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Old 06-01-09, 05:41 PM   #1
deadly downtube
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Spring Hill Road Race, what a clusterf***, anyone attend?

Spring Hill Road Race 40mi north of San Francisco, what a clusterf***!!! I got there 1.5 hours early, rode around the start area a little bit to warm up, noticed the registration line was huge, so I figured everyone was trying to reg all at once and it would die down in half an hour. So I warmed up for around a half hour, and the line was still huge, so I got in line. I was pre-registered for cat 4, it took about an hour to finally get my numbers from the slow unorganized people running the race. So it's my race start time when I actually get my race numbers in my hands, and they say the races will probably all start 30 minutes late. I didn't have any friends or GF with me for the first time at a race I had to pin 2 numbers on my jersey, which took me longer than it should have. I get the start line 2 minutes late and the lady tells me they started Cat 4 and that I should go chase them down... ugh.. me and a few other guys who didn't make it to the start in time chased for a 22mile lap and never saw the field... sigh, what a waste of time and stress and anxiety. Anyone else witness that crappy organization yesterday?
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Old 06-01-09, 06:21 PM   #2
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I was there and while it was a clusterF mostly because the lady promoting it was way over her head and threw it together last minute I am curious, you had 30 extra minutes and still missed the start? If it takes you longer than 30 minutes to pin your number then that isn't the promoters fault, that's on you.
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Old 06-01-09, 08:56 PM   #3
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I've only done 4 or 5 races, and I'm used to only waiting in line for 5 or 10 minutes, so ya it was partly my inexperience. I've also never pinned my own jersey while it was laying on a surface, which proved difficult for me! It required 2 numbers which made it even tougher. When I was on the course my numbers felt like parachutes, ugh! I had to go back to my car still and take my pants off, after registration, and I wanted to use the portopotty but I definitely didn't have time to wait in line for that. If I could rewind time and do things more efficiently I would've been able to make it, but still pissed me off how poorly that show was run.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:09 PM   #4
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I was there. We arrived 90 min before our scheduled 9AM start. I was pre-reg in the P/1/2, which usually takes less than 5 min to pick up number, but took me about 25 min, kind of irritating (especially since the place was out of cell range and I couldn't follow the Giro TT on my phone). Got my numbers, pinned them on (I'm a Cat 1, so pinning on numbers never presents a problem ), then found out that the start was delayed by 30 min. Since my race was 88 miles I didn't really need to warm up, so I sat in the car and talked to some other racers.

Even though I had intended to be patient for the first half of the race, I think I was the first to attack (about 5 miles in). Got in a 4 man break that got caught, then later (mile 25) got in another 4 man break that bridged up to a 5th rider in no man's land, then up to the lead break of 6, so now we had 11 (caught them at around mile 52). By the time we got there we were told we had 4 minutes on the main pack. Once we hit the small hills around mile 66 the attacks came and our pack of 11 was down to 4. Over the next 10 miles we really drilled it and every pull through was getting harder and harder until I got popped on a little 20 foot climb with about 8 miles to go. After I slowed to my own pace I was able to recover a bit and ride in for 4th.

Other than the reg delays (and the fact that they were out of the freebie food, yogurt and what not by the time our group finished), I thought it was a real well run event.
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Old 06-01-09, 09:17 PM   #5
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I've only done 4 or 5 races, and I'm used to only waiting in line for 5 or 10 minutes, so ya it was partly my inexperience. I've also never pinned my own jersey while it was laying on a surface, which proved difficult for me! It required 2 numbers which made it even tougher. When I was on the course my numbers felt like parachutes, ugh! I had to go back to my car still and take my pants off, after registration, and I wanted to use the portopotty but I definitely didn't have time to wait in line for that. If I could rewind time and do things more efficiently I would've been able to make it, but still pissed me off how poorly that show was run.
Oh yeah, there were not enough porta-potties for that many riders.

As for pinning on numbers, a couple quick tips:

1) With the zipper up, put your jersey around your steering wheel with the place you want your number in the center.
2) Pin your number right side up. I can't tell you how many upside down numbers I see out there. A simple way to prevent this is as follows: If your jersey has a sponsor logo on the side panels (as most do), line up the bottom edge of the number with the top edge of the sponsor lettering so that both are in the same direction.
3) Use at least 7 pins per number (one in each corner - not through the pin holes, but through the number fabric), then one pin in the center of the top, bottom and leading edges (as seen as you're leaning forward)
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Old 06-01-09, 09:19 PM   #6
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Nice job Pizza Man
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Old 06-01-09, 09:43 PM   #7
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Nice job Pizza Man
seconded.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:21 AM   #8
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Thanks for sharing pizzaman! And thanks especially for the number tips, I never even thought people might pin the numbers on like that, sounds like a great way to get rid of the drag 'chute feeling. Any tips on upgrading from 4 to 1?? Is lots of mileage a complete waste of time like our team coach says? Ever since I started doing this super high intensity stuff, and not many miles, my legs feel so erratic, one day I might be strong, and then the next day feel like I just started pedaling a bike for the first time.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:27 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing pizzaman! And thanks especially for the number tips, I never even thought people might pin the numbers on like that, sounds like a great way to get rid of the drag 'chute feeling. Any tips on upgrading from 4 to 1?? Is lots of mileage a complete waste of time like our team coach says? Ever since I started doing this super high intensity stuff, and not many miles, my legs feel so erratic, one day I might be strong, and then the next day feel like I just started pedaling a bike for the first time.
I'd say work on upgrading to 3 first.

Gradually increase your mileage, and gradually increase your intensity. A structured training plan will also help a whole lot once you have a good foundation of base miles.

And buy this book.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:40 AM   #10
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Thanks for sharing pizzaman! And thanks especially for the number tips, I never even thought people might pin the numbers on like that, sounds like a great way to get rid of the drag 'chute feeling. Any tips on upgrading from 4 to 1?? Is lots of mileage a complete waste of time like our team coach says? Ever since I started doing this super high intensity stuff, and not many miles, my legs feel so erratic, one day I might be strong, and then the next day feel like I just started pedaling a bike for the first time.
done miss the start of your races.

get administrative stuff taken care of 1st - especially at road races where a warmup is normally less critical than a crit

know that promoters sometimes have glitches, it is annoying but a reality. just prepare for it better.
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Old 06-02-09, 10:18 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by deadly downtube View Post
Thanks for sharing pizzaman! And thanks especially for the number tips, I never even thought people might pin the numbers on like that, sounds like a great way to get rid of the drag 'chute feeling. Any tips on upgrading from 4 to 1?? Is lots of mileage a complete waste of time like our team coach says? Ever since I started doing this super high intensity stuff, and not many miles, my legs feel so erratic, one day I might be strong, and then the next day feel like I just started pedaling a bike for the first time.
If you're doing more than one day a week of "super high intensity stuff"*, and racing on the weekends, and you're a Cat4 without a hundred thousand miles in your legs, no wonder your legs feel like jelly.

*I define "super high intensity stuff" as sprint work up to 1min intervals.
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Old 06-02-09, 10:25 AM   #12
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As others have said, there's no excuse for not being able to pin your own numbers.

And please, learn how to do it correctly. As RacerEx pointed out, you should use 7 pins per number. Pin in through the number, through the jersey, out through the jersey, out through the number, close the pin. Ignore the holes in the number completely. Do not use them for pinning, at all. A pin in every corner, and on the three edges that could potentially catch wind.

Even if a pin comes open during a race, if you pin your numbers this way, the pin more than likely won't fall out. And puncture one of my very expensive tubulars, resulting in a DNF a mile into a road race.
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Old 06-02-09, 11:04 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips fellas. I've ridden across the US twice, 4 years ago and 2 years ago, so I guess I figured that meant my legs could handle intense training The intensity I do once a week is 6x 5 minute hill climbs as hard as possible. The coach is around 150lbs and I think he says he puts out around 400 watts per climb (not sure what that means really, I dont have a power meter). I can usually match him, sometimes beat him, and I'm 180lbs. But then when we do 3x 20min's on rolling plus flat, with a climb at the end, I suck sooo hard and often can't even beat the team mates I easily smoke on the 5 min climbs. What does that mean? I feel so weak on everything except short hard hill efforts. What types of rides should I go out and do? In the past before I was into racing I just went out and rode up into the mountains doing a loop for fun, so I figure that is why I'm good at 5min climbing power, I never really wanted to go out and ride hard on flat/rolling terrain. When I start my 20min interval, the first 5 mins I feel powerful and then I just feel like my legs are dead horses that I'm beating with a stick.

thanks guys
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Old 06-02-09, 11:16 AM   #14
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Sounds like you have decent high end power, but your FTP/LT/sustained power isn't the best. Like many others on here, I believe that the basis of a strong race oriented program is your FTP; everything after that, from your in-race recovery to your last-lap solo flyer will be a reflection of high how that ceiling has been built.

Continue with your 3x20min efforts. But do them at a more controlled, sustained effort that allows you to start strong, ride the middle strong, and finish them at the same pace. As hard as you can go without backing down at the end, more or less.

I'd pick up a HRM and go from there.

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Old 06-02-09, 11:50 AM   #15
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Thanks for the help Duke! What are some other good ways to increase FTP? Aside from my 3x20's. I'll do a search, and some research of course, since I don't even know what FTP means. Thanks again!

forgot to add, I just got a HRM recently, I still need to get batteries for it. What percentage of my max HR is FTP? thanks

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