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"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

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Old 03-11-07, 09:28 PM   #1
gonesh9
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First road race report- Banana Belt

I've dabbled here and there with a little mountain bike racing and cyclocross, but today was my first road race. I've been hesitant to get involved for a few reasons:

-My general understanding that road racers are elitist ******.....just didn't want to have anything to do with that.
-Fear of crashing on asphalt while traveling at 25mph. Didn't want to deal with that, either.
-Underlying fear that I would get dropped. Wouldn't be so bad, but would be discrouraging.

I definitely learned a lot during the race today, and the most powerful lesson was that it was completely detatched from all my preconceived notions and worries regarding racing. Being that it was CAT5, everyone I came across seemed to be relatively cordial. There were a few bumps and rubs during the race, but rubbin's racing, eh? I also got advice from a few guys during the race that I should speak up when I'm passing, slowing, etc. Turns out the race seemed to have a very friendly vibe, albeit in a very domestic, suburban way. It also turns out I did not get dropped, and actually rode up near the front most of the race. There was a generally brisk pace with a few periods of sluggish crawling that I still don't understand- a definite elastic effect throughout the whole race. Nice, though, as it afforded a chance to take a breather and a swig from the 'ole water bottle. I just can't get over the awesome feeling of riding in the middle of a group of 54 guys traveling that speed, must be what it would feel like to be a bull running with its heard.

As for the details of the race itself, you've all heard the story before, so I won't bore you too much.... but here's a condensed recap:
44 miles, 4 laps of 11 miles each around Hagg Lake just outside of Portland. Averaged ~21.5mph. It's been raining here for a while, but let up today. The road was still pretty wet, and I got to taste a lot of muddy road-grime. At the end of the race my Cinelli looked like it had just finished a mountain bike ride through Gale's Creek. Anyways, 54 riders in my CAT5 group, most looked really strong. The last lap was where it was at, speed increasing to a lactic acid inducing, quad sharpening pace. The finish was at the top of a 500 meter climbing sprint. I can climb, but can't sprint too well. Passed a few who couldn't climb, but got passed by a few who sprinted to glory better then me. Ended up 22nd out of 54, I'll accept that for my first road race. Still, that feeling's still bugging me that when I was done I realized my legs weren't completely dead, which means I could have pushed it harder. Oh, well- there's always next race...I'm hooked.

Post-race:
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Old 03-11-07, 09:52 PM   #2
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Nice job racing, and nice report. I was out at Banana Belt today as well. You look clean as a whistle compared to all of us that raced in the morning.
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Old 03-11-07, 09:54 PM   #3
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Great job! You don't look too dirty. Very good result!
I did the Banana race last week and got a flat on my front wheel while going downhill after 10'.
Chased the rest of the way or suffered....we started going average 24 mph, I was hurting going uphill.
I lasted 3 laps and decided to call it quit since I was getting tired.
Hope to see you out more. I might check out the Horning mtb race.
Ciao
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Old 03-11-07, 09:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cmh
Nice job racing, and nice report. I was out at Banana Belt today as well. You look clean as a whistle compared to all of us that raced in the morning.
Yeah, that was after a quick bike and human cleaning. I did see you morning riders looking pretty muddy, though. Good times!

-Dabbo, too bad about the flat! I'll definitely be seeing you around. Will be gone for Hornings, but will be trying out some other road/mtb races this year for sure.
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Old 03-12-07, 11:41 AM   #5
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Good job gonesh9, nice finish for your first road race. I raced the Cat 4s both this week and last week. I will say the Haag Lake course is one of my favorite. Hope to see you around sometime.
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Old 03-12-07, 12:21 PM   #6
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Good job, and that's a sweet looking bike too.

As for road racers being mean, I swear it's a myth 99% of the roadies I've met have been really nice people.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fishmel
Good job gonesh9, nice finish for your first road race. I raced the Cat 4s both this week and last week. I will say the Haag Lake course is one of my favorite. Hope to see you around sometime.
Yeah I noticed your name on the CAT4 results, great job! Looking forward to some nice SW hill rides with the Portland BF crew this Spring/Summer.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:38 PM   #8
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Welcome to the E.P. Club.

("Elitist Prick" Club).

Bob
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Old 03-12-07, 01:46 PM   #9
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Welcome to the E.P. Club.

("Elitist Prick" Club).

Bob
Yeah, I've already started scoffing at the lowly commuters on their cruisers, stopped smiling at other riders on the street, and definitely won't even look at a mountain biker, those hippie scums.
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Old 03-12-07, 01:48 PM   #10
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Great report. You also perfectly summed up many people's initial apprehensions about road racing....
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Old 03-12-07, 01:50 PM   #11
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Good report. Nice work in the race.

+1 that the attitude is a myth. I think experienced road racers look just a little too intimidating, so we assume they must have an attitude. Certainly there are those with an attitude, but not enough to form a stereotype
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Old 03-13-07, 12:45 PM   #12
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nice work people. wish i was out there grabbin' your wheels ... alas, i'm not riding or racing so much out here and have got soggy 'ol legs. keep us abreast with all the racing you're doin!
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Old 03-13-07, 02:33 PM   #13
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Nice work, gonesh. Are you going to catch the final race of the series next week? I really like the 90-deg turn onto the dam going the opposite direction.

Hopefully we'll see you at PIR or Swan Island.
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