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Thread: Tall Tales

  1. #251
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I read the smile on your face, AzT. It's so good to see! I loose sight of the fun aspect, sometimes, but you remind me of why I do this. Way to go, my friend!!
    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. #252
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Tucson Bicycle Classic Stage Race

    tl;dr Got my ass whupped for thee days straight.

    2014-03-14 Prologue - 3.5 mile combination of down and then up - no turnaround

    Because of a 3-4 minute downhill and then an uphill slog, equipment choices ranged from TT bikes with disc and deep profiles to ultralight road bikes with clip-ons. Forecast was for a 10-12 mile wind that would be a headwind going down, and more from the side going up. I went with the TT bike: rear disk and my road bike front racing tubie, rather than the 808 I usually run. Forecast was also 0% chance of rain. As I am at the steps of the platform, I feel rain drops. I ask the guy "Are those raindrops?". He points up at the looming black cloud. I climb the step, wait my turn, get the countdown, and launch. Kinda flat, then a right turn to the downhill stretch, which for me has been in the 35mph range. As I head for the turn, the pre-rain wind gusts hit. As I am rounding the corner, the front of the bike is getting bounced around pretty good, and I'm glad I don't have the 808. Light scattered rain hits. I THINK I've managed the power pretty well. Turns out I faded badly, finishing 24 of 26, significantly slower than last year. Lots of people were slower. When the Cat 3 guys whip the 45+ by big margins, you know conditions were a factor. But not much within each division. I just got my butt kicked by some really fast guys. Think "harbinger".

    Teammate "P" 11" off the yellow jersey.

    2014-03-15 Mile Stage Race 2 laps of 20.5 miles/1000' each

    This is a RR, so of course the climbs are the thing. Our plan was to animate the race and create opportunities for "P". Those started about halfway through the first lap. I attacked once, got with someone, but we were pulled back. After a couple by others, the pack bunched, and I went way wide from a bit back and got away. I knew I couldn't hold big power for long, so backed it down to around FTP. After a bit I see shadows, and when I look, it's a teammate... not alone. He brought two guys who were covering up to "give me a rest". They had no intent to help, and we didn't have the horsepower to pull them around. Break over. I'm pissed. We turn, and I get dropped on the not at all steep leg to the start/finish. Mind was willing; legs were not. I was screaming, and pushing as hard as I could, but the legs just faded away and I couldn't close. The wheel truck even pulled alongside, blocking the wind a bit. I got within 50', and then just cratered. Collected three other guys and we worked together to get through the second lap.

    Teammate of the GC, instead of leading him out, left him pulling the pack while he sprinted for the win after sitting in. By the time I saw them, deep in discussion, I was told they "were friends again", but there had been some very animated discussion. Some shuffling at the top, but teammate still 4th and about the same time back.

    2014-02-16 36 mile (6 laps) CR

    This also has a climb. Not much of one normally, but enough for me now, and I was dropped the second time up. Rode with a couple of others, but couldn't hold onto them the 4th time up, and I pulled off at the S/F to watch the finish rather than ride solo, very slowly, for another 12 miles. Teammate did well, but still finished 4th. Bonus points and maybe 10-20" gap time went to guys out of the running, so GC (guy from NV who visits AZ a lot) preserved his win.

    So basically, right now my legs just fade to nothing on extended efforts above threshold, and no amount of mental toughness will keep them going. Power just drops to pitiful levels. Ex and I are working on it, and no doubt we will get it to where it needs to be for next season. We are down to two crits remaining. My teams race, and the the state crit over the next two weekends. Our crit has a hairpin that wears you down. State crit is flat and fast, so it suits me. I'll continue to race hard during these last couple of weekends, then sort our a plan for the rest of the year.

    Not discouraged by the ass-whupping! I had fun...
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  3. #253
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Nice report as usual AZT. I was there riding with the Cycling House gang the day of the TT and saw a number of other racers but no tall ones. I rode a circuit with the fast guys and then we did a 6 mile out and back TT starting from the top of a rise on the TT course and hooking a U at the start of the race. After the TT, we rode a loop west of the TT course and then headed over Gates Pass to a Mexican Restaurant at the center of Tucson on 4th street.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  4. #254
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    AzTR - Great report! Good to hear that you're hitting it hard...even when it hits back harder.

    Season's over the end of March?
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  5. #255
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Lots of people were slower. .
    Interesting, Cat 4 times were a whole lot faster. My time this year was over 10% better than last year (even in the middle of the downpour!)so I am doing something right but only one TT per year, well I frankly am not going to spend the time.

    Iím pretty sure I saw you at the TBC and South Mtn as well. 808 at TBC? Good luck on the remaining crits, Iíll be there.

  6. #256
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Nice report as usual ...a Mexican Restaurant at the center of Tucson on 4th street.
    La Indita?

  7. #257
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    I do not remember the name of the restaurant. It was close to the university on a corner and we sat outside on the front.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  8. #258
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    AZT, you didn't say what field you were in. Good solid work no matter what.

  9. #259
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Nice report as usual AZT. I was there riding with the Cycling House gang the day of the TT and saw a number of other racers but no tall ones. I rode a circuit with the fast guys and then we did a 6 mile out and back TT starting from the top of a rise on the TT course and hooking a U at the start of the race. After the TT, we rode a loop west of the TT course and then headed over Gates Pass to a Mexican Restaurant at the center of Tucson on 4th street.
    Would have loved to see you. Lots of groups ride that area, as well as where the RR was held

    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    Season's over the end of March?
    Almost. It gets sporadic for awhile, with a couple of omniums up at cooler elevations, one of which has the state RR, in June, then we have a TT season in the fall, plus a wide assortment of charity rides, which I intend to avoid for the sake of my safety. But the busy part of the season ends in 2 weeks, which is ludicrous. A committee has been formed to bring sanity to the scheduling.

    Quote Originally Posted by robabeatle View Post
    I’m pretty sure I saw you at the TBC and South Mtn as well. 808 at TBC? Good luck on the remaining crits, I’ll be there.
    No, I was 606. 8xx were the 45's

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    AZT, you didn't say what field you were in. Good solid work no matter what.
    M55+, which has gotten to be really fast, and always animated. Oh, and fun. Thanks!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  10. #260
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    A committee has been formed to bring sanity to the scheduling.
    Really? Can you tell me more?

  11. #261
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    The idea is to define some seasons: Stage, Crit., RR, Track, TT. And to make it possible to have a shorter season for each one, for performance sake, and to have an ability to race out of state. Trying to be in form in early January, and then also in June or July, is a tough nut to crack. Right now the main road season feels short, because it started so early, but there are still races later (state RR) when you want to have form.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  12. #262
    Senior Member robabeatle's Avatar
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    Thanks AZTall. It would be great to have more racing in AZ overall plus:

    1. I’d like to see more events in the fall as the weather is perfect.
    2. Leave a break in the summer to race out of state or take a break.
    3. And build a track! Preferably in Tucson.
    Last edited by robabeatle; 03-19-14 at 03:24 PM.

  13. #263
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    AzT, SoCal and NCNCA go all summer, as you know. Come on over!!!
    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. #264
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    AzT, SoCal and NCNCA go all summer, as you know. Come on over!!!
    Yes, but everyone has stripes on his sleeves and corners like Shovel.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  15. #265
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Yes, but everyone has stripes on his sleeves and corners like Shovel.
    That's just a rumor.

  16. #266
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    corners like Shovel.
    Dude you're a draft I would pay for.

  17. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Dude you're a draft I would pay for.
    +1, and I'm 6'2"!
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  18. #268
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Yes, but everyone has stripes on his sleeves and corners like Shovel.
    You can hone your cornering skills!
    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. #269
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    2014-03-22 Faster Gran Prix M55+

    Spent most of the day working the race, after putting together the pre-reg stuff till late the night before. Took a break to do the 55+, and got my butt kicked for umpteenth time in a row. Technical .7 mile course. Big feature is a sharp right hairpin at the bottom of the course. I just could not keep my speed up enough through that, and catching back up as we went up the slight rise wore me down. I attacked once and led about a lap, but that was it. Sprinter won, and I was 15" behind the pack at the end. Only 10 starters, and I was 8th. At least nobody will be chasing me next week at the state crit, and I will do my best to bring the pain. But quite frankly, I'm looking forward to focusing on training rather than racing, getting ready for a more successfully (results-wise) season next year. This year has been fun, and I've learned quite a bit, but I want to start crushing some souls again.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  20. #270
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    And you will, AzT. You will.
    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."

  21. #271
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    2014-03-30 AZ State Criterium Championships: M60-64: Firebird raceway auto track

    Interesting race. The course was shortened from the crit held there earlier in the year, eliminating a reducing radius corner that gave some folks fits, and turning it into even more of a Nascar, no need for brakes, speed fest. Essentially a kidney shaped course, pretty short (haven't loaded files but somewhere in the .6 a .8 mile range), with the S/F on the long straight. Wind was building, reaching the mid-teens. It was a bit swirling, but mostly a headwind on the S/F straight.

    13 starters. 5 of us on the same team. Two of those are pretty strong but new to mass starts, and one is at the "I just want to hang on for longer than last race" phase. The other guy is totally unpredictable strategy wise. Sometimes he's a godsend. Other times he drags people up to your break. We talked. Strategy was to attack to wear down the big sprinter. If Karl got away, we'd do our best to protect that, as he has TT chops. Anyone else would need help, and we were hoping a particular guy would provide. Mr. sprinter, though is both strong and savvy. He chased down our attacks anytime they looked the least threatening. I think we threw 4-5 at him. The crucial one was just before a prime was announced. Our 'sometimes a godsend' did a decent attack that Mr. sprinter had to chase down. It was closed just before the lead up to to the S/F. I knew nobody cared about a prime with a jersey at stake. I also knew it was potentially a crucial point. But, I was out of position after having tried to slow down the chase and having folks go around. So, I was looking way up the course as the favorites finished the prime and kept going. I went wide and buried myself, not knowing whether I was dragging the pack or not, and not really caring. I just had to get to that group. I did. Alone. I made it 5. The top three favorites, a teammate, and me.

    Side note. That teammate (the one with TT chops) had tangled with the other new teammate in the early laps and gone down. He had gotten a free lap and rejoined.

    I sucked wheels the next couple of laps as the two big guns traded pulls, Mr. Sprinter doing his share. Hard not to like the guy sometimes, but we manage not to anyway. But they started looking around, and our lead was dwindling. I tried the "Guys, the gap is closing!" routine, but they didn't pick up the pace, so rested me took a fast pull for over a lap that opened it back up. Felt good to get a kudo from an opponent who said "great job; take a rest". The threat appeared gone and things got tactical as we hit 5 to go, although one of the guys had a teammate briefly join us, but he faded really fast, and was quickly gone again. I assessed my situation and didn't like it... at all... Having never beaten any of the three non-teammates in a sprint. So I launched with 4 to go. I got a gap, but nothing big, and spent lap 3 pulling the break really slowly, trying to get them to go around. Of course, when they did they did exactly what I would have done, and blew by fast enough to drop me. So I spent 2 to go burying myself to get back on, which I did. Then faded in the sprint, finishing 5th.

    Much better than the last few weeks.

    After I cooled down, I asked our team captain for a critique. He had seen what transpired, and agreed that my move was the best option. It gave me a shot at the win, and risked only being where I likely would have ended up anyway.

    But. In hindsight, I realize I didn't fully commit to that attack. I felt it was a long shot - a flyer - and part of me was saying "dial it down so you don't get spit out the back and caught by the pack." And I did dial it back, way too far, and was caught. Makes you wonder if I pay attention to my coach! That's probably my only real mistake in this one. I needed an all out, hurt now and puke later effort, and I wussed on that.

    Something to make sure I don't repeat.

    All in all though, this one goes in the good column.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  22. #272
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Good, indeed. Really good!
    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."

  23. #273
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Good read and well done

  24. #274
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Nice AZT.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  25. #275
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    AzTR, nice work and glad that one of us is making good progress this season.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
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