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Humble pie a la mode?

Old 05-09-08, 01:42 AM
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Humble pie a la mode?

Recently, I was goaded into coming out of retirement, at age 44, and racing again. All well and good, I thought. The original reasons for hanging them up had been sorted and I still wanted to race.

The local guys I train with asked me to go with them to a race a week after I climbed back on the bike. Wisely, I declined. A few more weeks of riding later and they broached the subject once more. This time it was a race I had done well at the year before. How could I say no? So, I didn't.

The thing is, this is a race that basically climbs a few thousand meters and finishes there. Even though I had done well previously at this event, it certainly wasn't a course that suited me at all. Last year was just a good day. I went balls to the wall and did well. This year is sure to be different!

Here's where pride comes in. I'm a proud guy. I feel I've paid my dues and earned whatever successes I've had. Now, I am looking at a sound thrashing, by riders I would previously shell without a thought, in a mere 10 days from now. It's going to be a tough one to take. The racing community is small and my absence has been noticed. My return will be as well. It won't be all that glorious, though.

I'm trying to keep a positive outlook and just enjoy myself. What I really hope is that I can keep a low profile and miracle myself up the mountain in a time that isn't too embarrassing. The thing is, I'm pretty sure that I'll roll across the line as they awards ceremonies are winding down and in full view of my former team mates and all those I have put the hurt to over the last few years racing here.

Maybe if I do it with a smile people will think I rolled away from the "challenge group". Or... maybe not.

Damn. Time for a big helping of humble pie. Does that come with ice-cream?
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Old 05-09-08, 04:22 AM
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nothing sucks more than getting your ass handed to you by guys you know that you're normally stronger than.
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Old 05-09-08, 04:34 AM
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fake a mechanical 3/4 up
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Old 05-09-08, 04:59 AM
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There's always "the breakfast of champions" (EPO). just kidding.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:31 AM
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Absolutely bring your own ice cream. Good idea.

When I raced Mt. Evans in Colorado, I always brought a stack of Oreos. I was usually shelled at Echo Lake, then fought for a while until we hit the timber line. Then, I just sat up and ate Oreos as I approached the final sections after Summit Lake.

As a sprinter, I'd never do anything in that race, but it's just too good of a ride to pass up.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:44 AM
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Wait if you did well at the race last year and you're racing it this year, does that really mean retired? To me it just seemed like you had a much easier winter than normal. Or whatever the "off" seasons are where you are.

I think you'll be fine. Just be prepared for some shocked looks on faces as they pass you if you really are riding as poorly as you claim. Worst of my experiences when I was extremely heavy and still trying to do some semblance of riding was the "advice" I got from non-racers on group rides like Gimbles. You know, "Use a lower gear"; "If you spin more you'll go faster"; "Here, stay on my wheel" etc etc. Back of the short group and I'd get dropped before the 120 sprint. One week I got dropped by the cool classic car place - for non-Gimbles riders, that's about 7-8 minutes into the warmup if you park at Verizon and about 20 minutes from any kind of speed. Everyone is just tooling around, talking, etc, and I exploded. I turned around and went back to my car.

I guess you should do your hard riding for the next week. Then take it easy, fuel up, and go for it.

good luck,
cdr

oh we all expect a report on how things go after you do it
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Old 05-09-08, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by daytonian View Post
fake a mechanical 3/4 up
Or a groin strain. Harder to disprove.
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Old 05-09-08, 06:54 AM
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Look at the bright side, Mr. Dopolina - you won't get shelled nearly as bad as I will be tomorrow...and it won't be by Cat 5s.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:18 AM
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A good solid ass whipping is always good for motivation. It's going to suck, there's no way around it That said, you'll have that in the back of your head while training and recovering in upcoming weeks.

I was recently wholly humbled at an epic off road climbing race, and it's been in my head constantly since then.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Does that come with ice-cream?
Finally found the root of the problem, didn't we?
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Old 05-09-08, 07:34 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
Look at the bright side, Mr. Dopolina - you won't get shelled nearly as bad as I will be tomorrow...and it won't be by Cat 5s.
Thanks for the perspective, Chipcom. I need that from time to time.

For the record: 3 months totally off the bike and 3 months of riding when it was a nice day, not too windy and I felt like it. I month of training.

No off season here.

It's funny, the wed night training races are still referred to as 'my' ride. I started them but now they have a life of there own. This I am very happy about. The local guys, who have availed themselves of this ride, and the sat morning ride I also mentored, have really moved up on the national scene. These guys are fighting for podium spots now in the Elite and Elite Masters cats (we race together).

Now that I have rejoined these rides, guys have been lining up to put the hurt to me. Luckily, I've got some race smarts so I can minimize the damage but I can see how much pleasure these guys are having making me suffer. It's actually fun in a weird way; They're getting some payback, I'm taking my lumps and we'll all be better because of it.

We're doing 5 hours tomorrow focused on elevation gain (somewhere between 2-3000m). I'm looking to finish with a NP just over 200 for the entire ride. I did it last week, on my own, so it will be interesting to see how it goes in a group. It will also be kind of fun to see riders I have helped along hand it to me.

I feel like a proud papa
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Old 05-09-08, 07:46 AM
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Just think about how the guys that finish behind Chipcom are going to feel. They'll likely have their bikes listed on ebay before sundown.
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Old 05-09-08, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Does that come with ice-cream?
Not during racing season.

I get my latest helping tomorrow at 6:40AM in Brooklyn.
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Old 05-09-08, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by wanders View Post
Just think about how the guys that finish behind Chipcom are going to feel. They'll likely have their bikes listed on ebay before sundown.
Incorrect.
The Cat5 crit starts at 8:50am, sundown is 8:52pm and the course is about 12 miles, which should put me over the finish line at approximately 9:06pm.
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Old 05-09-08, 10:48 AM
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It's better to race and fail then to never have raced at all.

Just tell the other guys you are giving them a head start to the racing season before you start hurting them again.
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Old 05-09-08, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Thanks for the perspective, Chipcom. I need that from time to time.

For the record: 3 months totally off the bike and 3 months of riding when it was a nice day, not too windy and I felt like it. I month of training.
Still no sympathy from me !! Try 12 years off the bike !!
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Old 05-09-08, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Still no sympathy from me !! Try 12 years off the bike !!
pfft....try 30 years of being a fred!
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Old 05-09-08, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
When I raced Mt. Evans in Colorado, I always brought a stack of Oreos. I was usually shelled at Echo Lake, then fought for a while until we hit the timber line. Then, I just sat up and ate Oreos as I approached the final sections after Summit Lake.
Carrying comfort food for when you get your ass handed to you... who knew?


EDIT: since when did we get all the new 'smileys'?! Ugh.
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Old 05-09-08, 04:25 PM
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If I was getting served humble pie, I would love to have it a la mode. Or with oreos, as the case may be
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Old 05-09-08, 10:42 PM
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Bit of an update.

I went on the Saturday morning hammer fest with the local fast guys. it was 4.5 hours and only 1500m of elevation gain (this I was a little disappointed about).

I finished the ride with an NP: 235. An improvement over last week. There were some climbing sections that were roughly 20min long that ended up with NP:285 (I'd appreciate some feedback here. I'm still trying to apply these numbers. I also haven't done a formal FTP test, yet. I want to see what I come up with through trail and error and looking at the chicken scratches first, and then do a formal test. I think this will be a useful learning exercise. I also have some questions about how soft pedaling might be affecting these numbers).

I managed to climb with the rolleurs, drop the sprinter and (par usual) watch the climbers climb away from me. All in all I felt a lot better than expected!

I am still going to get crushed next week but I think I will be able to keep some perspective and look at it as useful training and an opportunity to gather some data at altitude. The race climbs up to 2800m. The first 2000m are more difficult. After that the grade eases but then you have to deal with the altitude.

I just hope I can keep this post-ride high going all week and enjoy my pie next week.
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Old 05-18-08, 04:03 AM
  #21  
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As promised a full race report can be found here.

Aside from the racing, a funny thing happened.

I've been racing here for 9 seasons. When I got here most of the teams were either government funded teams or a few factory teams. I went out, found non-industry cash sponsors, got sponsorship from factories and distributors, and put together a team that is modeled after teams in the west. This was new to Taiwan racing.

I did the same thing for each of the last 9 seasons and now, it has become an excepted model and there are several other teams doing the same thing. I really do feel I can take some credit for this. Some. I had help and there were lots of others involved and we made it work.

Anyway, through this process, many riders have come and gone over the years. Some have left the sport, some have gone to other teams and some have started their own teams. All of this I am very happy about.

Here's the thing. A good part of me was dreading the less than stellar return to racing I was expecting. I just didn't know how people would react or, worse than that, if they'd notice at all!

Today's race had a long neutral. It was 15km of climbing and then the other 60km or so would commence until we reached 2600m. Not exactly my thing. But during the neutral, as I found myself next to guys who I had raced with, or who had raced for me or who I had raced against, without exception they were happy to see me back and told me so.

Smiles. I was greeted with smiles and welcome back.

At just over 2000m I latched onto one rider I had been particularly fond of. A truly decent human being. Even though he was completely blown he smiled when he saw me and had genuine words of encouragement for me. I was misty eyed. I was choked up a little (and let me tell you something, being choked up at 2000m while grinding away does nothing for your breathing).

And that's where I stand. I'm tired. I'm sore. and I'm damn glad to be back.

Now if I could just find where I left my fitness...
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Old 05-18-08, 10:10 AM
  #22  
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Obviously the Pcad business model of "Road Nazis Who Harden the F Up While Being Immersed in Self-Loathing" has yet to reach Taiwan. Enjoy it while it lasts. And good luck with the rest of the racing season.
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