanders : ). I came off right before you guys passed me on the flats in the low 90's. Like I said today it was total LAM (Lactic Acid Meltdown). Stick that in the acronym vault Dr. P.

    Impressed again by how cool the race scene in NYC is. I wish the park employees had opened the bathrooms this morning. But I did find a nice portajohn right up the road from the museum.

    Did the 3/4 race ever catch the Vets today? Both races were rather ballistic.
    Just making sure. I never want to offend if it isn't necessary. And it's been a whole weekend of running into the real people behind abstract names on Bikeforums, so it makes me more aware of who the random people I might be yelling at are.

    We did catch the Masters on the next lap...in the Classics spirit a few of us decided to make things hard from the beginning and it continued in that mode for the rest of the race. More or less constant attacking so it never let up at all.

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