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Thread: Cleave Races

  1. #1
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Cleave Races

    Hi,

    This is my vanity thread for my more interesting race reports. Of course, more interesting is in the eye of the racer.

    Raced in beautiful Carson, CA this past Sunday at the California Bicycle Racing (CBR) Crit With No Name! (Yes, that was the name of the race.) Did my usual CBR trio of races: Masters 55+/60+, Masters 50+, and Masters 45+. First weekend criteriums since the middle of July -- a big break for me. Somewhat amazingly, considering how long I've been in this sport, one thing I've come to realize this year is that my mental confidence has a lot to do with my performance. This past Sunday it was OK, but not good.

    In the 55+/60+ race, I hit the front early with an effort that didn't amount to much. I was able to hold a good position and when a group of 5 separated from the front I tried chasing into the break. A friend was on my wheel. Unfortunately, he wasn't too friendly and accelerated hard around me so that I couldn't catch his wheel. I chased a little longer but the pack was back on me and the break was coming back so I sat up.

    It took me more than a few laps to recover from that effort. Heading into 4 laps to go another group of 5 went off the front. This time I tried jumping on the wheel of a different friend who went after them. I never could quite get his wheel but I was clear of the pack. I chased for almost a lap and caught the break (as did my friend) but a short time later the pack came up on us. I tried to hold a good spot heading into the bell but going into turn 4 a guy on the inside and a guy on the outside gave up and not knowing exactly what they were going to do I got out of it until I cleared them. According to the promoter's Facebook post, I was 17th in 55+. Don't know how many guys were out there.

    The 50+ field was reasonably large and reasonably fast. Didn't do much because I wasn't sure how how I'd hold up with the pace. Ended up staying in easily and my total workload was probably less than in the 55+ race.

    The 45+ race was very unusual because the field was smaller than the 50+ field and because it was slower. It ended up being about the same speed as the 55+ race. It was also unusual for me because I managed to hold a consistently high position in the field. (I am infamous for drifting to the back too often.) I was watching for something that looked like it might stick but I never ventured off the front. Had a good position going into the bell but didn't have enough nerve as we hit turn 3 and I lost a bunch of spots. Not sure where I finished but I finished upright and I wasn't totally dead after 3 races that totaled 51 miles with an average speed of 25.9 MPH.

    Guess I'm as good as I'll be for natz.
    Last edited by Cleave; 08-28-12 at 11:05 AM. Reason: I hate spelling errors on my part.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
    See my bikes at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/mybicycles
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Riding strong with Nats around the corner. You are in a good place Cleve.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  3. #3
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I agree. You got a good workout. Fighting to stay at the front on the last laps takes a lot of work and determination.

    In jest, you call it vanity, but I like this format. Everyone that has one of these threads are people I enjoy following. It makes it much easier to follow them in their own thread.

    See you in Bend.

  4. #4
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Nice going, Cleave. You guys are making me really want to be in Bend to cheer you on!
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

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    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    A wise man once said it is better to remain upright, than to embrace the wonders of Tegaderm.

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    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Nice prep for Nats. I was in Carson as well at VSC shooting pictures and looking for better lighting angles.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #7
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Nice work, Cleave!

    I know how trashed I feel after 1 crit...can't imagine doing 2 more on the same day!
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

    Visit my blog.

  8. #8
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Nice going, Cleave. You guys are making me really want to be in Bend to cheer you on!
    Me, too!

    Cleave, you're a monster!!!
    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."

  9. #9
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the encouraging words. These 3-race-days started really started this year and grew from my best racing buddy's past enthusiasm for multiple races per day. Last year I could do the 50+ and 45+ races and get in about 42 miles of racing. With some changes in "standard" race lengths and moving up to Masters 55+, if I only did 55+ and 50+, I'd get less than 40 miles of racing which generally wouldn't be enough of a workout for Sunday, so...

    This year I managed to do 3 races in a day on 8 different Sundays this year. I guess that really adds to my yearly race total pretty quickly.

    While I'm typing, I raced my last Tuesday Night Worlds for 2012 last night. My legs were definitely tired from Sunday and the intensity and volume from this past month. I told my teammates that I had one good effort in me and until I tried burning those matches, I would hang out near the back. I did just that.

    Interestingly, I made an embarrassing mistake for the first time EVER last night. For reference, our Tuesday races have almost always had two (2) points paying primes for 1st through 3rd (3-2-1 points) and points for the top 10 at the finish (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 points respectively). Shortly after they rang the bell for our 2nd prime, the Pro-1-2-3 field caught and passed us. We neutralized our race as they passed and until they got a good gap. Unfortunately, that gap wasn't good enough because when we started sprinting, the lead riders caught back up to the pack of the Pro-1-2-3 pack. Most of us didn't know whether or not the sprint counted. It didn't matter for me as I was watching the sprint from the back of the pack.

    It was getting near the end of our 1-hour race so I decided it was now or never and moved up to the front of the pack. I was on a teammates wheel when two guys attacked. My teammate accelerated and I stayed glued to his wheel. We initially had a gap but we got caught just before we got the bell for what I thought was the last lap of the race. I should say that I quickly rationalized that it was the last lap because the organizers typically give us a 2-to-go lap card and I never saw one. I figured I just missed it. I stayed near the front and amazingly I was around 10th when we hit the finishing straight so I sprinted. I actually passed a few people and counted back to 6th when I crossed the line. I stopped my computer and was coasting when the main part of the pack caught up and people started saying that the bell was for the re-do of the 2nd prime. What?!?!?!

    So I was 6th in a 3-place prime. This was the first time that I've EVER mis-counted (mis-timed?) the finish of a race. I guess it had to happen sometime. BTW, we did get the 2-to-go lap card at 2 laps to go.

    Fortunately, I was able to hang in for what turned out to be an additional 3 laps (1.7 mile per lap). What is supposed to be a 1-hour race ended up being 1 hour and 8 minutes to cover almost 28 miles (according to my teammate since I'd stopped my computer).

    Once again, my legs were pretty tired today (Wednesday). I did a real easy 17 mile ride on my TT bike this evening. Spin out the legs and stretch out the back.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
    See my bikes at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/mybicycles
    Visit my blog at http://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/
    Lightning Velo Cycling Club: http://www.lightningvelo.org/

  10. #10
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Hey Cleave, it happens. Some kid at Bethel last year had a bell that sounded just like the prime bell and I went for it. I wondered why it was so easy. I know the feeling, though. You kind of slink back into the field and bury yourself. We had a guy (who is desperately trying to recruit me to his team for next year) put his hands up when he crossed the line, but he forgot that there was a solo rider up the road. I rolled up to him afterwards and asked him "Do you always put your hands up for second?"

    I can't ever remember doing three races in a day, but we don't have too many races with 5 year increments out here. At most crits, I'll do two Masters races or a Masters race and the pro race, depending on the timing. Three has got to be real tough unless two are back to back. Warming back up after a hard effort can be physically and mentally straining.

    We have both slipped into obscurity on the Nats Criterium start list. Teehee.

  11. #11
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    shovelhd, as of this afternoon, per the Race Predictor, 8 of the top 12 guys in the 55-59 crit are guys with whom I race most weekends. No wonder I can't catch a break (pun intended) at our local races.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
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  12. #12
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    We need to share notes. I can tell you all about #1.

  13. #13
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Yes, we can definitely share notes. In general, all of the SoCal guys in the top 12 are pretty smart crit racers. <duh> Some are breakaway types and some are sprinters. Mark Hoffenberg is the guy who has been cleaning up this year as a freshly minted 55+. His MO is to breakaway early and then win the sprint from the break. He's a past Masters criterium national and world champion.

    Do you know if Glenn Schneider is originally from NY? If so, we were Juniors together in the same club, Nassau Wheelmen, back in the 1970s.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
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    Lightning Velo Cycling Club: http://www.lightningvelo.org/

  14. #14
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    Yes, we can definitely share notes. In general, all of the SoCal guys in the top 12 are pretty smart crit racers. <duh> Some are breakaway types and some are sprinters. Mark Hoffenberg is the guy who has been cleaning up this year as a freshly minted 55+. His MO is to breakaway early and then win the sprint from the break. He's a past Masters criterium national and world champion.

    Do you know if Glenn Schneider is originally from NY? If so, we were Juniors together in the same club, Nassau Wheelmen, back in the 1970s.
    Thanks. His MO sounds a lot like my MO.

    Quid pro quo.

    Aubrey Gordon is a former national champion. He's a big guy, linebacker sized, and pretty much a pure sprinter. He has multiple megawatt sprints in his legs from racing criteriums and going for the big money primes, then the win. His FTP is very low for his size and sprint power. He usually wins out of the field, but he will attack off the front for 300m-400m to try and get some breakaway guys to tow him around, increasing his chances. He may do that 5, 6 times in a race. Don't bite. If he gets in a break he will not work.

    Hopefully we will be able to get together before Saturday. I arrive Thursday night.

  15. #15
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi shovelhd, I'll send you a PM with my cell. I'll be up for a very easy ride on Friday to recover from the road race on Thursday.

    Why do races where you are going slow hurt more or at least as much as when you're going fast?

    My target time for the TT was anything under 45 minutes which would have been 40 Km/hr. I ended up with a 46:30. I actually caught my 30 second man before the turnaround and the guy who started 30 seconds behind me never caught me. I was pretty happy that no one caught me before the turnaround. A couple of miles later someone went by me but I was able to stay relatively close to him after he passed me. He'd pull away on the descents and I'd close up on the rises. Just as we got to the 5 Km sign the wheels fell off. Three(!) guys passed me in the last 5 Km and I couldn't stay close to any of them.

    I ended up 26th out of 34. If I'd hit my target time I would have been tied for 23rd. How do these old guys ride so fast?

    Tomorrow should be even more fun.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
    See my cycling photos at http://www.pbase.com/cleavel/bicycling
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  16. #16
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Great result Cleave. Good luck in the road race.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Sounds like you paced it pretty well and gave it all you had. Great job. Good luck tomorrow. I am going to do my openers on Friday but we can wheel around, too. I only go about 20-30 seconds for each one, and I will want to do a longer than normal warmup ride. I sent you my cell number.

  18. #18
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Now you are all warmed up for the road race! Sounds like you dug deep...
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  19. #19
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    Cleve, you didnt leave anything on the road. Great effort!
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  20. #20
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Cleave, wow! I can't wait to hear about tomorrow...
    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. #21
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Way to bury yourself, Cleave!

    Maybe those other old farts are retired and can train full-time.

    And now you have something for the road race, at which you excel.

    Go, Cleave, go!
    When my feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh, *****, she's awake!"

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  22. #22
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Hi, I finally finished my tome; aka my Masters Road Nationals race report. Since it's so long I put an executive summary at the front.

    http://cleavesblant.wordpress.com/20...championships/

    Read it if you dare.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
    "Real men wear pink."
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  23. #23
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Nice write up. I know how you feel with the Sierra guy, I was limping in in the RR and pulled to the side to let a 55+ chase group come through, only to see a 50+ guy working in the rotation.

    Some folks have zero class.

  24. #24
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    You got that right.

    Nice writeup, Cleave. I enjoyed having lunch with you and Nina. Don't feel bad about the criterium. It was crazy fast. A total attack fest at the front with horrendous bike handling skills in the field. If you didn't get a good start you were doomed. Sounds like you did well in the road race.

  25. #25
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    You got that right.

    Nice writeup, Cleave. I enjoyed having lunch with you and Nina. Don't feel bad about the criterium. It was crazy fast. A total attack fest at the front with horrendous bike handling skills in the field. If you didn't get a good start you were doomed.
    I was DFL at the start of my race. I was doomed several days before in any case.

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