sarals, I might try Sea Otter after I retire. My only real reason to try it will be to race on Laguna Seca (Mazda Raceway). Either Sea Otter or I'll take a race car driving class there.
shovelhd, sounds like a lot of fun and hard work. I think the TDI is the best "green" engine out there short of a hybrid system.
Since our sprinter got injured earlier this year and with the decline in racers in our club (they quit racing, didn't move to another club), I have been solo a good chunk of this year. Might have to start looking at other clubs for racing (I got awarded a lifetime membership to my current club last year).
Anyway, last week was a racing-is-the-best-training week. Three races through yesterday (Sunday) as my calendar starts on Monday.
Tuesday, Park2Park Race Series (AKA Eldo)
My confidence level has been in the dumpster this year and after taking a weekend off of racing after my abysmal San Dimas showing, I needed to do something different at Eldo to get my feet under me again. Eldo is the only race where I end up having some teammates, but most of them just hang in the pack. My younger teammate tries to motivate me through intimidation <JK>. He said, "I want to see you at the front this whole race."
I decided to sort of do that by marking the leader of the biggest team in the race. Interestingly, another loud guy from that club decided to try "coaching" his teammates -- chase him, block, etc -- while the guy I was marking was managing his teammates more sedately. Anyway, I was working for my younger teammate and he got into a promising break. Unfortunately, I couldn't control the pace enough to keep them out there and as the break was getting caught, someone in the break counter-attacked with another guy from the big team and they stayed away. I tried keeping the pace up on the last lap so that we wouldn't end up with a repeat crash from a couple of weeks ago. My teammate was 2nd in the field sprint (4th overall). I might have rolled across DFL.
Saturday, Curt Sutliff Memorial Santiago Canyon Time Trial
So I'm playing with my TT bike until after midnight (Friday into Saturday) trying to get my setup right after having my LBS install some 165 mm cranks. Got to the venue on the late side after getting up late and saw Hermes and Velo Diva. Hermes was playing DS and mechanic for Velo Diva. I got myself together and started warming up on the road. Started hearing an interesting grinding noise. Inner chainring is rubbing on a set screw on the chain stay mounted rear brake. Also see a wobble on the large chain ring. Determined that there was nothing I could do about it so I rode to the start line about 2 minutes before my start time.
Still couldn't get my fat a$$ up the 4.6 mile hill but I was flying on the remaining 6.5 mile downhill. Per the computer I was over 40 MPH for a 0.3 mile stretch and was pretty close to 40 MPH a couple of other times. Ended up next-to-last, about 20 seconds faster than a month ago, and 50 seconds slower than Velo Diva.
Hermes keeps telling me he'll take my Shiv off my hands since it's obviously a slow bike.
Post race I took the bike back to the LBS. The owner-mechanic played with the BB30 shims for a while. I kibitzed a bit (I know little about BB30 bottom brackets) and right now I think it's good to go. The inner chainring is a little lighter.
Sunday, L.A. Circuit Race (Masters 55+)
My club used to co-promote this race. Roughly a 4-mile loop on either side of a 2 mile stretch of divided "parkway" with some gradual climbs. About a 50-rider field with a couple of teams well represented. Women Cat 1/2/3 field started about half a lap after us and I think their race was faster than ours. Our first lap was pretty slow (confirmed by computer data). I attacked on the "climb" on the 2nd lap. Had a decent gap when one of the Rockform guys (a friend) came flying past me. Wish he'd yelled something as he was approaching. Then Ex's ex-teammate, Kal, went by. I got back into the pack and then there were some more attacks and counter-attacks. At the end of all that, Kal and a different Rockform guy are up the road for good for the remaining 3 laps.
I kept looking for an opening to try another attack but I got caught behind a stupid crash (saw the whole thing) and after chasing back on I couldn't get myself into a good position without a lot of effort. Also, I kept wondering why the other big teams, who didn't have people in the break, weren't chasing.
I was actually in a good position going into the final 180° turn but there were the usual kamikaze antics going into the corner and I came out of the corner in the back 1/4 of the pack. Tried moving up on the very gradual and short rise leading into the downhill sprint but the speed was high and everyone was spread across the road. Finished right behind former Junior World Sprint Champion and Racer Ex's teammate, Gibby Hatton. At least I was in good company. I should have tried to sprint around him.
I felt about as good as I have in a race this year but the race was definitely on the slow side.
After that race I went to the velodrome to volunteer. Got to watch Hermes and Velo Diva do the 4 Km Team Pursuit (Hermes was the only male on the team -- he's smart that way) and the 2 Km Individual Pursuit. I was holding, running the start gate (for the first time), and doing lap cards. The guy doing lap cards on the back straight messed up a couple of times and I was getting a bit flustered as I was wondering if I was wrong (I wasn't). Then there was a stretch where people were only starting on the front stretch and I got myself confused and messed up with a rider who I know -- doh! Managed to get everything right after that. I've done lap cards for 100+ lap Madison races and never made a mistake. I managed to screw up on an 8-lap individual pursuit. Must have been low blood sugar.