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  1. #2851
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    2:45 minute endurance ride with my wife fighting a lot of wind. The goal was to burn some calories and do a few z3 efforts. Yesterday, it rained and was very windy. It was still raining after midnight and I figured we would wake up to wet roads. Instead the roads were dry but the wind was still blowing and the temps were in the low 50s.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  2. #2852
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    But pack finishes are kinda like cheap wine, huh?
    It depends. Pack finishes can get you to Cat3.

  3. #2853
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Hey Y'all, I managed to ride 6 out of 7 days last week. Building that base and getting my balance back pretty well. Thanks for the encouragement. I joined the local club, West Florida Wheelmen last month and will start their beginner pace lines and group rides soon. thge state TT champion is an active member. Good guy and super rider now riding for the U.S. Military Cycling Team as a retired Marine.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  4. #2854
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    It depends. Pack finishes can get you to Cat3.
    That thought crossed my mind after I sat up with two turns to go in the 4-5!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  5. #2855
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I want to mention to the ladies here that there was a woman racing in the M50+/60+ race, and if I heard correctly during a warm-down lap, she is 60+. She was right there in the pack, and she could pass for someone in her 40's. Athletic endeavor is a great thing.

    Now I need some help from my mentors here. Slipperiness... how best to improve it? Those who are most slippery in the crit's seem to also be the great TTers. Is that the most effective path? Get the hang of it on a TT bike, and transfer that to the crit and road bikes? I know the biggest factor is getting my nose down near the bars when I'm in the wind, but right now, I only do that for brief periods. Position is one of the most obvious differentiators between folks at my level and those in the faster cat's. Pushing as much air as I typically do, at 30mph, requires an unattainable FTP. I've had slipperiness as a goal for this year, and my new bike geo has certainly helped, but I still have a long way to go.

    Help!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  6. #2856
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Kathleen Billington from Vanderkitten was in our P/1/2/3 race yesterday. She finished in the field.

    Improving your position on the bike for criteriums is helpful but IMO it's not a deciding factor unless you are soloing off the front. If you're in the field the amount of air you are seeing is primarily controlled by your positioning. An inch here or there can make a huge, as in 100W, difference. You're not going to get 100W out of aero optimization. When I'm OTF I use Cane Creek Speed bars to get low, but it comes with a price as my hips are closed a bit further and I have to reposition myself to compensate. I can't stay in that position long, 2-3 minutes, unless I'm in full suffer mode.

    Performing well in criteriums is mostly about positioning yourself in the field, reading the race, having a good jump and using it at the right times, and having the ability and willingness to take changes and suffer.

  7. #2857
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    "I want to mention to the ladies here that there was a woman racing in the M50+/60+ race, and if I heard correctly during a warm-down lap, she is 60+. She was right there in the pack, and she could pass for someone in her 40's. Athletic endeavor is a great thing."

    Don't I know it! My girlfriend Barb Gicquel is a Senior Games champion, she is always with the A group on club rides and right at the front of that pack, and is just a monster, in spite of her diminutive stature - she's 5'2". Her age has NOTHING to do with her prowess, either - she's 72, going on 40, and looks 35! I just hope I'm still up right at 72.

    AzT, your progress is amazing. Go, man, go! I'm learning as much about racing from you and everyone else here as I could by participating, I think. I just wish I could ride and train with you fellas!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  8. #2858
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Since AZT brought up 60+ women, I felt compelled to post a pic of my 60+ current and 3 time National Champion wife. She did a photo shoot last year and here is the pic I like the best.

    Racer Ex met her last year at Elite Track Nationals and later wanted to know how I scored such a great looking wife. Lucky.

    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  9. #2859
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Kathleen Billington from Vanderkitten was in our P/1/2/3 race yesterday. She finished in the field.

    Improving your position on the bike for criteriums is helpful but IMO it's not a deciding factor unless you are soloing off the front. If you're in the field the amount of air you are seeing is primarily controlled by your positioning. An inch here or there can make a huge, as in 100W, difference. You're not going to get 100W out of aero optimization. When I'm OTF I use Cane Creek Speed bars to get low, but it comes with a price as my hips are closed a bit further and I have to reposition myself to compensate. I can't stay in that position long, 2-3 minutes, unless I'm in full suffer mode.

    Performing well in criteriums is mostly about positioning yourself in the field, reading the race, having a good jump and using it at the right times, and having the ability and willingness to take changes and suffer.
    I hear you on the pack positioning, and part of that is also minimizing effort when moving up, and in general just smoothing things out. There is still a long list of areas I need to improve. I believe that long term I'm more likely to succeed in a breakaway than in a sprint, which means either going it alone or pulling a bunch. So I'm looking for tips in building the ability to hold the really aero position longer, and in generating decent power in a more closed position. My first thought is of course just to do it more, getting aero when training instead of just when racing. I do train in the drops, but not with arms bent and nose really down. I also need to see what might be available for the Madone to get the seat a bit further forward, and I'm considering going to narrower and deeper bars. I'm using 46cm Easton EC-90's, which are a compact aero shape. I chose them back when I was worried about too much drop. Now I want a bigger difference between being up top and down in the drops, so that my drops position is lower without lowering the more relaxed position.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  10. #2860
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Racer Ex met her last year at Elite Track Nationals and later wanted to know how I scored such a great looking wife. Lucky.
    We've all wondered that, Hermes, we've just been being polite. It's also great that you two have a shared passion.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  11. #2861
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    AZT, I think that the key to success in athletic competition is determining where one has a competitive advantage. My observation of crits and scratch races (track) is that there are two methods of success - breakaway and sprint. Even in the breakaway, the strongest sprinter of the breakaway wins.

    However, patience is a key virtue in doing well in races. Some races will not set up for a racers advantage. Learning when to capitalize on an advantage and executing under race pressure is a real skill in racing and hard to do. One of my racing friends and 5 time world track champion gave a talk on tactics and said it best. Ones racing IQ goes down as the power goes up. We just do not think clearly under duress. But to do well consistently requires just that elusive skill.

    IMO, you need to look more like Summeren on the bike. And, IMO, few racers can ride at 30 mph for one hour. The gold standard for 40K TTs is under one hour or 25 mph. For 50+, 28 mph for one hour is stupid fast. Racers spend years working on their position for road, TT and track. Keep in mind that one can always bend at the elbows to go lower for short period of time and lower your head.

    One other point about bike racing. When I started track racing, we had to get qualified at the track which means taking beginner sessions. The first supervisor / instructor that I had commented that track racing is 98% cooperative and 2% competitive. There are few athletic competitions where one cooperates with competitors. That is why when it is time for the 2%, we have to be in the best position playing to our competitive advantage with the most power and endurance of the remaining competitors. That is not easy to do and is why bike racing is so hard to be consistent at winning and those that can are true champions of the sport.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  12. #2862
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Lots of good points as usual Hermes, and I'm not saying I'm going to be solo at 30mph, just that on the occasions when I need to stick my nose in the air up in that range, I want to be as aero as possible.

    I guess I'm pointing out that the consistent winners, like our #1 50+ guy, are more consistently aero than those of us struggling to keep up, and I want to look more like the aero guys. If I compared photos of me with Vansummeren, his back is going to be more curved, and I'm sure he is using more drop, but probably not that much more than what I have now. But he will also be riding with his arms bent more of the time, and if OTF, he'll be in IAB, which is something I'm still getting comfortable with holding for any period of time. I'm guessing that riding a TT bike would help with that last part.

    Our 50+ strongman won three races this weekend. A 45+ and 2 50+ races. Both the 50+ wins were breakaways where he basically pulled a guy or three around the course, then rode away from them to the line. Another teammate in the break yesterday (he took 4th) said he never pulled, and was still almost dropped. The 45+ was run with the 35+, and I think he was the only 45+ up at the front at the end. He combines everything that's been mentioned: aero, strong, and always in the right place at the right time. I'm learning a lot racing with him, but his moves still often take me by surprise. He is marked man every race, but still makes it happen. So far I've been a set up man for him a couple of time, where I pushed the pace, got caught, and he countered to create the winning break.

    So much to learn, and so much fun learning it.

    On a side note, we had two 50+ guys with medical issues racing this weekend. The guy who needed the IV post race, and the guy who took 4th yesterday. He has a pacemaker, and ended up in the hospital last night after sweating like (as he put it) "a donkey climbing out of the grand canyon". He was still there this morning.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  13. #2863
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    Malabar Farm RR , Survived first race of the season. Well, not counting the last one that i went into atrial fibrillation before the start.... Anyway, this was not my race, as i am still rebuilding from some heart and fatigue issues the past 2 years, too much hill. But i wasn't last. nexto,nexto, nexto last or so... The plan was to hang with the group up the mile long STEEP climb, and suck wheel the rest of the loop them repeat. Reality: Sucked wind going up the hill and solo OTB for the rest. Got caught by masters group on second of 3 laps, so got a little rest. Now i know my weaknesses: strength, speed, and stamina. Training should be much easier now...

  14. #2864
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Take it slow, man. Your kids need you.

  15. #2865
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    Slow and steady.

  16. #2866
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dadof7 View Post
    Malabar Farm RR , Survived first race of the season. Well, not counting the last one that i went into atrial fibrillation before the start.... Anyway, this was not my race, as i am still rebuilding from some heart and fatigue issues the past 2 years, too much hill. But i wasn't last. nexto,nexto, nexto last or so... The plan was to hang with the group up the mile long STEEP climb, and suck wheel the rest of the loop them repeat. Reality: Sucked wind going up the hill and solo OTB for the rest. Got caught by masters group on second of 3 laps, so got a little rest. Now i know my weaknesses: strength, speed, and stamina. Training should be much easier now...
    That is a very tough race to make your first! I've done it twice and don't intend to race that course again. You might have enjoyed the Mid-Ohio race the week prior as that hill is not as brutal. Welcome back to racing. We might be in the same races since we are both in NE Ohio. I'm looking forward to the Race At The Lake series and the Sunday training races in the CVNP that begin April 15.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  17. #2867
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    AZTR, you need to train in the drops to be able to ride sustained periods in the drops. When I'm doing rollers in the winter I will switch from tops, drops and hoods during the workout. Sometimes I will spend 10 minutes at each. Being in the drops is uncomfortable, but if you train there it gets easier quickly.

    Some day when you are riding into the wind A Z3 watch your power and pick a number to sustain. First ride with you hands on the hoods and take note of your cadence. Next, stay on the hoods and bend your elbows, droop your shoulders, and pull your knees nearer the toptube while pedaling then note your cadence. Did the cadence get higher? Next go into the drops and hit that power number. Relax your body and bring your chest down towards the TT, pull your elbows in and tuck them in close to your chest, make sure your knees are close to the top tube then check your cadence at the given watts. Any higher cadence? It's free speed, take it while you can. Think how hard you have to work to increase FTP by a few watts and how a position change can do the same? I did those experiments this winter while riding the fixie using HR and cadence since I didn't have Power.

    Another thing I do is to watch my shadow on days when it's riding right along side of me. That is a good time to see your back and elbows in action.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  18. #2868
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    When I go from the hoods to the drops riding the trainer my cadence increases along with my power. It just feels easier but I think that is due to my motor pacing and training at the track. Typically, we race in the drop and may go to the tops during easy efforts or warmup. Here is a pic from 2010 Track Worlds 45 to 49 points race. Note that everyone is in the drops and the position is about the same. When the pace is full on the racers bend their elbows.



    AZT, I assume you race your crits in the drops.

    My ability to hold power in the drops is very good but when I switch to the TT bike it is more difficult to make power with my arms in and with a more severe hip angle. It is also easier to make power if I drop my head since my shoulders and neck muscles relax but I cannot see well.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  19. #2869
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I'm in the drops 100% of the time in the crit's. Well, there are rare occasions when everyone sits up, but even that makes me uncomfortable - just feels weird. I just don't have my elbows really bent, and my nose really down, unless I'm closing a gap or bridging. On my breaks, I haven't kept that really low position the whole time. I believe my drops position is similar to the most of the pack, but the really fast guys spend more time with their arms bent enough to get almost flat.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #2870
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Here is the only recent pic I have, from yesterday's 4-5 crit, going up the rise before anything had heated up. The guy in the same kit just ahead is the 15yo that won the race. Note that, like Sara, I'm smile/grimacing in every pic I've seen of me:

    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  21. #2871
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Hey Y'all, I managed to ride 6 out of 7 days last week. Building that base and getting my balance back pretty well. Thanks for the encouragement. I joined the local club, West Florida Wheelmen last month and will start their beginner pace lines and group rides soon. thge state TT champion is an active member. Good guy and super rider now riding for the U.S. Military Cycling Team as a retired Marine.

    Bill
    Good start Bill. Don't forget ride reports.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  22. #2872
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    AZT, you have a very long torso and long arms. From that shot it looks like you might want to consider a longer stem and/or bars with more reach and drop. But in general, you're not far off. That deep in the field, everyone is sitting up a bit for visibility. Where it matters is when you're OTF or on the front. Here are a few shots for comparison. I'm in the white/blue kit.

    In the field, like your pic. Arms extended, resting, for visibility.



    Doing some work near the front. Not full aero, but conscious of it.



    Working hard on the front to pull a break. I use three positions for this; drops, speed bars, or hook the levers. This is the latter.



    How I position myself depends on the situation. A good bike fit makes this easy.

  23. #2873
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Thanks AJ, I'll be doing ride reports here shortly! I have been keeping up ride reports in the "Did You Ride Today?" thread, easy to do both. I need to find a heart rate monitor now, the Power Meter will have to wait a bit for the cost to be absorbed by the bank account.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  24. #2874
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    AZT, you have a very long torso and long arms. From that shot it looks like you might want to consider a longer stem and/or bars with more reach and drop. But in general, you're not far off. That deep in the field, everyone is sitting up a bit for visibility. Where it matters is when you're OTF or on the front. Here are a few shots for comparison. I'm in the white/blue kit.
    I'm already using a 140mm stem, but my bars are pretty compact. I think my arm angle is pretty close...

    Working hard on the front to pull a break. I use three positions for this; drops, speed bars, or hook the levers. This is the latter.



    How I position myself depends on the situation. A good bike fit makes this easy.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I need to develop better positions, and train to hold them for longer periods of time.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  25. #2875
    Senior Member dadof7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    That is a very tough race to make your first! I've done it twice and don't intend to race that course again. You might have enjoyed the Mid-Ohio race the week prior as that hill is not as brutal. Welcome back to racing. We might be in the same races since we are both in NE Ohio. I'm looking forward to the Race At The Lake series and the Sunday training races in the CVNP that begin April 15.
    I am planning to hit RATL also, it will be my first crit, only done road races so far, little nervous about that. Malabar was not my first choice of races, but had a son's b-day party for midohio . See you at RATL.

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