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  1. #1851
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Sea Otter Crit, Women's 4

    I got a good warmup, and felt good when I lined up. The field was large, I'd guess over 30. I made a tactical error right off the bat on the line, because I was late to the line from the free lap, and I had sit on the last row (there were four or five rows). Then the RD told us the race info was wrong, we were to do 40 minutes, not 30! What??? I signed up for this because it was 30! Oh, well. At the whistle, I tried to to move up right away, hitting it pretty hard on the first "bump" (now or never), and I managed to pick up maybe five places. I picked off a couple of more in the first left turn, and then made it to mid pack in the hairpin. But, the acceleration coming off of that corner was brutal and I was redlined by the time we got to the top of the hill and started the short descent onto the back straight. I made up ground in the next set of corners, and was in the back 1/3 when we hit the front straight. I was trying to find a wheel, and just couldn't - the race dynamics were way different than a flat crit, and those young women just did NOT let up! By the top of the return hill on the second lap, I was pretty far off the back, and chasing was not making up any ground. I didn't have the speed or the strength and there was NO one to work with. When I hit that same point on the third lap, I decided that enough was enough, and I pulled the plug. I was seeing 300 watts plus, sustained, on those hills. That's not a lot to you guys, but for me, it's unsustainable. I hit a max of 647 watts some where - that is a sprint number, and I've only got a few of those in me for a given race.

    This was a tough race, on a hard course with a young field rich with talent.

    So - live to fight another day. I have a flat crit next Saturday, and then, soon enough, the senior races are going to be coming. Those are my A races, and I'm training for them. Today was fun, those corners were a blast, and as Ex told me, I can out corner most of those other women - and I did, each and every time I had the chance.

    DNF.
    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."

  2. #1852
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Bummer. You learned a valuable lesson. At big races always stage early, even if it means giving up riding the course you've never seen.

  3. #1853
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Bummer. You learned a valuable lesson. At big races always stage early, even if it means giving up riding the course you've never seen.
    Yeah...my only real chance was to be at the front for the start.

    The organization at the start was chaotic. They let all the combined fields out at the same time rather than staging them, as they've done in other races. Then they announced that the time was wrong and the race was really forty minutes. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

    I talked to a couple of the masters women after the race. I told them I would have loved to work with them, and one of them asked "why didn't you?" Once I figured out who they were, well into the second or third lap, I tried!!

    It was good training. It was fun! I WON'T do it again. The Sea Otter road courses, overall, are very hard, and I've had my taste. My focus is improving, and I know what kind of course I can do well on now.
    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."

  4. #1854
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    DNF but sounds like lessons learned and(!) more importantly I think, you knew when to say when.

  5. #1855
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBOHUNT View Post
    DNF but sounds like lessons learned and(!) more importantly I think, you knew when to say when.
    IBO, that's exactly right.

    Guys, this for me was much of what Cleave does and understands. This was a training race. That's all. The field was stupid strong (Twenty 16 development team, collegiate teams, you name it), on a hilly course in a "big" race. That I hung with them for two laps, given my age and current level of fitness was pretty damned good, as far I'm concerned. It's been said before, and I'll say it again (because I loose sight of it, too), as an OLDER woman, I have few choices when it comes to races in which I can be competitive. Ex understands that. USAC fields don't normally contain women's M 45+ fields, rarely M 55+, because there just aren't that many of us. If I want to race, it's against the kids. I accept that. For those races, I've finally come around to where I GET that I need to stack things in my favor if I don't want to get totally disappointed. That means the kind of course I race on, as well as who is in the race. I knew Sea Otter would NOT be in my favor at all, but I wanted to try it. I got some seriously high power levels good training done, got to watch some amazing young women, got to see some friends, and had a good time. I understand now that when enough is enough, there is no glory in killing myself for dead last. So, I'm not going to do that any more. If there is hope, that's another thing. In a masters race, it's all or nothing. Head screwed on right! Finally.
    Last edited by sarals; 04-11-14 at 12:13 PM.
    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."

  6. #1856
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    You learn something each time you hit the line, Sara, so gratz. Some people don't, you know, and just do the same things over and over and over.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  7. #1857
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    You learn something each time you hit the line, Sara, so gratz. Some people don't, you know, and just do the same things over and over and over.
    Right on, AzT...and thanks!

    Hey, have a boudin for me, will you?
    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. #1858
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Congrats Sara on the result and keeping the rubber side down. It seems this season that NorCal racers, race for blood - the crashes this season are numerous and serious. There are no fun races just combat. Two of my female masters friends went 1 and 2 in the 35+ field and they are 50+. As far as I could see by reviewing the women's results, they finished within 10s of seconds of each other. My team did not have any racers, men or women in Sea Otter.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  9. #1859
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Congrats Sara on the result and keeping the rubber side down. It seems this season that NorCal racers, race for blood - the crashes this season are numerous and serious. There are no fun races just combat. Two of my female masters friends went 1 and 2 in the 35+ field and they are 50+. As far as I could see by reviewing the women's results, they finished within 10s of seconds of each other. My team did not have any racers, men or women in Sea Otter.
    Hermes, you're right. There has been some pretty careless bike handling in most of the races I've been in, although this one was pretty clean. The master's women were all off of the back of that peloton by the third lap, when I was. They stuck together and finished pretty much in their own little group. Congrats to your friends for hanging and doing well! Now, if there had only been some other 60+ gals in there...
    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."

  10. #1860
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Sea Slaughter has never impressed me from an organizational standpoint. Though I am prejudiced after being left bleeding out on the course for 30 minutes one year, never getting the requested ambulance and having to ride a broken frame in for help.

    Great courses, great location, overpriced.

  11. #1861
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Sea Slaughter has never impressed me from an organizational standpoint. Though I am prejudiced after being left bleeding out on the course for 30 minutes one year, never getting the requested ambulance and having to ride a broken frame in for help.

    Great courses, great location, overpriced.
    What is interesting to me is that the same people, USAC officials and all, run NCNCA events all the time, and I've seen them do better work than Sea Otter.

    I suppose, for the level of athletes that the festival intends to attract, the courses are good to great. Many amateurs like them, too, especially the off-road. The road courses, not so much.

    Overpriced for sure! And you know, much of the "help" at Sea Otter are volunteers, unpaid.
    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."

  12. #1862
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Part of it looks like you're racing on a MUP.

  13. #1863
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Part of it looks like you're racing on a MUP.
    The pit road? Yeah, it's pretty narrow. It really wasn't an issue, though.
    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."

  14. #1864
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Nice job, sarals! Accomplishing your mission is the most important thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

    And let the age thing go. We are all old with problems of some kind. Focusing on that is counterproductive.

  15. #1865
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Bethel Zwadnie M45+, mid 60's, west wind, 11th place. It was so nice to be racing in decent weather as crappy weather plagued this series for the other six races. The west wind flipped the tactics around and made the back stretch the place to attack. I was pretty much free to do what I wanted to so I did everything I could to stay off the front. I followed a few moves that had one strong rider but nobody was letting "pink" get up the road today. With around 10 to go a break of 5 or 6 that had two strong riders started to open a gap on the headwind stretch so I attacked and bridged successfully. Three of us started working but the others just wanted to suck wheel so we were caught in a few laps. With three to go a small break of nobodies went and I had a chance to bridge again, but I was on the front, and that is not the best place to attack from so I sat back in. For the sprint I got on gsteinb's wheel while #3 in the series tried to shove me off but I would have nothing to do with it. We bumped and banged up the hill in the sprint, and blew past the break, but I ran out of gas after all that work and ended up 11th. I would have liked to make one of those breaks stick but it just wasn't my day.

    Awards, podium photos, Pepe's white clam pizza and Moretti afterwards with the team. What a nice pleasant drive back in the new bike hauler.

  16. #1866
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    Sounds like it was a great day, shovel!
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  17. #1867
    So it is LAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    Sounds like it was a great day, shovel!
    Agree. Glad it was a good day, shovelhd.

    New bike hauler?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post

    And let the age thing go. We are all old with problems of some kind. Focusing on that is counterproductive.

  18. #1868
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Shovel, you and Gary, you....awesome. Just awesome! I hope CDR got video today, I would to see it!
    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."

  19. #1869
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Thanks Sara. I'll post the podium pictures later if Gary doesn't beat me to it. Gary won the Masters and we won the Masters team trophies. We wore our 20th anniversary kits. Although I did not get many points, I found some consistency, which is something I strive for.

  20. #1870
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    shovel, what team are you on? I liked those navy blue kits. Good job on the race yesterday, and good call on pointing out that the wind was different today. It must have been hard to bridge with a headwind on the downhill part of the course.

  21. #1871
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Congrats Gary and Shovel. You guys are very fortunate to have a race series put on by a great promoter that offers the type of racing you like to do and plays to your strengths as individuals and as a team.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  22. #1872
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
    shovel, what team are you on? I liked those navy blue kits. Good job on the race yesterday, and good call on pointing out that the wind was different today. It must have been hard to bridge with a headwind on the downhill part of the course.
    Brauer/Mick Management. The team is celebrating our 20th anniversary this year so yesterday we raced in bright pink. Our normal kits are navy with pink.

    i bridged coming out of turn two and was on at the end of the backstretch.

  23. #1873
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Congrats Gary and Shovel. You guys are very fortunate to have a race series put on by a great promoter that offers the type of racing you like to do and plays to your strengths as individuals and as a team.
    Thanks, and I agree. That's why I get up at 4:30am, drive two hours, do the clinic, marshal three races, run to Wal-Mart to get propane, and whatever needs to be done. Whatever it takes. It's a great series, something that gets reinforced as the season goes on. It clearly stands out as one of the best run series anywhere.

  24. #1874
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Thanks, and I agree. That's why I get up at 4:30am, drive two hours, do the clinic, marshal three races, run to Wal-Mart to get propane, and whatever needs to be done. Whatever it takes. It's a great series, something that gets reinforced as the season goes on. It clearly stands out as one of the best run series anywhere.
    Wow, that's saying something! I'd love to ride in one of those races one day, if nothing else, just to meet you guys! That's fantastic.
    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."

  25. #1875
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
    Agree. Glad it was a good day, shovelhd.

    New bike hauler?
    I traded my stone cold reliable nine year old Honda Ridgeline for a new 2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI. I got tired of filling the tank every weekend.

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