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Old 03-13-05, 10:15 PM   #1
DXchulo
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My 2nd Race

On Saturday I traveled to beautiful Kentucky for my 2nd race of the season. The course was a 25-mile loop with 2 pretty hard climbs. The first climb was about halfway through, and the second climb ended maybe 1/4th of a mile away from the finish.

In my first race I learned my lesson that I need to stay at the front of the pack right from the start. I was able to do this, and I even took 2 or 3 pulls at the front (since I'm such a nice guy and all). Not too long before the first climb I was right up front and I had a mechanical issue. I was shifting from the small ring to the big ring going down a hill and somehow I managed to shift my chain completely off of the ring. I thought I had the front der adjusted right (I've been riding on it for a week), but I guess I was shifting with more force or making a shift that I don't usually make. I think I have it adjusted right now, BTW. Anyway, I had to stop, grab my chain, and put it back on the ring. This should take like 15 seconds, but I guess I was nervous or something because it took me a while to get it right. Well, by the time I got going again everyone was out of sight. So there I was in no man's land trying to catch up for the 2nd race in a row.

The first climb was hard, especially since nobody was around to push me at the time, but not too long after it was over I started catching up with a few people. The last climb was a killer, and it helped me pass 3 more people right at the end. I caught 2 guys on the actual climb, and I passed another guy on the flat section right before the finish line. The map said there was a 2-mile flat section before the finish, so I was taking my time passing up the last guy, but not even 1/4th of a mile ahead I saw the camera and started hauling ass. The flat section couldn't have been 2 miles. They had to have made a mistake.

I ended up in 13th place, which I later found out was the first rider after the leading group of guys. I was pretty mad, because I was feeling good before my mechanical issue and I wish I could have been up front for the finish to see where my sprinting is. I'm a pretty good climber, so I feel like I could have had a good result on that course. My goal is to win a race before the season is over, and I think that if I don't make any stupid mistakes or have any more mechanical issues then I can reach that goal.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the top 12 riders get points for nationals (collegiate races), and I just missed that, which made me even more upset. The goal for the next race (2 weeks away) is to score myself some points.
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Old 03-13-05, 10:43 PM   #2
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First of all, it sounds like you had a nice race even with the mechanical problem. I've got a couple possible stay on the bike solutions for you (of course first would be to have it adjusted correctly in the first place). I had problems with a front derailler on an old bike and I got pretty good at taking my right foot out of the pedal and lifting the chain with my toe and directing it onto the chainring while I slowly pedaled forward with my left foot. I've also heard (I think from www.roadbikerider.com) you can keep pedaling slowly and just shift back to the small chainring which will push the chain over so it catches on the chainring. I've never tried this method when the chain goes off on the pedal side like you had, but I have done it successfully when my chain has fallen off on the inside. Obviously, you do it slowly and if the chain binds up somewhere, you have to stop and get off the bike. Good luck with you racing. It sounds like you're ready for the year. I'm not there yet.
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Old 03-13-05, 10:43 PM   #3
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How do nationals work? I was under the impression that only A riders went to nat's.... Or are you an A rider (which I would find hard to believe considering its your 2nd race...)?
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Old 03-13-05, 10:48 PM   #4
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No, I'm not an A rider. I'm just a lowly C man. I'm not really sure how the whole system works. I'm pretty much my team's only rider and I have no chance of getting to nationals, so I didn't read the rules. Maybe they just give out points in the C race for overall team standings?
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Old 03-13-05, 11:44 PM   #5
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All the races contribute to team standings, A's have the most point scoring places, Ds the least. As I understand it, only riders who have RACED an A race can go to nationals, that said you don't need to score points in an A race to qualify. Also should you score points in a race you can never downgrade to a lower category.
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Old 03-13-05, 11:45 PM   #6
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PS you should learn how to ride and reach down and pull your chain back on, its very doable, especially if you're going downhill.
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Old 03-14-05, 03:11 AM   #7
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Was this the L'Espirit Road Race? How was the venue, sponsors, and other riders?
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Old 03-14-05, 06:18 AM   #8
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DXchulo: Congrats on finishing it is too bad about the mechanical though Hopefully in two weeks everything will be aligned just so and you'll score some big points. Good Luck!
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Old 03-14-05, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcasillo
Was this the L'Espirit Road Race? How was the venue, sponsors, and other riders?
Nope, this was Lindsey Wilson's collegiate (MWCCC) race in Columbia. Kentucky has some nice scenery and some bigger hills than I'm used to, that's for sure. Too bad the trees didn't have leaves yet, or it would have been even better looking. I hear a lot of jokes about Kentucky, but I thought it was a beautiful place.


To everyone else, I guess I got caught up in the moment and never even thought about reaching down there to put the chain back on. It's probably a good thing I didn't considering how clumsy I was when I got off to put it back on. I'll practice some of this on my rollers just in case I don't finally have it adjusted perfectly. It's amazing how something happens in the heat of the moment and common sense goes out the window.
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