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Old 08-23-07, 05:38 AM   #1
calhoun1
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8/22 Greenbelt 'C' Race

Ok, I may have found my Heroin. I think I am addicted. My goal for tonight was to show up, and hang on to finish with the group. I had never raced before tonight, so I figured that was a good goal.

So I get to Greenbelt at 5 in order to register and buy my one day license. Those in hand, I drive across to the Park in order to get my bike together and do some warm-up on the course. So I am on my bike starting around 5:15. I ride the course, and I like it. Directly after the start there is a long downhill section where I easily hit 25-30mph and then up to about 35mph just before a short incline to the only major turn. The turn is a sharp right hander that I found I was able to take at about 22-25, I figured that would be a good place to practice so when it came time to race I would be ready. After the turn, there is another very slight downhill which leads into about a 6-8% climb (just dead reckoning) of 30 meters in length. Following that another 50-100 meter slight down into the sustained hill. The sustained hill is somewhere around .25-.5 mile ( I dont know, I didnt measure it) but only 2-4% grade. So the slowest during the race we took it was about 15mph. But following that is the finish, at a slight uphill.

So that is the course all ~1.4 miles. I get about 30-45minutes of running laps of warmup and I am feeling good. So we line up for the start of the 30 minute + 2 lap race. At 6:00 on the nose we start. We take off for the first 100meters nice and easy as all 14 of us clip in and get going. At the downhill we speed up. I see someone starting to break away a bit and decide I should bridge to that wheel in case he is strong. Good choice as the rest of the field follows. We get to the first turn, through the climb, and to the finish. At some point in the first 4-5 laps the group gets pretty much obliterated. It is down to 5 of us. Yellow Jersey, Neon Jersey, Green Jersey, me and the Italian guy in a White jersey. One Italian looking guy, who is quite content to do all the work off the front, the other 4 of us in the group are happy to let him.

Now about 5-6 laps into it ( I really wasn't counting) we got a bell for a prime lap. Nothing really changes for the 5 of us. Even as we approach the finish for the prime no one goes hard for it. We just cross and the Italian guy takes it, business as usual. At this point there are 6 laps to go. I am still feeling good, occasionally having heavy legs near the end of the climb, but able to still hang on. So we get to 3 laps to go. We go through the downhill, to the turn, and I decide to try a small 'flyer' there just to see what the other 4 have left. I push it up to about 30mph in the slight downhill (we had been doing 23-25 there) and everyone just clings right to my wheel and I lead to about 3/4 up the climb when the Italian goes back in front, I have no clue why he wanted to do all the work, but oh well. So I realize we are all probably just about even. 2 laps to go, that lap goes without event. Then we get the bell. The first half of the lap is normal. Nothing happens.

Once we crest the hill after the turn, things start to heat up. The guy in the yellow jersey kicks up the pace. and we all react to follow. We are moving up the hill at a pretty good pace, and the Green jersey decides to have a go about halfway up. We all follow. He fades. Then about 300 meters from the finish, Neon jersey goes for it. I hesitate thinking it may be too far for my kick, and after he is about 5 bikes ahead of me, I go. Everyone else follows. At this point, only Neon Jersey is ahead of me and I don't hear or feel anyone beside me. Neon Jersey takes 1st by about 5 bikes and I manage 2nd. I think 3rd was 1-2 bikes behind me. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. I managed a 2nd place in my first race. I congratulate the winner, and we ride through one more lap for a cool down nice and easy.

So basically, I love racing now. I can't wait for my next chance. I managed to remember to look down at my computer and check average speed about halfway through the cooldown lap, we managed 22.5-23mph average for the 35-40 minute race. I was surprised, but it felt really good. I am kicking myself for not latching onto the winner's wheel when he went. Lesson learned for next time. Anywhere remotely near the finish, latch onto the flyer. I might could have won had I gone with him, but oh well, hindsight is 20/20.

Anyway, sorry for the long post, but I am still excited and it is the next day. I am looking forward to more racing.
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Old 08-23-07, 05:57 AM   #2
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Good report and good effort Whether you're winning or not it's hard to kick the racing habit!
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Old 08-23-07, 06:04 AM   #3
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Good job! Congrats on the placing. Too bad you didn't come to this series earlier. Yesterday was the last Greenbelt training race for the season.

I fell back into one of the splintered chasing groups finishing 13th with a lady from DC Velo--Christina. We got gapped and decided to start working together, which is what we did until the finish. It's a training race, so I didn't care about beating anyone on the final sprint. I enjoyed working with her just to get finished as best as we could. It must've worked, because no one passed us. We shook hands on the way to the finish line and I made a conscious effort to have our wheels cross the line at exactly the same time.

I cringed when one of the other CAT 5 racers said that our finish was "cute".
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Old 08-23-07, 06:08 AM   #4
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So that was you lined up in the BBC kit. I wasn't sure. I think I may sign up for the Turkey Day crit at Tradezone on Sept. 16. Gotta get approval from the wife first though.


btw, how do I make sure this gets logged as one of my 10 mass starts for the upgrade to Cat 4?

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Old 08-23-07, 06:23 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by calhoun1 View Post
So that was you lined up in the BBC kit. I wasn't sure. I think I may sign up for the Turkey Day crit at Tradezone on Sept. 16. Gotta get approval from the wife first though.


btw, how do I make sure this gets logged as one of my 10 mass starts for the upgrade to Cat 4?
Yes, that was me. My team mate decided to do the 4/5 race instead. He said it was probably easier than the "C" race, because everyone stayed together pretty much.

I just track what days I raced at Greenbelt, and if I know where I finished, include that as well on a race resume. I'm up to 11 races, of which 7 races were at Greenbelt, so I'm coming close to requesting an upgrade.

I'll probably do the Murad road race (Poolesville). We already have 5 CAT 5 guys signed up.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:23 AM   #6
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Good job. Greenbelt is fun, I only made it out 1x this year but really like the series. Below are links to 2 remaining events that have Cat 5 fields in our district, you should sign up ... especially for the Murad, since its a road race and my team promotes it.

If you do these 2 races, + your greenbelt from last night, then a combo of tradezone and quicksilver in February, you could hit the UMD crit and Jeff Cup (season openers) as a 4 next year and be competing for BAR points from the get go!

http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=5225
http://www.bikereg.com/events/register.asp?eventid=5196
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Old 08-23-07, 06:35 AM   #7
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This obviously seems to be Greenbelt, MD. I worked at GSFC for a long time. What was the route you raced on? Road names, etc.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:39 AM   #8
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This obviously seems to be Greenbelt, MD. I worked at GSFC for a long time. What was the route you raced on? Road names, etc.
The race is held in Greenbelt Park, a national park, in Greenbelt, MD. The race is held on a 1.4 mile road within the park.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:40 AM   #9
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http://www.route1velo.com/GreenbeltInfo.asp


There is all the info on the series.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:41 AM   #10
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I would definitely try and race any remaining race because its already going to feel like a long off season for you.
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Old 08-23-07, 06:42 AM   #11
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The race is held in Greenbelt Park, a national park, in Greenbelt, MD. The park has a 1.4 mile road where the race is run.
Ah yes, I know it well. Thanks.
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Old 08-23-07, 08:41 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by calhoun1 View Post
So that was you lined up in the BBC kit. I wasn't sure. I think I may sign up for the Turkey Day crit at Tradezone on Sept. 16. Gotta get approval from the wife first though.


btw, how do I make sure this gets logged as one of my 10 mass starts for the upgrade to Cat 4?
Great job Jeremy! Now im sorry i didnt wash my clothes.

No worries though, I still got 45+ mins of zone 4-5 work in.

Dont worry about the logging nobody logs training races for Cat5. It's pretty muych the honor system. Keep track of your races in your own log and when you have as many as you need, mail it with you license to be upgraded.

You've got 2-3 more races. Wilmington, Murad and TurkeyDay.

I'll be racing Turkey Day myself. Not sure about Wilmington. And a maybe on Murad. Depends on how im going on Thursdays ride leading up to it. My license says Cat 4, but im only up to Cat 5 1/2 fitness wise right now.
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