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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 02-11-14, 09:23 AM   #1676
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Sometimes it's less a question of confidence in your own abilities than it is about those around you. But even for even the most skilled folks wet pavement creates a very fine line to gather up even small mistakes.

I'd be comfortable wagering my bike handling skills against most anyone; both times I crumpled my spine up were on wet pavement. Columbus goes exploring and actually falls off the edge of the world.
Ex, yeah. My instincts were pulling hard at me Sunday to "ride another day". It's a little weird. I had such drive and verve last year, much of which was me trying to prove to myself that I was 'worthy". I would, then, have gone against all advice and done that race. Now - I am just as passionate about racing, but, I'm tempered. This was sort of an example of where my mindset is headed - race smart, be efficient, take calculated risks.
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Old 02-17-14, 03:20 PM   #1677
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Okay, the first race of the season is in the books. I did some things right, some things okay, and some things stupid.

20 km TT in the morning. I got there in plenty of time, warmed up on the course, and rolled around for a few minutes before I was called to the line. This went almost perfectly according to plan. I went out a little hotter than I planned, then figured I'd leave it there and see what happened. I ended up fading a bit (7 watts, I think) by the end of the course. My time of 35:10 was good for 9/13 in Cat 5. I rode my road bike. My teammate (who's bigger than I am) put up the same power I did for the course and beat me by 40 seconds on his TT bike. I think that's what's called a clue. The only other 20 km TT I've done was the one for the Senior Olympics last September and I improved my time by 1:50 on a similar course.

The crit was a different story. I was there in plenty of time, did a decent warmup on the course, which let me figure out the lines for my corners, and got to the line in time to place myself in front. When the start came, I pushed down on the right pedal, swung the left up to clip in and missed...and missed again...and missed again...and missed again...and missed again, and finally caught it. By then the other 16 guys had streamed by (only 17 total in the Cat 5 crit) and I was pretty much screwed. I pushed hard and got within about 15 meters of the group and stayed there for about two laps until the string stretched, then broke. I commenced my second TT of the day. I had refined my cornering to the point where I wasn't slowing for them, including the one 120 degree one, when the group caught me about 2/3 of the way through. I latched back on - sweet relief! - and came up to the next corner only to have to hit the brakes, then do a hard acceleration. A bunch of non-cornering mutha...well, never mind about that. I lasted about two laps like that; my legs were too fried to deal with the constant accelerations. A couple of guys popped off the back; I worked with one for a while until he pulled himself, the other guy I just passed (he finished). I ended up 15/16.

I learned more from the crit than from the TT. The most noteworthy is that not all PRs - five tries to clip in! - are good things. I know that had I not screwed that up, staying with those guys would've been no problem, and I'm guessing I would've been towards the front due to the difference in cornering skills. All the time I spent grinding through the valve covers on my BMW R90/6, flipping them over, then replacing them when I ground through the other side hasn't been forgotten, though three decades have passed. I learned that I couldn't imagine pulling myself.

One cool sight - one of the guys was riding a late 80s (?) black Paramount, complete with downtube shifters.

However slightly, the needle has moved off the DFL peg.
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Old 02-17-14, 06:59 PM   #1678
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Every season before the first race, I practice clipping in. Every. Single. Year. Doesn't keep me from missing every time, but it really helps.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:01 PM   #1679
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I went out a little hotter than I planned, then figured I'd leave it there and see what happened. I ended up fading a bit (7 watts, I think) by the end of the course.
No one else has ever gone out too hot during a TT. Ever. That said depending on the course sometime you want to go out hotter. Much technical stuff in there.

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My teammate ...beat me by 40 seconds on his TT bike. I think that's what's called a clue.
TT bikes are cool. AZT probably will sell you his

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When the start came, I pushed down on the right pedal, swung the left up to clip in and missed...and missed again...and missed again...and missed again...and missed again, and finally caught it. By then the other 16 guys had streamed by (only 17 total in the Cat 5 crit) and I was pretty much screwed.
If you do this in an NRC crit, the same thing will result. FWIW I missed this clipping in on 3 tries weekend and managed to come unclipped when some dingleberry swerved into me as well, but clipped right back in. Seems I need to get on replacing those cleats and getting some cleats on my new shiny race shoes that have been sitting in a box for several weeks.

All in all though I'd say you get a tip of the hat. Improvements abound and you figured out that most people think they will crash if their bike leans over slightly.

Good job.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:07 PM   #1680
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I raced Sunday. Many people in similar uniforms followed me around. I was the only one in my costume. I missed the winning break when I got boxed in by people who wanted to ride slow. Then I chased three people who wanted to ride fast who had fancy piping on their sleeves.

No one wanted to help except two guys. I kept them to 8 seconds with 5 to go. Then no one wanted to help.

I saw Cleave and said hello.

Then I raced again. No one got away though we tried, lord did I try. I had a teammate in this race for a while. I saw Cleave and said "Go Cleave GO!"

Then I went home and had a ham sandwich, and took the wife out for Mexican and frozen yogurt later. Patron margies are tasty.

Today I coached. Now I'm going to go make a Manhattan.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:07 PM   #1681
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Seconded, good job revchuck.

Go Cleave Go!!
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Old 02-17-14, 09:00 PM   #1682
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TT bikes are cool. AZT probably will sell you his
Then, a few months later, you can sell it to someone else, and then...
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Old 02-17-14, 09:00 PM   #1683
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Push Cleave! You got it man!
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Old 02-17-14, 09:34 PM   #1684
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TT bikes are cool. AZT probably will sell you his
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Then, a few months later, you can sell it to someone else, and then...
Yeah, I honestly don't see myself being a contender for GC anytime soon, so I'll probably suck up whatever loss merckxing brings. I'll be able to afford/use a track bike before a TT bike would be useful. I got passed by three guys on TT/tri bikes with disk wheels and aero helmets; turns out they were all triathletes racing on a one day license.
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Old 02-18-14, 12:24 AM   #1685
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[MENTION=208276]revchuck[/MENTION], glad to hear that you got your season started. Your race report sounds similar to some of my recent races and I've done10,562 race <JK>. I've forgotten your height. If you can fit a 54 cm TT frame, let me know.

Oh, and my first year at nationals (2011) I missed clipping in a couple of times. I wasn't off the back but I was at the back. It got worse from there.
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Old 02-18-14, 12:42 AM   #1686
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This past weekend I was 0-2. DNF in both races. My training plan for Valley of the Sun Stage Race changed dramatically after being sick and then having a week of travel for work. I've been using the past 2-1/2 weeks as a build block that culminates at VoS. Saturday I did a long ride with some medium climbs near threshold. Sunday morning during warm up, my legs still felt fatigued.

The 55+/50+ race started with me behind one of Ex's three missed clip ins. I had to take the long way around him because my teammate who was next to me also missed. Before we hit turn 2, Ex was riding past me.

I never felt like I had any race rhythm -- I was doing intervals out of almost every corner and I couldn't find any wheels that felt good. For several laps, I was behind my tail-gunning teammate. I started to move up and due to some of Ex's "antics" (I presume), I was working much harder than I should have to move up. I fell back, struggled, fell off during the 3-to-go lap and dropped out after crossing the line with 2-to-go showing.

The 45+ race actually started out much better. It was smoother or something and even though I never got near the front, I wasn't at the back. Saw Ex at one point and didn't hear any admonitions to go harder. Of course, I would have said, "You're not going hard if you're near me." Once again, though, either the legs gave out or the pace got harder or both and with uncanny consistency, I pulled off with 2-to-go.

I think this is a good omen for VoS.
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Old 02-18-14, 09:26 AM   #1687
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@revchuck, glad to hear that you got your season started. Your race report sounds similar to some of my recent races and I've done10,562 race <JK>. I've forgotten your height. If you can fit a 54 cm TT frame, let me know.
Cleave - I'm 6'2", I've got two 58s, a 60 (steel, so it's different) and a 61 (Look, so it's different). No way I'd fit a 54, but thanks!
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Old 02-18-14, 10:16 AM   #1688
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Chuck, you done good, man!!!

Let's see. I can't impart anything useful that the experienced guys all ready have, except maybe my perspective.

Went out too hard. Umm. Yes. What Ex said. I still do that. It takes a concerted effort to control the adrenaline. Pace, pace, pace, BREATHE, engage brain, get ahold of yourself.

Crit? Yeah. How many times, like everyone else, have I missed a clip in? Or dropped the chain? Chasing is no fun, but that's the name of the game when that happens. Hey, I've done it enough to where my little girl brain has figured some things out - most of which I was TOLD I needed to do, anyway (positive reinforcement). As in. Let your momentum carry you forward. Don't use the brakes (unless you absolutely have to), find a hole and go there. Life at or near the front is so much better than at the back, even in a small pack (there is still the Slinky). Anticipate accelerations, especially off of corners. And my favorite (and biggest sin), be SMOOTH - don't jam on the power, just accelerate. It's all part of that "shelter, conserve, survive to the end" concept.

All that said, what a great start! You got out there, you did it, you finished (and not DFL), and you kept the rubber side down. Congratulations!!!!
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Old 02-18-14, 06:11 PM   #1689
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I forgot to mention I won a case of Cramp Crusher electrolyte chews in a prime Sunday. Lemon.
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Old 02-19-14, 09:06 AM   #1690
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Are they good? Do they crush cramps?
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Old 02-19-14, 10:39 AM   #1691
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I dunno. Elevate blood pressure though.
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Old 02-22-14, 05:14 PM   #1692
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Snelling Road Race, Women Cat 4

My plan was similar to Cherry Pie - stay sheltered, stay smooth, stay near the front, conserve. I did a few of those things.

50 rider field, many of whom were less than great bike handlers. I've never heard so much cussing in a women's race before! I even dropped an F bomb myself on one occasion. Yes, me! The weather conditions couldn't have been better - 55 degrees at the start, sunny, and NO wind. The front was dominated by a single large team - Pinnacle. They had easily a dozen riders in the field. Some were pretty strong, some weren't. They lined up on the front, two deep, before we rolled off. I lined up towards the back, even though I did not want not plan to be there. I decided to move up as quickly as I could, even in the promenade, if possible. Once the race went hot, I established myself on the left side of the peloton (light wind from the right) and started to move up. It was a constant give and take. A rider would go past me, and I'd ease on to their wheel (let them do the work), but they wouldn't get far, and I'd move into a hole and try to find someone else antsy to get to the front. The Pinnacle riders were doing their best to instill chaos in the peloton, and they pretty much succeeded. They'd accelerate off of a corner, and then slow down suddenly - you can imagine what that was like further back! At one point I was on my brakes so hard that I lifted my back wheel off the ground! Yes, there was a crash, too. The gals were okay, they even finished the race.

Anyway, I pretty easily stayed buried in the middle of the field through the whole first lap, and part of the second, when one of those yo-yo moves stretched the cord too far and the peloton shattered. I was in the chattel! I found a group to hide in, we did some good work together for the rest of the race, and I finished I don't know where, but it wasn't last. We weren't all that far behind the main peloton, either.

I discovered a few things that need attention. One is endurance, it's not real good. Ex had me working on nutrition, and that actually went well - there was no sign of a bonk at all, in spite of the fact that I didn't feed or drink as much in that first lap as I wanted, because I was more concerned with not getting taken out! The next is upper body strength. 3 miles of Keyes Road on that course makes pave seem smooth! Getting the crap beat out of me like that really took it out of me.

However, considering where I am right now with my fitness, and that I'm built more for crits, I did okay. I'm even pleased!
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Old 02-22-14, 05:36 PM   #1693
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Sara, good job. Lineup is very important. Don't let those Pinnacles push you around. Line up right with them.
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Old 02-22-14, 06:00 PM   #1694
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Sara, good job. Lineup is very important. Don't let those Pinnacles push you around. Line up right with them.
Yeup...I knew that, too. If I could have made my way to the front, things would have been easier. I know I missed opportunities, because I didn't recognize them. And that nervousness around me was causing me to hesitate from time to time! Still, I surfed okay - didn't use that much energy, except on the rollers.
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Old 02-22-14, 06:07 PM   #1695
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You should have seen me at Nats. Me and one other guy were the only two on the front row without stripes. I shoved my way in when the chief official blew the whistle for attention. My 40cm bars came in handy.
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Old 02-22-14, 06:54 PM   #1696
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Good job, Sara! Using your brain to conserve your legs.
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Old 02-22-14, 07:45 PM   #1697
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Nice racing Sara. There are several NorCal races that have the rough road sections (broken pavement) that beat the crap out of the racers. Madera has a section in the road race as well as Topsport and there is the king of bad roads: Copperopolis.
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Old 02-22-14, 11:15 PM   #1698
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Somebody has to be last and who better than me?
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Old 02-23-14, 12:20 AM   #1699
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Somebody has to be last and who better than me?
No - me!
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Old 02-23-14, 12:22 AM   #1700
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Nice racing Sara. There are several NorCal races that have the rough road sections (broken pavement) that beat the crap out of the racers. Madera has a section in the road race as well as Topsport and there is the king of bad roads: Copperopolis.
Thank you, Hermes! I'm racing at Madera in two weeks. Oh boy, another round with Tyson! I've heard stories about Copperopolis! No, thank you!!!
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