Saturday was the Bulldog Bike Race on Camp Pendleton. It was advertised a 26 mile out and back. I went back and forth if I was going to do it or not, and decided to just do it. I wanted to get a different bike before I tried racing, but decided to stop making excuses and just try it. They offered a Clyde class so I loaded everything up Saturday morning and drove over.
It was raining buckets at 7 when I arrived. I registered and waited around in the rain. They pushed the start back 15 minutes, and instead of 7 different waves of riders, grouped everyone into 2 waves. We would start in the 2nd wave. After the 1st wave left, I rolled up to the start, and no one else was too anxious so I ended up right in front. They did a neutral start to get us out of the parking lot and onto the road, then they let us go. A couple of guys took off, but it was raining and there was a decent headwind, so they didn't go anywhere.
About 6 miles in, I got dropped from the lead pack on a pretty big roller. I knew I could not sustain that effort the entire race, and there was nothing I could do. There was a pretty good climb up to the turn around point, about a 500 ft climb. On the way back a group of 4 of us formed, and we got a decent paceline going. By the time we got back, the sun was shining but the roads were still wet.
I ended up 6th in the Clyde class out of 23. It was a ton of fun, but very challenging. It is completely different when you see that pack creeping away knowing they will not wait for you or let up at all. I have not downloaded my Garmin yet, but here is what I saw after the race
Total miles - 27 and change
Time - 1:30 something
Avg Speed - just over 18 mph
Max Speed - 43.5 mph
Avg HR - 169
Max HR - 190
Normally, I try and keep my HR from going over 165 for a long time, but I couldn't read my Garmin in the rain. So it was a good thing, because I had no idea I could sustain that kind of effort for that long. I was sore in places I didn't know I could be sore. I was completely worn out. And I can't wait to try it again.