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Webster Roubaix, 4-11-09

Old 04-07-09, 12:24 PM
  #1  
KendallF
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Webster Roubaix, 4-11-09

I'm in, Master's 35+.

Who else?
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Old 04-07-09, 08:09 PM
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did the masters race the past two years.

perhaps there is something to the whole age/wisdom thing as this year i'm thinking about skipping it.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:32 PM
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I'm doing the Cat 5 race. Any suggestions other than don't do it?

A friend said that some wore surgical masks for the dirt road last year. How rough is it? Is it packed fairly well or is it filled with divots and tree roots?
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Old 04-07-09, 08:37 PM
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I'm in for the 4's race. I think we are racing with the 3's which means I will be shelled pretty quickly.

I've heard the surgical mask thing as well.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:13 AM
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The dirt road is packed, but of course will have a few easy bumps along the way. Your regular road setup with 700x23's is fine. Just go lower pressure in the tires. The dirt road starts wide, then narrows after 600 meters to one lane. Dirt is 1.8 miles long. Whole loop is 9 flat miles long.

Surgical masks are worn by a few riders if it is super dusty. I guess because of allergens. Seems silly unless they have doctors orders to avoid dust.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by KendallF View Post
I'm in, Master's 35+.

Who else?
I pre-rode the course last weekend. While it looks like it'll be fun for guys with a little bit of dirt skills, I'm not man enough to race it.

Good luck!

BTW -- the dirt section was recently graded, so it's pretty flat and smooth, but there were several sections with 1-2" of loose, dry, dusty, dirt.
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Old 04-08-09, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
I pre-rode the course last weekend. While it looks like it'll be fun for guys with a little bit of dirt skills, I'm not man enough to race it.

Good luck!

BTW -- the dirt section was recently graded, so it's pretty flat and smooth, but there were several sections with 1-2" of loose, dry, dusty, dirt.
last year it was the wash-board ridges that vibrated the bars out of your hands. this year it sounds like sand washes will be the hazard du jour.

oh- and the bottles strewn about, the roots, the 4" deep pot holes, the 33+mph finish sprint on the dirt section...

yep- i think i'll be enjoying easter weekend home with the family.
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Old 04-08-09, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
I pre-rode the course last weekend. While it looks like it'll be fun for guys with a little bit of dirt skills, I'm not man enough to race it.

Good luck!

BTW -- the dirt section was recently graded, so it's pretty flat and smooth, but there were several sections with 1-2" of loose, dry, dusty, dirt.
Crap. I would rather have hard packed with some bumps than loose stuff. Let's hope the heavy traffic in that area packs it down between now and the weekend..
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Old 04-08-09, 12:02 PM
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When I did it 2 years ago, the major obstacle was the loose sand in places.

Warming up, and on the controlled roll out I though it was really going to be sketchy. But when you hit the sandy sections at race pace your momentum carries you through them and its not so bad.

I rode 23c clinchers, without a problem. If I was going to do it again (which I can't because of easter Visitors) I'd put on 25cs. You won't give up much if anything on the pavement, and the width will help with any sand piles.

The pieces of advise I got from last time:

1) ride a bit bigger gear at a lower cadence on the dirt;

2) you really want to be up front on the first turn onto the dirt, at the end of the first lap. There's very likely to be a selection at that point, and you don't want to be behind people turning too cautiously onto the dirt , as the front gets away.

3) The dirt is a good place for a solo attack. You can ride your own pace across the dirt, without the slowing and acceleration that happens as the pack goes over the bumps, and because rolling resistence is a bigger factor on the dirt, its not as big of disadvantage to be in front as it would be on pavement.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:15 PM
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OK, I will spill the small "beans" that I have.

I was going to race this race, but family things/illness have gotten in the way. I did get an excellent "download" from a recent winner of the P/1/2. I will share that with you.

There will be lots of riders going down on the turn from pavement to "less than pavement". Too many riders will enter that turn too fast, even at the P/1/2 level. I would imagine that at lower levels it will be a total clusterF.

The 90degree turn in "the dirt" is the one to really watch. Be attentive there.

There are/may be potholes in the unpaved section. If it is strung out single file make sure to look beyond the wheel that you are following. The wheel you are following may be a d*ck or just not paying attention and the lead you right into the middle of one.

I REALLY wanted to do this one, but sickness (virus - off the bike for over a week except for an easy daily commute) and family commitments make it impossible.

Damn.
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Old 04-08-09, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
BTW -- the dirt section was recently graded, so it's pretty flat and smooth, but there were several sections with 1-2" of loose, dry, dusty, dirt.
It could be raining!
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Old 04-09-09, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
I pre-rode the course last weekend. While it looks like it'll be fun for guys with a little bit of dirt skills, I'm not man enough to race it.

Good luck!

BTW -- the dirt section was recently graded, so it's pretty flat and smooth, but there were several sections with 1-2" of loose, dry, dusty, dirt.
So that was YOU I met? Good riding with you.

I agree with your assessment of the course, except that I would call the "loose, dry, dusty, dirt" pea gravel. Either way, it makes for a very unnerving experience when your bike starts to slide and fishtail without warning when you hit the deeper stuff. And it's ALL deeper stuff for the last mile or so.

I'd stay home, too, except that this year I'm chasing points and I pretty much have to do this race. But I'm not looking forward to it.

Bob
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Old 04-09-09, 06:12 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Bobby Lex View Post
So that was YOU I met? Good riding with you.

I agree with your assessment of the course, except that I would call the "loose, dry, dusty, dirt" pea gravel. Either way, it makes for a very unnerving experience when your bike starts to slide and fishtail without warning when you hit the deeper stuff. And it's ALL deeper stuff for the last mile or so.

I'd stay home, too, except that this year I'm chasing points and I pretty much have to do this race. But I'm not looking forward to it.

Bob
'twas me. Nice riding with you! I wound up going back and forth on the asphalt and meeting up with the other group for some spirited riding for a few hours.

I'm not chasing anything except my own pipe dreams, and I have visitors for easter, so I'm staying home.

BTW -- Gary Stern, beating up everyone while wearing flip-flops, what an animal.
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Old 04-11-09, 09:24 PM
  #14  
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Wow, that sucked.

I raced, I got spit out on the gravel along with probably half the field, but my friend Kent won. Couple of crashes in the 45+ including a local guy who apparently broke some ribs.

If I'm stupid enough to do this again, I'm running 23 tires like everyone else. I put 28s on which didn't really help in the gravel and slowed me down on the road. Live and learn. Getting gapped wasn't the tires' fault anyway..I needed more motor.
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Old 04-11-09, 11:30 PM
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I should've brought my beach cruiser

I ran 28 rear/25 front. Not sure if it helped or hurt. I stayed upright while a few others went down on the neutral start. It was funny how ridiculous it felt at the time. Trying to slug through 6 inches of sand with people falling over left and right. That crap was straight up sand on the second half. No hard pack or gravel. Just sand with seemingly no hard surface underneath.

I tried attacking today for the first time. I didn't want to just ride around in the pack for 2 hours so I kept on attacking the whole race hoping to get some kind of small group of riders to separate. I fell back around 20th on the 3rd lap in the dirt. I thought I caught back up with the lead group, but not so. Didn't know it until another rider asked if I had the legs to bridge to the lead group. "I thought we were the lead group!". Crap. I pulled the chase the last 5 or 6 miles as I didn't really care anymore and just wanted to treat it like a training ride.

It's amazing how slow you can go and people will still not pull around you and take lead. I was indifferent at that point. I was having a good time thinking about the 20 people behind me watching me die slowly in the wind as the breakaway group got farther and farther away. Probably *****ing about the pace dropping as well If I was on a team, this could be a good tactic.
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Old 04-12-09, 11:55 AM
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What a brutally tough race!

Strong, strong riders abandoning left and right.

Skilled riders crashing left and right.

The gravel, the dust, the wind.

Friend of mine coined a new phrase when he abandoned after only one lap of his 6 lap race. He's a really strong rider and I couldn't understand why he wasn't still racing. I didn't see any road rash on him, so I knew he hadn't crashed.

So, I asked him whether he'd had a "mechanical"? He answered, "Sorta. I had a bio-mechanical."

Did I mention that it was a brutally tough race?

Bob
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Old 04-13-09, 07:19 AM
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A teammate of mine, who was equally as smart as myself and decided not to race it, took some stunning photos of the event. He's got some 55+, 45+, 35+, and p/1/2 shots in there so you can relive the insanity.

http://www.geraldbouchard.com/cycling/roubaix/
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Old 04-13-09, 08:00 AM
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Ken, those are some great shots! Gerald got some good ones of Kent suffering on his way to winning the 35+. I like the ones with the trees framing the goat track, errr, road, as well.

He caught my left arm in one pic and that's it, as far as I can tell..I'm like Bigfoot, hard to photograph clearly.
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Old 04-13-09, 08:53 AM
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Those are some great shots. The one of me? I wasn't crying. Honest. That's sweat dripping down my face. I swear!

Bob
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Old 04-13-09, 03:20 PM
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It makes me happy to see that everyone was in as much pain as me. That race was insane.
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Old 04-14-09, 07:04 AM
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Nice photos but they dont capture the true depth of the dirt/sand. I did it this year and it wont be on my calendar next season... I've never heard so many riders saying how ridiculous a race was DURING the race.

Oh yeah, and the neutral start...not so neutral. My race was basically over in the first lap since I was still on the gravel/dirt/sand road as the leaders attacked as soon as they reached the pavement. Thanks race marshall! I love driving from Miami 4 hours to do a training ride!

So much for the announcer saying "no need to push to get up front at the start line b/c its a neutral start so everyone will have a be together...." blah blah blah...
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Old 04-14-09, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by seanmdo View Post
Nice photos but they dont capture the true depth of the dirt/sand. I did it this year and it wont be on my calendar next season... I've never heard so many riders saying how ridiculous a race was DURING the race.

Oh yeah, and the neutral start...not so neutral. My race was basically over in the first lap since I was still on the gravel/dirt/sand road as the leaders attacked as soon as they reached the pavement. Thanks race marshall! I love driving from Miami 4 hours to do a training ride!

So much for the announcer saying "no need to push to get up front at the start line b/c its a neutral start so everyone will have a be together...." blah blah blah...
That's racing.

If it makes you feel any better, one of my teammates went down to your neck of the woods for the herbalife weekend and didn't have much fun at the dumpster race.

Last edited by kensuf; 04-14-09 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 04-14-09, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
That's racing.
correct

Sean's complaints will fall on deaf ears. If he was dropped because the pace picked up after the neutral, then what hope did he have the next time around? Better awareness next time.

Sean, the road is not always sugar sand like that. I have ridden that road numerous times and never had any deep stuff, so chances are 2010 will be packed a bit more. Ans besides, don't you want to do races other than the normal 60' crit?
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Old 04-14-09, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf View Post
That's racing.

If it makes you feel any better, one of my teammates went down to your neck of the woods for the herbalife weekend and didn't have much fun at the dumpster race.
That does make me feel better ... I like the dump b/c only its really about suffering and people quit after the first lap of a 1.5 mile course. We did it the following week for our local series and its part of the Z Motion race weekend next weekend.

I was more venting than complaining. Of course better awareness couldn't have helped the fishtailing I was doing the first time through there. Also, one of my friends was rolling his eyes when I told him I wasn't doing it next year... So I'll probably be back for redemption or just some more punishment. One of the reasons I did it this year was b/c I wanted to do another road race. I'll be there in Winter Haven this weekend too. I like road races more than crits but we must play the cards we are dealt.
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