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Old 05-02-09, 09:47 PM   #1
JohnKScott
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Where'd they go? First EVER race report

I know there is a race report thread but I figured the first race in my life deserved it's own thread. From my blog that I just created...


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by johnkscott on May.02, 2009, under Cycling

I entered my first bike race today. 24 mile Sumner County Classic Road Race. Sorry, no pictures. It was kind of chilly and wet so I pretty much finished up and got into dry clothes. I don’t know my exact results yet. I didn’t make the top 20 which were posted at the race sight so I don’t know my exact placing. I DO know that there was at least one person behind me. So…I finished and I wasn’t DFL (Dead…Last). Is it better if you abbrevieate it LOL? That’s jus how everyone knows it!

Anyway, I learned some things about racing today…

1. I REALLY need to increase my fitness if I actually want to “race”. I basically just did a fast solo ride today
2. I need to learn to “suffer” more early on the bike to keep up with the pack
3. I need to warm up better. I couldn’t keep pace early and got “dropped”. However, it seemed I was able to push harder later. Too later!
4. You don’t have to worry about crashing with other racers if you get dropped .
5. There are other 46 year old Cat 5 racers. Yay!
6. I’m not very artsy craftsy. Pinning my numbers on was one of the hardest things about the race
7. Despite finishing toward the bottom. Racing is still fun!

Now…when is the next race!
My biggest concern was pack riding. I did just fine in that regard but only got about 5 minutes of practice .

Anyway, one down and lots of work to do to improve. But on the bright side, I didn't get dropped bad enough to make me think I can't work my way up to pack fodder at least! And I did set a new average power record for the just over an hour (250w as derived by SportTracks - not sure the accuracy of the number, but still, for comparison it's an improvement). I think I can push myself harder but I don't know how to suffer hard enough yet. Need to continue to work on that.

Last edited by JohnKScott; 05-04-09 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-02-09, 11:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JohnKScott View Post
I think I can push myself harder but I don't know how to suffer hard enough yet. Need to continue to work on that.
I feel the SAME way - How do I learn to suffer harder?
When I rowed, I could row thru pain during that last 500meters (2000meter race). You learned to summon strength and block out the screaming in your legs.

With cycling, I am soooo damn spent and gassed, my muscles never get to that stage.
We both need more miles and better conditioning.
BTW congratz on completing your first race - Only 9 more to Cat 4 heaven :-)
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Old 05-02-09, 11:59 PM   #3
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I feel the SAME way - How do I learn to suffer harder?
Get a heart rate monitor. Determine your max. heart rate (find a long climb and hammer up it until you feel like you're going to die. Remember the highest number you see). Find a fast group ride and take hard pulls at the front with minimal recovery in between pulls. For example, I'll try to keep my heart rate above 185 with a max. of 199. Do this for as long as you can, or until the group you're riding with has had enough.

And glad you had fun in your first race. Winning is DEFINITELY not everything in cycling!
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Old 05-03-09, 08:04 AM   #4
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Re: pinning numbers. I've joked with some guys after watching a bunch of cat 5s trying to pin their number that the real upgrade criteria from 5 to 4 is a number pinning test.
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Old 05-03-09, 08:32 AM   #5
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Great job! All your worries, concerns, & problems are the same stuff we all go through when starting out.
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Old 05-03-09, 10:15 AM   #6
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Great job! Same thing happened to me in my first road race last week, got dropped early but passed a ton of people since I was stronger than them towards the end. Like you said, need to work on keeping up with the pack!
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Old 05-03-09, 10:23 AM   #7
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Re: pinning numbers. I've joked with some guys after watching a bunch of cat 5s trying to pin their number that the real upgrade criteria from 5 to 4 is a number pinning test.
When my brother starting racing this season the first thing I did was show him (and his wife) how to properly pin a number. No way in hell was he going to have a Cat 5 parachute.
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Old 05-03-09, 11:50 AM   #8
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3m super 77 spray adhesive FTW
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Old 05-03-09, 11:56 AM   #9
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3m super 77 spray adhesive FTW
Does that stuff just simply wash out of the jersey?

Mac
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Old 05-03-09, 12:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umd View Post
Re: pinning numbers. I've joked with some guys after watching a bunch of cat 5s trying to pin their number that the real upgrade criteria from 5 to 4 is a number pinning test.
After the horrendous job I'd been doing of this as a 5 and a 4, one of the local officials took the number from my hand and was like, "you paying attention?" (to me and a teammate).

She then proceeded to do it for me and make sure we were both paying really close attention.

It was pretty hilarious.
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Old 05-03-09, 12:46 PM   #11
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its not that hard. pin through the number. use three pins to pin the bottom edge to the bottom seam on your side. pin the leading edge. then pin the top with three more pins. use a steering wheel or car fender to spread the fabric out.
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Old 05-03-09, 01:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esammuli View Post
When my brother starting racing this season the first thing I did was show him (and his wife) how to properly pin a number. No way in hell was he going to have a Cat 5 parachute.
LOL...a parachute was exactly what I had when I got the little bit of warm up I actually did. Stopped at the car and added a bit of Duck Tape into the mix. Parachute gone
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Old 05-03-09, 02:02 PM   #13
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I feel the SAME way - How do I learn to suffer harder?
Your suffer tolerance will be the same, but your power output/speed will be higher.
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Old 05-03-09, 02:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sac02 View Post
Does that stuff just simply wash out of the jersey?

Mac
if you spray a VERY LIGHT coat on the back of the number and wait 20 seconds or so before putting it on, it will magically peel right off your jersey, leaving few traces. If you spray it too heavy, it will leave some clumps on your jersey, which will eventually wash out if you launder often.

BTW, I put 4 pins in anyway, just in case the officials are going to give me a hard time for having zero pins.
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Old 05-03-09, 04:18 PM   #15
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Your suffer tolerance will be the same, but your power output/speed will be higher.
+1. I just finished up a <gasp> mtn bike race. Fourth year of doing this exact course. Each year my heartrate is pegged at the same number, I'm gasping the same and the tunnelvision is the same. But each year I'm faster and getting better results. Just ride more. Lots more.

Oh, and another positive side effect of riding more is the recovery. My first year racing I would be completely shot for the whole day. Now I can still function, get some yard work in, etc etc. That's pretty cool.
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Old 05-04-09, 01:02 AM   #16
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I DO know that there was at least one person behind me. So…I finished and I wasn’t DFL (Dead…Last).
that's more than i can say about my first race.
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Old 05-04-09, 01:11 AM   #17
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Great job John! Did it pour the entire race(it sure did in Chattanooga)? I was in Chattanooga for 3 state or I would've been racing the Sumner race. It's a good one to start with. Here's a little hint...if you want a top 10 finish do the Avery Trace race. I did that a few years back as my first race and only 8 cat 5 riders showed up on a beautiful sunny day. I came back and told everyone I knew I finished 8th in my first race...haha.
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Old 05-04-09, 05:37 AM   #18
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Well done JKS!! Keep cranking...
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Old 05-04-09, 09:46 AM   #19
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Thanks guys! I need to find some other folks to do this with. It would have been more fun if I knew someone there. But it was still fun. That is why I have at least joined a club this summer. Have yet to ride with them. Hopefully I will on Tuesday if I can get the lawn mowed tonight and get a pass for tomorrow .

Quote:
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Great job John! Did it pour the entire race(it sure did in Chattanooga)? I was in Chattanooga for 3 state or I would've been racing the Sumner race. It's a good one to start with. Here's a little hint...if you want a top 10 finish do the Avery Trace race. I did that a few years back as my first race and only 8 cat 5 riders showed up on a beautiful sunny day. I came back and told everyone I knew I finished 8th in my first race...haha.
We were very fortunate. At least the Cat5 & Juniors. The roads were wet but we didn't get rained on a bit. It did start misting though a bit later so some of the later races may have gotten a little. But I was happy not to get soaked.

LOL...I'll keep the Avery Trace in mind. Can't argue with a top ten eh? I was hoping to do a little better. There were only 25-30 cat 5's there. I was hoping I could get a top 20 my first race

Sorry you got wet. How'd it go?
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Old 05-04-09, 10:05 AM   #20
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BTW congratz on completing your first race - Only 9 more to Cat 4 hell :-)
perspective is everything.
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Old 05-04-09, 10:32 AM   #21
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Way to go John. I didn't start racing until I was 44.


Oh yeah, DFL's don't leave too big of a scar.

Last edited by wanders; 05-04-09 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 05-04-09, 12:53 PM   #22
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Does that stuff just simply wash out of the jersey?


If you wash your clothes with laquer thinner.
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Old 05-04-09, 02:03 PM   #23
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My first race I was 4th through the first turn (it was about 50 yards from the start), DFL through the second turn (it was about 100 yards past the first one). OTB on the back stretch.

A few things:
1. Warming up helps, but it's really about riding more effectively (and not using power to make up for that). Ride close, don't brake unnecessarily, know when and how hard to accelerate, etc. I sometimes warm up, but since I rarely do, I actually trained by not warming up too much. Except in unusual circumstances or in time trials, it seems to be okay.
2. In training, go crazy with gear experimentation. If there's a hill that you normally use a 39x23 to climb, attack it in a 53x15. You may surprise yourself. I learned this myself when I pestered a friend about racing, and he told me he'd use a 53x15 (Jr gear limit) up a certain hill in town (I was climbing it in a 39x23 or 25 equivalent). I simply didn't believe him until I tried it myself. It's very eye-opening when you try it.
3. Fast bursts of speed combined with quick recovery will let you get through difficult races. I coast a lot in crits, sometimes in the middle of a sprint (I got third and fourth in sprints where I had to coast for 2-4 seconds this year). Throw in some effective high energy pedaling (see #1 about riding effectively), and you'll have more energy to respond to actual race things, not just to hang on.
4. I was told it takes 3 years to figure out how good you'll be. I think that's pretty good estimation of reality.
5. Do a lot of group rides. Look for botto's "how to start racing" rules in the sticky at the top of this forum.

It looks like you had a fun time regardless of the outcome. Happy racing!

cdr
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Old 05-05-09, 08:27 AM   #24
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Thanks for the advice cdr. I will continue to refer to is as I try to progress!
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Old 05-12-09, 11:47 AM   #25
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LOL...a parachute was exactly what I had when I got the little bit of warm up I actually did. Stopped at the car and added a bit of Duck Tape into the mix. Parachute gone
duct tape
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